The Web offers tremendous opportunities to contextualize information through aggregation and hyperlinks, making it possible for news readers to learn more about virtually any story that interests them. And most online news sources take advantage of these opportunities by presenting, alongside their news stories, lists of “Related Stories” or other media related in some way to those news stories. The purpose is clear: For users, to create a richer news experience, providing more background, or more detail, than any single story can present. For publishers, to increase the utilization of their content.
Tell Me More provides this richer news experience to news audiences in a way that is truly scalable without sacrificing quality, combining editorially-controlled technology with a social media model of community ranking.
Currently, many online news outlets are mostly crafted “by hand:” the additional information that is presented to audiences is explicitly determined by human editors using their expert judgment, based on individual and community values, knowledge, and experience. The problem with this approach is that it isn’t scalable.
The alternative is a technological approach to choosing the right related content to present to readers. The problem with this approach is that the quality of the results often suffers. Yes, readers are presented with “related” information: But too often this information is just a rehash of the story they started with.
Using the InfoLab’s Relevance Engine, Tell Me More is aimed at achieving both scalability and quality. Capable of utilizing editorial rules that control the kinds of stories to find and present to users, Tell Me More doesn’t just present readers with “more of the same.” Instead, it selects stories that contain significant new information, stories that go beyond the initial story to create a genuinely richer news experience.
Tell Me More also incorporates a significant social media component, allowing news audiences to rate the content it presents, further refining the choices it presents to audiences over time. The result is a powerful combination, helping to realize the promise of the Web by delivering a truly richer news-reading experience in a scalable and economical way.