Internet Broadcasting Introduces New Online Opinion Tool Slantly

Internet Broadcasting, a local media network for broadcast publishers, announced today the official launch of Slantly, an online opinion tool. Slantly is intended for web publishers to integrate into their site to create discussions and spark debate. Several major web publishers have already partnered with Slantly to use the tool, including Meredith Publishing and NYCtv.

Slantly offers several key features to online publishers. With their customizable polls, publishers are able to create polls on news and issues to engage their readers. Through these polls, users can vote and add comments to a forum attached to each poll, after they vote. These polls and discussions, while hosted on each publisher’s site, are all available on the Slantly site. A very useful feature to publishers is the ability to track the demographics of your voters and commenters. All of this is available on the Publisher Dashboard, where you can create, moderate, and manage your discussions, track activity, and customize the look and functionality of your discussions to match your site. Slantly also offers an open API, enabling publishers to customize the tool to suit their needs. I’ve included a widget from Slantly that rotates through several popular opinions.

var SLANTLY = (typeof SLANTLY!= “undefined”) ? SLANTLY : {};
topic: “Technology”,
layout: “custom”,
width: “100%”,
height: “250”,
query_type: “top-opinions”

There are several competing online opinion sites, in the form of polling sites like Polldaddy, Survey Monkey, dPolls, SodaHead (recently received new funding, covered here), and Vizu. Slantly does offer a similar service, but a bit differently. After playing around with the site a bit, they focus more on the opinions, not the polls. Given the nature of the associated sites (local news outlets), the audience is a bit older, and presumably a bit more opinionated and educated. This allows for more consistent users, as opposed to SodaHead, for example, which is marketed mainly for MySpace pages.

Internet Broadcasting, a company established in 1996, has been leading the market in local media online solutions. Originally, a web development company for major TV stations, IB saw the potential in the local media market. They have developed a system to optimize the way TV stations converge with the web to enable viewers to access and interact with the local news. Their network currently reaches 16 million unique visitors per month nationwide. Some of their clients include Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., Mcgraw-Hill Broadcasting, NBC, Meredith Broadcasting Group, Cox Television, and CNN.

IB is hoping that Slantly will bring their network a better user experience by enabling users to interact with their local news station and media outlets. Their intention by offering Slantly to any web publisher, in addition to their partners, is to engage readers in active discussion in order to provide meaningful interaction on their sites.