May 2, 2011

Summify, and the Bin Laden Story

Bin ladenImage via WikipediaI subscribe to Summify, for those who don't know about the service it's really worth it. It grabs all the news from my facebook, twitter and rss feeds and gives me a summary. I have been using the service for a few months no more. So far I'm very happy. I get three updates a day of about 10 links, about the news that matter in my network and information sources.

Today was strange, we all heard about the death of Bin Laden. Well all the news in my report are about Bin Laden's death. It's big news I get that, but how did it get to monopolise my whole report? It defeats the purpose of gathering information from all over the place at first glance.

Is it that my news sources aren't diversified enough, or is it that this news is everywhere?

I don't think this is related to the diversity of my news sources, I'm all over the place. I think it speaks to Summify's engine for determining what matters.

Could it say that some people in my network have too much weight? With the result that it skews Summify's algorithm. Yes and No, as it so happens the news links are all from different sources, so not one source monopolized the report.  One of the issue I can see, is all the big names in my network broadcasted the news, so I got the same story but from different source. In a CIA way, I can say Bin Laden is really dead I guess, with so many data points! (well not really I know, since the news is all reported from one source, the US Gov, but anyway let's carry on...)

On the other hand how useful does this make the service, it's the first time this happens, and it's pretty big news, this one report is useless to me, and all the reports I have had so far were far more useful.

Can/Should this even be averted? I don't think so, it would be like expecting all the majors newspapers in the world to not make the news of Bin Laden's death front page. So big events like this one will always monopolise news source, and they are fairly exceptional in nature.

All in all Anyway give a shot to summify! I can't wait for it to integrate with LinkedIn Today and linkedIn in general.

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2 comments:

Dan M said...

"It's big news I get that, but how did it get to monopolise my whole report? It defeats the purpose of gathering information from all over the place at first glance."

I completely agree. I don't use Summify, but checking my various networks manually, I came to the exact same conclusion.

I wrote about this problem as well: http://tinyurl.com/667mr4z

Frederic Boulanger said...

thanks dan, I read your post - good stuff!