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Topix.net Inks AP Deal

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-23

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Topix sales and marketing VP Chris Tolles disclosed the agreement with the Associated Press to help connect users to topical stories.

Tolles posted on the corporate blog how the deal with AP will benefit news consumers.

"We'll using our technology to guide users to the most authoritative source of breaking news across the country by applying our clustering and localization technology to a feed of AP stories," Tolles wrote.

He also noted that Topix will be the first aggregator with this type of partnership in place. The company has its work cut out for it in "connecting all the pieces in our system to make all of this work," said Tolles.

As part of the 15-month agreement, AP will tag stories so Topix spiders can find them online. The Topix technology clusters those stories by category and also by geographic location. This will help users discover content about local topics they may not find otherwise.

Ideally, Topix will redirect searchers to those local newspaper sites that are AP members. There the site can display local advertising to visitors, a necessity in the changing economics of the newspaper industry.

The promotion could help boost Topix.net's own visitor usage. Nielsen//NetRatings listed Topix in 29th place for April among news sites, while AP rated 18th. Both trail the leader, Yahoo News, and its closest competitors, CNN.com and MSNBC.com.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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