Back in the 20th century, we borrowed our verbs for a big news story from the military. Like an airplane or rocket, a popular article "took off." And if absolutely everyone was talking about it, a story was said to "blow up" or "explode." While those terms implied a major impact, that impact was also hard to measure precisely. During this same period, a trend was something that lasted months or years, like bobby socks or disco.
Today, in the era of online metrics, search-engine optimization, and social-media outreach, news stories are trends, and trends can be measured precisely. They often last a few days but sometimes just hours or even minutes. And trend has become our verb of choice for a popular piece of information.
We at Slate V wanted to see what a newscast rooted in the ebb and flow of the Internet zeitgeist would look like. Using the vernacular of Web video, we wanted to explain why certain stars, politicians, memes, apps, or ideas were "trending now." The result is the Trending News Channel.
Trending News Channel, or TNC, is a crowdsourced video newscast, constantly updated with whatever stories are piquing the interest of your fellow Internet users. Our producers monitor what's hot on various search engines and Twitter and transform those items into short, snappy videos that explain why so-and-so or such-and-such has burst onto the online radar. Imagine a news network with the tagline "You Decide, We Report," and you'll get the idea. The result is a dynamic smorgasbord of bite-size videos that will help viewers keep up with the churn and might even provide some fodder for dinner conversation.
One thing you can count on is range. The TNC body of work already includes segments on bear gall bladders, Miley Cyrus' salvia adventure, the possible discovery of Amelia Earhart's remains, and a visually arresting frozen lighthouse near Cleveland. We update TNC throughout the day, so bookmark the blog or subscribe to our RSS feed and let us know what you think.