Online Publishers: Are You Linking to your Competitors?

November 11th, 2010 by Nikos

I recently read a great post on HubSpot’s Inbound Internet Marketing Blog. In it, Ellie Mirman talks about the practice of linking to your competitors, a non-intuitive approach to providing your visitors with the best possible experience. The example that Mirman mentions is Yahoo!, who in its early days, had a link pointing to a pre-queried page to Excite at the bottom of their own results. This ensured that if their visitors did not find what they were looking for on Yahoo, they would have another chance to do so on Excite. It also helped make Yahoo! known as the go-to destination to find anything you were looking for, whether that information was provided by them, or their competitors.

Over the last four years, Lingospot has been working with some of the world’s premier online publishers to help them better organize and present content. When we started off, most, if not all, of that content was internal, or at best content of sister sites. Slowly but steadily and one by one, our clients began discovering that adding external content to their pages made their pages more valuable and interesting to their visitors. As a result, visitors came back more frequently, as they knew they could get a more holistic view of a particular topic and not be limited by the internally generated content of any single site.

Today, we are seeing editors, particularly news editors, increasingly taking on the role of content or content source curator. For example, we’ve been working with Forbes for over three years now and have helped them use our Mixer product to manage a network of over 1,000 Business and Finance bloggers, whose content shows up on the pages that Forbes creates through Editor. Another example comes from the Sacramento Bee, who has spearheaded the creation of a network of Sacramento area news publishers (basically a consortium of competitors) called Sacramento Connect. The network’s articles are showcased using our Spotlight product alongside Sacramento Bee articles, giving visitors the ability to discover more content about what they are interested in, content created by SacBee’s competitors.

Today’s online visitors have access to more content than ever before, yet still have only limited time to find and consume this content. We’ve long believed, and our customers seem to increasingly agree, that giving visitors full access to the best content about a topic they are interested in, whether that content is your own or not, is the best way to built loyalty to your brand and repeat visitation to your site.

So, are you linking to your competitors? Maybe you should.


View Comments

See you at ONA10!

October 26th, 2010 by Nikos

We will be at the Online News Association’s ONA10 conference at the end of this week. Please pass by to check out our latest products and say hello. We will be at Booth #3 at the Grand Ballroom. I look forward to seeing all of you.


View Comments

Supporting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 13th, 2010 by Nikos

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and we at Lingospot are pleased to do our part in spreading awareness through our technology.

Several of our customers have setup topic pages and sections providing information on breast cancer prevention and diagnosis, but one that stands out is the breast cancer page of The site is targeted to nurses and includes including links to educational models, webinars, news, opinions and videos about breast cancer. Really interesting stuff.


View Comments

Best Practices: How Sky Sports Bet on the World Cup

July 18th, 2010 by Nikos

The World Cup is behind us. Spain sits at the top of the FIFA World Rankings and will hold on to the cup until the summer of 2014, when it will all start over again in Brazil.

The 2010 World Cup was the first one ever to be held in an African country and the first time Spain rose to the very top. The final was seen by over a billion people and was the most Twitted event in the history of Twitter. Interestingly enough, the history of Twitter does not extend back to the previous World Cup - the company was launched shortly thereafter, in the late summer of 2006.

For our publishers, the World Cup was a great opportunity to attract (and monetize) a record number of eyeballs. Among these publishers, however, Sky Sports stands out for incorporating a new money making opportunity into their content: Sports Betting. We had been testing contextual sports betting with Sky Sports since the beginning of this year, but it was not until the World Cup, an attractive event for the casual betting reader, that we saw the full potential of contextual impulse betting.

Contextual sports betting allows readers to place a bet that is related to the content they are consuming. For example, if they read about a particular injury that may keep a player out of the next couple of games, they may choose to bet against that team. Of course, readers can bet on a wide range of events, from who will score the first goal to who will be the first player to be carded in a game, such as this example from the game between Uruguay vs. Germany:

Contextual betting added a new dimension to watching the World Cup games and yet another conversation point for all the fans who spend hours after a game discussing it. The betting on Sky Sports is handled by Sky Bet. Don’t try to access the service from the United States, however. As with other betting and gambling services, contextual sports betting remains a privilege of those outside the US borders.

Tags: ,

View Comments

Welcome Jose and Shawn!

June 16th, 2010 by Nikos

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the two new members of the Lingospot team who started with us last week: Jose daVeiga and Shawn Grant.

Jose joins our team as SVP of Sales & Business Development. He is a successful entrepreneur with a solid understanding of both online software and online advertising. Before Lingospot, he was the founder and CEO of klickSports, which he spent four years building from the ground up.

Shawn joins our team as a Sr. Software Engineer and has solid experience in the main platforms and programming languages we use here at Lingospot. He has over a decade of software development experience and most recently was a Sr. Engineer at Mahalo, a human powered search engine startup in Santa Monica.

We are happy and lucky to have both of them on our team. Welcome to Lingospot guys!


View Comments

Gannett’s ContentOne explained (video)

June 16th, 2010 by Nikos

Lingospot has been working with Gannett’s ContentOne for close to a year now.  This video explains the rational behind the creation of ContentOne and how it fits within Gannett.

Tags: ,

View Comments

The Bee Connects Sacramento

April 10th, 2010 by Nikos

After several months of preparation, The Sacramento Bee launched the Sacramento Connect network on Monday March 29th. The network and its associated services take a fresh new approach to content aggregation and interlinking and use several web technologies and tools to bring together the best content from around Sacramento.

Linking to outside blogs and publications was unheard of for a newspaper like The Bee, just a couple of years ago. In fact, the idea for Sacramento Connect was met with some “initial resistance,” according to Sean McMahon, The Bee’s digital product development manager. But the timing was right. “We have a trusted position in the area,” said McMahon, “and we thought it was time to embrace all these independent voices and bring them in and try to promote them.”

In the short time since its launch, Sacramento Connect has attracted much attention from both publications flocking to join the network as well as readers interested in exploring local Sacramento news. One of the reason for this early success might be the focus of the network on being about content first and foremost, unlike other publisher networks whose main driver is aggregation of ad space inventory.  This focus is evident through Sacramento Connect’s four main user-facing services:

The Sacramento Connect Toolbar
The most noticeable element of the Sacramento Connect network is the toolbar at the bottom of the browser, which shows up when you first visit a Sacramento Connect page and follows you on all sites that are part of the network:

The toolbar includes several useful features and allows quick access to a number of Sacramento Connect network services. For example, a visitor can easily find related stories from across the network, search for any topic, or visit a topic page that is related to the current article that is being read.

Sacramento Connect Home Page
The control panel of the Sacramento Connect network is the Sacramento Connect home page.  This is the first stop for readers who are interested in customizing their experience by selecting the sources of network articles (SacBee, netowrk partners, featured or all) and the category of articles (Business, Entertainment, Politics, etc.) which should be used to filter the desired content. The network home page also serves as a starting point for readers to discover articles that are being written on the network about the subjects that they are most interested in.

Sacramento Connect Related Articles Widget
With the launch of the network, The Bee has also included a widget on each of its article pages, showing related content from across Sacramento Connect. This article, for example, shows the Sacramento Connect widget on the rightmost column of the page. This is yet another way for The Bee to provide their readers with access to interesting, relevant articles from across the network.

Sacramento Connect on Lingospot Topic Portals
Content from the Sacramento Connect network can also be found on The Bee’s topic portals, such as the one on Medical Marijuana. Readers who visit such a topic-specific page will now have the opportunity to not only read The Bee’s coverage of the topic, but also to see coverage from other sources in the network. In the above example, a reader would be able to get the viewpoint of YubaNet, North Sac Beat, Jeff Peline’s Sierra Foothills Report and other local publishers.

The above four services create the main framework of content aggregation and interlinking within Sacramento Connect and have already been embraced by readers as a convenient access to the best content from Sacramento.

We are proud to have been a part of the launch of Sacramento Connect and wish our friends at The Bee best of luck in growing and strengthening the network.

Tags: , ,

View Comments

Our 2010 Charity Contribution

January 23rd, 2010 by Nikos

Following a tradition we began last year, we have made a 2010 donation of $1,000 in leu of sending holiday cards.

In 2009, the Lingospot founders both became first-time fathers, welcoming a healthy daughter and son into this world just a few months apart.  Juniper Chao and Theo Iatropoulos are lucky to be healthy and well cared for, but other children are not as fortunate.

Hence, this year, we are supporting St. Jude Children’s Research hospital, whose mission is to help children who have been diagnosed with a variety of cancers and to admit all children, regardless of insurance coverage.

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support of Lingospot and for enabling us to give back a little bit to those with need.

Have a wonderful and, above all, healthy 2010!


View Comments

The Hunt is On!

November 26th, 2009 by Nikos


Black Friday is a day when bargain hunters hit the streets in search of the best deals, and this year the economic challenges and high unemployment make this day particularly important for consumers and retailers alike.

During the last couple of days, Gannett newspaper and TV online properties across the nation have been helping their visitors take full advantage of tomorrow’s incredible deals. At the center of this effort are the Black Friday topic portals, which have seen a tremendous spike in traffic as the hour of bargains approaches.

The Black Friday portals include something for everyone. For the casual shopper, there are handy printable PDF lists of sale items and promotions from top retailers, such as and Best Buy. The more involved bargain hunter will appreciate store layout maps, showing strategic locations of sales items, available for some of the largest discount stores such as Walmart, Kmart, Target and Sears. Finally, for the hardcore bargain hunter, there is a calculator for the uber-shopper, my personal favorite, where data can be sliced and diced to find just the right deal.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and happy shopping!

Tags: ,

View Comments

USA Today Tracks the Swine Flu With Lingospot

October 6th, 2009 by Nikos

Online visitors of can now get the latest news and information about the Swine Flu as well as track incidents across the United States. Using the Lingospot Topic Portals technology, USA Today is aggregating articles, blog posts, videos, photos, and tweets, in real-time, providing a central dashboard with the latest information and news on the Swine Flu epidemic. The Swine Flu page also has links to resources, such as articles from the CDC and links to the government site, as well as a handy widget for visitors to find out where to get vaccinated.

The USA Today Swine Flu topic page is the latest in series of implementations of the Lingospot technology across the Gannett newspaper properties.

Tags: ,

View Comments