A new automated submissions system is being trialled on The Spoof website to help writers add in all the required tagging information to their stories.
Over the last few years, writers submitting a story on the site have had to complete a form, entering various key-words and topic tags to help categorise their submission. A story about Manchester United, for example, may be allocated tags of 'Manchester United', Football' and so on, to help associate it with similar themes. It can be a lengthy process and if not completed correctly it can result in publication delays.
But that is all about to change. Auto-Tag works by analysing the text in the body of the story, and then automatically filling in the tags, target audience, category and so on. It then selects an appropriate picture from the gallery, and even creates a suitably witty headline.
So now, if the story includes a reference to the Queen or a particular pop star, then applicable tags will automatically be created.
Once the Auto-Tag system has added topic tags and allocated the story to the category and locale that fit best, it goes about creating a suitable headline. This will usually combine elements of the story into a shocking or comical attention grabber. It can even insert phrases which are specially formulated to get high hit-rates on search and social media sites. Finally it selects a picture that sums up its take on the story from its vast gallery of photographs, and adds a caption.
CEO of The Spoof, Mark Lowton, has supported the new system, saying "We'll give it a try on a few stories and see what happens. If it doesn't work we'll just switch it off."