Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Ranking a Stream of News - University of Pisa

In the last year there has been a surge of interest about
news engines, i.e. software tools for gathering, indexing,
searching, clustering and delivering personalized news information to Web users.

According to a recent survey made by Nielsen NetRatings, news browsing and searching is one of the most important Internet activity with more than 26 millions of active U.S. users in July 2004. For instance, Yahoo! News has an audience which is roughly the half of Yahoo! Web Search, a third of Google Web Search and a bit more than AOL Web Search, according to NetRatings. This is surprising enough if we consider that, for instance, Yahoo News had an audience of about 13 millions of users in the 2002.

“The Internet complements television for news coverage as it provides a different perspective and greater depth of information - statistics, pictures, interactive maps, streaming video, and analyst comments,” said Peter Steyn of Nielsen/NetRatings. Certainly, recent events such as SARS, War in Iraq, Terrorism Alerts and other similar dramatic events contributed to diffuse the use of on line news search engines.

The huge amount of news available on line reflects the users’ need for a plurality of information and opinions. News engines are, then, a direct link to fresh and unfiltered information.

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