Know what people are talking about right now

by David Spark on January 31, 2009

CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews would all like to make you believe that they’re the first to break news. They’re not. You are. Using the abundance of social media tools, the community of Internet users often are the first to catch big news items and then spread them. How do you track that buzz?

No need to constantly scour the Internet. There are tons of metablogs and Twitter IDs that are tracking the most popular news articles, videos, events, and top discussions. And soon we’ll be able to track people’s ‘sentiment’ to the news and their lives as Mark Zuckerberg explained to Robert Scoble at Davos. “He also told me that the sentiment engine notices a lot of ‘going out’ kinds of messages on Friday afternoon and then notices a lot of ‘hungover’ messages on Saturday morning,” said Scoble on his blog. More than a year ago I asked Zuckerberg a question at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco about what unusual behavior did he discover about users on Facebook. He said then, for which we all know now, that the change in relationship status were public ways of telling everyone you were or were not available. People are very attuned to that status change.

We’ll have to wait for Facebook’s sentiment engine to take shape, but until then you can still be hip. To stay in the know and not come off as an out of touch parent who doesn’t know what music their children listen to, bookmark these sites, capture their RSS feed, or follow these Twitter IDs and you’ll always be in the know.

For hot topics of discussion, follow these Twitter IDs

For hot articles and blog posts, watch these sites

This news item is for the Spark Minute week of 2/2/09 which can be heard daily on Green 960 and 910 KNEW in San Francisco, CA.

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