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APML: What’s in a value

I was speaking with Chris Saad about what to put in the value field within my APML file. His response was that he “encouraged the APML workgroup to deliberately avoided defining a standardized way to calculate the value, allowing vendors to innovate and differentiate with their respective implementations”.

Ahh innovation, my favourite word. So how would I go about putting a standard value for ninemsn, and in particular News?

On the looser cruiser (the bus) this morning I came up with four metrics to use. For those MBA students you’d know how much academics love to put everything into a box model and painfully start everything with the same letter, so here’s my attempt! The four P’s of content relevancy.

  • Present – the content freshness
  • Popularity – the amount shown to everyone
  • Preference – what categories you personally have selected in the past
  • Proximity – how close it physically is to you

To clarify it more fully, here are the exact metrics I would use for News.

  • Present – content publish/update date
  • Popularity – page Impressions
  • Preference – national/world/entertainment/sport/business/technology/heath
  • Proximity – suburb/city/state/country/world

From the diagram below you can see I score from zero to one in each of the four frames.


To let’s do some examples to test this out. We’ll say I’m the average news consumer living in Sydney (in ninemsnland we call these people cruise controllers).

Story Present Popularity Preference Proximity Total
Paris runs over photographer 0.2 0.7 0.6 0 1.5
Local park is vandalised 0.2 0.2 0.4 1 1.8
Train crash in Coffs Harbour 0.9 0.8 0.4 0.4 2.5
President bush dies 1 1 0.1 0 2.1

As you can see the theory fails on the last version as it’s low on the popularity metric due to politics and the story is in the world proximity. Therefore a fifth P could be used, Priority. This is a tough one and I’ve deliberately left it out of everyday news as an override mechanism needs to be in place for the “wake me up at 3am” type stories that thankfully only happen a few times a year.

So those are my thoughts, I welcome feedback on the metrics and weighting as its not quite there yet.

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  1. January 12, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Another factor with Proximity to consider is locations of friends or locations that you car about.

    An earthquake in Mexico city, while I have a friend there on holidays, or a hail storm at Coffs Harbour – where the user may have a beach house.


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