Crowd Sourcing the News With Scoopinion

By Claire Adamson |

Finding good feature stories and news content online is usually more about luck than it is anything else. With thousands of new articles of varying quality appearing on the web daily, it is not always easy to filter out the things that are really worth reading from the rubbish.

Scoopinion, a feature story aggregator that has been launched to the public today, is looking to solve this problem by changing the way that the articles are discovered online. By analyzing the level of reader engagement rather than by just looking at clicks and page views, the service is able to recommend the very best articles on the web.

The innovative discovery tool generates ratings for articles based on factors like the amount of time a reader spends on an article or the amount of the webpage that the reader exposes. CEO and co-founder Kobra Koskinen said: “We feel that nowadays, with online media, articles are getting shorter and people are hunting clicks more and more instead of focusing on producing the good content.”

Once the Google Chrome add-on is downloaded, it tracks a user’s reading behaviour, recommending new reading material through Scoopinion’s homepage, through the add-on itself, and in a twice-weekly email digest. By looking at your preferred sites and authors and avoiding recommendations from them, the articles that are suggested are gathered from sources that you may not have had previous engagement with. Scoopinion aims to expand reading habits this way, exposing users to new sites and authors.

Enabling Easy Discovery 

Unlike other online news recommendation sites like Summify, Scoopinion seeks to provide a service that works in the background of regular life, where users don’t have to change their behaviour to make the most out of it. Kobra said: “We are the only one that enables the discovery really easily, you don’t have to configure much and it goes really smoothly.”

Scoopinion only gathers data from certain websites – the Whitelist, described by Kobra as a ‘playground’ from which Scoopinion can track users. The Whitelist features sites from all sorts of different areas, from the Guardian and the New York Times to more specialized sites like Silicon Allee. All the info gathered is anonymous, and users are not connected to the rating of a story.

In the future the startup hopes to have a good understanding of what topics people are reading about and what features and authors are drawing the crowds, analytics that can be sold to publishers of online content. Kobra is confident that this is a good potential revenue stream.

Scoopinion began a year ago when its five founders entered the Uutisraivaaja innovation contest in their native Finland, the biggest media innovation competition of its kind in Scandinavia. After winning the whole competition, the team received €250,000 worth of funding. They have been based in Helsinki but are currently exploring options for future office locations, including Berlin.