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.