FML Blog

In touch with innovation: talking to Rawr

Wednesday, July 26, 2017      Future Media Lab. team       0


The Future Media Lab. team is continuing our “In touch with innovation” series on our blog with a series of Q&A’s that were conducted with media start-ups from across Europe. In this edition, we spoke with Tassia Breidenbrücker, Partner Support at Rawr in Austria. Rawr is offering unbiased and structured cross-channel opinion data about important topics to fight against filter bubbles aka echo chambers.


Future Media Lab.: What is the main idea behind your startup?

Tassia Breidenbrücker: The main idea is bringing back the conversation into the publishers’ content. We think that online opinion is very valuable and should not be outsourced to platforms like Facebook where it gets lost between cat videos and other unserious content. With Rawr we found a solution to solve the problem of unstructured comment sections and at the same time developed a great tool to increase reader engagement and signups for the publishers as well as empower their journalists with conversational content.


On the other side there is the focus on the readers: The internet is the biggest opinion forming medium of all times. But events such as the US Election and Brexit brought the filter bubble problem to the attention of a mainstream audience. It has become evident that there is a massive need on the internet for platforms that offer an unfiltered, comprehensive and structured approach to form opinion online.


Rawr is Opinion 2.0. It helps users to form and express opinion in a structured way. It helps journalists to curate the conversation between users and it helps publishers to engage with their readers.


FMLab.: What observation kicked off your project?

TB: The idea actually came up back in the 2000’s. With, our founder Michael Breidenbrücker, developed an algorithm that was able to show you songs you might like - based on your previous played songs. He found out that this algorithm could also show you „anti-charts“- songs you absolutely don’t like. But who wants to hear them?

So he thought about another area in which „anti-charts” could be interesting. And this is how he came to the huge field of online opinion.

What he found there was: Online opinion is broken. News are more and more consumed on social media these days. Publishers even support this by outsourcing their comment sections to platforms like Facebook. We see two main problems caused by this shift. Number one: people are caught in their filter bubble on Facebook sooner or later. They start seeing more of the same, when they interact with the articles of publishers or a certain topic on Facebook. Number two: publishers lose the overview of the conversations and the value out of it. They do not get the motivation of their readers and their opinion about a certain topic.


FMLab.: What is your added value to media companies in content curation/dissemination/monetization?

TB: Rawr is not only a great tool for publishers for increasing user engagement and signups. We want to go further: Journalists should make use out of the opinion of their readers. By getting structured opinion data, the journalists can experience user opinion and articles from different views to a topic. But not only that: What event made the opinion of the people change? And why? Why did Latino Women in Ohio vote for Trump? What are their arguments? Journalist can create valuable content out of the structured opinion data and information presented on Rawr.


FMLab.: How (if at all) could established media companies and innovative startups/projects best collaborate over content creation?

TB: We think the cooperation between established media companies and innovative start-ups is a really good way to find innovative solutions for online media. It is no secret, that the biggest and oldest media companies are often stuck into their old structures. Having a young team being specialized on digital projects can help them a lot to get faster in their online development. All the projects and start-ups working on text mining algorithms, real time insights and trends, monitoring and much more help the media companies to create content which is always keeping pace with the times.


FMLab.: What is your next big challenge/goal?

TB: Rawr is now entering the stage where we have enough data to cluster topics and generate opinion maps which we will use to provide deep insights and analytics. With new services for our users we are aiming to make Rawr the platform to form, manage and share their opinion. Besides that we will focus on internationalization and integrations for leading Content Management Systems.



Editor’s note: The Future Media Lab. recently teamed up with next media accelerator to publish a compendium of start-ups from across Europe who are working on solving some of the challenges facing the media sector today, particularly around content creation, monetization, dissemination and curation. Many of the start-ups were present to ‘pitch’ their solutions at the Future Media Lab. annual conference , which took place in Brussels on 2 May 2017. A digital version of the compendium is available for download (pdf) here.

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