A few weeks ago we launched the new Chartbeat Labs page and with it introduced our latest hack project that's totally free and open to everyone on the internet, whether you're a client or not: Chartbeat Rising. Like all of our Labs projects, Rising was conceived in one of our Hack Weeks, where our team gets a week between product development cycles to learn new dev skills and build something awesome with our data.
This one particular Hack Week (way back when), Isaac, one of our data dudes, decided to dive into aggregating topics sites using Chartbeat were writing about. But not just to see what was popular, to see what's actually keeping people's attention. Turns out, there's a huge difference between what people click on and what they spend time reading.
So that data + design + front end genius + TLC from Chartteam all-stars Danny and Meagan gave us the Rising prototype you see today.
1. Bubble Topics
Those sites that allow us to aggregate and anonymize their data are all pulled into a big data pile (that's the technical term for it), and are sorted by category – news, entertainment, or technology. Then the topics within those categories are ranked by the most popular – those with the most amount of concurrents, or most Engaged Time – those with the highest amount of time people spend actually reading articles about this topic. Click on the toggle on the top right and you'll usually see a pretty big difference.
2. Wiggly Movements
My favorite part, so I have to cover this, are the bubble movements. As Rising is all about the topics that are rising to the top, the movement shows how the bubbles are interacting with each other – the biggest bubbles with the highest ranks are wiggling their way around the other bubbles to rise to the top.
3. Topic Context
Why the hell is "telekinesis" a top tech story? Fantastic question. Click the bubble and find out. Since all our data is anonymous, these headlines pulled into the call out box aren't from Chartbeat sites, necessarily, but pulled from a search API to give context to what Rising is presenting as relevant. That may change in the future as we iterate.
Like all our Labs projects, Chartbeat Rising is hacky and will probably break a bit every once in awhile, but it also means there's so much more we could build onto this guy. In only the first couple of weeks it's been live, we've already had requests to see topics sorted by a single URL or by Geo (Hi, Anjanette!). So I hope you share it around and give us loads of feedback on what you'd want to see it do.