Making sense of Twitter for Journalism - Dataminr

Ah Twitter, the real firehose of news....

Love it or hate it but Twitter updates play an increasing part in the breaking news cycle - for companies and definitely for reporters.

But with 500,000,000 Twitter users, per one March estimate and 400,000,000  tweets sent per day - how do you spot the stories that matter ?

Next to corporate online monitoring platforms like Engagor which help you search for mentions based on keywords and search string, several "discovery platforms" have seen the day recently. 

The difference between the two types of listening platforms is that the latter makes "sense" of random tweets and will find "patterns" by itself, making it interesting for journalists on the look out for the latest real time scoop.

Yesterday Dataminr for News - a tool created by Twitter, CNN and Dataminr was announced to the world. Their website states that "Dataminr transforms the Twitter stream into actionable alerts, identifying the most relevant information in real-time".

Dataminr looks promising and I see different applications for a tool like this. 

Imagine being able to discover emergency patterns, competitive patterns or complaint patterns. Applications in crisis prevention, emergency notification or market intelligence are numerous.

The demo takes me back to the very first test I saw years ago around social network analysis. Although the focus there was to discover "social patterns" the logic is the same. 

My interview with a Brussels based correspondent on how he uses Twitter to source information and news convinces me that "discovery" applications like these will definitely find a place in every newsroom around the globe very soon.

What will be the corporate answer my dear PR colleagues ? Any ideas ? Let me know.

PS: don't hesitate to test Engagor via the link above. No strings attached and no credit card needed.