The Washington Post started testing a new “Knowledge Map” feature that is available online. It gives readers a sense of context around articles and stories by giving you background information.
“We wanted to experiment with providing background information as a user reads a story to help bring context to a complicated topic, and we designed Knowledge Map to work in a way that would not interrupt the reading experience,” Sarah Sampsel, director of digital strategy at The Post, said in a prepared statement. “Knowledge Map makes reading the news a more personalized experience, giving readers access to additional information as they need or want it.”
The first story that incorporates the feature is titled “Why the Islamic State leaves tech companies torn between free speech and security.” It uses the tool to supply historical context, show timelines, link the reader to relevant graphics and elaborate on the key people mentioned in the story.
I think this tool is fairly exciting. Most blogs and newspapers have tags, that give you a sense of how the story is supposed to be categorized. The Washington Post though is taking context to an entirely new level.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.