Welcome to News Rethought™. A radical rethinking of news around the notion of people, places, organizations, and outlets, and ultimately, insights.
The Carbon Capture Report is based on the principles' more than a decade and a half of experience monitoring and understanding global news flows about products, brands, and industries, dating back almost to year one of the modern Internet. A decade ago, the technical principle launched one of the first "web scale" global monitoring systems at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (the birthplace of the modern web), and now oversees one of the largest global open source intelligence initiatives in academia. He's worked with Fortune 50 companies, governments, organizations, and industries alike to understand what the world is saying about them.
Out of this unique breadth of experience came a critical insight: organizations care about the global discourse not because of the discussion itself, but because of its impact on the organization's current and future operations. A company wants early detection of negative sentiment on a product to be able to address those concerns, while being able to localize the views in a particular geographic area help inform future expansion or targeting plans there. Similarly, researchers and government officials tracking the development of new industries need global insight into their evolution.
People, Places, Organizations, and Outlets
Think about it: you keep on top of news coverage of your industry in order to gain new insight. You're not interested in the text of the articles: you care about the information within those articles, which often revolves around people, places, organizations, and news outlets. Instead of a bibliographic list of all articles covering the solar industry, you want a list of which companies are entering which geographic markets, how they are being perceived, who they are partnering with, and which news outlets are giving the most and least favorable coverage of the industry. These are questions which can't be addressed through any platform available today: you're on your own to wade through hundreds of thousands of articles, and the underlying trends most useful to you will likely be lost in the deluge.
Now, imagine for a moment a platform that does all of this for you. It reads through every news article and social media posting, searching for any reference to a person, organization, location, disambiguating whether that was "Cairo, Illinois" or "Cairo, Egypt" based on context, recognizing names transliterated from more than 7,500 different languages, and builds profiles for every one of those entries. At a glance, you can see the list of people and organizations associated with a given city or organization, rank organizations by the tone of their coverage, see which news outlets cover which companies the most, and a nearly infinite list of other possibilities.
Welcome to the Carbon Capture Report: News Rethought.
Actionable Insights: Today, Right Now
Traditional news clipping services simply aggregate together everything being said about a company and present it in a long bulleted list, possibly tens of thousands of items long. Such lists aren't "actionable": large teams of human analysts must pour over the lists, reading tens of thousands of articles each day and trying to synthesize the broader patterns that have the potential to impact the company. Few companies have the resources to support such intelligence operations and the patterns of greatest importance are often lost in the deluge.
Instead, the Carbon Capture Report debuts a technology platform designed to provide real-world insights into broad industry patterns. Rather than a bulleted list, it delves deep into the articles themselves, reading them much as a human does, and extracting critical enabling patterns, such as relationships of people, organizations, and locations, as well as charting the overall media infrastructure covering that industry and the complex networks of information interchange that underlie how information flows across the landscape of news outlets, blogs, twitterers, and other media. Utilizing groundbreaking network analytical approaches developed at the University of Illinois, all of this information is brought together and synthesized using large supercomputers to build computational models of both how an industry has evolved and how the information apparatus that supports its global discourse has developed and interconnected over time.
In essence, the Carbon Capture Report lets you move beyond news and social media as "content" and instead explore the actual meaningful components of that content, from geographic locations to people, companies, and news outlets. Moreover, we deliver all of that information in an analytical format that lets you drill right now to the trends you need in a way that is designed from the ground up for those requiring critical industry intelligence. We're quite excited about the new platform and think it represents a radical new way of monitoring, analyzing, and understanding an entire global industry.
The Uniqueness of the Carbon Capture Report
What makes the Carbon Capture Report unique? Its focus on the five W's of news: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
Ultimately, we read the news to learn the latest activities of specific people, organizations, places, or topics. We want to know the latest about the Gulf oil spill, US Energy Secretary Chu's latest proposed legislation, the FutureGen project, or public sentiment in a region we live or work in or are considering investing in. All of these share something in common: news reports are simply a "container" for the details we're looking for. Ultimately, we're not really interested in reading through 10,000 news articles and blog posts for their entertainment value, we're looking for the critical insights to guide our understanding of the latest developments in the field.
The Carbon Capture Report was built for this purpose: to transform news from textual reports to actionable insights that you can use. You already know the top 20 companies in the solar industry. But what if you want to know what geographic regions they are focusing on this month? Or what companies they are partnering with, either publically or unofficially? Those kinds of questions can't be answered by today's news monitoring services, requiring massive investments in professionally trained human analysts to read and interpret the news for you.
More importantly, you already know about the companies you know about and can set up a Google News Alert to scroll through the info on them. You want to know about all of the new companies emerging onto the scene, the whole landscape of the industry. Even for the companies you already know about, you can't read all of the material that comes out everyday about them: you want analytical summaries, what are the key locations, news outlets, and people associated with them in the news media, and the tone of their coverage. Most importantly, to stand out ahead of the crowd, you need to know what news might affect them that doesn't explicitly name them. For example, new legislation being proposed won't specifically say it will affect company X, but using the geographic and other automated tools available on the Carbon Capture Report, you can quickly narrow down its potential impact. Its like having your very own intelligence analyst at your fingertips, digging through hundreds of billions of pieces of content and making sense of it for you.
This focus extends down to the little details, like a name recognition system that can recognize localized cultural names transliterated from more than 7,500 languages (commercial systems only recognize Western names); a reasoning textual geocoder that is specially designed to handle the grammatically-poor text of the social media and is able to contextually recognize and disambiguate names down to a local hilltop anywhere in the world (commercial systems only include portions of the world or fail on text with poor grammar); a domain ranking system that maps out the global flow of information within an industry to rate each news outlet's contribution; and a tone coding system that isn't just a list of positive/negative words, but rather "reads" the way you do. And, of course, all of these systems use novel machine learning technologies to constantly learn from the reports they see, continually building background knowledge about their subject areas to spot important trends.
A Global Intelligence Perspective
For nearly 70 years the global intelligence community has monitored the world's news media, using the newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations in each country to keep a finger on the global pulse. More than 80% of actionable intelligence during the Cold War came not from spies running around in the dark, but from the news media. Yet, in today's world when anyone with a web browser can access newspapers from every continent, the problem is still the same: too much information and too little analysis. You don't have time to read through 60,000+ news items daily to keep on top of your industry: you need a service that does that for you and delivers actionable insight out of that deluge.
Beyond the News Clipper: An Intelligence Platform
To be successful, a news service must move beyond a simple clipping service offering a bulleted list of articles: it must delve into the contents of those articles and their contexts and extract insight. Unlike traditional monitoring services, the Carbon Capture Report is based around this analytical model, merging the editorial control of the mainstream press with the creative voice of the social sphere to offer a unified view of the public discourse. For example, by operating at the resolution of the "story" rather than the "article" that most systems work with, the Carbon Capture Report can measure each story's penetration both in terms of the number of news outlets covering that same story and in terms of uptake in the social media sphere.
At its core, the site acts as a global news monitoring service: compiling and reporting on trends in public perception and coverage of climate change and energy sectors around the world. Yet, in a field which generates tens of thousands of new news articles, blog posts, Tweets, YouTube videos, and other content each day, 365 days a year, a traditional news clipping service is simply overwhelming: no human can make sense of such a non-stop deluge of information.
The Carbon Capture Report answers this call with a rich analytical platform developed over more than a decade and a half of research in corporate, academic, and government applications of global news and social media diffusion patterns. While sites like Google News use coarse groupings to lump articles together, or print-era publisher directories to place newspaper articles on a map, the Carbon Capture Report uses machine learning language modeling techniques to precisely cluster articles by "storylines" and a hyperlocal global geocoding system to geographically position coverage by source and focus. We have developed a research platform capable of exploring critical questions in public perception of climate change and energy, rather than yet another commercial clipping service designed to provide call sheets for public relations staff. Instead of a bulleted list of news coverage, rich analytics offer a global news monitoring service that is both insightful and actionable by grouping, categorizing, extracting, and ranking content in ways that make it directly useful. As opposed to commercially-driven services designed around product brand mining, the Carbon Capture Report is based on a platform designed to enable core research and insights into an industry at large: the energy industry.