Associated Content Signs On for OpenCalais Ad Tool

Associated Content, a fast growing content Web site which publishes text, photos and video produced by a network of local independent journalists who are paid for their services, has signed on 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 more relevant 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, which is designed to understand semantics (the natural language and meaning from a story).

According to Thompson Reuters’ marketing literature on OpenCalais, it can identify “people, places, companies and facts” within a particular piece of content—and then link those things to other similar content 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 upstart publisher is among the first to use OpenCalais to deliver what executives at the company hope are highly relevant 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 back in 2005. Former Google sales chief and current CEO Tim Armstrong is among the company’s initial investors. Plus, 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.