There seems to be a lot of discussions around the issue of whether hyperlocal sites should leverage aggregation techniques vs original content creation to engage local communities. I believe in a combination of both. However, aggregation techniques should be more semantic to extract implicit relationships between posts and to identify key concepts in aggregated content. This way hyperlocal news will be more topic oriented. At the same time, editorial content should extend automatic aggregations by adding precise tagging (geolocalization) and categorizations. Also, smart summaries of content that cannot be easily aggregated should enrich semi automatic hyperlocal sites to increase the breadth of coverage.
InsideChronicle is KipCast attempt to reconcile aggregation and user engagement for the hyperlocal domain. So far, most aggregators in this space collect large amounts of news clippings from local news providers. We believe that confining collections to news is very limiting. In any community, there are many non-conventional content producers. I am referring to recent stories available on web sites such the local police, the local fire fighters, city institutions, transportation services, regional conservation authorities, universities, colleges, churches, theatres, museums, local sport teams, local companies, local jobs… InsideChronicle leverages KipCast aggregation platform to collect and organizes all above topics into homogeneous and semantically enriched information. The end result is local news to the square.
Recently, I have spent some time on hyperlocal aggregation paltforms (namely, Yahoo Beta Local Search and Outside.In). While I am always impressed with the sophisticated technology behind both services, I cannot fail to notice how list-oriented both products are. Is this way of presenting local engaging content effective? We tried a very different approach by automaticallly analyzing news posts and identifying the most talked about recent topics (see this on http://toronto.insidechronicle.com). While providing automatically aggregated news, users have a feeling of editorial output.
Take a look at KipCast first hyperlocal site:
The new site covers:
- Local news
- News from local institutions
- News from educational entities
- Sports news
- Entertainment news
- Local company news and jobs
At last, we have released our new hyperlocal platform based on KipCast efficient content intelligence platform.
Here is what it is (taken from InsideChronicle site):
InsideChronicle is a city-by-city initiative to gather local news, events, services and more into a single go-to destination for each community.
Typically drawing from more than 500 sources per location, InsideChronicle creates a high-value information and entertainment service for local people, that’s genuinely targeted to the audience.
What’s more, it benefits content originators too by giving their stories and announcements superb visibility and driving volume traffic back.
It is now six months since we launched our first Blackberry application on Blackberry App World. For those who remember it, it was a sort of prototype application meant to show the capabilities of our aggregation technology and the ability to deliver meaningful content to smartphones without using too many resources. Over time, we added support for more countries (namely, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium and Spain) and added more and more features. Currently, we find Blackberry users downloading it an average of 100 times a day and increasing (around 40K downloads per year). We are delighted by the number of people that find our application useful. We are now thinking how we could extend the functionality of our WorldNews App to provide services directly to publishers that wish to move more and more of their content into an existing and efficient delivery platform such as ours.
Look forward to your feedback!
At last, today we released our renovated web site (http://www.kipcast.com). It was long overdue. In the past 2 years our business model has shifted day by day from pure web 2.0 technology to real solutions for real customers. We like to listen to prospects and existing customers. So, every time something looked like a hard problem related to content harvesting and content republishing, we tackled it and created new opportunities for us. So far, that has worked very well. The company’s grown and customers are happy. Where does this leave us with respect to our web site? Well, we were so busy solving real problems that our message to people potentially interested in our solutions was totally messed up. Our web site did not convey the breadth and complexity of our services to customers. We believe our new web site is much more informative than the previous one. However, we will not wait for three years to upgrade what we released today!
We are delighted to let you know that two of our apps that aggregate and republish content from the Guardian Open Platform can now be downloaded free of charge from the Guardian Open Platform Apps Gallery.
You can donwload KipCast Guardian Air Reader from:
and the Guardian Yippidu for Blackberry native app at:
Enjoy and provide feedback to us.
We get asked many times why we are different from the “typical” Blackberry client applications on Blackberry App World or else. Here are a few specific features of Yippidu Blackberry Edition:
- client is not just a glorified RSS viewer: from the client application, you can search the backend, find other articles that share the same tags, find related stories. Yippidu is a mobile application tethered to a powerful all-encompassing textual database that acts as indexing server.
- client shows results from semantic processing: the “hot topics” section identifies the most popular topics on the home pages of aggregated publications. That is done every few minutes by the backend server using topics clustering techniques
- monitors: with Yippidu you can enter a set of keywords and let the device filter and save only those articles that match those keywords. That is done in the background while you are busy at work or sleeping at night. When you open Yippidu mobile app, all saved articles are visible in your monitor folder.
More unique features in future posts.
It has been now almost four months since we made Yippidu WorldNews available on Blackberry App World. For us, it was (and still is) a tremendous opportunity to present a real example of how news should be delivered to mobile devices. Clearly, KipCast is not a publisher and we do not have a reputation as news provider. Our expectations were for a few hundred downloads mostly from people in the publishing business. After all, Yippidu WorldNews is just a brave attempt to provide quick and meaningful information to mobile users within the limitation of fair usage of aggregated content (i.e., drive traffic to content creators, keep direct links to publishers, limit text to a short snippet). However, we are positively impressed by the number of downloads and readers that still connects daily to our service for world news. Our estimates are now for a yearly number of downloads in the order of tens of thousands.
Thank you folks out there!