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Summly - danger to writers?

  1. SimeyC profile image97
    SimeyCposted 4 years ago

    Did you hear about the App Summly that Yahoo just bought for $30 mill. It summarizes top news stories from around the web. Isn't this simply a sophisticated form of 'spinner' - what's the point in writing  stellar hub if some App is going to summarize it in 300 words or so.....

    ...any dangers to the online writing community? Does it give credit or a link to the main article? Potentially very worrying I think....

    1. theraggededge profile image99
      theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Probably similar to Flipboard (which is awesome). Unless the app gives the user access to HP et al, content writers won't be affected. I could be wrong, but I understood that Yahoo is not going to release the app as a stand-alone, but is going to integrate it with existing platforms?

      'Spinning' is rewriting and rewording of content. Summaries, which are usually the intro only, can lead the viewer to the actual article, which must be a good thing?

      1. SimeyC profile image97
        SimeyCposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        According to an article, the algorithm "takes long-form stories and shortens them for readers using smartphones" - it seems a lot more sophisticated than a simple summary - so it negates the need for the reader to actually visit the main website. That's my take on it.....

        1. theraggededge profile image99
          theraggededgeposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, it looks like you're right about that. However, the app only gives access to a predetermined list of news sources. My Flipboard works in the same way. I can't add my own preferred sources, I have to pick from what they offer.

  2. timorous profile image85
    timorousposted 4 years ago

    Summly is primarily intended as a news app for mobile devices. After all, it's fairly pointless to try and read a whole article on the limited display real estate on your smart phone, while you're waiting in line for a coffee. If the reader is intrigued by the news item, they can go to some online news source when they later have access to a laptop or desktop computer. Or buy a newspaper... neutral

    I understand the algorithm is moderately sophisticated, in that it scans the whole article, and pulls out the most relevant, but complete sentences from the article. It isn't just grabbing the first few sentences, or making stuff up from what's there...nothing is 'editorialized', or spun.

    This is mainly (for now) very current news items, taken from various newswire services, in real time. It could potentially be used to promote various online content as well. This can be a good thing, since it gives writers of online content a lot more exposure. We'll see how this pans out. Nothing much to worry about really.