Entwines

Melissa Dela Merced

Start a topic. Follow the feed.

http://entwin.es



Entwines is a Twitter-based  news gathering service simple enough for anyone to investigate and report any story that interests them.

Background
During the winter break, I went back to Codeacademy.com to familiarize myself in Javascript. I went though the Oreilly library for nodejs and read through Jump Start Node.js by Don Nguyen, Learning Node by Shelley Powers, and Node Up and Running by Tom Hughes-Croucher and Mike Wilson.

Other books that I went through were Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge, Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Sch├Ânberger and Kenneth Cukier and Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff.

Before coming to ITP the last website I built was hosted on Geocities. So this semester I took Dynamic Web Development under John Schimmel learning node.js using express.js, twit.js, underscore.js, mongoose.js, hosted on Heroku and Mongodb.

I picked up a subscription to the New York Times which turned out to be a good idea. The New York Times every now and then will publish an article related to the modern news gathering process.

Through the semester I followed a number of stories such as a shooting incident in Denver as well as a New York snowstorm and discovered that in order to monitor the event, I had to use a variety of tools and applications such as Twitter, Tweetdeck, tumblr and Google Reader. From here I wanted to simplify the process.

User Scenario
The user enters a Twitter account and a search tag to compare it to.

Implementation
The site is built on node.js using express.js, twit.js, underscore.js, mongoose.js, hosted on Heroku and Mongodb.


Conclusion
I envision this to be used in the exploration of topics as well as a tool to monitor social network activity where an entity is involved such as issues in politics and elections that can easily be overlooked by traditional media but hold some importance to a group of individuals.

I am currently using two APIs which is tightly integrated into my thesis is the Twitter API and the New York Times API. Working with APIs also made me realize on how much news data is not available as an API. Though many can be accessed using XML, it's still not as flexible as other sources.

Apparently the BBC and Thompson Reuters (newswire) used to have APIs which was available before 2011 as they tried to engage the public in developing applications using their API. The New York Times remains today to be the best news API I've found.