If you’ve never used Rap Genius, it’s pretty amazing. Originally designed to crowd-source (perhaps overly-elaborate) explanations rap music – hardly an intellectual front – it’s expanded into a really good crowd-sourced explanation for not just rap music, but tons of music. Search for a song you don’t quite understand (who is Jesse from “Jesse’s Girl”, anyway?) and you can read (sometimes crazy) detail about it, line by line. It’s not always a professional read, but it’s a good way to gain context. So where can this formula go? Everywhere, apparently.
Unveiled at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, News Genius sources government documents, speeches, press releases, and more and the crowd goes wild. I was initially weirded out because all of this content would have to be text-based to begin with in a time when so much of it’s video now, but it works. There’s no proper “News Genius” site yet, but you can see their current stream of activity through their Twitter account. Need to disappear for a few hours and bump up your brain mass? Looks like the Genius sites can’t steer you wrong.