In order to facilitate the monitoring of news about human rights in Belarus, we have developed a free news aggregator. We hope this tool may be useful to you and would request feedback via the “Leave a Reply” section below if you have any remarks or questions.
Our objective is to have a wide range of sources, content and materials that will keep us up to date about publications dealing with issues related to human rights in Belarus on a same dashboard. This tool feeds our archiving work on social media and our email information sharing between people working on campaigns on Belarus.
How it works
Instead of repeating searches, we rely on RSS feeds and an RSS aggregator (Netvibes) to automatize searches on various engines and websites. As soon as a new publication is identified, the aggregator gathers results on the same page, organized in Tabs.
The dashboard mixes RSS feeds rom search engines (for instance Google blog search, Google News or Boardreader) with RSS feeds from websites identified as relevant sources of information for users interested in the issue.
As a consequence, users have a better and quicker understanding of what is new, where news comes from and what material is circulating. Ultimately, patterns can be identified, and new sources and materials can be spotted.
This process also accelerates news monitoring and exposes users to a wider range of sources like blogs, discussion boards, and video or photo.
HR news in Belarus tab, from Human Rights in Belarus FIDH dashboard on Netvibes
Available at http://www.netvibes.com/freeales#HR_news_in_Belarus
How we built the dashboard
We started defining an extensive semantic field with key words and expressions covering our activities. For instance we used terms like :
- Human rights Belarus
- Ales Bialiatski and the names of other political prisoners in Belarus
- Belarus United Nations
- The names of HR organizations working on/in Belarus
We searched those queries in English and Russian on various search engines, such as Google News, Google BlogSearch, Yandex BlogSearch, BoardReader, video and photo sharing platforms… and we fetched RSS feeds.
The dashboard is built with several tabs organized according to themes. Each tab is made of several modules and each module is updated thanks to an RSS feed.
A beta dashboard
When searching for keywords, feeds always retrieve a certain level of noise. By noise, we mean content that is not relevant to our search. By contrast, there are also some key words or expressions that we may not be using but should: this is called silence, and is something we want to avoid.
Given that we share some knowledge about sources and/or key words or expressions, we would really like to make this tool an opportunity to share information about monitoring techniques and quality of sources. Please feel free to write us an email or a comment to this article so that we can incorporate any suggestions you may make to improve the quality of this news aggregator.