Tewspaper: Crowdsourced News Via Twitter and Social Media

. August 25, 2009 . 0 Comments

Tewspaper, an online newspaper without writers, has launched with coverage of five major metropolitan cities – Baltimore, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City. Tewspaper scours social media websites such as Twitter and filters messages down to breaking news. One of the local sites, Baltimore News, brings algorithmically filtered news to people in Tewspaper’s home town.

Tewspaper is neither endorsed nor sponsored by Twitter or other social media websites; the company uses publicly available APIs to connect with social media sites and find relevant data. One of Tewspaper’s innovations is a system of filtering through the obscure and finding the relevant news on social media sites. For example, Twitter alone has over 2 billion messages, and is growing by thousands of messages per minute. Tewspaper makes it easy to find out what is happening now, in an organized, succinct, and accessible fashion. It is an ideal way for the Internet generation, who text and tweet, to view the news at their rapidly moving pace.

“We began by limiting the news to trusted authorities on Twitter. From there, we are working on an algorithm that can find additional breaking news from anyone on Twitter and other websites as it happens,” said Jared Lamb, the creator of Tewspaper.

Another obstacle Tewspaper had to overcome was the limited content it could locate for each story. To solve this problem, the website automatically matches images to related stories. Tewspaper determines the optimal image to display for every story based upon the author, subject, headline text, date, links, and other context.

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