DeadBrain adds "smart links" technology
The system works by examining articles inputted into the site's Content Management System (CMS) before they are published on the site. It automatically checks them for any mentions of people on a pre-defined list, and then links the first occurrence of that person's name to a page of articles about that person. The system is intelligent, in that it understands that people can have aliases. For example, it treats "Tony Blair" and "Mr Blair" as the same person, ensuring that neither links nor pages are duplicated.
"We knew that a lot of visitors were looking for satire about a specific person, but after they had found one article they were struggling to find more of them," explained the site's editor, Gregory T Mullet. "The search engine was a good starting point, but it wasn't perfect – like any search engine, it can throw up a lot of chaff."
"Our new system, developed in-house specifically for the site, allows users to instantly find articles about their chosen person with a single click. More importantly, unlike with some similar implementations of this idea, the links are extremely unobtrusive and will not spoil the flow of the article."
"Smart links" are the latest in a line of technological enhancements to be added to DeadBrain, making it one of the most advanced satire sites in the world. "Just because we deal with humour, it doesn't mean we can't have a decent web site," said Mr Mullet. "We took inspiration from the advertising used on some sites to develop this system. It was only later that we discovered Yahoo had done something similar. So far I prefer our system."
DeadBrain has added the links to all articles published so far this year and all new articles will be scanned for including further links. Over time, the site will build up a web of related articles and expand the number of people on the list.
The technology will be rolled out on the US edition in the near future.
Current list of names involved
About DeadBrainFounded in 2001, DeadBrain has a team of writers and editors in six countries. It produces more topical updates more often than any other British operation. The UK edition is one of the most popular sites of its kind.
DeadBrain's audience includes government workers, bored office workers and, perhaps surprisingly, a large number of teenagers. It is politically impartial and promises to make fun of all worthy people and institutions equally, or words to that effect.