Compound Observer is a news aggregator that we built because we noticed that there was an interesting parallel conversation happening in the United States between news agencies of differing ideological bias, in what what they were discussing and when those discussions would occur. We wanted a tool that made that conversation easier to see and explore.
We currently spider the following news sites. This table lists the publisher, the feed we draw from, and what bias they currently have within the system.
|The Wall Street Journal Opinion||http://www.wsj.com/xml/rss/3_7041.xml||0.500|
|The National Review||https://www.nationalreview.com/feed/||0.750|
Each of these sites has an RSS feed that we can access programmatically. This was a primary selection criteria. We are actively evaluating additional sites to add. If you have suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
We draw media bias information from the following projects:
The way we do so is unideal and unscientific, and we feel bad about that - but only
so much. One of the long term objectives of this site is to improve that.
If you've got vitriolic hate mail productive suggestions about how to change these weights, we'd be happy to hear them.
The assignment of bias isn't a qualitative statement or an assessment of how factual content is or tends to be, but rather how frequently it is presented with analysis or opinion mixed in. For example, two news stories on a topic frequently will include the same basic facts but wildly different (and frequently, parallel) talking points on what those facts mean. Furthermore, even though these talking points may differ dramatically, they may be equally valid in what they choose to discuss.
Of course, when sources differ there is also the chance someone is wrong. If this is the case, further reading from a variety of sources is one of the best ways to suss out the truth. Making this review easier is one of Compound Observer's objectives.
We hope Compound Observer assists in dissolution of echo chambers by presenting differing viewpoints. None of our weights should be read as either an endorsement or a detraction - they are simply a best attempt at a finger in wind. They're an estimation based on consensus, and should be taken with a grain of salt.
The following features are currently planned for development:
This is of course subject to change, and whim.
We were simply going to run ads, so we applied for Google Adsense - but apparently we're too small at the moment. So while we intended on running ads, scratch that, no ads. We may run them in the future if we find the right partner. Want to advertise with us?
So our only mechanism of support right now is our pay-what-you-want subscriptions. They grant a number of perks:
All for the price of a candy-bar. Or a beer. Or a lunch. You decide!
The Midnight Corporation, the creators of this site, are a tiny bootstrapped consultancy from Portland, Maine. We chose the name because we wanted something with a nice cyberpunk ring to it. In fact, this site also acts as a technology demo for our consulting services.
Which is to say, we'd much rather have you as client. Got a software, design, or data problem? Let us help you make sense of it all. Check out here for more info.
Either way, if you enjoy this site we'd appreciate your support. The more subscribers we get, the more time we can justify putting into expanding what it can do.
You can contact us here with any questions, comments or suggestions.