June 17, 2008

LOUD3R Launches Massive Semantically-Driven Network

As I mentioned in yesterday's story on OneSpot, the quest to separate the wheat from the chaff in news and blogs through leveraging RSS and social tools is a vibrant market. Whether Web users are relying on Digg, Slashdot and Reddit to bring the hottest items to the top, or if they are instead turning to automated memetrackers like Techmeme to rank stories' popularity, a lot of people are asking to not read every single story, but instead, put their faith in the hands of others.

A new network debuting today, called LOUD3R, hopes to leverage this automation and social prioritization of stories, through a vast network of sites, including 25 at launch today, each one of them utilizing a semantic publishing engine, which finds, clusters and ranks content for a number of vertical topics, ranging from technology to sports, fashion to business.

Each one of the sites carries their trademark - 3R ending. For example, a site dedicated to Web 2.0 and community, isn't called Buzzer, but instead is translated as BUZZ3R, and can be found at www.buzz3r.com. Similarly, an auto site is called ROADST3R and can be found at www.roadst3r.com. I'll let you guess as to some of the others, including GLITT3R, WATCH3R, and FOUND3R.

A sampling of LOUD3R's 25 sites at launch

Like many other topical Digg-like sites, including Ballhype and Showhype, the LOUD3R network family promotes stories that have received attention from throughout the Web. But instead of getting voted up or down by users, the articles are driven by background rules, in Techmeme-like fashion, as Gabe Rivera has implemented on his own family of sites, including BallBug, Memorandum and WeSmirch. Users can make comments on the items, see related stories, or e-mail them.

A lead story on one of LOUD3R's sites.

The sites also use the same background semantic engine to highlight hot topics on each site. On PUTT3R, it's no surprise that Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate are hot topics. On WOOF3R, the topics instead turn to terriers and poodles.

Like Digg, you can see the "Most Popular" items, as well as "Newest", and the LOUD3R algorithm also tries to make a best guess as to what is most "Interesting".

Will LOUD3R's cute naming strategy and interesting use of semantics gain them significant traction? The company certainly hopes so. They have gobbled up more than 550 topically-oriented domain names with the "3R" brand, so today's launch is just the beginning. They hope that their semantic engine will help filter all the content on the Web and only bring visitors the "best available". And they definitely believe that through targeting topics that are historically underserved, they can get a leg up against competition.

With more than 500 sites planned for launch, not every single topic has to be a dramatic success for LOUD3R to make some coin, they hope. Their press release, also issued today, says each site has a low maintenance cost, and each will deliver advertising revenue. If the audience doesn't get QUIET3R, then LOUD3R should get BETT3R and BIGG3R.