Topic FAQs

Topics give you information super powers. It’s easy to get started.  Here are some frequently asked questions and answers.  If you have other questions, need help or want us to create a topic for you just let us know at support@attensa.com.

What are Attensa topics?

Attensa topics are collections of sources that are filtered to provide content that is relevant to a specific interest or subject.  Whether it includes 1 or 1,000 sources the content is tuned to the specific subjects you want. No more digging through different sources to find the news and information that matters to you.

Once created, topics can be shared and others can follow them.  Topic updates can be delivered in a variety of ways including email briefings, the Attensa web app and inside other work applications like Slack or Microsoft Teams.  

How do I create a topic?

There are a few different ways to create topics including the Attensa Topic Builder, search and save, and the manual method of selecting sources and creating filters.

Topic Builder: The Topic Builder uses keywords that you provide to identify the most relevant sources and an initial filter to produce a set of content.  After that, you can edit the sources and/or the filters including using concept tags provided by Attensa to hone in on specific subjects.

Search and Save: When you perform a search in Attensa you will have an option to save the search as a Topic. Save searches take the form of a Topic and will be continuously updated going forward. 

Manual Method: Select the specific sources that you want and then create a filter to match your subject. Attensa’s source search allows you to search within the sources to find those that frequently contain the content you’re looking for.     

How are sources for the topic selected?

Attensa uses its ability to search the individual items inside of each source to find relevant content and then assembles a collection of the sources containing the most relevant content. A topic’s sources can be managed at any time; adding or removing as desired with the results updated immediately.

How does the filtering work?

Filters are used to refine and organize collections of content into the specific subjects desired.  There are two types of filters text filters and concept tags.

Text filters use keywords and phrases to refine to identify relevant content. 

Concept tags are assigned to each item in Attensa using natural language processing and machine learning techniques.  These tags describe the nature of each item, identify its meaning and the various people, places, and things that the item relates to.  Concept tags are powerful tools for identifying specific attributes of content for topics.  

Filters can be created using either or both terms and concept tags and can range from simple to complex in nature. If desired filters can also be created using boolean logic.  

 

Can I review or curate the contents of a topic by hand?

Yes. the combination of Attensa’s automated filtering capabilities and a curator produce highly relevant content very efficiently.

This is typically done by creating the desired topic and then setting the topic to hide items until reviewed and included.

Topic creators and curators can also selectively hide items within a topic that they believe should not be included.  

Items can also be curated by copying them selectively between topics by a curator.

 

What is the relationship between topics and Attensa Briefings?

Topics typically relate to a single area of interest and people follow multiple topics.  Briefings group topics to provide updates for a set of topics.  

Personal briefings group updates for the topics that an individual follows to provide personalized updates. For example, a personal daily briefing.  

Briefings can also be used to provide updates through different channels.  For example, briefings can be created for Slack channels that deliver updates from selected topics into a Slack channel. 

How do I share a topic?

Topics are designed to be shared. They can be published to a shared catalog in your workspace where others can discover and follow them.

People can also be invited to topics. People who are not currently members of the workspace will be asked to create an account when accepting the invitation.

You can invite others to topics.

What is the best approach to keywords?

The most effective keywords and phrases depend on the nature and scope of the desired topic. In general, a few simple keywords are most effective. Select words or short phrases that are common in the desired content. This will generate a range of related sources and a variety of tags that can be used in filters to narrow the topic more specifically.  

Selecting too many keywords will often cause poor initial results because it overly restricts source selection. So it is best to start with a few and add more as needed.  

 

 

How are the concept tags generated?

The concept tags shown during topic creation are the most frequently occuring tags for the collection of content generated by keywords. Chaning keywords or sources will generally result in different concept tags.  

 

 

 

 

Still have questions? Send us a note!

For any other questions or help please write us at support@attensa.com.