Cascade is beautiful new tool, developed by the NYTimes R&D Lab, to analyze and understand how news stories move through social media networks.

The app takes a huge amount of data — they publish over 6,000 pieces of content every month — and displays every “sharing event” that follows from them. It displays this information using two primary modes: “Story Mode,” which lets you look at a set of stories and their associated events); and “Cascade Mode” which lets users look at event cascades over time.

The app is only for in-house use, but they’re looking to see how it can be adapted for other Times properties. I’d love to see how it could be made available for general-audience use, to let people understand the flow and popularity of stories, and, maybe even, to see how key taste-makers curate the stories which become big news.

For more information, including a great video demo of the system, see articles on the NYTLabs project page, Neiman Journalism Lab, and at