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Scanning Topics on the Internet

Scanning Topics on the Internet

The Internet has a profound influence on the way information and issues are generated, filtered and distributed in society. Professional experts (like, for example, librarians or journalists) still provide “gatekeeping” and the filtering of information, but two new mechanisms are gaining in importance: Firstly, non-professional “produsers” of the Web 2.0 produce, spread, rate, filter and comment on a variety of topics. Secondly, software code, with its inscribed principles and algorithms, frames the selection, presentation and distribution of information.

A report for the ZDF (Second German Television) describes these developments and its underlying mechanisms, discussing the consequences for the emergence, distribution and monitoring of information, news and issues. It helps to assess current developments in online-based information management and to decide which instruments might be transferred to the (organisational as well as editorial) activity of the ZDF.

Particular attention was paid to three areas:

  • automated news aggregators (e.g. Google News, digg.com),
  • innovative forms of content classification (“tagging”/”folksonomies”),
  • monitoring the flow of information in the blogosphere.

The project was concluded in August 2008.

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Project Description

The Internet has a profound influence on the way information and issues are generated, filtered and distributed in society. Professional experts (like, for example, librarians or journalists) still provide “gatekeeping” and the filtering of information, but two new mechanisms are gaining in importance: Firstly, non-professional “produsers” of the Web 2.0 produce, spread, rate, filter and comment on a variety of topics. Secondly, software code, with its inscribed principles and algorithms, frames the selection, presentation and distribution of information.

A report for the ZDF (Second German Television) describes these developments and its underlying mechanisms, discussing the consequences for the emergence, distribution and monitoring of information, news and issues. It helps to assess current developments in online-based information management and to decide which instruments might be transferred to the (organisational as well as editorial) activity of the ZDF.

Particular attention was paid to three areas:

  • automated news aggregators (e.g. Google News, digg.com),
  • innovative forms of content classification (“tagging”/”folksonomies”),
  • monitoring the flow of information in the blogosphere.

The project was concluded in August 2008.

Project Information

Overview

Duration: 2008-2008

Involved persons

Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Third party

Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt
Senior Researcher Digital Interactive Media & Political Communication

Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17-83
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17-77

j.schmidt@hans-bredow-institut.de

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