It could be interesting to collect more information about parallel works/projects outside the NoTube platform domain sharing similarities both in terms of project positioning, hence potential exploitation of the achieved results, and architectural similarities in order to understand pros and cons offered by the different solutions compared to our project in current and future stages. While the latter is a more complex task, the first one requires to take a look outside, see what’s already there and filter results targeting the most interesting ones. In this respect, from a first research, we’ve found 3 interesting projects sharing analogies with NoTube’s personalised news scenario. The purpose is not to provide a comprehensive state of the art analysis but just a first eyesight of interesting “peers”, with links and references, as a first step aimed at having a better picture of what’s going on outside the project Consortium and maybe guide the improvement of the internal research in light of what the market already offers. Even though we’re going to list projects directly related to just one of the three scenarios foreseen in NoTube, the resulting considerations can be easily applied to the whole project when thinking about multimedia contents, enrichment and recommendation services and dynamic user profiles connected to social activities.
Going back to the Sixth Framework Programme, a past project called nm2 was aimed at providing production tools for the media industry that allows the easy production of non-linear broadband media that can be, in turn, personalised to suit the preferences of the individual user. In particular one of these tools, “My News & Sports My Way”, is a digital interactive archive that allows participants to discover, select and recombine news and sports items into stories which meet their individual tastes.
At a first sight the main difference with NoTube is that nm2 basically requires the manual discovering and combination of news items to be published in the form of personalised newscasts/stories instead of an automatic process based on details and preferences retrieved from user profiles. Moreover it seems there’s no further processing of metadata in terms of enrichment and recommendation which are actually two pillars of our platform.
Moving forward in time, recently Pragma-tech planned something more in line with the latter vision, aiming at building and placing application layers on top of their proprietary semantic search engine, hence implementing a news-filtering feature called ctrl news.
Ctrl news allows users to sign up and receive information about specific topics based on context rather than keywords. The service enables the extraction of key topics from documents when searching for metadata, automatically generating summaries. It can identify organisations, brands, products, and more. In this context, the main weakness appears to be the missing support of dynamic user profiles, which are naturally subject to change and evolve over time. The NoTube platform, as comparison, links the static user profile with a dynamic part composed by the aggregation of social activities empowered by further processing (enrichment) aimed at extracting potential connections and interests (recommendation). Social networks are nowadays a valuable source of information that cannot be excluded when trying to collect realistic user interests. Here the NoTube’s use case about Internet TV in Social Web provides a valuable demonstration of the mentioned concepts acting as a bridge between the two worlds.
More or less the same applies to another interesting project called Físchlár-News Stories, an automated video archive of daily RTE 9 o’clock TV News developed and maintained by The Centre for Digital Video Processing of the Dublin City University. The video archive contained more than 6,300 news stories from RTE 9 o’clock TV news between 2002 and 2005.
The users can perform searches by keywords, browse stories by date/year, follow threaded news stories over time, playback news and receive recommendations of recent news stories. However, once again, the social aspect still seems to be lacking.
In conclusion the general, preliminary feeling is that NoTube still covers many aspects that are not widely addressed or, at least, not together in the same platform in an integrated way.