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Jim Satloff & Neal Goldman’s AI Engine, Inform (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 24th 2007

SM: What is your target customer? (Please provide a good segmentation perspective)

JS: Our target clients include publishers and information providers who seek to maximize the value of their content. Many of these publishers support a network of properties, and employ Inform’s technology to offer more value to their users across sites. We also operate within a number of verticals including sports, finance, science, and law. Inform is increasingly targeting smaller publishers, including blogs, as we develop a model that will allow us to serve clients with fewer page views and smaller budgets. Current examples of live clients include The Washington Post, The New York Sun, Turner Broadcasting, and over 40 others.

SM: What is the competition, and how do you differentiate?

JS: A number of participants exist that operate in adjacent market spaces to Inform, but no competitors to our value proposition have surfaced. I’d be happy to talk about market participants that we have seen, and actually coexist with very well.

Enterprise search companies like FAST, although they require significant and costly installations, do not provide the relevance technology, nor the thoughtful presentation of content that Inform provides, however their very strong enterprise search box technology is found on a number of sites where Inform technology is currently installed.

Convera, whose vertical search box technology aims to satisfy the needs of highly targeted searchers, could also be co-implemented with great success.

Widget-based offerings like those of Pluck, Daylife, and Sphere serve highly specialized functions, and are often seen lumped at the bottom of web content pages. We differentiate by offering industrial-strength solutions that are quick and painless to implement, and truthfully, our products have consistently been selected over other market participants’ products in head-to-head competitive situations.

SM: Just to clarify, Readers, below is a screenshot from Washington Post of a page automatically generated by Inform. It applies NLP to figure out the Context of the article, and finds other related pieces of Content from both the Post’s own content repository, as well as from elsewhere on the web and the blogosphere. It then creates an original page, which (a) generates its own set of visitors and page views, and (b) has its own ad space that can be monetized.

Out of the 1 Million pages that Washington Post has, 150,000 are generated this way by Inform’s NLP engine. Cool, huh?


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So they use NLP to basically create new “inventory” for the publishers to sell ad space on? I guess that this wouldn’t work if the new inventory were just an ad-page, but since there is value to the reader, the new page can be monetized? Won’t readers click away from this Post page? I get the topics and entities link to other contextually relevant Post content, but I wonder why Washington Post lets you (wants you?) to click over to the Rocky Mountain Daily News site.

Nice reporting Sramana.

Mahasureshi Shiva Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 12:21 PM PT


Imagine, for every Washington-Post generated page, there is a corresponding 1-N Inform-generated page … for the Post to sell advertising on. It’s okay if the User navigates away, because there are so many new pages of inventory that the Post would otherwise not have access to without Inform.


Sramana Mitra Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 12:27 PM PT

I see – very clever – and cool. And by SEO-ing the pages, they add additional value. Thanks.

Mahasureshi Shiva Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 1:11 PM PT

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