Newspaper industry's next trick: Fake words

The New York Post is turning to Addictionary's fake words and definitions to make it more social and bring in more revenue.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

The newspaper industry has been hit hard by the weak economy. Advertising revenue is down. Layoffs are frequent. And even the most-trusted papers are facing possible closure. So, the industry has tried to find unique ways to help improve business.

Perhaps that's why it shouldn't surprise us that The New York Post announced Monday that it has inked a deal with SpectrumDNA to bring the company's Addictionary software-as-a-service platform to the newspaper's Web site.

Addictionary allows Web site visitors to create words and assign definitions to those words. People can rate and comment on words created by others.

According to a statement, both SpectrumDNA and the Post believe the Addictionary engine will help the newspaper achieve more "viral and word-of-mouth distribution." They also said they believe it could increase advertising revenue.

A definition made possible by Addictionary. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

The Addictionary platform has enjoyed some success. Its SaaS platform is currently being used by "The Office" Web page, Comedy Central, and Dictionary.com.

Once The New York Post's Addictionary gets going, the companies plan to release a variety of derivative products, including greeting cards, calendars, games, and books featuring the top-rated words created by the Post's community.

Is Addictionary the Trojan horse the newspaper industry has needed? We'll find out in August when the Post deploys the new feature.