3 tips from Hacks/Hackers London

On Wednesday Wayra Academy hosted another Hacks Hackers London meet-up, bringing together journalists and developers and introducing new tools. I went along to see what all the fuss was about. This is what I found out:

Dialective – something for storytellers


“A wealth of information creates poverty of attention”, said Arturo Calvo Devesa, co-founder of the new visual storytelling platform, which enables users to create visual, interactive stories.

Currently in a beta phase, Dialective provides story templates with sections, into which the author can insert pictures, text and – soon – even maps and other rich media. Stories are then easily shared and embedded.

The team, currently based at Google Campus in London, is looking for feedback so if you happen to give it a go, you can pen your thoughts to info@dialective.com.

NewsWhip – something for buzz-hunters


NewsWhip, a new powerful tool for monitoring news, uses social data to find the best content on the web in real-time. It identifies viral stories via shares, comments, tweets “and other buzz”.

Through its web appSpike, NewsWhip supplies deep data on trending news stories to journalists, editors, marketers, and PR agencies.

NewsWhip tracks 250,000 news stories a day. It’s like analytics – but for other outlets rather than your own site,” said Paul Quigley, co-founder and CEO. You can see what is trending in various regions, check out social media stats next to each article, see hashtags and explore why people are sharing this particular story.

A NewsWhip Spike account (free trial available for 30 days) will sign you up for alerts, which you can tweak for frequency, publication and niche:

“You define the topics and sources: get a regular view of stories starting to trend from the BBC, from the UK, from the Huffington Post, from hundreds of other publications. Check on more specific niches – news about North Korea, Syria, about psychology, or fashion. If you like, get regular digests of the latest trending cats. Or meerkats.”

oTranscribe – for people who love interviewing but hate transcribing


Elliot Bentley is a journalist who decided to “teach himself to code” in order to build an application helping fellow reporters with the tedious task of transcription. He’s the man behind oTranscribe, the new browser-based transcription application with an audio player and text editor which means you no longer need to toggle between two programmes.

Although it’s only 3 weeks old, oTranscribe may become serious competition for other transcribing tools, as it will remain open source.

Also at Hacks/Hackers:

Roger Beecham from the giCentre and transport hub, City University London, talked about the Barclays Bikes data project: “Exploring gendered cycling behaviours within a large-scale data set”. Look out for a separate piece on that, right here at Clues to the cloud!