NEW YORK Associated Content, which publishes text, photos and video produced by a network of local independent journalists who are paid for their services, has signed up to utilize Thomson Reuters’ OpenCalais to help the site deliver more relevant ads to consumers.
OpenCalais is a tool designed to help Web publishers steer users to related content, either through searches or during the course of a visit to a particular site. The product automatically tags or classifies Web content (typically articles) by using technology designed to understand semantics (the natural language and meanings of phrases and concepts in stories).
According to Thomson Reuters, OpenCalais can identify “people, places, companies and facts” within a particular article — and then link those items to similar content elsewhere on the Web.
Publishers such as CNET and The Huffington Post currently employ OpenCalais, which is often used to keep readers engaged with a site by funneling them to more content via widgets or “recommended reading” tools. But in Associated Content’s case, the young publisher is among the first to use the product to deliver highly-targeted ads.
“The OpenCalais service helps us automate our classification and categorization processes, making it easy to find the most relevant concepts and connections in our quality content sets,” said Sonu Kansal, Associated Content’s CTO. “This allows us to optimize the placement of advertising.”
Associated Content was founded in 2005. Former Google sales chief and current CEO Tim Armstrong was among the company’s initial investors. Former Google and CBS Interactive sales executive Patrick Keane was installed as the company’s CEO in March. The site claims to house 1.7 million pieces of content currently, covering subjects ranging from health to news to sports.