semantic news platform called Eqentia. At the time the product was in development, but it is officially launching today. In a nutshell, Eqentia aggregates content into topics using semantic technology. In that respect it is similar to OpenCalais (our coverage) and Evri (our coverage). While all three products have different focuses, each semantically tags and aggregates content in a contextual manner.At the SemTech conference in June I met with William Mougayar, founder and CEO of a
The difference, claims Eqentia, is that "with Evri or OpenCalais, the onus is on the programmer." Eqentia says that with its product, "the content is already semanticized and all you have to do is to place it on your portal while preserving your SEO." The other two companies may disagree with that, but let's take a closer look at Eqentia.
Disclosure: We have decided to use this product on ReadWriteWeb, to fuel our upcoming topic pages. Expect this feature to launch within a few weeks.
At its heart, Eqentia is an aggregation platform. It promotes itself as "an aggregator of context, not just content." The way it does this is to add context in the navigation. Each portal has its own taxonomy, which Mougayar described as "a bit like a hierarchical tagging structure." He said that "we basically wrap any content with a semantic wrapper."
How it Works
Under the hood, Eqentia does "content harvesting" from social media sites such as Twitter, blogs and more. Currently Eqentia is getting content from over 13,000 feeds, collecting an estimated 65,000 articles daily.
Eqentia told us that it's indexed 20 million articles so far. The largest topic currently is Outsourcing, with 90,000 articles. Other topics include: Cloud Computing: 60,000; Supply Chain Management: 40,000; Twitter: 20,000; Social Media: 11,000.
Eqentia then does "text mining and filtering" and the results are run through an "Aggregation Engine" (which has rules for sources and filters). Finally there is what Eqentia calls "Semantics Management" - including entity extractions, taxonomy definition, controlled vocabulary.
What The User Gets
Eqentia is starting off with a focus on "professional" content topics. It will target business and technology content, ignoring more mainstream topics like current affairs, sports, entertainment.
Eqentia is launching with 3 products:
1) Out-of-the-box portals. These will give general users free access to topic streams (of which there are 12 at launch, with more coming). There will be email options, widgets and RSS feeds available.
2) Personalized portal. These can be private or public. [note: this is what ReadWriteWeb has signed up for]
3) Enterprise. A SaaS platform that can be customized. A stated use case is for large companies to "disseminate organized news intelligence for their employees across distinct groups or market segments."
Conclusion: Tough Competition, But Important Market
The proof will be in the pudding as to how Eqentia compares to OpenCalais and Evri. We've been very impressed with both OpenCalais and Evri in our previous coverage, so Eqentia has high standards to live up to. In particular Eqentia is going to have to nail the User Experience, because it is relying on its interface a lot to give value to the user.
Finally, Mougayar noted to us that "if web 2.0/social media rewarded the socially savvy user, the semantic web/web 3.0 will reward the research oriented user." It's a nice marketing line, but we are apt to agree that products like Eqentia, OpenCalais and Evri are bringing much needed smarts to the oceans of content in the Web.