Artificial intelligence started, like many aspects of technology, as something only science fiction could dream of. Machines that could think – what a concept!
Topics: Content Curation
As we touched upon in last week’s post on big data, when your system has to search through a constantly evolving database containing millions of words in hundreds of thousands of documents, it has to quickly be able to determine the difference between what is insight and what is just in sight. We do this by reducing our complex database of text into patterns, which helps us envision a landscape we can’t actually see.Two things enable us to do this: RADAR and ESP. We discussed ESP last week.
My kid plants tomatoes every spring. She waters them, gives them some kind of fertilizer, makes sure they get plenty of sunshine and in turn, the plants produce dozens of little bite-sized tomatoes for her enjoyment. I’m always amazed at how little effort it takes to get all those tiny tomatoes.
You may not realize it, but most of us use taxonomies every day – unlike that Algebra you took in the 10th grade. Taxonomies allow us to classify and categorize data in a way that makes it more easily accessible.
Imagine a high-wire walker. Precariously balanced on a steel cable dozens, perhaps hundreds of feet above the ground, they make forward progress in a calm, deliberate manner. If they lean too far to one side – disaster. Too far to the other side – disaster.
While balancing your content needs is not a life-or-death situation, making sure your company has access to the best content possible can nonetheless be mission critical and make sense of budget constraints.
On one side of this issue you have the social media fire hose. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – and more – in a wide-open, never-ending stream of data. The information comes in too rapidly for most people to follow; not only do they have other things to accomplish, but being constantly pummeled with information quickly becomes exhausting. It may be free and easily accessible, but it can be difficult (at best) to use effectively.
On the other side, you have human-curated content. This will always be the most expensive solution, but its greatest upside is the hands-on approach that gets you only the most very specific data you’ve asked for. The downside here can be that without a wider view, you’ll only ever get exactly what you ask for, and there’s no randomness to the stream of data that might clue you in to something just outside the mainstream that’s breaking in your industry.
Balance, then, is finding the path between these two extremes that is both cost-efficient and highly insightful.
Read Part 1 of this post.
There is an old adage I’m sure you’re familiar with – you get what you pay for. In this case, the lure of free content is powerful. Every company’s budget is stressed and every employee is looking for ways to trim costs. If the tech geeks downstairs in their dark, smelly rooms can write a bit of code that scrapes Google News for today’s top headlines, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of value in paying the Associated Press for their stories.
Except when there is.
Services like Google News don’t care about you, your company or any of your needs. They are going to open the fire hose and send you everything that will fit through it. Makes sense since the name Google is derived from an unfathomable number. Sure, they apply some relevancy magic to bring organization to search results but the rest is up to you. Now there are questions where a search on a search engine will give you exactly the answer you need in an instant: the score of a game, the location of a business, listing of services, etc. Google News can give you the top stories of the day for a variety of topics. If a little monitoring is all your job requires, then free sounds like the way to go while monthly subscriptions are unnecessary. However when there is information you seek that requires a little more research it might be time to open the wallet.
I’ll never forget the day the New York Times put up its pay wall. They had been talking about it for months – in the light of waning subscription numbers, because of waning advertising dollars, they said, we have no choice but to ask you to pay for the news you read on your computer. I used the NYT as one of my go-to sources for news, along with a paper copy of the Washington Post I picked up every day on my way to work.
Social media outlets can be a double-edged sword in the news world. Whether you’re looking at Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest or a platform that hasn’t hit the mainstream yet, if you choose to live by social media, there’s a chance you might die by social media. Here are four pretty important factors to consider if you consider social media one of your “go to” sources.
Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, though sometimes I think the pressure to do so can be overwhelming. When it comes to your business, though, it’s wise to think about things you can do better or more efficiently in the year ahead – no matter when you decide to start that year.
In the content delivery business, we tend to think of content – not necessarily news – as existing in just a few states – important, relevant and irrelevant.