engine - 3:18 pm on Jul 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
Yahoo To Use Search Query Interests To Identify News Content [nytimes.com]
The latest and perhaps broadest effort yet in democratizing the news is under way at Yahoo, which on Tuesday will introduce a news blog that will rely on search queries to help guide its reporting and writing on national affairs, politics and the media.
Yahoo software continuously tracks common words, phrases and topics that are popular among users across its vast online network. To help create content for the blog, called The Upshot, a team of people will analyze those patterns and pass along their findings to Yahoo’s news staff of two editors and six bloggers.
The news staff will then use that search data to create articles that — if the process works as intended — will allow them to focus more precisely on readers.
“We feel like the differentiator here; what separates us from a lot of our competitors is our ability to aggregate all this data,” said James A. Pitaro, vice president of Yahoo Media. “This idea of creating content in response to audience insight and audience needs is one component of the strategy, but it’s a big component.”