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Readers of Toledo’s The Blade just made first contact with Viafoura’s AI-moderated commenting platform

Toledo, Ohio, USA downtown skyline on the Maumee River at dusk.

The Blade, Toledo’s Pulitzer prize-winning source for daily online news, has partnered with Viafoura to launch a full suite of engagement solutions designed to boost readers’ interactions with the website. These solutions include topic and author follows, comments moderated by both AI and Viafoura’s team of human moderators, live blogs to cover breaking events like elections or sports games, chats for community members, and trending conversations.

“We’re very proud to count The Blade as the newest customer to launch Viafoura on its website,” says Dalia Vainer, director of customer experience at Viafoura. “Like so many digital media companies, providing a safer, more engaging user experience is paramount to the folks at The Blade. We’re looking forward to seeing how Viafoura will help create a more civil community and provide actionable data to drive product decisions.”

According to Jen Lyon, digital manager at The Blade, the news site was looking to reduce the amount of time staff spends moderating user content, while also increasing reader engagement in the comments section, and creating more ad revenue opportunities.

“We’re already seeing more civility in the comments, and more engagement,” says Lyon. “Readers can find stories that have active conversations quickly. As more tools roll out, I believe readers will appreciate the changes more.”

Lyon was also keen to implement Viafoura’s digital experience platform because of its full-service moderation, and its highly engaging Community Chat and Live Blogs, which allow readers to interact directly with journalists, subject matter experts or each other. 

“The onboarding team was quick to answer any questions we had in a timely fashion,” Lyon says. “It was great to have developers on the call so issues could be discussed immediately…the launch of Viafoura went smoothly.”

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