Reuters and social edition

Written on September 7, 2011 by Pedro Cifuentes in News

“What would a news website look like if it didn’t need to promote its own content, and just linked to the best stories and posts, regardless of source? We believe that the best way to get people to come back is to send them away: click on a headline, go straight to another site, and see for yourself.” Felix Salmon, finance blogger for Reuters, explained with these words what Counterparties, his brand new site, is. Certainly, this is not the first aggregation/curation site in the world, but it carries Reuters branding and it’s significantly simple: “we just want to send people away, and we produce no real content of our own”.

The idea behind the project is extremely compelling: Counterparties finds most of its content via the service Percolate, which is similar to Summify except that it includes, in addition to Twitter feeds, RSS feeds. Those feed are its creator Salmon’s own feeds, the list that he has been nourishing and improving during years of active online presence. Counterparties is edited with the intention of being useful for those who follow business and economic information without the pressure of the material of its own (Reuters), but instead pointing readers to the relevant content from other media with the mediated view of Salmon and his usual sources. The service aggregates only linked headlines: no rewrites. But unlike other algorithm powered headline-aggregators, Counterparties has an editor who re-writes headlines and adds tags to improve search positioning.

Counterparties’ logic — journalists’ personal feeds creating linkblogs — can easily be applied to other verticals, and other journalists. Certainly another demonstration of the undisputed fact that in the XXIst century, journalists must simply read (and interact) much more than before…


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