A pair of Irish graduates are taking on the likes of Google News – from offices on the same road as Google’s European HQ in Dublin…
Paul Quigley and Andrew Mullaney’s venture, NewsWhip.com, is a news aggregator site with a difference: it tracks the spread of news stories across social media in real time.
That involves automatically sifting through about 60,000 news stories each day from thousands of English-language news sites around the world. NewsWhip’s technology then looks at how each news item is spreading across social networks by counting the number or tweets and Facebook shares, and ranking the stories based on how often they are shared.
“There are great stories published all over the web every day, but how do you separate the good stuff? There’s over half a billion active social network users, deciding each day what, if anything, is worth sharing with their friends. When I realised you could build a system to track in real time which stories were getting the most traction on the networks, I was bowled over with the potential.” – NewsWhip co-founder Paul Quigley
The result is an evolving snapshot of the world’s news agenda – but one that has been decided by millions of social network users. You can also create an “edition” for a specific country such as Ireland, to give more weight to Irish stories.
So which news sites have the most viral stories? NewsWhip compiles regular league tables on its blog, and a recent one showed that the most viral news sites on social networks were BBC.co.uk, Huffingtonpost.com and Guardian.co.uk.
“People only share the most engaging and original stories with their social networks, so you NewsWhip.com is a menu of the day’s most engaging news stories. Between Facebook and Twitter, we have a billion careful editors.” – Paul Quigley
Getting help for IT start-ups
Paul and Andrew met two years ago while they were on the Create programme at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).
Andrew studied Electronic Engineering at UCD and Management Science at Smurfit Business School before working in Accenture Consulting. Paul’s career path shows how you can get into IT in many ways – his own background is in law.
The Create programme gives practical business training and mentoring to early-stage digital media ventures like NewsWhip.
While they were in Create, Paul and Andrew planned and built the technology behind NewsWhip, and won a place on the Launchpad accelerator at the National Digital Research Centre (NRDC).
The NRDC is now a key investor in NewsWhip, whose team moved recently to their new office in Barrow Street in Dublin – on the same road as Google’s European base.
Follow the NewsWhip team’s progress on their blog
Learn more about Create at IADT
Read about NDRC’s Launchpad