The Now/ledge

A Guide to the 'Now' Revolution in News / by Alan Soon

The attack of the algo editors


If you thought the lines between advertising and journalism are blurred, you haven’t seen anything yet.

According to the Wall Street Journal, AOL is putting together a new workflow that aims to cut costs by simply outsourcing editorial interest to algorithms. This is how it works:

– The “algo editor” automatically assigns stories to freelancers through based on Web searches and sites that AOL users visit;

– The system also figures out how much marketers are willing to pay to advertise alongside such stories;

– AOL’s staffers (human, presumably) will edit the stories as they come in;

– Fees will “range from nothing upfront, with a promise to share ad revenues the article generates, to more than $100 per item.”

This is of course nothing new. Demand Media is already doing it. But it would be interesting to see how the math is done: Surely having to maintain an army of copy editors and fact checkers will outweigh the cost savings — these could arguably be more expensive than the sale of the ads on the articles themselves.

Or maybe it’s just time to leave fact checking to algorithms.


Filed under: Jobs, Publishing, Tools

One Response

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: