Can Silobreaker make money selling widgets?

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silobreaker_logo_270pxSilobreaker “finds and reads the news like a person does”. It’s part news aggregator, part search engine and part contextual relevancy algorithm, aiming to present news in a helpful and intuitive format that brings out the connections between different stories. Confused? Take a look at the site before you read on.

Silobreaker pulls content – videos, headlines, quotes and graphics – from about 15,000 sources. Its algorithm is designed to find the connection between all the content it scrapes, presenting the data like a print newspaper might. But now, Silobreaker is launching widgets, so content publishers can embed its smart news discovery service into their blogs and news pages.

Silobreaker CEO Kristofer Mansson thinks that news search is broken at the moment: “‘List’ results pages can be arduous … people are really looking for sense-making tools rather than more information.” The widget, he hopes, will enable content producers to better engage with readers by highlighting associations between people and companies: whether that’s keeping track of the competition or seeing what else a company director is up to. And there’s a myriad more possible uses.

It’s a great product. But the question that interests me is how on earth Silobreaker can make money. According to the company, they’ve never raised finance from elsewhere (except for an early friends-and-family round). They claim to have been cash-flow positive since 2008 from licensing revenue, and also point out that Silobreaker is only one of their offerings.

Still, making money from widgets? That’ll be a tough one to crack. But something’s going right: the company already employs ten members of staff.

  • Marc Rosenfeld

    Is this a sort of “Wolfram Alpha for news”?

  • Donagh Mc Sweeney

    As far as I know many other news sites suggest stories that are relevant to the story that is currently being read by the person. I’m pretty sure the BBC site does it! So silobreaker is just an expanision of this bringing additional conent type right?

    • Kristofer Mansson

      Donagh, you are right. “Related stories” are commonly used by news sites. Silobreaker’s focus is on finding and connecting related data rather than just related articles. For instance, our Network Search finds people, companies, organisations, topics, places, etc and understands how they relate across all articles. The aim is to help users explore and see beyond their original focus.

  • Kristofer Mansson

    Thanks for the write-up. Perhaps worth pointing out that the widgets are free of charge and open for anyone to use. The primary purpose of the widgets is to increase familiarity with and encourage use of Silobreaker’s tools and site. “Selling” only comes in if a publisher or other content owner would like to use the widgets on their own content rather than Silobreaker’s aggregated content. Kristofer Mansson, CEO

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  • John

    Anything is possible. Just require alot of hard work though.

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