Alcatel-Lucent : Filtering fall out
Less-than rigorous tagging leads to too few search results.
Alcatel-Lucent, the Paris-headquartered telecommunications company, has a multi-filter search for press releases that is let down by incomplete tagging.
Alcatel-Lucent’s Newsroom includes an archive which can be searched by combinations of three filters: year, month and region. A year has to be selected to activate the month filter, but Select Region can be used independently and offers eight options: All, Asia Pacific, Central America and Caribbean, China, Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America, South America. However, the content found for specific regions is incomplete compared with the number of releases matched under the All option. For example, ‘2008/ April/ Europe’ finds one match, for a network contract in Italy; filtering for ‘2008/ April/ All’ produces 49 matches including three releases in the first display for reports specific to Belgium, Switzerland and Spain respectively.
The results include a listing of the Region tag(s) for each story. So, for example, the April 2008 Italy story is tagged ‘All, Europe’ while the April 2008 Switzerland story is tagged ‘All’.
Alcatel-Lucent’s press releases filters are on the face of it a welcome advance on the news search facilities offered to journalists on many corporate sites, especially the regional option. However, they do neither the company nor the press any favours by over-reducing the number of reports or, quite often, returning none at all.
The problem seems clearly related to the regional tags given to individual reports and as such is not a technical one. Either the criteria for choosing which tags to use are skewed so that too few stories are credited with a local angle or too little attention is paid to the country-focus of reports by those doing the tagging. If the latter, it’s not as though releases need to be tasted in detail for a hint of regional flavour – how much further do you need to look to flag up a Europe aspect when the words ‘Switzerland’ and ‘contract’ are in the headline?
First published on 06 May, 2008