One of our objectives here at Sync is introduce you to new and interesting websites, and we especially like when there’s a Canadian connection. In this “5 Questions” feature we chat with Mark Evans, director of communications with the Toronto-based Thoora.com.
Sync chatted with Thoora.com‘s Mark Evans about what makes this new website tick.
Sync: Hi Mark, thanks for your time. What is Thoora, exactly?
Mark Evans: Thoora is a new and unique service that helps people discover the news attracting the most attention within social and traditional media. In real-time, Thoora identifies the most interesting stories by exploring the entire blogosphere, Twitter and nearly 5,000 traditional media sources to determine the stories attracting the most blog posts, comments, tweets, and news coverage. Thoora’s approach to collecting and displaying the most interesting stories is based on what’s implicitly happening within social and traditional media — blog posts, comments, Twitter updates and news articles — rather than voting or link analysis. We take into account millions of voices rather than relying on a small group of editors or A-List bloggers to determine the most important stories.
Sync: How is this different than other news services, such as Google Fast Flip?
Evans: Thoora is different because it taps into three “clouds” to determine the biggest news of the day — the entire blogosphere (including comments), Twitter and traditional media. Unlike Digg, there’s no voting involved; unlike Google, it’s more than just traditional media, and unlike Techmeme, there’s no curation.
Sync: How would a Canadian interested in, say, technology, be able to take advantage of this? And can you give us an example of how it works?
Evans: Thoora features a large number of categories and sub-categories so people can find the news that meets their interests or needs. For a Canadian interested in technology, there’s a science/technology that provides a broad view on what’s happening. And yes, you can do searches for any keywords, too. If you did a search on iPhone tips, for example, you would see a list of the blogs posts and news articles that attracted the most attention. There would also be a chart showing blog and news activity over a period of time, as well as the most recent updates on Twitter.
Sync: How does Thoora work, exactly? Please explain the technology behind the site in plain English.
Evans: In plain English, Thoora scours the blogosphere, Twitter and the traditional media to determine the news attracting the most buzz. It then pulls the strongest signals from each “cloud,” and clusters them together to determine the biggest or most talked about stories of the day. In simple terms, Thoora provides users with a single place to see what’s happening as opposed to having to visit blogs and Twitter and traditional media sources.
Sync: Does it cost anything after the beta period ends? If not, what’s the business model?
Evans: After the beta ends, Thoora will remain free. The business will likely be advertising and technology licensing.