Sluice is a prototype for showing the “social gold” of a story at #SNDMakes

Team pink: Sluice

  • Huge Ma is a front-end engineer at Vox Media
  • Rebekah Monson is a communication manager at the University of Miami
  • Cory Williams is support manager at Vox Media
  • Tim Wong is a senior digital designer at The Washington Post
  • Katie Zhu is a software engineer at Medium
  • Nicole Zhu is a sophomore at Northwestern University and a Knight Lab student fellow

In their own words:

Sluice is a prototype javascript app to track, surface and leverage social conversation around a story. When users come to a piece, they can identify the specific ideas within that story that their friends are discussing on social media. Using a simple highlight, we’re conveying to the user what topics are hot in a passively digestible form. Sluice also provides media organizations an easy and efficient way to take advantage of the social media conversation that revolves around stories. Sluice can help a news org self-aggregate the stickiest ideas and plan future coverage around trending topics and atomic details.

In our prototype’s user view, we have pulled a small set of Twitter records to demonstrate how Sluice might work. The editor view is static, but both serve as a proof of concept, a clear sign that both users and editorial teams can benefit from closing the social loop with more focus within a story.

For the complete behind-the-scenes look at how Sluice came together, visit their project on HackDash. Also, Rebekah Monson documented a few thoughts about how Sluice aims to “better integrate conversation within storytelling and to further engage users within editorial products” and Cory Williams wrote about how #SNDMakes is a step toward “building a more collaborative design community.”

Closing the social sharing loop

Currently we share bits of our stories out, so our behavior on social media is kind of a one-way street. We are trying to create a system that showcases that behavior around the story, in a sense showing the exact point of “here is where the conversation is” by highlighting the words or phrases being used in social shares.

A tool for both readers and editors

While the reader-facing version of the tool allows readers to know more about what their friends and social connections are talking about, the behind-the-scene version of the app will be helpful for editors in assigning follow-up and future assignments. This tool would allow editors to have really rich information like: What exactly is trending? and What specifically about this article is resonating with readers and how can that inform future editorial coverage?

Sluice brings the social gold to your fingertips.

Media organizations are always looking for more efficient ways to take advantage of the social media conversation that revolves around their content. Sluice helps close the loop between the content and the conversation.

Check out the other ideas: Project Skim | Moving Stories | Backstory

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About Miranda Mulligan

is a digital specialist, news design veteran, SND board member, and a long-time rouser of rabbles.

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