Over time as startups and businesses get incorporated, their Terms of Service and other fine details get mangled. All the complexity leaves a lot of text out of our lives in the form of dry facts and figures, lengthier short summaries and a whole lot of fiddly link structures. By analyzing web pages that have a split sentence structure but a description of what’s happening, we can summarize what’s happening but maintain the quality sdan.io/summary (that becomes a perfect tweet).
The startup collects data from about three million pageviews and generates up to 10,000 summaries per day by pulling in 1,000 Twitter accounts to work the link structure. Once sdan.io has a paragraph, it fills it with any data it finds relevant to the topic on the page, like company names, hashtags and even attachments on spreadsheets like customer leads or communication to field reps. It sends them to Wordflow, a subsidiary company that already sets wordcasts of hyperlinks between articles and has a partnership with Summify to create a unified dashboards to highlight relevant news.
TechCrunch got Wordflow to give us a sneak peek at how it works, and the summaries are illuminating. This is a good bit of data, and it will help users as much as it helps journalists like myself. It would also be helpful to some marketing firms if they build durations of a paragraph just like Wordflow makes them. But a good summary would be especially useful for lawyers who want to understand all the types of regulations that matter to companies. Wordflow can also scale up to calculate the reach and relevance of a social media mention.
The team of six that were formerly at Uber-RidesLA hopes Wordflow will compete with two main flavors of summarization: Summify and ffwd. Summify pulls your Instagram followers into the summary, while startups like typemapping startup Surfmapping also use a different kind of summary made up of just text snippets and numeric data.
The Summify app is still in beta and not able to enter social accounts like Facebook or Twitter, while a version for email is coming soon. We don’t know what the future of Wordflow’s aggregation will look like. Ideally you could use it for anything, not just companies and start-ups. If you’re a developer, craft your own summaries and send them to Wordflow. You could easily have a “Imgur Questions” summary to see what other people are wondering when you click on the site’s URL, and maybe an “Infographic of the Day” or a “News – Bird Flu” one to show more details than that. Or you could even put in data like “Is it ever okay to walk on the street at night” or “Is Ben and Jerry’s still alive?”
If Wordflow catches on, the company wants to expand beyond summarizing link text and slangs. So you could also have a S(db)O(t)R to summarize what’s happening with your messaging, or a Yootimer which describes everything about certain weather events or restaurants. With customers like Dataminr, this could be a great way to pinpoint where big news are breaking. Wordflow even offers programming language options for anyone to create their own summaries.
Wordflow is one of the first examples of companies using short snippet dashboards, which let you keep up with breaking news by summarizing and ranking it. It uses a componentized version of that technology to help you break down the dozens of full sentences that accompany web pages, and bring readers more relevant content about them. With Wordflow, I’m not just getting a tweet about Mattel backing Slack, but also its new $3.4 billion deal with Makers Corps.