Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Muck Rack Daily Brings You Some–But Not All–of the News That's Fit to Tweet

Yet another news aggregator? Yup. And this one is even more meta than most: Muck Rack Daily is a news service dedicated to telling you what journalists are saying, via Twitter, about the news.

And yes, that sounds even more indulgent and navel-gazing than most media about media. There’s a logic here, though: Twitter is great because it’s immediate and unfiltered (when it’s working). But there’s a value in a service that pauses and sifts, too.

In this case, that work is done by Steve McGookin, a veteran of the Financial Times (and Forbes, for a minute or two, where I worked with him), who sorts through journalists’ tweets and lets you know what they’re talking about and what they’re saying.

Straightforward stuff, but it’s something that isn’t being done yet. Most aggregators either rely on crowdsourcing/algorithms to cull stories, which is interesting but crude, or they don’t do any sorting at all. And because McGookin is doing actual editorial work, via super-concise summaries, it’s much more useful than the “bunch of tweets = a newspaper” model that is pushing. (No annoying spam, either.)

Muck Rack Daily is a spinoff of Muckrack, one of the umpteenth Twitter-related sites generated by the guys at Sawhorse Media. Sawhorse co-founder Gregory Galant says the main Muckrack site, which simply tracks individual journalists’ Twitter acccounts, is generating 100,000 uniques a month. But this new site may ultimately be much more useful, and popular.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus