The Scoop

A blog about what's new and changing on sacbee.com

May 4, 2009
Lingospot: dynamic topic pages come to sacbee.com

We continue to work on all kinds of new and interesting technologies to deploy across The Sacramento Bee's Web sites, and one of the newest and most notable is the rollout of topic pages on sacbee.com.

We are using Lingospot, an agreggator, to crawl and analyze the content of sacbee.com to pick out the most relevant topics to our users. The technology's key strength lies in the selection and ranking of topics based on the likelihood that our readers will be interested in each one. Once the topics are selected, Lingospot directs traffic to topic pages, which include content from a variety of sources - first and foremost sacbee.com (articles, blog postings, photos) and external sources such as Twitter, other local media, blogs, Wikipedia, the Associated Press, and more.

What does this mean to you, the reader? It means that you will now start to see words and terms hyperlinked within the body of a story. Clicking on that link will take you to our "topic portal" for that subject.

For example, you may have noticed that our on-going coverage of the swine flu has links to this page. You can find our current topics page by clicking on the Topics link under News in our navigation bar. There are also "Related Articles", "Related Topics" and "Popular Topics" widgets on every story page.

Our goal with this technology is to deliver more information to our readers from a variety of sources. As soon as a topic becomes "popular" it will automatically be linked across sacbee.com, and topics pages will refresh automatically to bring you the latest news. (A perfect example: expect to see "Santa Claus" become a timely, popular topic as Christmas nears.)

There are lots of interesting developments taking place in the shop these days, but this is one of the more notable and exciting ones, and our hope is that it will quickly become a popular feature of our site. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

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What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

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On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About The Scoop

The Scoop is a blog where the managers of sacbee.com talk about new initiatives and our plans for sacbee.com. You can reach us by at the e-mail addresses below or you can comment on our postings.

Tom Negrete is managing editor of The Bee and oversees the daily work of journalists who produce news content for the newspaper and sacbee.com. Negrete, who has been at The Bee since 1994, has served as assistant managing editor for business and sports, sports editor and assistant city editor. E-mail him at tnegrete@sacbee.com or reach him at (916) 321-1171.

Seán McMahon is The Bee's Director of Digital Media, overseeing the interactive efforts of the company. His e-mail is smcmahon@sacbee.com.

Linda Gonzales is digital team leader for Sacbee.com and has been an editor at The Bee since 1995. You can email her at lgonzales@sacbee.com.

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