Wow! 100,000 Daily Comments on Huffington Post?


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.

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and telezoo.com that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @ awesomize.me

4 Responses to Wow! 100,000 Daily Comments on Huffington Post?

  1. Jay Stein says:

    Arianna Huffinton is very well connected, She got buzz early and continues to feed that machine.

    Then came the VC money

  2. Steve J says:

    HuffPost has Good Content too

  3. SDH-Houston says:

    I am a long-time contributor to Huffington Post, but since this ‘new’ Badge system, including MODERATION badges, many people are unfairly banned. Seems that ‘cliques’ develop and they FLAG other posters … enough FLAGS will cause someone to deleted/banned.

    This has happened to me …. and now my computer is messed up, whenever I try to hit SUMBIT on forms (RE websites, orders/forms, polls) I get a message that it ‘can’t be processed at this time’

    I have written to Huffington Post several times, asking for an explanation to my being ‘banned from commenting’ and I have advised them of the issue with my computer, but have not received any sort of reply. Since I have over 6000 comments, and ALSO have a MOD badge there, I am not impressed with the way they respond to the people who, at the end of the, have contributed to the success of Huffpost!

    Banning should be taken seriously: posters should receive a WARNING or an EXPLANATION ……… allowing other posters to ‘control’ the input in the site AND messing up a member’s computer is not right.

    • Elias Shams says:

      I am forwarding this to my contacts there. I hope they do something about it or they reply to you. Would you type in your fan page on Huff Post here? Thanks

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