Microsoft is an incredibly diverse company. I've just celebrated 5 years here and still don't have a full appreciation of the breadth and depth of products and innovation that the corporation generates. After BlogPulse was unplugged, I felt something of a hankering to continue to follow the buzz around Microsoft, partly as a way to better follow what the company is doing and how it is perceived in the online world.
I'm a big fan of TechMeme, but it has some challenges when it comes to tracking news and trends around a specific company. Firstly, I don't know the sources that are used and the ranking mechanisms in place, so it is hard to really understand quantitatively what it represents. Secondly, with limited real estate, while a big story may be happening for a company of interest, it can be crowded out by other events. Thirdly, I can't help but think it has a strong valley culture bias. Fourthly, it hasn't evolved much in the years that I've been visiting it.
So I've put together an experimental site called track // microsoft which follows a few blogs, clusters posts that are related and uses Bitly and Twitter data to rank the articles and clusters of stories. In doing this, I observed that many posts in the blogosphere about Microsoft would contain videos (be they of Windows 8 demos or the latest research leveraging the Kinect platform).
The site has three basic columns. The first contains established stories, represented by clusters of articles. The second represents a more timely view of posts. Both of these columns use Bitly and Twitter statistics to rank, with a bias to recency. The third column shows videos which have been embedded in posts multiple times.
Thus far, I find the stories and videos that surface here to be very interesting. This is where I first learned about:
- Microsoft's site for the new Hunger Games movie.
- The dynamics of Nokia's presence in the UK cell phone market.
- The release of the iPlayer on the Xbox (how cool is that!)
The nice thing about track // microsoft is that it should be easy to repurpose it to follow any topic - all you need is a list of feeds. I'm hoping to put together pages for taiko, skiing, Kauai, ...
Please take a look at track // microsoft and let me know what you think.