SiloBreaker: A Wealth of Information

By aegreenaegreen (1261430861|%a, %b %e at %I:%M%p)

SiloBreaker is a revolutionary news search, analysis and insight engine that certainly gave me some new insights when I used it. Below is a blog from my own wikidot site, which I wrote analyzing SiloBreaker.


How I Used It

The Search

I could tell that this engine would be useful for staying up-to-date on my term project topic, so I typed [american airlines] into the search bar. First, SiloBreaker brought up a profile and factsheet link at the top right of the page for the US company American Airlines, which is exactly the subject I was hoping to find.


The second thing I noticed was all the news headlines down the middle column. I like that the headlines show when they are "first reported" as well as when they are "updated." This makes it easy for me to see if I should re-read an entry based on whether it has been changed.


Then, I noticed the videos along the top left. These are not too long, so they would provide a great alternative to reading news. However, they seem to be a little less relevant than the middle column headlines. There are four videos, but two of them, like the one below, are not really pertinent to someone looking for news on American Airlines:

In Focus

Underneath the videos is the "In Focus" box, which seems to show news related to American Airlines grouped by categories: people, companies, organizations, keyphrases, cities, countries, topics, industries and publications. This tool would make it really easy for me to, for example, search for American Airlines news in Dallas, Texas or find information on American Airlines' merger with a specific company.

Content Volume

Further down on the right, I see the "Content Volume" widget, showing the volume of American Airlines news items over the past 2-1/2 months divided by media type:


This tells me that the vast majority of recent-ish news items have been in article form, which might tell me ahead of time that if I'm looking for a video, it could be difficult to find.


The next item on my growing list of useful stuff is the "Network" tool. It allows me to see the geographic locations and organizations in which the most American Airlines news is occurring, along with their relationships. I can even see the most popular keyphrases related to American Airlines. This would be very valuable in helping me refine my search. For example, I could type [American Airlines cocaine San Juan] and get more results about very hot, recent news items. I also think the customization options are awesome. If I want to see just keyphrases, I can! If I want to see less organizations and more locations, I can, all the while seeing the many relationships between them. If you want to find lots of information about American Airlines news before actually reading the news, this is the tool for you.


At first glance, this next box seems very similar to the "Network" widget. However, it can be utilized in a different way. While it also displays the geographic locations with the most American Airlines news, it can be narrow by time periods, making it especially useful for news searches in the past or during a very specific window.


Like "Hotspots," the "Trends" widget is also similar to the "Network" tool, although it seems to deal pretty exclusively with organizations. On this page, I can compare the volume of news on American Airlines relative to Japan Airlines and AMR Corporation, for example. The potential I see in this is that I could find out what organizations are related to American Airlines news with the "Network" tool, then enter those organizations into the "Trends" box and see what happens. This could prove quite useful in discovering to what extent news about American Airlines and other organizations is interrelated.

Blogs, Audio/Video, Quotes, More Content

The last two boxes along the right side, "Blogs" and "Audio/Video," are pretty self explanatory, though still pretty great tools. Viewing American Airlines-related blogs would be ideal for finding out people's reactions to news items, instead of just reading the actual news. The same goes for the "Quotes" section, which can be found in the middle column below the Headlines. Again, this really allows me to see what people are thinking about the news. Finally, the last section underneath "Quotes" is "More Content." This area is a whole listing of more headlines grouped by medium, just in case the plethora of information already displayed wasn't enough. I see over ten pages of this, which could keep me busy for a long while. However, it gives me the ability to search by date or relevance, which makes things a little easier.



Basically, SiloBreaker blows my mind. I could literally spend days and days exploring my [American Airlines] search before really taking full advantage of the knowledge and tools provided by this site. It seems that with SiloBreaker, I could find everything I ever wanted to know about American Airlines news. I can use it to find news that I never thought to search for. I can use it to discover news networks, find hotspots, track trends, view blogs, and so much more. I had no idea that such a comprehensive search engine existed, but now that I do I will be spending a lot more time with it. Hopefully, over the course of the term project, I will begin to get a handle on some of the great power of this news tool.

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