Client Spotlight: Hoodline

About Hoodline

Hoodline powers local content discovery, within a 0.2 mile radius of where you are, through their machine-learning platform. They add dozens of pieces of metadata to contextualize content from 300+ publication partners, and turn the best data signals from technology data partners into automated local content. Hoodline currently uses the Wordsmith platform to transform data from tech companies like Yelp and Zumper into local stories for tech platforms and news outlet affiliates including Yahoo, ABC, Eventbrite, and Digital First Media.

Local News and Content Gaps

Hoodline understands the impact that local media coverage has on growing and strengthening communities. Through technology and partnerships, Hoodline is building the ‘nearby button’ of the internet and powering local content discovery. Aniket Aranake, Data Scientist at Hoodline, sums up their core mission through the scenario of “if you’re standing at a particular point and you or your phone know your latitude and longitude coordinates, you should be able to ask ‘what’s happening immediately around me’ and have Hoodline provide good answers to that question.”

What they’ve found through their work, however, is that local journalism and news outlets are facing challenges with funding and resources for generating content. “There really are more gaps than there aren’t gaps in local news right now,” said Rose Garrett, Managing Editor at Hoodline. “We quickly realized we needed to start creating a lot of our own content across a wide geography, which led us to Wordsmith.”

We quickly realized we needed to start creating a lot of our own content across a wide geography, which led us to Wordsmith.

Rose Garrett
Managing Editor at Hoodline

Scaling Local Stories

In response to the gaps in local media coverage, Hoodline sought out a solution to fit their needs for scaling their own editorial resources. Natural language generation, through the Wordsmith platform, ended up as the perfect solution for their team. “What we really wanted was something that would allow members of our editorial staff to have some flexibility in terms of the templates that they write, without always needing to run to a developer to add different layers of variability,” stated Aniket.

Through partnerships with data providers, Hoodline has built a large data pipeline focused entirely around location. With Wordsmith, their team is able to turn this firehose of information into uniquely localized written content to distribute through their team of editors for selection and, ultimately, to over a dozen local news organizations that include ABC affiliates in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston, Fresno, and more.

Hoodline Mobile Examples 1
Hoodline automates local content with Wordsmith.

According to Rose, Hoodline is now “creating hundreds of automated stories on a regular basis and it’s taking our editors less than ten minutes per story to review and publish, which is significantly less time than the fully manual writing process in place before Wordsmith.” For Hoodline, they’re seeing stories supplementing the work of local journalists and helping write about areas previously uncovered by media.

“As someone who’s a writer and a journalist myself, and not necessarily being used to coding, it’s been wonderful to work with the Wordsmith interface because it’s so easy and intuitive,” added Rose.

Growing Communities through Content

A central goal of Hoodline’s efforts is to help local media organizations get content that buoys the effort of local journalists in various markets. Through their work with the Wordsmith platform, Hoodline is seeing a real impact of their articles on their featured communities.

“We’re really excited about what we’re seeing so far in terms of reader engagement, in terms of the publishers who are receiving our content, and the feedback we’re getting from news affiliates about the quality of content,” said Rose.

Hoodline has also received feedback from members of the community, particularly small businesses that were previously lacking media coverage. According to Aniket, “many of these small businesses wouldn’t have been written about otherwise, so they’re opening up stores and we’re hearing from the owners themselves and through local community Facebook pages that the articles Hoodline created contributed to awareness and even increased their customer base.”

As Hoodline continues to expand their local content discovery efforts, they’re keeping these impacted groups in mind. Added Aniket, “local journalism is about local business and local community and that’s the space that we want to continue to enrich and grow. We’re very heartened by the results so far and excited to expand even more with Wordsmith.”

To learn more, request a demo of Wordsmith