14 May 2009
Yesterday was a hugely important day in the Meedan calendar for two connected reasons.
First, our data thinker Will Ward presented his findings on the potential for Meedan analytics to improve social science study of the Arabic and Islamic web (expect a post shortly).
Will gave his talk to staff and students at Copenhagen University's New Islamic Public Sphere Programme where he's doing a fellowship co-sponsored by Meedan.
He thinks better data on Arabic media sources combined with tools for searching and aggregating it could make a big contribution to scholarly debate and insight on what's going on out there.
And in a second timely development, the Meedan Arab Media Sources Database on Freebase grew to 500 sources.
Check it out now!
We are so excited about this work because the potential outcomes are so great.
Right now you'll find most sources are mainstream - but we plan to extend this to blogs. The schema is also pretty rudimentary right now, combining source and location information.
But this will grow soon to include categories for medium, publisher, ownership model and more.
The vision is for this database to be dynamic and crowdsourced, and plugged into Meedan.net so we can aggregate and cluster sources around emerging events.
If you want to learn more - jump onto our IRC channel irc.freenode.net #meedan, or contact us on our Google group.
UPDATE: Just received a tweet on this from @bintbattuta:
@meedan You need to check the second entry on your media database...It says "kul al usra" when it should be "akhbar al khaleej"
The process of crowdsourced collaboration has begun!