Posts filed under ‘categorisation’

“The media industry must measure up”

Defending competitive position and measurement issues stifle innovation in digital media. Gideon Spanier writes about constraints and challenges of print plus digital audience reach.

The media business does not do a good enough job of measuring its own performance. Newspapers and magazines have been particularly poor at producing meaningful circulation and readership figures that combine print and digital.

Amazingly, the British magazine industry will for the first time ever officially produce a single “headline” circulation figure encompassing both print and digital next week — when new six-monthly figures are released by the Audit Bureau of Circulation. Newspaper ABCs are arguably even more archaic as monthly print and digital data are still not even published on the same day.

As Mike Darcey, chief executive of News UK, parent company of The Sun and The Times, told this week’s Enders Analysis media conference: “I remain mystified as to why, 15 years into the internet era, and with everyone claiming mature digital strategies, we still only ever talk about print sales.”…

Part of the problem is many in publishing view digital through the lens of print. For example, the digital edition of a magazine has needed to be a near-replica of the print version to be included in the ABC data. Even after next week’s changes, the digital edition can only drop 5% of the articles from the print version and it can only add up to 25% of new content that differs from print (there is no restriction on video).

Critics say such a mindset stifles  innovation and investment. That’s because a publisher is rewarded when its digital offering mimics print with a replica PDF-style edition and is penalised when digital differs radically from print — because those sales are excluded from the circulation figures.

While some publishers have criticised ABC, the circulation body has also been held back by some members, which include advertisers and media agencies. As Enders said in a recent note: “Delays to decisions about measurement could be viewed as symptomatic of an industry focused on competitive positions rather than on defending a sustainable future for the industry as a whole.”

It is hard to agree on statistics. Combining a paper’s daily print sale with mobile app users and unique daily online browser visits can feel like comparing apples and pears.

Ultimately, this is a problem across the media. There is still no single agreed measure for website visitor numbers. TV viewing figures also leave much to be desired. Darcey says publishers must also produce better figures on “engagement and dwell time”.

Our data-driven digital age demands more accurate measurement.

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9 February 2014 at 13:38 Leave a comment

Semantic Analysis Technology

I attended “Semantic Analysis Technology: in Search of Categories, Concepts & Context“, the fourth ISKO UK KOnnecting KOmmunities event on 3 November 2008 at University College London.

First up were presentations from two vendors, Luca Scagliarini and Jeremy Bentley.

Scagliarini argued that information discovery suffers from information overload and information underload due to a lack of meaning-based text processing. Free text search and shallow automatic linguistic analysis did not do the job, but a ‘deep semantic analysis’ based on the analysis of relationships and ‘understanding’ the meaning that is encoded in the relationships between verbs, prepositions and nouns demonstrates potential.

Bentley reviewed key information organisation issues – unstructured information, the doubling of number of resources every 19 months, ‘findability’ problems and and the how black box solutions may not do the job. He discussed the relevance of metadata and taxonomies built specifically to reflect the way an organisation workss.

Later, practitioners presented – Rob Lee and Helen Lippell, Karen Loasby and Silver Oliver.

Lee talked about Muddy Boots, a BBC project to support the BBC’s remit to link to more external sources. Lee illustrated how structured datasets in the public domain could be used to contextualise and index BBC resources and exploit the semantic richness to link to find meaningful external links.

Lippell, Loasby and Oliver discussed three different implementations of auto-categorisation systems, demonstrating advantages and issues with each approach. The approaches were:

  • using Verity Intelligent Classifier (VIC) and a taxonomy with a set of rules that could be finely tuned
  • applying a rule-based automatic classification system combined with the author’s review and corrections to produce BBC content that could be described in detail. The approach
  • a “statistical-based auto-categorisation” project designed to connect and cross-reference distributed BBC content and resources horizontally

8 November 2008 at 23:23 Leave a comment

McGovern makes arguments I support

In recent blogs, Gerry McGovern makes arguments close to my way of thinking.

  • Choosing the right classification words
    argues for the need to ensure content creators use the words that your audience use rather than corporate/PR/government language. Of course, in many cases the “official” language has to be used, but it’s important to optimise content for the non-official terms that your audience actually uses.
  • Obsessed by technology reminds us that technology isn’t the total solution to content management. However good the tools, there needs to be editorial/business input.

25 October 2008 at 11:32 Leave a comment

Semantic Analysis Technology

Former and current colleagues speaking at Semantic Analysis Technology: in search of categories, concepts & context, an ISKO UK event at UCL on 3 November 08.

Tales from the trenches of auto-categorisation: three case studies in the implementation of auto-categorisation systems

This session will look at three different implementations of auto-categorisation systems in large media organisations. We will look at common themes that have recurred time and time again. The focus will be on ‘do you really need it?’, managing expectations and tips based on the combined experience of the last 5 years. Helen Lippell, Karen Loasby and Silver Oliver are all Information Architects who have been involved in the management of controlled vocabularies and the systems that are used to automatically apply them..This session will look at three different implementations of auto-categorisation systems in large media organisations. We will look at common themes that have recurred time and time again. The focus will be on ‘do you really need it?’, managing expectations and tips based on the combined experience of the last 5 years. Helen Lippell, Karen Loasby and Silver Oliver are all Information Architects who have been involved in the management of controlled vocabularies and the systems that are used to automatically apply them..

4 October 2008 at 22:09 Leave a comment


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