Darwin Ecosystem offers an awareness engine for content discovery within the enterprise and on the web. In contrast to a search engine that goes after answers to known questions, an awareness engine aggregates and displays content themes in real time to empower the person to more efficiently make intelligent decisions. It operates on the premise that people, rather than computers, know best about where to look next. Using algorithms based on Chaos Theory, content themes self-organize in a manner that eliminates SEO and gaming. As a disclosure, I am part of the Darwin Ecosystem team.
Darwin is now providing a series of themed Darwin Editions™ powered by the Awareness Engine that focus on specific topics to better demonstrate its capabilities and as a free service. The initial themes for the Darwin Editions include: general news, social media on the web, social media in the enterprise, US immigration news and discussions, and oil and gas industry news.
These Darwin Editions provide a way to monitor the conversations within several focused areas. They offer many of the user capabilities that come with the complete Darwin Awareness Engine. Darwin looks at targeted content rather than spidering the whole Web. This targeted content approach provides greater control to define relevant content and can be focused within the Web or within the enterprise through such applications as SharePoint, Domino, and many of the other collaboration and content management platforms. Determining and curating the target content is an administration function that comes with the commercial versions. In this Darwin Edition series they have picked the content sources and will continue to refine them.
As a user you have a number of capabilities for looking at this content and making adjustments to your discovery process. First, there are the two visualizations: the Buzz Tape™ and the Scan Cloud™. The Buzz Tape runs across the top of the screen as seen below and displays themes of rising (green) or falling (red) interest within the target content. The Scan Cloud shows the top themes within the target content. Running the mouse over one theme highlights the others that are related to it. In the right column the actual content connected with themes is displayed. Clicking on this content will take you directly to the source.
As a user you can click on any of the themes within the Buzz Tape or the Scan Cloud and they become the focus of a new Scan Cloud that the system quickly generates. Darwin works in real time. As user you can quickly adjust the time period for the harvested content to be the last hour, last two hours, or last 24 hours using the selection options near the top of the screen. You can even expand it to 200 hours through the attractor creation process described below.
The photos come through two sources. Some RSS feeds provide pictures. We also link to relevant Flickr images. You can choose to collect videos through YouTube by choosing videos when you select sources as described below. The YouTube videos are listed under the informal sources in the right column.
You can either simply look at the general buzz within the targeted content or create attractors, that serve as queries, to further refine you content discovery. For example, you can look at how your brand or some other topic of interest is being discussed. To create a new attractor, you fill in the attractor field in the top right. For example, Boston was placed in the attractor field and received these results shown below.
Then you can further edit your attractor by clicking in the edit space next to where it appears in the upper left. An edit field appears, such as the one shown below. You can adjust the time period for content collection up to 200 hours by using the slider. You can select which feeds to use by choosing from the drop down or simply allow for everything by not making a selection. It is best to start this way. You can also select if you want to only see more formal (traditional news sources) or less formal sources (bloggers). Not selecting either provides all content sources.
Once you have refined your attractor you can save it in the lower right corner of the edit field. Then when you click on the plus sign in the upper left all of your saved attractors will appear for you selection. The colors in the Scan Cloud reflects different types of terms and can be configured as you want. In our Editions they are used as follows: people – red, organization – blue, place – green, category – grey and product – purple. We will continue to color code terms as they appear. The colors are an admin function.
Here are descriptions and links to the first three the initial Darwin Editions.
Social Media on the Web