Social News

Abstract

It’s getting harder to find relevant information on the internet, and we've barely noticed that among all the media information and social portals online, there is not a single one that caters to global news.

The noise in our social streams - Facebook, Twitter and others - has often crowded out more consequential material from around the world. We are compelled to choose for ourselves the news we want to see, and in the process of selection, we risk creating filter bubbles; echo chambers for our own ideas.

In the past we entrusted newspapers and TV to curate an unprejudiced global picture, but they too are prone to influence from human editors and commercial interests, and their relevance as thought-shapers is fading.

This project seeks to design a system or service that will enable ordinary people to stay aware of events around the world and form a balanced picture of current affairs.

Inspiration and Method

The project started out with 3 types of research: contextual inquiry, primary research including interviews with news professionals and secondary research through books and papers. The "One Byte of News" experiment was conducted as a participatory design workshop to study how people share news and also to generate material for the forthcoming stages of the process. The project eventually tackled multiple scales, treating the structure of the news network as a service / system design challenge, and the design of a news reading product for specific audiences as an interaction design problem.

Result

The result is a news network where individual contributors donate bytes of news that affect them directly, and crowd filters classify, rank and promote the most important stories.