HiveFire Curata Cuts the Work in Content Aggregation


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Summary: HiveFire Curata makes it easy to assemble and republish content on specialized topics, attracting visitors to your company’s Web site.

Here’s an irony for you: the world is awash with content, but marketers struggle to find enough of it. It’s like a sailor dying of thirst.

Of course, sailors really do die of thirst. It happens when they’re surrounded by salt water they can’t drink. Marketers have the same problem: they can’t use most of the content that’s available.

HiveFire Curata aims to solve this problem by making it easier for marketers to extract usable content from the surrounding ocean. In fact, Curata provides a complete system to not just locate the right content but also to organize and present it to the marketer’s target audience. The goal is to make finding and repurposing existing content easier than creating new content on your own.

More specifically, Curata lets marketers build Web sites that republish content on selected topics, such as news of a particular industry. This attracts the marketer’s target customers and positions the marketer’s firm as an authority in the field. Once the audience is assembled, the site can also deliver the company’s own content and advertisements.

The trick to making this work is efficiency. You don’t need a special tool to scan the Internet: a simple Google Alert or Twitter search will do that for free. But you’d still need to read each article, tag it with keywords, and post it to your site. The work adds up so quickly that most marketers can’t afford to do it.

Curata reduces this effort by using natural language processing to automatically identify, classify and tag potential articles. It then presents them for manual review before being posted to a Curata Web site, which automatically adds them to appropriate indexes for future reference. The result is an organized archive that offers real value to someone interested in a topic. Because the search and tagging are highly automated, Curata says a typical client processes 40 to 80 articles each day in about 20 minutes.

Setting up a Curata site requires little technical skill. Users choose a format and then use a page designer to place widgets for articles, blog posts, lists of articles by category, author or entity, news streams, site search, media galleries, subscriptions and user registration. They also define the sources and search terms and exclusions the system will use to find content. Sources can include social media, news feeds, patent registrations and RSS subscriptions. Content on the Web site can also be published through RSS subscriptions, email newsletters, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Because the system is hosted by Curata, it can be set up and maintained without help from the corporate IT department or Web team. This is a critical advantage for many marketers who lack priority access to those resources.

This is all good, and many companies should find Curata well worth the $1,500 per month ($1,200 with an annual contract). But I did see a number of features I’d like added. These include:

– screening the selected articles. Currently the system presents the articles in the sequence they are found, without identifying redundancies or even removing exact duplicates. Intelligent screening could remove some articles and present similar ones together, saving considerable labor when large volumes are involved.

– ranking the selected articles. The system currently reports the traffic attracted by each article, but it doesn’t use this to predict the popularity of new articles. Such predictions should be well within the capabilities of the natural language engine. Nor does the system rank articles on other criteria such as the authority of the source. Ranking could let editors review the most important articles first and discard the others once they had reached their daily quota.

– more subscriber information. Visitors register with the system to post comments and subscribe the email newsletters. But the profile cannot be extended beyond name, password and email address. This is missing an obvious opportunity to capture more information about potential leads.

– subscriber behavior tracking. Curata doesn’t report on the behavior of individual visitors, such as which items they view or how often they visit. This is another bundle of information that marketers and salespeople could use to understand visitor interests and to identify hot prospects.

HiveFire was open to these ideas when we discussed them, so I’d expect to see some appear in the future. But it’s worth noting that Curata already has about 40 clients, who are presumably satisfied enough the existing features to pay for them. So even in its current state, Curata is worth a look if you want to sail the seas of content aggregation.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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