[FoRK] News monitoring (was a topic now long lost)

Gary Stock gstock at nexcerpt.com
Tue Feb 10 17:54:16 PST 2015

Thanks.  In reading it again now (as when writing it), I can't avoid the 
taste of meaningless minutiae.  Putting enough bits together, though, 
does reveal self-propagating patterns, and a slew of increasingly sloppy 
industry habits.  None of it bodes well for online news.  If they don't 
maintain a stable website, how likely is the business itself to be healthy?

I wish I'd been blogging the most inane discoveries of the past twelve 
years.  Which sites add, then remove, "www" every few weeks.  Or, which 
add, then remove, then again add a print version of every article.  
Basically:  which servers are being managed by interns, which outlets 
are committing SEO suicide, and so on.  There's data in that layer, too.

Another example:  last June, pretty much all 80+ Justice Department/US 
Attorney press pages went silent.  No new postings for six months.  Late 
last year, a few came back; in the past two weeks, most of the rest have 

Somehow, the indictments, convictions, and consumer warnings of Q3 and 
Q4 2014 were not as worthy of publicity as before!  Conspiracy theory, 
anyone? ;-)


On 2/10/15 5:22 PM, Ken Meltsner wrote:
> Good article about a remarkable approach.  I've noticed some of this
> -- non-opaque URL features as a rough measure of quality -- but this
> is certainly a deeper insight into the problem.
> Ken
> On Tue, Feb 10, 2015 at 4:00 PM, Gregory Alan Bolcer<greg at bolcer.org>  wrote:
>> http://blog.nexcerpt.com/2013/05/01/online-searcher/
>> This is still one of my favorite articles.   I wote a script just last week
>> to generate patterns of things we don't want.  Using a few combinations,
>> it's exploded to over 24,000 things, but that's still significantly smaller
>> than the 250,000 more specific patterns that get automatically detected.
>> *I will answer email promptly, not tag for later reply and forget. I will
>> answer email promptly, not tag for later reply and forget...*
>> Resondez vous, svp.  Nah, just kidding.  Continue w/ your whiteboard
>> exercise. :-)
>> Greg
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