Trib Total Media launches ‘Dine Local’ to give local restaurants a free online showcase

To showcase the region’s restaurants as they emerge from the pandemic’s challenges, Trib Total Media has launched the website “Dine Local, ” powered by its MeSearch technology.

Owners of local establishments can, free of charge, claim a listing on the site. Beyond providing basic contact information, they can customize the listing to show current specials, photos, special menus and promotions.”

More than 70% of our region’s restaurants are locally owned, but 100% could use some help, ” said Matt Miller, chief revenue officer of Trib Total Media. “We created Dine Local to support these restaurants and the many hospitality workers who find themselves in a dire situation.”

The technology is the same as the Trib’s Neighborhood News Network sites for Southwestern Pennsylvania communities.

“Restaurants can use the platform to tell their own stories, with easy-to-use article creation tools, ” said Joe Lawrence, CEO of MeSearch and general counsel of Trib Total Media. “Beyond that, the articles and offers will be available as content to be matched to the personal interests of readers as well as the Neighborhood News Network sites and not simply limited to the restaurants’ own listing page.”

The website address is Readers will find restaurants arranged by location and by cuisine style.

Nationwide, the restaurant industry has been among the hardest hit by pandemic restrictions. According to the National Restaurant Association, total sales in 2020 were $240 billion below the Association’s pre-pandemic forecast for the year.

At present in Pennsylvania, restaurants are permitted to operate at 50% capacity for indoor seating. When outdoor seating returns with warmer weather, and as vaccinations expand and daily case numbers decline, owners of restaurants, bars and cafes are expecting activity to grow.

The Dine Local site is designed to catalyze the eagerness of diners to return to their favorite local spots.

“The DineLocal program, operating along with the Trib’s Neighborhood News Network sites and, will be a great example of how the digital ecosystem is coming together to support communities, ” Lawrence said.

Trib’s new eCommerce program helps generate sales while supporting local nonprofits

Trib Total Media has launched a new eCommerce marketplace for businesses and nonprofits looking to increase sales while also supporting the community.

The Trib introduced the platform this week in connection with its growing list of Neighborhood News Network sites, which provide hyper-local news to 31 Pittsburgh-area neighborhoods, according to Joe Lawrence, CEO of a new artificial intelligence company, MeSearch Media Technologies, Ltd., which created the technology platform that runs the local news network.

“For years, I’ve talked about the opportunity to monetize the click, ” said Matt Miller, chief revenue officer for Trib Total Media. “Not just delivering a page view or website visit, but actually help a business complete a sale.”

Miller said the recent state-mandated shutdown to help curb the spread of coronavirus has magnified the need for businesses to participate in online commerce.

“It’s important now more than ever to help small businesses to be able to sell their products and services online, ” Miller said.

There is no cost to sign up as a seller on and no software or hardware is needed. Businesses can sell products through the site and simply pay a 10% commission on sales. There is a 2.99% payment-processing fee that covers a secure checkout for purchases and one-business-day disbursements to sellers after funds clear.

A simple-to-use interface has been created to allow businesses to monitor sales and inventory on

Developers said the system is an easy way for businesses to enter the world of online sales, but also can help companies already doing business online to increase traffic and take advantage of shoppers’ desires to “buy local.”

Through the Neighborhood News Network, Lawrence said the Trib has established the first “digital ecosystem” that furnishes content that is tailored to readers.

“It provides a combination of news and information a place where residents, businesses, nonprofits and municipalities can find, and even produce their own, content that’s important to their communities, ” he said.

In addition to providing news by geographical location, the Neighborhood News Network sites can target readers based upon communities of interest.

“These are not just news sites, ” Lawrence said. “MeSearch uses artificial intelligence to help deliver content most meaningful to readers on the site. It might be a story you want to read or it could be a product you are looking to learn about or purchase.”

The Trib also introduced a very unique feature of the digital ecosystem aimed at helping nonprofit groups. is now available to these organizations to build groups of sellers as a way of generating new revenue for the non-profits — this means that the non-profits can sign up as sellers themselves and more importantly, they can recruit businesses to be members of their sellers’ group.

The nonprofit and its supporters then use the platform to drive customers to the products of their group of sellers. In exchange, 2% of the purchase price of the product is automatically donated to the group.

“This feature highlights how the digital ecosystem works to support businesses, non-profits and communities as a whole while still providing a great customer service experience for the online shopper, ” Miller said.

North Hills Community Outreach is the first nonprofit to partner with the platform, said Lindsay Bock, the Trib’s corporate communications manager. NHCO serves thousands of needy families with an array of services including a food pantry, an organic garden, employment mentoring, senior services and assistance with utility bills, education and transportation.

“We are looking for more nonprofit partners so we can help these community organizations that are doing so many good things, ” Bock said.

The North Hills group also will post information about supporting businesses on its website and generate sales leads for participating merchants. It expects to generate most of its revenue through the six Neighborhood News Network websites that cover the North Hills of Pittsburgh — North Journal, Hampton Journal, Shaler Journal, Pine Creek Journal, Fox Chapel Herald and the Sewickley Herald.

To learn out more about participating in the new program or to sign up, send an email to: or call 1-888-555-8860.

Monroeville-based website launches with MeSearch AI, providing unique reader experience

A new website for Monroeville news and information will have artificial intelligence curating the most important and interesting stories for readers based on their preferences.

Trib Total Media announced Thursday that its TribLIVE has launched, which is the latest addition to the company’s stable of hyper-local community news websites. is TribLIVE’s first Neighborhood News Network site powered by MeSearch, a technology platform that learns what readers are interested in and delivers a stream of tailored, curated content to them.

“As we went through the development process, I was impressed with how it was able to not only give me the hyper-local news that I was on the site for, but how it was also able to deliver articles that were pertinent to me based on my behavior while on the site, ” Neighborhood News Network Editor Katie Green said. “In an era where time is limited but real news is of utmost importance, it’s wonderful to not have to seek out what I want to read but have it delivered to me on the site.”

At, readers will find news and information about Monroeville and surrounding communities. The site pulls in the latest news from reporters at TribLIVE and The Times Express. It also allows users to contribute stories about events, organizations and daily life and soon will be pulling stories from many sources.

MeSearch is the underlying technology that the Neighborhood News Network is using to power the The MeSearch platform searches TribLIVE and other news sites, government and community websites, stories from users and advertisements to find the most interesting and relevant content. It adds to the experience by constantly learning about each individual user through his or her search and reading habits and uses that information to present the news and information in a way that users will find the most convenient.

Joe Lawrence, vice president of development for 535Media, which provides the Neighborhood News Network platform to TribLIVE, said that 535Media is extremely excited to be offering its first product to a publisher utilizing the MeSearch technology and looks forward to working with TribLIVE and the community in refining the platform and making it available to all neighborhoods.

MeSearch is a Pittsburgh-based startup built on decades of search technology. The company was founded this month as a joint venture between 535Media and Crivella Technologies Ltd. The company is piloting its technology on the Neighborhood News Network.

MeSearch allows a site like to draw content from many sources. The platform could put a story in front of a user that he or she didn’t even know they were looking for, Lawrence said.

Arthur Crivella, founder of Crivella Technologies, the Pittsburgh firm that developed the MeSearch technology, has described a website running MeSearch as not just a site but a personal experience. is the ninth Neighborhood News Network site launched by TribLIVE. The company started the Neighborhood News Network in 2018 with Since it has grown to include,,,,, and

Additional sites are in development.

535Media unveils AI startup MeSearch, with focus on reader-tailored experience

A Pittsburgh artificial intelligence startup built on decades of search technology launched Monday with an aim to change the way news is published, delivered and consumed online.

MeSearch, founded as a joint venture with 535Media, will start the first tests of its technology with Trib Total Media to provide neighborhood news, said Joe Lawrence, the company’s CEO and general counsel for Trib Total Media.

The company will move into space inside the D.L. Clark Building on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

MeSearch uses artificial intelligence to identify content that readers want from a wide range of sources and puts it in front of them, Lawrence said. That could be a piece of journalism, user-generated content uploaded into the system, an ad or a piece of sponsored content created specifically for that reader.

“That’s what MeSearch does best, ” Lawrence said. “It finds the most relevant information, and it supplies it to the person who needs it the most.”

MeSearch’s AI will learn what type of information a reader wants and what days of the week or times of day readers want particular types of information. The website will then be tailored to show content to the reader based on what the AI has learned.

“Instead of going to a site, you are going to a personal experience, ” said Arthur Crivella, founder of Crivella Technologies Ltd., the Pittsburgh firm that developed the technology underlying MeSearch. “What we’re doing is learning. We’re using artificial intelligence to characterize a person’s interests.”

The technology is based on search algorithms developed by Crivella. His company has provided artificial intelligence, machine learning, statistical and data analysis, and other tools to lawyers to assist them with combing through thousands of documents in complex litigation. The algorithms can search for keywords in documents and then search for similarities between all the documents with those keywords and deliver results that the searcher may not have thought relevant when the query was first made.

The company has mapped over 2,500 human emotions based on the language we use, and its technology can reveal what’s behind what is said in emails or documents, Lawrence said.

Lawrence said he met Crivella through work with a law firm. As Crivella described his company’s search technology, Lawrence saw applications for it outside the legal profession.

The tech platform allows publishers to draw in content from many different sites or sources, users to generate content and be paid for it and readers to see exactly what they were looking for, even if they didn’t know what they were looking for in the first place, Lawrence said.

“It endeavors to match the user with the best content, ” Lawrence said. “It’s constantly searching, constantly learning, and the humans provide feedback.”

Lawrence and Crivella said MeSearch will empower content creators to participate in the content creation process.

“The creators get to share equally, and they are incentivized to bring their creative talent to the ecosystem, and that will change a lot of things, ” Lawrence said.

Lawrence said the details on how users will share in the value created by their content is being determined by beta testing, but it will be through a share of advertising revenue and eCommerce commissions.