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Balanced Opinions: New Website the Tylt Looks to Cultivate Online Debates into News Stories

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Balanced Opinions: New Website the Tylt Looks to Cultivate Online Debates into News Stories

Article excerpt

With so many voices on the Internet, it's easy to feel voiceless. The Tylt, however, wants to help make those opinions count by cultivating online debates.

The Tylt, which launched in April at thetylt.com, is a news site created by Advance Digital's in-house incubator, Alpha Group. Its focus is on culture, politics, entertainment and sports stories that either have potential to ignite a compelling debate or already have a debate surrounding them.

After a question is posed by the Tylt, showcasing evidence for both sides of the debate, then the real story takes shape. The Tylt collects W data on readers' opinions through hashtag usage--each story has two competing hashtags--and through voting on the website or mentions on social media. The team then builds a data visualization graphic to measure readers' reactions.

"Any one of our readers (and) community members can really kind of write themselves into the story," said Michael Donoghue, vice president at Advance Digital and founder and leader of Alpha Group.

The idea for the Tylt sparked when Donoghue and the Alpha Group team saw that "the Internet is a terrible place for debates." In a climate where more readers are interacting with news stories online, the Tylt works to harness those voices and help everyone be heard.

"We wanted to be able to leverage online natural behavior, like social sharing and participating in polls and sharing opinions you have with friends and family, to quantify what the broader opinions are around topics that really matter to our audience every day," Donoghue said. …

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