If you don't have content to populate your site, OneSpot has some for you. The Austin-based start-up joins a host of other companies in the business of delivering contextual links for publishers. OneSpot CEO Matt Cohen makes the claim that OneSpot "democratizes vertical or affinity publishing, helping anyone find, select, and deliver links to the best content on the Web."
OneSpot sifts through more than 200,000 RSS feeds to make content selections. Users provide the system with a set of sample sites, and OneSpot identifies related feeds, looking at link overlaps, Cohen told me. The selected content can be delivered via Web pages, widgets or through e-mail newsletters. For example, OneSpot can supply a retailer with relevant content links for a newsletter to customers.
In addition, OneSpot offers its customers Digg-style ratings and discussion pages. Fees are based on the number of topics, page views, or e-mails, Cohen said.
OneSpot currently has less than 20 customers. For example,TheRoot, a Washington Post site for African-Americans, uses OneSpot to fill out the site with a relevant content feed.
OneSpot has many competitors that offer some form of contextual content aggregation. They include memetrackers, such Techmeme, Reddit, and Blogrunner; keyword-oriented and linguistic analysis-based services that provide related content such as Sphere, Inform, and Smartbrief; and feed aggregators such as NewsGator and Netvibes.
Cohen believes that the link structure approach, similar to what Google does for search, to selecting sources and content provides the best results. But the choice of content aggregation service will depend on what a publisher wants to accomplish. Other services could be better at finding timely content related to a particular article, rather than for a topic area. OneSpot is currently angel funded, and plans to raise an A series round this summer, Cohen said.