Measuring Audience Sentiment

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Thoora, a Toronto-based startup, measures how well individual stories are doing in real-time. The company will analyze and calibrate real-time data from blogs, mainstream media sources and Twitter. The software Thoora uses, determines the highest quality stories as well as the ones with the most popular content.

The company says the data can be used to help editors decide where to place stories on a page, for example. It is also beneficial to news organizations because it can help them figure out where their story ranks in comparison to the competition.

CEO Mike Lee said this is the first time a tool has been used to determine audience sentiment for news at the story level instead of the topic level. Their consumer site groups stories together based on similar algorithms, much like Pandora does with its music.

Many people push the most popular and current topics to the top, but Lee said their goal is to also "drive quality to the surface."

While Thoora currently has no clients, Lee said they are in discussions with a major Canadian news organization and Canadian sports publisher.

They hope to release a free version of their platform in order for people to publish their stories and see how they compare to others' stories.

This technology seems as though it would benefit companies because they would be able to understand what people are reading now and how to position the story on their page. It also allows for better quality stories to be read, which can enhance a company's credibility.


Hanna Russmann February 22, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

I think that this will be beneficial in the long-run. A lot of the time, I find myself more interested in stories that are farther into a news paper or blog than the front page. I think blogs will get a lot more readership, if the stories everyone wants are on the first page.

Katelyn Chamberlin February 23, 2010 at 10:45 AM  

I agree with Hanna. Using Thoora to determine the most popular news stories on a site might totally change how every news site displays stories and news. It will be interesting to see how news sites start to change their appearance according to the results received from Thoora.

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