Wow! 100,000 Daily Comments on Huffington Post?
June 18, 2010 4 Comments
Only if I knew introducing my freelancers/journalists friends including the recent one Sharmine Narwani to our beloved Arianna would generate such a high traffic to her Huffington Post, I would have asked for my Advertising $$$ cut. :-) Of course, I am kidding Mrs. Huffington ;-)
The traffic and number of comments on Huffington Post gone so out of control that she just had to acquire a company called Adaptive Semantics to put a leash on the daily 100,000 comments on their site. What an awesome problem for an online media to have. Looking forward to see such a headache for AwesomeDC website :-)
This is Huffington Post’s first pure technology company acquisition. The two-person startup tech company provides a semantic analysis engine (aka JuLiA) already used by the Huffington Post to help moderate the thousands of comments published on the blog every day.
Prior to the acquisition, the Huffington Post was already Adaptive Semantic’s largest and only outside investor, buying a 20 percent stake in April, 2009. Adaptive Semantic’s two co-founders, Elena Haliczer and Jeff Revesz, will join Huffington Post to oversee its social news and community technology R&D. The acquisition price was not disclosed
JuLiA uses “supervised machine learning,”, to flag inappropriate comments, spam, and abusive language. Humans manually tag a few hundred comments, which then get fed into the semantic analysis engine and applied across every comment. This is an ongoing process so that the system continually gets better and better. Not only can it detect abusive language or hate speech, but it can also help find commenters who may be topic experts.
Beyond comment moderation and making sure readers behave themselves on the site, the underlying semantic analysis technology can help bubble up the best contributions from readers.
I wonder if Huffington Post is also aware of Engadget‘s commenting system which let the crowd to deal with spammy comments and the like. But I guess JuLiA is doing a good job in understanding comments and learning about the commenter’s behavior / trending.
The other simplistic commenting system is the one used by Slashdot, which is open source and is a proven system, having been polished since almost the beginnings of the modern internet back in mid 90’s. The basic idea is this: As you post, and comment, you generate “karma”. If your posts or comments are well regarded, you can earn “moderator” status, with the ability to moderate comments up or down. Seemed to work pretty well.