A new visualization tool developed by a graduate student at New York University aims to help web journalists — who must produce highly clickable pop stories with hard-hitting news — reduce the time spent on “fluff” stories by pointing them to topics that will garner substantial traffic.
You can download the tool free here.
It takes a minute to understand the key, but it’s quickly addictive.
The thicker the layer, the greater the popular interest; the lighter the color, the lesser the media saturation. Where a layer appears in the stack does not matter.
Journalists seeking topics of high interest with low media coverage — editorial “sweet spots — should look for thick, white layers. Or for a cheat sheet list of best bets for coverage, click on the eye in the upper-right corner.
The circles appearing outside of the information stream represents failed stories — those with high media coverage and low interest.