Episode 513: Business Process to Ensure Quality of Posted Articles

Monday, December 12, 2016

"Cannot see the Business Process in the Field"?

In autumn 2016, "Plagiaristic act" by "curated media" is reported sensationally in Japan.

Originally, "content curation" is worthwhile, so as "curation tools / platforms" which enables anyone to post their curated contents. However, a site management company (listed company) mass-produces contents curation articles through cloud-sourcing, and the fact that plagiarism has been instructed during the outsourcing of article writing is brought to the light.

Process of Curated Article Production

There indeed was a Disclaimer note, i.e.
We are completely not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, benefits, conformity to specific purposes, or anything else regarding the information in this article and the user's judgment for using this information.
However, since the particular site was curation concerning "wellness", "Moral" was questioned rather than "copyright infringement". And, as a result, the CEO apologized as "there was a problem in the process of article creation".

DeNA press releass: Statement by CEO
some parts of our manual and directions to writers could be interpreted as suggesting plagiarizing other websites. I cannot view this as being morally correct ... I promise to fundamentally change our operations of these media and create a process which I can completely place my faith in.

I do not know whether it is truth or not, but probably "he did not really see the business process". (I want to believe so.) Then, what kind of business process should he have build if the operating company needs to write articles responsible for?

[Article Creation process]

Quality Assurance of Posted Article

Even though I thought about various things, I think that I still have no choice but to do the same flow as "creation of newspaper article". That is, a method that humans check the quality in the Step of "Posting judgment". In the editorial department of a newspaper company, "Editors" check all articles written by the reporter.

* 1. Topic designation, 2. Article writing, 3. Posting judgment, (4. Supervision), 5. Web posting

In this example, the availability of posting is quickly judged in the process of "3. posting judgment" by a plurality of editors. If there are many typo in an article, it will be returned, and when the quality is remarkably low, it will be discarded. If supervision, such as medical opinions is needed, it will be routed to the Step of "4. Supervisioning". (In the near future, articles written by A.I. might be come in...)

Incidentally, if there are about 100 outputs needed every day, a system size of about t 50 writers, about 5 "editors, about 1 0"supervisor in charge" will be required. (It will depend heavily on the form of contract with each personnel.) Also, if emphasis is placed on timeliness, "24 hour shift" should also be considered. The director of the editorial department should participate as one of "editors". (Operation that undertaking only important matters might be good.)

Negotiation with Profitability

By the way, even though it tends to be forgotten, there is a restriction regarding "budget" against Business Process (Process Model).

In other words, it is necessary to verify from the business point of view, that "whether writers manuscript fee and supervision remuneration can be drawn from assumed advertisement revenue" in the Business Process (Process Model) considered on the work floor. It is obvious in a so-called "independent media", but it is the same in "Owned Media" by enterprises.

Moreover, other Business Processes (Process Models) may become necessary from the perspective of "how to differentiate from competing sites," and "to cope with staleness of posted information or not".

In any case, there are not many cases where the "process model" created by "person in charge of the site" does not conform to the "business model" mentioned by the "management". There is nothing else but trial and error.

[Article Creation process:"1. Topic designation" screen]

= Example of implementing "Character number counter" on the browser (HTML/JavaScript)
<span id="myCounter">0</span> 
<script type="text/javascript"> 
jQuery('textarea[name="data[0].input"]').bind('keyup change',function(){ 
  var myTextLength = jQuery(this).val().length; 
  jQuery('#myCounter').html( myTextLength ); 

<Addon-XML setting screen>

<Data Items list>

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