Or does it? It's been out for a couple of months, so it's not new news - another expression I always wanted to see in writing. However, it is still interesting for what it could mean to the future of content, now that we have so much of it online - and that of curators as well as creators of that content.
NewsSift is a tool, still in beta, that bases its searches upon relationships and context instead of keywords. For example, if you input the phrase car industry, you will see charts (scroll down on your search) that display sentiment - positive, negative, neutral - article sources - Financial Times shown as a subset of newspapers - and top organizations, places, people and themes.
The data you get back will allow you to scope what is going on at the moment on the basis of what international news sources are writing about. And yes, blogs are included, although it looks like it's blogs from news organizations so far.
NewsSift has a Twitter stream, and is hiring at the moment. You won't be surprised to see that one of the positions is for content manager. Editors and curators are still critical for the business and for the organization of news in a way that is relevant and meaningful to the person conducting the search. Context, which in this case is how people, places, topics and organizations relate to each other, matters.
Why would the Financial Times go into the search business?
According to CMO of FT Search John Greenleaf, the answer is relatively simple:
"know what you do well; know what you and your brand mean to consumers and advertisers; seek out unoccupied territory in successful growing and profitable markets or segments; and develop a meaningful, sustainable difference and a solid, targeted, efficient business plan to support and grow the effort."
Cross referencing this quote with the job posts, it looks like we're talking about becoming Renaissance marketers -- with experience in content and context, product development and business life cycle, and a solid understanding of the role of digital (media) and analog (social) technology to make it happen. All at the service of meaning - and thus value - for customers.
Instead of looking to be the next Google, FT Search is looking to build on what it already does well and owns, which is creating and archiving content. They're currently in beta, so do take the service for a spin to see what it could do for you. It could help you discover your next market opportunity via the understanding of the semantics of news.
How would you use the service in public relations?
You can research news stories by time frame and sentiment, for example. Or you can look at what is trending up and the type of coverage it has already received. All on the same page. Some ideas for application to attract coverage (you apply these situationally with a foundation in the business):
- go against the grain - use a term or a talk about it in a way that will come up as unique in the sea of conversation around that topic
- go deeper with commentary - ground your story in factual opinion and unleash the power of dialectic
- go wider by defining a category - become the theater where the dialogue is held, create context yourself
- go niche and own one vertical - mine the conversation for the one thing that you can honestly own
- go fast with practical information - if you have expertise that applies to the topic trending up, jump ahead of the conversation
- go for the long tail - if your position is fragmented among many verticals and markets, you might look at which pieces you want to participate in and divvy it up that way.
What else? Would you see an opportunity to have a similar service in other languages, for example? This one seems to search news coverage in English, which is not the language spoken by the largest number of people, although it may be the most influential in business context.