Story Portrait: What Some Of My News Reading Says About Me

NYT Story Portrait

I am a subscriber to the New York Times. I started up not long after Trump was elected and I have continued onward since then. As a former journalist, I am a news junkie, for sure, and I enjoy the Times for its depth of coverage and voices.

I noticed a feature called Story Portrait that kept popping up, and so I followed the thread. It’s no surprise that my news article browsing is being tracked by the newspaper — we are data, after all, and if I wanted to avoid that, I could get the paper version every morning. Story Portrait appears to gather and collate topics and headlines from assorted articles I have read over some period of time, and spit out a word cloud of sorts.

I tried to find the explanation behind the algorithm, to understand better how it works, but I could not. I did Story Portrait, anyway, because I was curious and I figured, the Times already knows what stories I have clicked on to read, and for how long, so I wasn’t giving them information they didn’t already have. (Although I wonder if they are going to use people’s results for some advertising blitz that I am not aware of or notified of).

The result was sort of interesting, with some topics and headline titles (sleep issues are nothing new for me but the new year has not been better, alas, and articles about school often get a close look) and it includes some of the pieces my wife has been reading (chicken dinner) as well as myself, since we share an account together.

You can even read it as a sort of a poem. Other than that, I am not sure the particular value.

Peace (and portraits),
Kevin

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