You might also like this: Thinking up better story recommendations

Hopefully, dear reader, you've noticed the addition of a bar of recommended reading at the top and bottom of the page.

And if you have a really keen eye you'll have noted there's a lot of overlap between the two.

Now, if you have only 10 seconds, know that both serve to help connect you with Charleston's archives of interesting pieces.

If you have more time, know that we worked closely with the kind folks from the Charleston-based BeliefNetworks to implement a smarter form of content recommendation on TheDigitel.

Most of the recommended reading you've seen on blogs and news sites is derived from a technology that's more akin to Google; a search program crawls the story and looks for similar words and phrases.

It's a strategy that works fairly well, but the folks at BeliefNetworks saw a better way, one that acts more like us humans and "thinks about" stories to see which one is the most similar. (You can learn more about BeliefNetworks' content recommendation on their FAQ page.)

Now, I don't know enough about the innards of their algorithms to go much further than that, so I'll just say: Expect to see stories very similar to the main one on the page, but also expect to see ones that are seemingly different but have a similar thrust to them.

Either way, we suspect you'll like the stories that have been sniffed out for you.

Also, we're testing two ways to get these recommendations to you, one at the top of the page and one at the bottom of the page. We think more active readers will enjoy the top set, and less active will enjoy the bottom set. But we'd be glad to hear your thoughts on it. (Do note that the top set of recommendation does not show on the home page.)

We've also go a few exciting things in store, including advertising more relevant to the page and readers, and recommendations on who you might enjoy following on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

Ken Hawkins

Senior Editor,
Charleston's easiest, most complete local news source.
Interact with us on Twitter @TheDigitel

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