The social web has a bunch of places where trends appear, grow from small sparks to burning issues that are discussed, shared and dissected by people with web access around the world. Here are a few sites I refer to find new trends. These are useful sources for journalists but verification is a must to ensure credibility.
- Reddit – ‘User-generated news links. Votes promote stories to the front page.’ reads Reddit’s homepage. And that’s what it has been since 2005. A place to find interesting news, discussions, memes, viral images and videos on the Internet. The links are submitted by members of the website and are usually things that they have found to be interesting or share worthy. They get up and downvoted by other members. To find trends, you can visit a subreddit, or a category. The website’s slogan is apt, ‘The front page of the Internet’ comparing it to the front page of a newspaper that usually carries the most important news of the day.For those who want an easy way to manoeuvre around the website, there is http://redditlist.com/ that gives you insights on activity on the website including popular subreddits.
- YouTube’s Trending Feed – An official source created by YouTube to showcase popular videos. This is an easy way to find what people are watching. You can also visit the Google Trends Hot Videos. This page can be sorted according to time and region and therefore is a good way to find local and global trending videos on YouTube.
- Twitter– From being a social media site to a site where journalists and personalities come to create and break news, Twitter has come a long way. You can use Twitter Moments to see grouped tweets related to a trending news topic, or simply visit the Twitter log in page.For those who are members of the networking site, a left-hand side panel shows location-based tags and are perhaps the best way to stay in touch with what people are talking about on the Internet on a real-time basis.There are websites that map Twitter trends too. One such popular site is Trendsmap.com.
- Facebook’s FB News Wire is the best source of viral content uploaded on Facebook. It’s description reads, ‘a resource for journalists that aggregates newsworthy social content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organisations’. Facebook also displays trending topics on the right-hand side of its home page. It is divided into the following categories – top trends, politics, science and technology, sports and entertainment.
- Wikipedia‘s weekly Top 25 articles list is available. Although it is not really a real-time list, it gives a sense of the week’s most popular articles. There are websites that track Wikipedia trends like Wikistats, Wikipedia Trending
- Google Trends is a source for popular Google searches that is updated on an everyday basis. The trends can be sorted according to location and categories like business, entertainment, politics, health, sci/tech, top stories and sports. Then, of course, you can also use Google News for news-related trends. The fascinating thing about Google News is that it is often used by online news companies to track popular trends and then cater to interests of what audiences are looking for. So journalists generate news and stories based on the trending topics on the search engine.
And of course, the most pleasing-to-the-eye site (as seen below) for trends on what people are Googling (searching) for is the Google Hot Trends visualisation. Isn’t it pretty?
- Then there are other sites used to share content and each of them have their own trending pages…. A few examples are: Google Plus Explore, Quora, WordPress, LinkedIn, Medium, Tumblr.
- And sites that deliver viral content news including Techmeme, BoredPanda, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Upworthy and Distractify.
- News sites have their own Trending News pages too. Here are a few:
–HuffingtonPost Trending News
–CBC News Trending
–Trending – Today.com
–Indian Express – Trending News