Frequently Asked Questions
What is Flackr?
We like to call it a news dashboard. Read more background info in our about page.
What are your sources for news?
Check our Twitter friends page to see the news sources we track.
Do I need to reload the page to see new messages?
No: about once every 40 seconds the page will automatically load new messages and directly display them. Refreshing the page manually is not necessary, we don't check for new news more than once every 40 seconds anyway.
Are you associated with Yahoo Flickr?
No, we are not. There's a resemblance in the name; however, bike and bake are equally similar, but try to ride a cake or eat a bike and you'll notice they are very different.
Why do you call it Flackr then?
We were looking through news and media jargon websites to find a cool word that would be very short and had a nice 'web 2.0' ring to it. The Merriam Webster dictionary tells us that a 'flack' is 'one who provides publicity', or in other words, a 'press agent'. Add the extra 'r' for Web 2.0 flavour and voila, a cool name is born.
What is the 'score' that is displayed near messages?
It's an indication of how relevant a message is to a certain event. We initially used it to debug our algorithms but we eventually kept it in because it looks pretty.
How does Flackr know when 2 or more messages are about the same subject?
It's a combination of language processing, keyword extraction, mathematics, statistics and a bit of luck (and we don't always get it right, either).
I saw a message or picture that had nothing to do with the event.
That happens; since we rely on text interpretation, our algorithm sometimes thinks a message belongs to an event while it doesn't. When it happens and we spot it, we usually correct it and say 'bad algorithm!' so it doesn't happen next time.
Many of the pictures are nonsense.
Unfortunately, the algorithms are not very good at distinguishing actual pictures from an event from spoofs, parodies or whatever people post when they mention an event. This is something that we're trying to improve though.
In the archives you only keep significant events. When is an event significant?
We used to ask a wise old man about the significance of events. Considering this was quite timeconsuming, we've now implemented a simple check: if there are at least 3 updates in an event, we deem it significant enough for our archive.
What technology do you use?
The about page contains an overview of the technology we use.
Do you have an API?
Yes we do. It's not ready for public use yet, follow Flackr on Twitter where we'll eventually announce it.
Do you have a business model?
Yes we do. Apart from the ads on the right that you need to click to make sure we can pay our hosting bill, we are working on a professional dashboard for journalists and press agencies. It contains info that is irrelevant for normal people but that journalists will find invaluable. It's not ready yet but contact us if you want more info.
This idea is awesome, can we invest or advertise?
We're open to discussion. Contact us for possibilities.
We are currently in beta, which means things might not work as you expect. If you have a bug report or feedback, please use the Feedback button on the left of every page.
Staying up to date
Want to see when an event is worth tracking via Flackr? Follow @flackr on twitter.
Tags in the News
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