Newsgator and aggregation

  1 m, 40 s

At a customer request, I spent some time looking at Newsgator’s API. The customer wanted to see if they could get blog and social media content about a specific company from a single place. Currently, they are searching Google Blogs, Twitter, etc. The model they had in mind was Moreover’s company feeds, for example this one on Dupont. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get clean content. There was a lot of foreign-language content and I could not specify the language I desired. There was obvious spam and so forth – all classic problems of information retrieval on the web. Moreover’s free feeds are a lot cleaner due in no small part to content selection by humans, but to really get something you want, you need to pay and customize the feed. Most customers don’t want to see every single article about a company – they have a target area. You might say this is an opportunity for a Reputation Management or Media Intelligence platform. There are many, at various price points. However, for a lot of people, that’s a much bigger pipe of information than they really want and comes with a lot of overhead of its own. Could it be possible/worthwhile for a content aggregator to set up an infrastructure that allows more customization, takes care of enough of the cleanup, categorization, etc, and is cheap enough to be ad-supported, like Moreover’s free feeds? Somethine that could provide a “pulse” of information on a target area you are interested in without involving things like historical reporting, influence graphs, campaign management, and other unwanted content? Has Google, with all its problems in searching social media, done well enough to make this a losing proposition for anyone else? I’d be interested in hearing what other sources people go to for relevant, aggregated information without investing in a full-blown vendor solution. Or maybe I missed some key features of Newsgator and would welcome learning how to get cleaner results.

Categories: Technology