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Managing Topic Changes with Versions

Want to learn more about using Topic Mapper and these changes? Attend our webinar on May 29 at 12 p.m. EST using this link.  

Our Explorer tool is great for doing quick analysis on how media we are tracking is talking about an issue. When you want to dive in deeper, our Topic Mapper tools help you by discovering more content, measuring influence in more ways, and letting you slice and dive into Subtopics. Today we're updating Topic Mapper with a new way to approach managing changes you make to your Topic as you do your research - every Topic now has multiple "Versions."

Right now, to change the seed query for a Topic, or to setup Subtopics, you have make a "Snapshot." We require this so that you can always go back to a specific frozen-in-time version of the data even if you make changes to it later; this is really important to us for our reproducible academic research.

However, we realized this "Snapshot" name is confusing! We've noticed that a lot of people have tried to manage changes by creating multiple Topics named things like "Immigration version 1" and "Immigration version 2." We liked that idea so much we decided to bake it into our system.  Basically we've renamed "Snapshots" to "Versions," and tried to build a clearer set of workflows for creating new Topic Versions.

Our new Topic control bar, including the link to review Versions

Our new Topic control bar, including the link to review Versions

Here are some notes about our new Topic control bar:

  • Summary: see the status of the Topic Version you are looking at, or the results if it is ready to use

  • Settings: edit the name and description of your topic

  • Permissions: manage who else can see and change your Topic data

  • Versions: review all previous Versions of your Topic, and add new ones if you want to change the seed query or mange Subtopics

  • Query on Explorer: a shortcut to let you run queries on the Topic's corpus within the Explorer website

When you want to change anything about your Topic, you'll want to visit this Versions page. Make a new Version to change the seed query or manage Subtopics.

Try it out and let us know if you find any bugs or confusing things. You can reach us at support@mediacloud.org. We hope this helps you manage your Topics better going forward - it is already helping us!

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