Commentary

The Great Pre-Trender: HuffPo Algorithm Identifies News Memes Before They Happen

Arianna-Huffington-B.When we launched this column some months ago, I explained our mission by citing examples of innovative real-time marketing being developed by agencies --not just in reaching audiences -- but in telling them stories. One of them was Digitas' "BrandLive" initiative, which created a real-time "newsroom" for clients such as Procter & Gamble. And in that real-time spirit, I can tell you that even as you read this blog, Arianna Huffington is standing on a Manhattan stage telling a roomful of advertisers and agencies about a new "brand as newsroom solution" The Huffington Post has developed exclusively for Digitas' BrandLive. In other words, Digitas is taking the concept from a virtual newsroom to an actual newsroom, HuffPo's.
 
“We are delighted to be partnering with Digitas to harness the power of real-time tools to help brands tell their stories and build relationships while using social media to deepen connections with consumers and the impact brands can have on our lives,” Arianna Huffington, chair, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, said in a statement provided to RTBlog in pre-real-time so we could synchronize our coverage precisely as Huffington announces it on stage during Digitas' NewFront event in New York City this afternoon.
 
Like Digitas' homegrown BrandLive newsroom, HuffPo's version has all the obligatory bells, whistles and tools you'd expect from a state-of-the-art, digital publishing concern, including, real-time data analytics and social media scheduling features, as well as custom RSS news feeds utilizing HuffPo's proprietary algorithm, which it claims can "identify and evaluate pre-trending articles."
 
"Pre-trending?," wow, that's a concept worthy of an RTBlog in and of itself, and as soon as I can re-sync my temporal framework, I'm going to weigh in on it, because I have a feeling that it falls in the camp of Google Now's "precognitive media" turf, and is something we should all keep an eye on -- even if it is only a developing eye.
 
Meanwhile, you'll have to settle for HuffPo's explanation, which is that it is, "content that is rapidly accelerating in both user engagement and social activity." Ah, sounds like an old school trending story to me, so I'm not sure what makes their version pre-trending, but that's their precis, or maybe just a thesis.

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1 comment about "The Great Pre-Trender: HuffPo Algorithm Identifies News Memes Before They Happen".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, May 3, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.

    "Oh yes I'm the great pre-trender (ooh ooh)/Pretending I'm doing well (ooh ooh)/
    My need is such I pretend too much/I'm lonely but no one can tell/Oh yes I'm the great pre-trender (ooh ooh)/Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)" - Queen. This is what we (and probably everyone else) calls "trending products" or "trending topics".

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