Dave Winer has been exploring a superb news resource, exploring the depth and breadth of the New York Times‘ data-stream. The most traditional of news organizations is opening up, including its archives,in ways that could be truly revolutionary in the news business — and Dave is leading the way toward a new way of seeing a core part of our history and current knowledge.
As he inspires others to do some spelunking of their own, the result is that people outside the Times are doing crucial R&D for the world’s most important newspaper — figuring out what’s available in the story archive and current flow that, in many ways, represents a fundamental baseline for journalism about vital topics, and then figuring out how to make it more available, in smarter ways, to more people.
In this morning’s posting, Dave shows us a new outline view of the Times’ stories, part of what he’s calling “rivers of news” that take headline services to a deeper place. If you have a mobile phone that has a Web browser, load the New York Times river to see what this means. The outline is, in effect, a taxonomy of what’s happening in the world, and was inspired in large part by people at the newspaper who suggested a direction he might take.
More is coming, he says:
Further, in the process of exploring this, I’ve been shown the work of other developers who discovered the keywords on their own, and one in particular is very interesting. I’m hoping that these projects will come public so I can show them to you and tell you what I think they mean.
I don’t know where this will end up, but it’s important work. The Times is being incredibly smart, meanwhile. It’s leveraging the passion of technologists who care about news and journalism. In the end, the value will accrue not just to the paper but to everyone who cares about getting the news they need, when and where they need it.
Kudos all around on this one.
(DIsclosure: I own a small amount of New York Times Co. stock, which is currently worth a lot less than I paid for it.)