NewsFactor Network : Setting up a search
News content is not the ideal context for a 'primed' search.
NewsFactor Network publishes a stable of business IT news sites in the US, including DataStorage Today, Top Tech News, CRM Today, Wireless NewsFactor and Enterprise Linux IT.
In news stories in the group’s titles selected keywords are highlighted with a magnifying-glass symbol: for example, “Nokia” and “smartphone” in a TopTech News article about a mobile gaming device. Clicking on the symbol brings up a page of results for the keyword from the network’s search engine. These are news stories from the site’s archives, displayed in order of ‘freshness’ (most recent first) and carrying a percentage rating for relevance.
For all that it deploys the feature in a clumsy fashion, NewsFactor’s use of a primed site search to point readers to related information has potential for educational, commercial or ‘advocacy’ sites.
NewsFactor’s questionable deployment – there is no explanation of what the symbol means in this context and readers are taken out of the story to another page – underlines that a news site is not the ideal context for the device. People expect to digest a news story, or extract from it what they want, in one go. Related items should be offered at the end of the piece not during it.
On other types of site, though, where the owner wants to point users toward more material – be it for commercial, learning or political reasons – the primed search allows them to retain a degree of control over the direction a research journey takes. Used sensitively, this can be an effective tool – whether you are selling ideas or IT.http://www.newsfactor.com
First published on 15 April, 2004