Every day hundreds of articles are put online via the New York Times’ website. All of these articles are then shared, and commented on, across social media networks. The New York times wanted to know the impact of these social sharing of their articles and therefore they developed a tool called ‘Cascade’. This tool illustrates the connections between readers and publishers and provides multiple insights to the New York Times. Such insights can be used to write articles that are shared more often and therefore have a larger impact. As with any publishers, it is important to have as much traffic as possible, and understanding how and why articles are shared can help them improve their content resulting in more traffic.

Project Cascade has several objectives as the New York Times want to understand the following:

  • Understand the impact of a single tweet;
  • How much of the conversation occurs in just 140 characters;
  • Are certain people more influential on certain topics than others and who are these people;
  • Does the content of the tweet affect the impact of it and if so how;
  • What variables, such as time of day of day of week, affect the impact of the tweet;

The idea with this project is that it will tell the New York times how it can expand its impact in the conversation and maintain its position as a news and information leader in the field. The visualizations, which can be viewed in the video, will provide clear insights how a story travels across the Internet once it is published in the New York Times. This is vital information and will help the New York times improve their content.

The New York Times is looking into expanding the tool to other brands and help them understand their impact as well. Ultimately they want to make it useful to any entity that publishes content online and therefore help the publishers create better content.

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