Friday, October 29, 2004

BellSouth: Selling Up or Selling Out?

BellSouth Advertising and Publishing, the yellow pages arm of BellSouth, has announced that it has become an authorized agent for Google, and will market Google paid search programs through its vaunted 2,000 person strong sales force.

BellSouth and other yellow pages publishers such as Dex Media had previously created Web advertising bundles that they had been offering to their customers. These bundles consisted of various combinations of Web site hosting, Web site design, and entry-level paid search programs. However, this move by BellSouth greatly changes the playing field. It also appears to be an admission by BellSouth that paid search has become more than an optional add-on, and that search engine advertising is as compelling to advertisers as its own online yellow pages offering.

This deal also suggests some recognition by Google that to crack the potentially huge market for local advertising, it needs feet on the street, and that its self-service approach to sales and customer service fails to cut it with smaller and less sophisticated advertisers.

Can this marriage work? For BellSouth salespeople to successfully sell Google paid search programs in conjunction with print and online yellow pages, they're going to have deal with some sticky questions: Does Google replace the need for my online yellow pages advertising? How much of my yellow pages budget should I allocate now to Google? How come Google offers pay-for-performance pricing and you don't? One thing that is certain is that smaller advertisers are much more likely to re-allocate their existing ad budget to participate in Google than find new dollars to participate in Google. That means a real risk of revenue loss for BellSouth.

It's also important to remember that while corporate executives can make all the plans and sign all the deals they want, if the sales force doesn't buy in, they will not succeed. What kinds of things do yellow pages sale organization like? Simple, quick, easy, add-on sales that in no way jeopardize their existing revenue or commissions. The Google deal fails all these criteria.

My prediction: the BellSouth sales force will ultimately submarine this deal. Google will end up no worse for wear, and BellSouth will realize that repping their competition is not in their best interest. I'd also like to reiterate that what really may be making paid search so attractive is its pay-for-performance model. If so, BellSouth may want to take a look at Verizon's deal with FindWhat as perhaps a better path.

Setting Up Shop: A Guide to Independent Journalism Shows the Pitfalls Along with Promise

It's interesting to read the USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review piece on how journalists can set up independently for profit. Pull up a weblogging tool, hang out your shingle, stuff in some Google AdSense ads and you're in business, right? Well, not quite. There are the small matters of a liveable income, marketing, libel insurance, incorporation, supplementary revenue strategies - the usual headaches that a small business owner faces. Services such as Jason Calacanis' Weblogs, Inc. have become more sophisticated in nurturing a wide array of business-oriented weblogs, taking a piece of the indie's hide in the process but developing for them a sophisticated revenue-generating publishing platform and editorial support system that lets them have the independent lifestyle without some of the hassles - kind of a cross between VerticalNet, VNU and ECNext, if you will. The level of overall infrastructure available to webloggers is improving dramatically as of late, so it's not clear that a Weblogs, Inc. approach is really necessary for independent journalism voices to succeed in the long run. It's also not clear that there's enough focus on quality B2B content beyond the obvious Silicon Valley/Alley players on Weblogs, Inc. to make this a place for a widespread approach to supporting independent B2B journalism. To be a true Newsmaster requires some in-depth understanding of your subject matter, understanding that goes beyond the typical dot-com 2.0 attitudes exhibited by most weblog "experts". In the independent content game, there will be a mixture of those who can best enable the technology and ecommerce aspects of content distribution from independents and those who can best provide editorial endorsement and guidance to those independents. The two need not necessarily be the same to succeed, though. Zagats for weblogs, anyone?

MarketWatch in Play, Pearson, CBS Owner Viacom Likely Suitors

Reuters notes the emerging interest in acquiring online financial news source MarketWatch, with proceedings still in the preliminary stage. Whoever gets a hold of this organization gets a diamond that is hardly rough: with backing from Thomson, MarketWatch is bolstering its financial news coverage in an environment that is electronic-first and Web-grown all the way and becoming increasingly proficient at breaking financial news and feeding it to leading financial organizations via XML-based feeds. Anything's possible in this play - don't count out Thomson either, mind you - but probably the best fit here would be Pearson, which would pick up a nice real-time news creation and delivery team with a highly market-oriented U.S. focus that can complement its own more global, feature-oriented FT content. Put the two of those together and it spells Dow Jones - with an international Reuters-ish twist. The fun begins...

Headlines for 29 October 2004

MarketWatch gets bid approach
Running Your Own Site: A Primer for the Entrepreneurial Journalist
News Distribution: Wire solution?
OpenText Interview: Rules spur content controls
Dialog DataStar(TM) Upgrades Better Focus Search Process, Alert Users & Integrate Research
Enterprise Search: A Different Animal for Google
How Paid SEM Helps Organic Search Optimization
Media: Alternative and Influential?
KnowNow Wins the KM World Promise Award for Delivering Powerful, Event-Driven KM Solutions
Factiva boosts Abbey's anti-money laundering
Outercurve and O2 to Deliver Financial Applications to BlackBerry(R) Users

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Thursday, October 28, 2004

WSJ Online Introduces Email Morning Brief with Links to Non-Journal Content

The announcement of the Wall Street Journal Online's addition of a morning edition of its email summaries, edited by Joseph Schuman, the Brussels-based Journal staffer who introduced their Afternoon Report. It's nice to have a wrapup of the overnight news, and encouraging that the Journal is moving towards linking to other news sources, if but in a very modest manner. In the meantime, other news portals and search engine-driven news aggregators have been surging towards linking their content to any and all credible news sources and expanding the definitions of news credibility and editorial judgment. Nobody can fault the traditional expertise of the Journal's worldwide staff, but in an era in which audiences and technology as much as journalists determine news relevance, how much longer can news organizations operate profitably in the "walled garden" of their own exclusive and licensed content? Uniqueness in content is determined less and less by editorially-managed collections and more by the content itself and its assembly into a variety of flexible contexts, formats, communities and outlets that require more input than found in the typical news organization. Kudos to WSJ Online for another useful email edition, but we continue to look forward to leading news organizations to develop their core value propositions from the audience on in rather than the editorial staff on out.

On a secondary note, the links provided to set up this email newsletter were not working this morning from my WSJ Online account, a spokesperson at the Journal indicates that this is being addressed.

Headlines for 28 October 2004

Yahoo battles Google for the cell phone
Online publishers rail against Google
Google Buys Digital Mapping Company
Web Feeds, Blogs & Search Engines
The Wall Street Journal Online Offers The Morning Brief to Subscribers; News From a Variety of Outlets
LexisNexis lands CFTC database contract
New Contextual Advertising Technology from Vibrant Media Paves Way to Greater Profits
Convera Announces RetrievalWare 8.1
CMP Media's InformationWeek and Optimize Announce Partnership With The Advisory Council (TAC)
New Google Print Program Offers Authors a Powerful Way to Market and Promote Their Books for Free

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Headlines for 27 October 2004

Blogs: A Good (If Scary) Buy for Advertisers
The New Voices: Hyperlocal Citizen Media Sites Want You (to Write)!
Thomson profit stronger than expected in quarter
Copernic Ready to Take On Google In Enterprise Search Product
NewsBreak for Pocket PC review
Search Engine Delivers Content Based On The Day Of The Week
Reducing Expenditures and Driving Costs Out of the Corporate Library Budget
RSA Security Announces New Digital Rights Management Solution
GlobalSpec Survey Reveals Sketchy Web Site Content for Engineers Seeking Technical Data
Limelight Networks and BuyDRM Team Up To Provide Integrated PayMedia Services
PubSub Sidebar Adds Real-Time Monitoring of Weblogs and Newsgroups to Firefox Web Browser
New CLE Center Simplifies and Improves Online Continuing Legal Education for Attorneys
Rohm and Haas Engages FinancialContent for Enterprise Portal Content Solution

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Headlines for 26 October 2004

Firefox aims for 10 percent of Web surfers
The Rise and Fall of a Dot-Com Pioneer: Update on "Flip" Filipowski
Reuters Subsidiary Lipper Announces Acquisition of Fitzrovia International plc
MP3 site settles for $10 million with RIAA
Vivisimo Introduces Velocity for Integrated Enterprise Search
Entopia Announces Third Generation Information Discovery Infrastructure, Entopia K-Bus 3
PR Newswire Launches Must-Have Tool for Public Relations Industry
IVI Communications and Viyya Technologies Sign Multi-Million Dollar Strategic Marketing Agreement
Thomson ResearchSoft and SCIPROOF Announce Marketing Agreement
Comtex's Finance News Selected by Northern Light for Business Research Engine
Grouper - Share Your Stuff With Friends, Legally
2004 U.S. Presidential Campaign Coverage Now Available via an RSS from Factiva

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Monday, October 25, 2004

Autonomy Powers Information360's DORIS Real-Time News Tool, Interpreting Relevance from Desktop Content

The Autonomy announcement of its support for Information360's new desktop real-time information tool should not go unnoticed in your rounds. While news wire veterans such as Dow Jones and may find the press release's claim of offering the "first" real-time information exchange to be somewhat laughable, the focus and backing for this effort are hardly a chuckle in terms of their concept and apparent execution. Recognizing the explosion in unstructured Web and desktop content as a key driving force in determining content relevance, Information360 has leveraged Autonomy technology to develop what they term DORIS, the Direct On line Real-time Information System. In a nutshell, DORIS looks at a user's desktop content and determines when relevant content from suppliers that will include the UK's Government News Network (GNN) and London Stock Exchange Regulated News Service (RNS)as well as other sources match current needs and interests. This works in theory in two directions. Users such as journalists and other news-intensive professionals such as securities traders will in theory be receiving "self-breaking" news that comes to their focused attention naturally as DORIS interprets formal and informal news sources anonymously to identify contextually relevant sources being updated in real-time. At the same time news suppliers can better identify journalists and others who are within a community of users who are interested in their news and should be priority targets for further information. The communal and desktop evaluation aspects of this product are particularly intriguing, providing an angle on desktop news relevance that at first blush seems like a more advanced take on Relegence's real-time news and information relevance management capabilities. We'll report back as we learn more, but yet again individuals are being empowered as news gathering and interpreting agents who are changing the face of the publishing world.

News Analysis - Open for Business: Why Open Access is Good for Business and Science Publications

Many B2B and STM publishers have been struggling to find the right model for distributing their content as they confront pressures that are pushing them towards opening their databases to Web and enterprise search engines. These publishers are seeking the right balance between maximizing the reach and influence of their publications while maintaining the ability to provide - and to be compensated for - premium features for their core readers. If anyone doubts if there are successful business models in an open access environment, they need only look at Google, whose share price has more than doubled since it went public. B2B and STM publishers cannot be Googles, but they can leverage the openness that user-empowering technologies provide to create richer revenue models.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Required Reading: "The Death of Brands" Points to Today's Content Brand Quandaries

Occasionally print has its advantages, if but to allow one to catch up with things in an unwired environment. So it was nice this past weekend to catch up with the November issue of Wired Magazine on a color-watching drive through the New England countryside. I strongly recommend the article entitled "The Death of Brands" by James Surowiecki starting on p. 205 (old-fashioned linking convention!). It's a quick read that helps to quantify what has been obvious in the content industry for quite some time: brands as assets are both more important than ever before and more challenged than ever before. Brands are tools to leverage product assets well appreciated by their markets, but to coast on brand image for a nanosecond longer than a client will be willing to consider an alternative is a death sentence for profitability. As if to underscore this point this year's Newswire Awareness Survey focusing on journalists and media outlets found that 97 percent of the respondents care about the content from a given newswire source and not the source brand and that 80 percent had no stated preference for newswire brands. Major content providers have a little more brand leverage, but in an era of search engines and workflow software it's harder than ever to distinguish content based on a well-recognized producer label. It's all about what content DOES for people that matters these days; if your content hasn't done something for its audience lately, it's in jeopardy. This is why accelerating efforts to develop vContent is so important in today's content marketplace: the brand is what the product does, and not much more these days.

Footnote: The November issue of Wired also contains a Creative Commons-licensed CD sampler of songs by major artists and an article by Lawrence Lessig on the value of new approaches to copyright law in encouraging creativity. p.188.

Update: A busy day, but not so busy that I can't point you to an interesting site that came in my spam wave today that correlates with this entry: the Lexus site on MSN that extends the Lexus brand via online music, magazine-style content and shopping experiences. Quality content is being used to build up brands in a variety of effective manners these days - not all of them requiring traditional publisher-brand models.

In Premium Weblogs: Reuters Shares Jump on Revenue Outlook and Pending Sale of Radianz Position, Thomson Financial Gets SEC Subpoena

In our Finance premium weblog Shore Analyst Jack McConville keeps you abreast of these and all the latest developments in financial content. This week's headlines include:

- Reuters Shares Jump on Revenue Outlook; Pending Sale of Radianz Position
- Thomson Financial Gets SEC Subpoena

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Headlines for 25 October 2004

Yahoo, Adobe Team Up for New Web Services
Newspapers Create New Safeguards After Circulation Scandals
Is new media blogging out the old?
NetLibrary, Recorded Books Offer Downloadable Audiobooks; OverDrive Set to Launch
AOL members get more access to its content via
ProQuest's CEO promises to cut costs
Autonomy Powers World's First Real-Time News Information Service
Survey: 97% of U.S. Media Care Only About Newswire Content - 80% Cite No Brand Preference for Services
NeuStar(R) Announces Identity Based Subscriber Services
Biz360 and Context Analytics Partner to Increase Business Impact of Corporate Communications

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Friday, October 22, 2004

Online Users Seeking e-Quality

The USC Annenberg School ' s Center for the Digital Future has just released results of a nationwide survey in year four of an ambitious ten year project to monitor how the Internet is influencing all aspects of American life. A noteworthy finding was that users are at last acknowledging that not all online information is created equal.

For the second year in a row, the study found a decline in the number of users who believe that "most information on the Web is reliable and accurate." The figure is now down to 48.8%. The number of users who believe that "only about half the information on the Web is reliable and accurate" continues to grow, and now stands at 41.5%.

How do users determine quality? The answer in a word appears to be "brand." Users consistently rated the information quality of "established media" and government Web sites higher than Web sites of individuals (which I read to include small and unknown media sites as well). According to the study, 62.1% of users believe that established media Web sites are "mostly reliable and accurate" and 56.5% of users believe that government Web sites are "mostly reliable and accurate." The percentages rise even higher when the study looks only at users who've been using the Web for a number of years.

I've suggested for several years now that there would ultimately be a "flight to quality" as users began to realize how much inaccurate, outdated, incomplete and biased information exists the Web, and that this shift would primarily benefit those established publishers with a reputation for providing quality data. These data suggest that this important and very positive shift is already underway.

Detailed data from this survey can be found at:

Headlines for 22 October 2004

Google earnings wow investors Firm's profit more than doubles in quarter after IPO
Google desktop search sparks security scare
Speak Clearly and Carry a Manual: Microsoft's New Home of the Future Debuts
Yahoo buys e-mail search company
Which? and Reed scoop top awards Business Search Engine Adds MarketResearch Content
LexisNexis(R) Enables Research for the 'Mobile Lawyer' With Expanded Applications for BlackBerry(R)
Google launches enterprise search solution in Europe
ProQuest Company Reports 11 Percent Earnings Growth for the Third Quarter of 2004
Open Text Corporation Book, Managing the Information Explosion, Tells CEOs How to Survive, Thrive

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Reuters Mulls Over Radianz Sale to BT: Honing the Mission or Hacking it Off?

The Wall Street Journal breaks a cracker of a story on the potential sale of its majority stake in Radianz to British Telecom, potentially raising up to GBP 140 million in funds in the process. Radianz was formed out of the network operations unit of Reuters four years ago with networking partner Equant, providing secure and reliable network connectivity to the financial community. Recently Radianz has moved to provide more value-add content and transaction services via its networks to its clients, moving towards providers such as The MacGregor Group that have been expanding their connectivity offerings for trade order routing and management to include more market data services. Perhaps in the end it is proving to be too big a leap into the value-add arena when their backbone revenues are up against communications giants like BT that have more scalable facilities. Reuters will get some well-timed cash out of the deal, but at the end of the day the ability of network services companies like MacGregor to provide a rich array of content services over mission-critical networks should not be overlooked as a market opportunity. It's a tough choice to make to walk away from connectivity altogether, but without the richness of a range of post-trade services such as MacGregor's to leverage the trading content components it's probably best to call it a day.

CD Sales Bounce Back: Downloads the Culprit or the Savior?

It's worth noting briefly that in the world of consumer media CD sales are perking up, up ten percent over last year, as CNET reports. RIAA reps tout the effectiveness of their piracy campaign as a key factor, but that seems to ring with about as much authority as a politician's spin on their record. The key stat is the 59 million single songs that have been sold via outlets such as Apple's iTunes and MusicMatch. Seems I remember buying singles as a kid when I wasn't sure I wanted a whole album - oftentimes upgrading anyway once I found out how much I liked the artist. Anti-piracy efforts may be having some effect on buyer behavior, but the more likely scenario is that content consumers are becoming comfortable with the ease and convenience of rights-protected downloads. Something for other types of premium content providers to think about.

Dropping the Veil: Leading News Sites Reinventing Rapidly in Face of Search Engines

Mark Glaser's USC Annenberg OJR article on news sites' efforts to open up to their readership picks up on the impact of news search engines that we've been following for a while, adding several interesting details. The Wall Street Journal Online will have a five-day trial starting 8 November (mark your calendar!) of its entire site for free, while New York Times technology journalist David Pogue will be equipped with his own weblog service. The WSJ effort will try to promote other rich content with deep linking into its own site from its pages, while, as noted earlier here, BBC News is going with links to outside sources via Moreover. How quickly things change - or more to the point, how quickly things change when publishing concerns wait too long to make changes. It's been clear for some time that the Journal and other behind-the-firewall publications have been missing out on a lot of the fun as readers learn how to find multiple sources on the news that matters to them most via news search engines, RSS feeds and personal aggregation services such as MyYahoo!. One has to assume that the WSJ is taking a look at the gap between its subscription revenues and actual site visits from subscribers and discovering that they had best be expanding their online readership base quickly. Whether this means that the Journal will be introducing new revenue models is yet to be seen, but it's likely that the emerging dominance of search engines and XML weblog feeds is pushing premium news content providers further away from traditional "lock 'em up" subscription sites. As new models evolve, the crying need for a rights management strategy for online news archives will become far more apparent. See Business Week's article on users sharing site registrations for collateral proof that online premium publishers have been living in a dream world without rights management.

On a related note: in searching for news headlines I've noted that The Detroit News is coming up a lot these days for stories from the Associated Press. It's ludicrous how many regional and local papers have knee-jerked back to a registration-required model for even wire service content. This seems to play into the hands of papers that are willing to open up to the search engines and help monetize this content that's widely available anyway. Thanks, Detroit.

Headlines for 21 October 2004

Reuters Weighs Sale of Radianz
For Missing Web Pages, a Department of Lost and Found
Online Search Universe Is Expanding
Information Society Brings Good and Bad News for Journalists
Open Season: News Sites Add Outside Links, Free Content
Even with Google, local PC search not perfect
Google leads the charge against file names
CD shipments surge after lean years
New Elsevier Mdl Patent Chemistry Database; 28 Years of Patent Chemistry Now Structure-Searchable
Comtex Introduces New Products: and Sinocast's China Financial Watch

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Google Advertising Forecast Leak Confirms Bertelsmann's Arvato Group as IT Partner

The San Francisco Chronicle made a big splash today with a story that includes forecasts of Google advertiser accounts. The forecasts were included as assumptions in an internal document that Google provided to its outsourced IT partner that is building and administering its AdSense billing and settlement system. The forecasts are the eye-catching news item here, although the forecasts may be less than scientfic for the purposes of writing specs for the billing system. Nonetheless, the story does confirm the identity of the Bertelsmann subsidiary that Google has contracted with. As referenced in an earlier entry in this Weblog, Google is partnering with BFS Finance, part of Bertelsmann's Arvato Group. BFS, because it only has offices in Germany, Austria, and Ireland, may seem an unlikely partner for Google. However, Arvato has offices in NY and Valencia, CA. For a project the size of the Google deal, it's probable that Arvato is utilizing resources from its IT division in Valencia as well as its BFS group.

Headlines for 20 October 2004

LookSmart names new CEO
New Microsoft software tool leverages power of online 'presence'
Why Web Publishers Fear a Little Sharing
PR bloggers enter the story
Knowledge Management Involves neither Knowledge nor Management
Verity enhances search platform with Web services interface
Wolters Kluwer Acquires SIAN
Hoover's Online Launches New UK Site, More Quality Company Records and Powerful, Time-Saving Tools
New Weblog Search Options at RocketNews
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Will Work with XyEnterprise to Automate Publishing Operations
Open Text Launches 'Communities' Software for Collaboration
ISDD Launches Knowledge Management Software For Medium Enterprises

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Lancet vs. PLoS Medicine Is No Open and Shut Case

It is no coincidence that Elsevier, the publisher of The Lancet, distributed a press release to announce that the number of registered users of The Lancet's website has surpassed 1 million on the same day that the Public Library of Science (PLoS) launched its new medical journal, PLoS Medicine. PLoS is headed by some of the leading proponents of the Open Access movement, and in its own words is "committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource". The primary target of the Open Access movement in its drive to change the current model for pricing and distributing scientific and medical information is none other than Elsevier, the world's largest publisher of STM journals.

As a consumer of health and healthcare information, I find the goals and determination of the Open Access community admirable. As a long-time publishing industry analyst, not a research scientist, I don't feel qualified to assess whether the proposed solution of an author-pays model for covering peer-review and publishing costs will in fact improve the state of scientific research or improve decisions made by healthcare consumers. However, I do feel qualified to comment on issues related to evolving publishing models and the economic incentives for authors and publishers to create appropriate content and value-added tools for various audiences.

In the current environment where consumers increasingly use the Web to find information about goods and services they buy, and where health-related information is sought by between 71 and 80% of online users (according to Harris Interactive), Open Access proponents are right to suggest that there is a demand from average consumers for trustworthy and authoritative healthcare and medical information. If federally-funded research reports become freely available on the Web by mandate, then commercial STM publishers will have to find a way to add value to differentiate their offerings from the "raw" content that is produced under grant. Enterprising publishing companies will embrace new technologies (some more quickly than others) and will find new means of adding value to core content to target the information needs of a variety of user populations with differentiated products in order to create commercially-viable products. This is the essence of the publishing business.

To end on an ironic note, it is quite likely that "open" access to basic scientific and technical research information will occur with or without external intervention as an expected consequence of technological advances in digital publishing and the economics of Web distribution. Commercial STM publishing companies will invest resources in improved methods for accessing relevant content and in developing value-added content for specific audiences. Basic content will become commoditized. The spotlight that the Open Access movement has directed on STM journal publishers will likely accelerate the process of change that is occurring in this segment. However, many changes would have occurred as a natural evolution that is affecting the entire publishing industry.

Headlines for 19 October 2004

Google's New PC Search Tool Poses Risks
Fast-Reading Free Papers Win Readers and Imitators
RFID, coming to a library near you
Copyright must be modernised, says Amsterdam symposium
J.D. Power exploring options, such as sale
Lack of Time Top Obstacle to Business Blogging, According to WordBiz Survey
Thomson Financial Launches Thomson ONE Configured For Equity Research
Stites & Harbison to Partner in Development of LexisNexis(R) Total Search
US Public Library of Science launches rival to 'The Lancet'
William (Bill) McGorry Appointed Executive Vice President and Publisher of RBI's Publishing Group
Two New Wireless Clients License AP/Stockgroup Financial Tools

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Monday, October 18, 2004

In Events Weblogs: ABM/SIIA Joint Event - The Rich Data Opportunity in Focus

American Business Media and the SIIA combined to provide a rich event on the use of rich data - using database-oriented technology to provide contextual value to content . "There's nothing like a recession to focus your mind," noted one presenter at the conference, as draconian cuts in ad budgets since 9/11 and a changing marketplace for professional content have forced some B2B publications to make huge changes to their operations over the past several years to become database publishers first and foremost, spinning our print publications still but now wary of the hard lessions that they have learned about ad cycles that do not always come back. As demonstrated by this representative selection of panels and speakers some of these lessons have been embraced aggressively by publishers learning how to service user needs more effectively than ever via online databases, while others are still pondering what rich data really means.

Click here to view the details in our Industry Events weblog

News Analysis - Deeply Personal: OneSource Maximizes Data Mining to Power Sales Insights

Data mining has been around for some time now and is a successful tool for major institutions seeking to find deeper answers to complicated questions that impact their operations. But as OneSource Information Services is demonstrating with its new mining-powered services, the answers that data mining can provide are increasingly likely to come from raw and untamed sources as much as from highly structured databases. This is providing new and highly compelling value points for content publishers and aggregators who are squeezed between commoditized content collections and bruising battles for owning a user's workflow. It requires mining a deep understanding of your users' human needs, but once understood it can turn most any pile of content into diamonds in the rough.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

In Premium Weblogs: Dow Jones 3Q Matches Expectations and More

In our Finance premium weblog Shore Analyst Jack McConville keeps you abreast of these and all the latest developments in financial content. This week's headlines include:

- Dow Jones 3Q Matches Expectations
- Reuters: When Is It a Forecast? When Is It Guidance? When Does It Get Confusing?

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Headlines for 18 October 2004

Google Envy Is Fomenting Search Wars
Newspaper folks join the blog conversation
Will Google say hello to IM?
CNET further penetrates China's market
Google Desktop Search: Spyware?
Offshore company to build database of personal records
Patients using the Net at risk: report
Intellisophic and DFI Partner to Create Counterterrorism Portal
Access Innovations Receives Patent for System to Automatically Add Library Subject Headings Announces New Version of its Flexible and Powerful Web-Based Collaboration Platform

Click here to view stories from today's industry headlines

Friday, October 15, 2004

Google Desktop: Blurring the Lines

I must say I am enormously impressed with my initial experience with the new Google Desktop tool which creates a miniature search engine on my local computer. I was stunned at how easy it is to locate information on my hard drive, including items I had lost, forgotten, and even some I thought I had erased.

To download this remarkable and free new tool, simply go to you’ll be just a few mouse clicks away from installing it on your hard drive. The installation is one of the smoothest and easiest I have ever experienced. This is due in large part to the compact size of the software. Once installed, the application fires itself up, and immediately starts indexing your hard drive, including all documents, emails, notes, presentations. In fact, Google Desktop will also archive and index all your Instant Message exchanges. My only disappointment so far was learning that it doesn’t index the contents of PDF files. "Our goal is to have it behave like a photographic memory for your computer," said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer Web products. That’s a laudable goal, but when exact copies of things start getting made, copyright questions immediately start to surface.

I say this because in addition to indexing your own information on your computer, Google Desktop also stores and indexes an exact copy of every Web page you visit. This could arguably put the user in violation of copyright law as well as violating the terms of use conditions of some sites. "Fair use," the common defense against claims of copyright infringement, is a bit murky and often in the eye of the beholder. The same holds true for users of paid access subscription sites (Web pages delivered with SSL encryption can also be indexed by Google Desktop by the way). One possible nightmare scenario: a user purchases one-day access to a content site, and uses the Google Desktop to capture huge amounts of information, all automatically indexed for easy future retrieval. Further compounding the issue is that Google Desktop is integrated into your Web browser, blurring the lines not only between personal and Web-based content, but where that content resides, and the ownership of that content as well. Yes, you can engage in serious content piracy without Google Desktop. My point is that it's just gotten significantly easier, and some people may end up doing it without even realizing it.

Google certainly didn’t create this problem: other desktop indexing tools already exist (and you can count on a lot more in the near future), but it is taking it to a new level by making the capture of Web-based data automatic, seamless and essentially invisible to the user. And it’s one more encroachment to which content producers will need to remain alert.

Life with Google Desktop: A Familiar Interface Takes on Personal Content

The new Google desktop search is somewhat mislabeled. This is not a search tool so much as a full-front assault on the desktop. Best of all from Google's perspective, it's one of the most painless and brainless installations - the embodiment of a "thin desktop". The metaphor for this assault is soothingly familiar: the same browser-based interface used for Google's online searches, with the same online search options integrated into the toolbar. Why not a browser bar widget? Because this is to become the center of your content world, not a sideshow - not to mention that it works swimmingly in non-Microsoft browsers. Hmmm, a theme here. Content is indexed whenever your machine is idle, but can be put on manual pause if need be. Once indexed, searches can scan Microsoft Outlook and the usual standard file types quickly and effectively and return standard-looking Google search results, by default date-sorted and optional relevance sorting. Search results also cluster email threads, which is quite handy. One of the keys to the power of this move is what happens when you click on an email. It does not launch automatically into the native email application - Outlook or whatever - but instead into an interface not unlike that of Google's Gmail service, with a link to view content in Outlook if desired or to send forwards or replies. In other words, from some perspectives there's little reason to visit Outlook as an archival tool once you have Google Desktop installed: it becomes just another file to be searched.

Go to browse the Web and the beauty of Google Desktop deepens. Local results appear at the top of the list of Web results. Seamless presentation of all content of interest to a user. Russell Perkins' comments about the inclusion of Web pages cached on one's PC in local results, which certainly does raise some issues about usage schemes based on limited online access: effective rights management for premium content is long overdue. But in the meantime the need for hundreds of bookmarks goes way down when one can retrieve favorite content with a single search.

Clearly Google has extended the strength of its brand literally overnight from something that helps people with content "out there" to a very personal relationship with content via the Google brand. It's not an all-singing, all-dancing product, but it doesn't have to be to make a huge difference in the content industry. It only has to persuade the millions of people who already trust Google for locating and using content to take the leap of trust to their own content. Leveraging that trust as quickly and effectively as possible with a clean, simple and easy to use tool is probably one of the most remarkable and well-timed uses of corporate goodwill assets that has been seen in a long time. It's at least the equivalent of Microsoft's distribution of the original Internet Explorer browser for free in the face of $70 Netscape downloads, and probably moreso. Microsoft has had its overstuffed applications on our desktops for years and never bothered to come up with a simple and effective search interface that treated everything on one's PC as a world of content instead of a world of software and data. That's understandable, given the now-abandoned plans for its "Longhorn" platform to treat everything on one's PC as part of a sophisticated database. To which Google says: database, schmatabase - just give me a good indexing algorithm and I'll move the world of content. This is the philosophy that has brought content forward from the world of I.T. strangulation to a level of usefulness and ready access that today's users expect.

Headlines for 15 October 2004

Google's desktop liberation tool
Commentary: Google's new search terms
Elsevier's Scirus Science Search Engine Challenges Google
RSS Feeds Hunger for More Ads
LexisNexis Launch New Online Research Tool For Legal Professionals reboots quietly
Dow Jones Posts Lower Net; Tax Gain Boosts Knight Ridder
Placements and Salaries 2003: Jobs! (Eventually)
Wiki wars: the battle for collaborative content
Knowledge: The Essence of Meta Data: Meta Data Should be Free, Perfect and Available Now

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Dialog Pricing: Flat Fee a la Carte

Steve Goldstein, CEO of Alacra, was a speaker for the pricing panel I moderated at the recent InfoCommerce 2004 conference. Alacra is a value-added aggregator of financial content. One of Steve's slides was titled "It's Tough Being a Middle Man". The slide went on to describe how database aggregators face the complexity of serving two sets of customers: the users of your content and the providers of your content. I think it's safe to say that pricing is the toughest area in which to satisfy both sets of customers.

Dialog, a company that helped pioneer the online search and database aggregator fields, faces difficult pricing issues that must be causing some top executives to be thinking about just how tough it truly is to be in the database aggregation business these days. Customers of the service want pricing that is easy to understand, predictable, and can be provided on an enterprise-wide basis with a centralized invoice. Last February, Dialog announced its Dialog Choice plan, which allows enterprises to pay a flat fee for access to the participating databases. Fixed-price subscription fees for annual access to the selected databases are based on the number of active users of the database. Recently, Dialog announced additional database providers had joined the Dialog Choice pricing plan.

The fixed-price deals partially satifsy the purchasers of the service. The pricing is predictable and the designated users have unlimited access. Dialog also allows the users to decide if they want to pay for a flat-fee subscription or rely on usage fees for particular databases--ergo the "choice" in Dialog Choice. The fixed-price deals on individual databases also provide assurance to the database providers that their content is priced to reflect its value and won't be lost in a large aggregated fixed-price subscription pool. With Dialog Choice, Dialog is in essence acting as a subscription agent for the contributing publishers: they offer centralized purchasing, a single invoice, and they represent the contributing publishers' pricing lists.

With its proprietary search and retrieval system, Dialog offers much more than subscription agency services to publishers. However, with increasing competition from Web-based search engines, a growing number of open-access sources on the Web, and other new entrants that specialize in specific elements of the new aggregation value chain, it is wise for Dialog to focus on improving the attributes of its service that provide distinct value to both sets of its customers. Offering superior service in centralized pricing and billing for enterprise deals is a good area for Dialog to distinguish itself.

Reuters: Google Unveils Desktop Search, Takes on Microsoft

Late-Breaking Story...

Sungard Announces Outsourced Data Cleansing Services for Financial Clients

As discussed in our paper on The New Aggregation, opportunities abound for companies to provide content services to major institutional clients that recognize their central role as today's leading publishers. Thus the Sungard announcement of a new outsourced data management service comes as no surprise to those who understand the shifting value equation for publishing services. Sungard has focused on providing integrated financial information management services that provide professionals throughout major securities firms comprehensive solutions to their needs for securities trading and trade processing. Adding data cleansing and quality management to the roster is a logical extension of their capabilities, but one that with a little bit of imagination could have been grasped by major content vendors trying to figure out how to position their own data quality capabilities effectively. Understanding that content quality assurance is a distinct attribute of publishing that can be packaged as a service to clients is but one example of how The New Aggregation is changing the value equation in the content industry more rapidly and radically than may be imagined.

Headlines for 14 October 2004

SEC Newspaper-Circulation Inquiry Sparks Anxiety for Advertisers
Dialog reopens debate on flat-fees
IBM Masala heats up search sector
Factiva has designs on your desktop
Average Legal Practitioner Could Reduce Expenditures for Legal Information by 50%
SunGard Announces New referencePoint Managed Data Service; B of A Securities Joins Advisory Panel
RR Donnelley Allies With IntraLinks to Offer Virtual Data Rooms to Thousands of Clients Worldwide
Answering the Challenge: Stratify Delivers Electronic Discovery Service That Makes Economic Sense
Feedster and Partner to Provide Debate Commentary
Hummingbird Delivers Complete Data Integration Offering with Hummingbird Integration Suite(TM)
MSN Music Service Creates Largest Global Resource for Legal Music Downloads
Variety Launches Variety Vision - Broadband Multimedia Content

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Headlines for 13 October 2004

Digital Meets Compatible
Google Print Opens Wide to Publishers
Piracy crackdown yields USD 2.2 million
Here’s the Content
Bookstore Pairs Romance Novels with Free Ebooks to Compete with Amazon
Verity Enhances Search Platform With Web Services Interface
Telerate Ends Sales Agency Agreement with FutureSource
FAST Introduces Full-Featured OEM Enterprise Search Solution
Financial Times Launches 'FT Wealth'; New Personal Finance Page for the Savvy Investor
New Plumtree Content Server Empowers Subject Matter Experts,More Effectively

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Telecon with Clare Hart of Factiva: Further Details on the LexisNexis Deal

I tweaked our earlier entry based on some details from tonight's analyst telecon with Clare Hart, CEO of Factiva, but some additional details and thoughts are worth mentioning from comments on the call follow. [14 October- CORRECTION FROM FACTIVA: It is FACTIVA clients in the Legal sector who have a year from next March to migrate from Factiva's platform to LexisNexis. Thomson West clients will no longer receive Factiva content from 1 March 2005 onwards. Our apoligies for the incorrect info, entry has been corrected below.]

- Terms of deal remain undisclosed in all aspects - including the length of the contract. Not entirely unusual, but if I'm a customer being told that you're going to have to cut over to LexisNexis, I'd sure like to know what I'm getting myself in for. Is there more to this deal than we're seeing thus far? TBD.

- Legal clients using Factiva will have 12 months from March 2005 to cut over to LexisNexis. As of 1 March 2005 Thomson West clients will no longer have access to Factiva.

- Reaction from clients is all over the map, a fair amount of enthusiasm no doubt in some quarters, but also a lot of questions as to what it all means. Hopefully we will be of assistance in this regard.

- This is a deal strictly for the for the Factiva publications archive, in essentially the same form that was provided to Thomson West. LexisNexis becomes the sole provider of this archive for the named Legal sectors, and apparently will have little if any technology transfer from Factiva - including any of its value-add content analysis tools. It's questionable whether LexisNexis would use its Total Search capability to provide a federated search of Factiva, my sense of it is that the content's coming in the back door of LexisNexis infrastructure for the sources that it already doesn't have - mostly content from Factiva's parents.

What does this all mean? Nothing much came out in the telecon in terms of strategic motivations, but my sense remains much the same as in my original posting: there was an opportunity to move Factiva content into key LexisNexis contracts, an opportunity to slow down Thomson's own strategic moves into improved news services, and thus an opportunity to gain some time to reposition Factiva for the long run or further restructuring of ownership. It is certainly a dramatic development for clients of Factiva in the Legal sector, but perhaps less of a dramatic development overall for Factiva as it may seem in the short term. The true drama is where Factiva goes with its marketing model overall. If it continues to cede the desktop high ground in other major verticals, it's hard to see where it's going to be able to advance its value proposition strongly without further bold deals in either technology-based or licensing-based veins. The LexisNexis deal is a content coup for Factiva, but now it needs to consider how it can better position itself for vContent supremacy.

Headlines for 12 October 2004

Factiva and LexisNexis Sign Exclusive Agreement to Provide Business News to Global Legal Market
Kazaa loses P2P crown
UK Media Cos Failing To Exploit Intellectual Ppty -Report
anacubis Desktop 3.0 Tackles Information Overload
Defining Content: Why Hewlett-Packard decided content management is crucial to its future
China Foreign Exchange Trade System Selects Reuters to Build Global Trading Platform
Thomson West Next-Generation Business Information and News Technologies Powered by Westlaw
Infotrieve Acquires LabVelocity to Pioneer Integration of STM Content and Product Procurement
Scientific Software Introduces Desktop Federated Search Engine
eMedicine Releases New User Interface for Institutional Customers

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Factiva Signs News Deal with LexisNexis for Legal, L/N Gets WSJ for First Time - Updated

"Good content is where you find it" is a recurring theme in The New Aggregation, a theme that Factiva seems to have signed up for in spades just now. The announcement of Factiva news content being made available via LexisNexis came across my emails early today and is sure to be reverberating through the world of content for some time to come. There are many aspects to this deal that need to be examined more carefully, so we'll be updating this item as the day moves along, but at first glance there seem to be three key factors to this deal. First, it's been no secret to anyone that Factiva market share has not been growing significantly this year, so some new inroads needed to be made quickly to boost revenues in the eyes of its parents. Factiva does decent work of penetrating the legal market with its ten-year relationship via Thomson West and its own platform, but LexisNexis will allow Factiva - and parents Dow Jones and Reuters - to gain improved access to a broad swath of the Legal marketplace with an extremely broad content base, thus allowing Factiva to concentrate its resources on more specific market opportunities more effectively. Secondly, the refreshing of Thomson Dialog's realtime news capabilities to fit in more effectively with other Thomson content stablemates - including WestLaw - provides both Factiva and LexisNexis with strong motivation to position themselves as quickly as possible with freshened Thomson alternatives. Thirdly, though Factiva is an autonomous unit, unswayed in theory by its parents' needs, Factiva must recognize that some new thinking is required about how to position their key assets - Dow Jones and Reuters content. There's more to gain with LexisNexis' recent lock-in deals with major governmental and legal bodies than to lose via Thomson technology that lost out to LexisNezis content in those deals.

The question to be answered yet is what desktops Factiva DOES want to own, and how? This is an unfolding story, more to come.

Monday, October 11, 2004

News Analysis - Star Stories: How Story Weblogs are Changing the Dynamics of Building News Properties

When hot news breaks, journalists can become stars overnight. But when does the news itself become a star? With an anonymous story weblog such as the emphasis in news weblogs has moved away from sophomoric tweaks to accumulating and reporting the facts as they unfold. It's an emerging trend in online journalism that has far-ranging implications for both news organizations and the institutions that rely on news sources to give them an advantage in the marketplace. Weblogs are the primary vehicle for this trend, but there are many other players who stand to benefit from it - and who must consider it carefully in developing their own content services.

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In Events Weblogs - InfoCommerce 2004: The New Database Publishers

Shore Senior Analyst Jean Bedord picks out three stars from the galaxy of product demos at the InfoCommerce conference.

In Premium Weblogs: Thomson Corp. to Sell Thomson Media Unit for $350 Million, Internal Memo to Reuters Staff from Tom Glocer and More

In our Finance premium weblog Shore Analyst Jack McConville keeps you abreast of these and all the latest developments in financial content. This week's headlines include:
- Thomson Corp. to Sell Thomson Media Unit for $350 Million
- Reuters Opens Bangalore Facility
- Internal Memo to Reuters Staff from Tom Glocer
- Thomson Financial Terminal Counts at 190,000 at End of August
- Thomson Financial Inks Seven-Year Deal with A.G. Edwards' Unit

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Headlines for 11 October 2004

Investcorp Agrees to Acquire Thomson Media Business Titles
Peer-to-Peer Comes Clean
Hollywood takes P2P battle to high court
E-Rate Funds Suspended, Up to $40M to Libraries Delayed
Managing digital information
Reuters targets China in consumer push
Innovation needed before techs can grow
Feds target alternative media Web site
Researching News on Westlaw: See Articles Once, But Not a Thousand Times
New TomeToaster Ebook Writer n Reader Is Free

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Friday, October 8, 2004

From Free to Fee: Google Print

Google, not being content merely indexing all the free content in the world, has just announced the introduction of Google Print, a new service designed to index the full text of books. Since books are rarely plopped onto the Web in full form free for the taking, Google is now actively striking deals with book publishers for access to the contents of their books. Most significant of all: Google won't give away the full contents of the books it indexes. Rather, it will show only a few pages of the book to show the user's search term in context. If the user wants more, Google will provide links to online retailers where users can buy the book. Yes, Google is now supporting and facilitating the sale of content! This is huge.

Consider the possibilities: subscription-based database and directory publishers can use this new service to merchandise their products and develop direct online sales. This approach, adapted properly to the special issues of database publishers, could prove significantly more powerful as a sales tool than buying search terms. Since Google wants to aggressively grow this new area, it's also likely to remain free for some time.

Initially, Google says it wants to provide online purchasing links to online book retailers such as Amazon. My guess is that this is a temporary gambit because Google doesn't want to look like it's trying to compete with Amazon. While I don't see Google getting into online bookselling, what seems inevitable to me is that Google will ultimately offer links direct to publishers, for a fee, so that participating publishers can sell directly. That's critical for serials publishers, who need to capture the customer's name and address to generate renewal sales. The only way to get this information is to cut the book retailer out of the picture, and Google's platform could make this happen. By the way, Google Print could be a boon to the e-book business, because if you've found a book through a Web search, my guess is you want to get your hands on it sooner rather than later, and e-books provide that through instant downloads.

I've always liked the integration of paid content with free content via search. I first saw it with the old Northern Light service many years ago, and it seems to be coming back into fashion again. You can argue about the best ways to co-mingle free and paid content, but everybody seems to agree that overall it's a good idea.

To my mind, the best part about co-mingling free and paid content is that it offers a constant if subtle reminder to search engine users that not all content is free. The most damaging aspect of the big search engines is that they have inadvertently created a perception that they offer most if not all of the information in the world for free. Those of us who sell content have all been hurt by this. That the biggest search engine of them all will soon start including and merchandising paid content is absolutely a good thing. To the extent we can use it to better sell our own products it's an even better thing.

Another View of Google Print: Content Rated for its Advertising Value

My colleague John Blossom has already described how Google Print, the new feature in Beta that was announced formally at the Frankfurt Book Fair, is stirring up the roles and relationships between book publishers, booksellers, and consumers. There's another angle on the Google Print feature that merits some comments: how will Google choose to balance its mission to "organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful" with its requirement to produce satisfactory returns to shareholders.

I've written before about this duality of Google; Google is a search technology company that receives nearly all of its revenue from advertising. Through AdWords and AdSense, Google sells access to the virtual real estate on its search results pages and on content sites that agree to participate in the AdSense network. One of its challenges is to provide sufficient inventory of pages in the AdSense network on which to place relevant ads.

Google Print appears to fulfill the added inventory need quite well. It also helps that trade books cover a wide range of subjects to which AdSense ads can be matched. However, it is important to recognize that Google Print is a merchadising tool not a search tool that makes the content accessible. To use their own wording on the Google Print FAQ for publishers, "Google Print is a book marketing program, as opposed to an online library, and as such your entire book will not be made available online unless you expressly permit it". Even if the entire book is made available, users only see a restricted number of pages, usually 1-3 (some with only content from the preface) for each search conducted.

So, in marking my balanced scorecard to measure how Google will prioritize its decisions to add content to its network based on expanding access to information or based on increasing advertising revenue, I'll chalk up one mark in the "advertising revenue" column.

James Bond Explores the Subcontinent: Reuters Increases Back-Office Operations in India

As Reuters announces the shifting of its core data gathering and analysis operations to its Bangalore, India offices it's worth thinking wistfully for a moment about facilities such as its Docklands data centre in the shadows of major financial institutions at London's Canary Wharf district. It gleams like an ersatz techno-styled lair for an archvillain from a James Bond movie, complete with louvers on outside windows that close when visitors are allowed to peek at the central operations control room. Neat stuff in a key location - and god-awfully expensive. Docklands is the visual image of needing to reduce costs, yet many of the core data being moved to Bangalore will be sourced from far less exotic locations around the world to Bangalore. Creating intellectual capital is shifting from second-tier talent in first-tier labor markets to first-tier talent in second-tier labor markets. Offshoring may help the bottom line equation of Reuters and other publishers in the short term, but the true payoff will be to the top line as the intellectual capabilities of offshore resources begin to create more unique content value. Reuters gets this in a big way, which is unfortunate for those data staffs who must pay the price, but in the long run necessary for many major database generators to create the best value proposition.

Headlines for 8 October 2004

Reuters to Make Bangalore Biggest Information Hub
Publishers Sue Treasury Department Over Foreign Editing Rules
Blog Search Engines
Google Rolls Out Test of Short Message Service
Beyond the Data Warehouse: EIA Framework Definition, Part 4 – Closing the Gaps
Belo To Online Advertisers: Do It Yourself
Cybook open standards eBook reader
EDGAR Online and Hitachi Join for Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Corporate Data in XBRL
FindWhat.Com and Verizon Information Services Expand Online Services Relationship
Wolters Kluwer Health Expands Partnership with Epic to Integrate Medical Knowledge at the Point of Care

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Thursday, October 7, 2004

Google's Book Moves Raise Eyebrows: Will they Raise Revenues?

Talk about a firestorm. The Wall Steet Journal and practically everyone with a PC comments today on Google's move to expand its support of online book searching in a release of yet another "Beta" (read: we won't scare companies that we're threatening too much in the beginning and learn how to work with them) called Google Print to be announced at the upcoming Franfurt Book Fair. Several major publishers will support this initiative, which will split ad revenues from search results pages featuring book excerpts with Google as bait to get their content in the fold. Purchasing of books will still proceed through vendors such as Amazon, so on one level the established order is not impacted too radically. But going to an ad model that benefits publishers who previously could not benefit from them is probably the most significant aspect of this initiative. Finding ways to monetize content contextually is the true genius of Google, which is harder for store-model outlets such as Amazon to replicate - hence their dabbling with their search engine initiative. And hence the continuing moves of Google to work with major aggregators and publishers such as Reed to come up with innovative ways to provide valuable contexts for subscription content.

Is this really bad for Amazon and other market-oriented models in the end? Probably not - the media's crunching on Amazon is largely misplaced. At its core the Google model is not a store-based fulfillment and community model: it's still very much along the lines of their presentations in which they tout the "Star Trek" ideal of a machine that can answer any simply stated question with authority. Being able to find book content in a context that makes it as valuable as possible only increases the likelihood that it will be purchased in some form. In the meantime, having more ways to monetize book content without having to turn physical book unit sales should encourage publishers to explore other ways to monetize the perceived value of book-based content. Perhaps this capability will be the impetus to start moving publishers into eBooks in more earnestness? The publishing industry's tendency to change at a near-glacial pace make this wishful thinking just now, but in the end this and other moves by Google to make premium content an integral part of its universal search strategy are the fulcrum that is changing many fundamental concepts about how to build premium content profits - and keep Google at the epicenter of The New Aggregation.

Headlines for 7 October 2004

$78 Billion in Revenues by 2007 for Mobile Content
Google Encroaches on Amazon As Rivalries Grow
Google Print Expands Access to Books with Digitization Offer to All Publishers
EU Wants Windows Cleaned of DRM
EU Parliament grills Commissioner-designate for Information Society
Search Wars: Google, Snap, Amazon Arm for Battle
Dialog & Elsag Solutions in Content Agreement for Sentinel System
Viyya Technologies Announces Marketing and Pricing Strategy for VIYYA 'Virtual Internet Assistant'
LexisNexis(R) CourtLink(R) Helps Law Firm Marketers With Addition of Cook County, New York State Profiles
Wolters Kluwer Partners with Pharmaceutical Press to Offer Martindale Drug Reference Text on Books@Ovid

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Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Headlines for 6 October 2004

Blogger founder leaves Google
Sony Nixes Copy-Protected CDs in Japan
Gates Chats Up DRM, Web Services
New Snap site thinks outside the search box
'Google With Judgment'
Kwickee has launched the UK’s first and only mobile information exchange
ProQuest Digital Dissertations Changes Name and Platform
Getting more from intellectual property
Ziff Davis Media Acquires Connexus Media
Kanoodle Launches BrightAds Automated Content-Targeted Sponsored Links Solution

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Tuesday, October 5, 2004

BBC News Online Embraces Links to Outside News Sources

Rattled and scarred from a series of crediblity scandals the BBC has decided to take a new tack in trying to position its online news portal as an objective source of news and information worldwide. As noted in Revolution Magazine, the Beeb's Newstracker technology will use search technology similar in concept to that used by major news gathering services at search engine portalts to correlate BBC coverage with other news sources and provide correlary links to related coverage from their own stories. Sometimes it takes a crisis to take a new approach that can challenge long-standing assumptions about the "right" way to approach a problem; this may be just such an opportunity for the BBC. With search engine-based services such as Google, Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and HighBeam offering a wide and objective view of global publications, it's necessary for news organizations to rethink how they are positioning their services as news gatherers. Having world-class editorial staff is no longer sufficient for a news organization to distinguish themselves in the eyes of content consumers who have the power to find world-class news from any number of sources with great convenience in easy-to-use "virtual papers" such as search engines and desktop aggregation tools provide. Strong editorial capabilities will remain important, but the news business as a whole needs to acknowledge the extent to which the playing field has been leveled and provide their clients and advertisers with the most powerful editorial contexts possible - regardless of where the sources may come from. Kudos to the BBC for taking bold steps in a time of challenge.

Headlines for 5 October 2004

Yahoo Lets Users Fine-Tune Web Searches
Adobe tackles document ID
Bloggers invited to test MSN search this week
New Version of Adobe Reader for Pocket PC Released
Gawker Media: We're Where the Boys Are
Dialog Launches Dialog Live News
New Amazon Web Services Offerings Give Developers Wider Access to Amazon Product Data and Alexa
Investment Management Consultants Association Launches w/Independent Content
MarketWatch, Inc. Announces CBS MarketWatch Front Page Redesign
JetBrains Releases Omea Reader
AP Digital to Distribute PrimeZone Newswire Content to News and Commercial Online Services
New Release of Interwoven Web Content Management Solution Utilizes Verity Search Technology

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Monday, October 4, 2004

In Premium Weblogs: Reuters Heats Up FX Competition; Lands Bloomberg's Hausman to Add Pressure, Fortis Bank Chooses Telerate Over Reuters and More

In our Finance premium weblog Shore Analyst Jack McConville keeps you abreast of these and all the latest developments in financial content. This week's headlines include:
- Reuters Heats Up FX Competition; Lands Bloomberg's Hausman to Add Pressure
- Fortis Bank Chooses Telerate Over Reuters
- Interactive Data Completes Share Repurchase; Announces Another
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News Analysis - Showing the Way: InfoCommerce 2004 Points Database and Directory Publishers to the Future

This year's InfoCommerce 2004 conference database and directory publishers demonstrated a wide and compelling array of success stories in applying both human and technology factors to their evolving success stories. The emphasis was on adding more value to content in more human contexts, in some instance meaning better interfaces and workflow design, in other instances better data design and management, but in all instances with an emphasis on maintaining relationships with audiences who are increasingly both sophisticated consumers and publishers who can contribute to the value of online content services. While getting human contexts right is still a challenge to many, the models of excellence offered at this conference point out some clear paths to future successes.

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Headlines for 4 October 2004

U.S. Prepares to Crack Down On Intellectual-Property Piracy
Tech powers seek antipiracy accord
Coral copyright plan faces Apple, MS barriers
Librarians Lobby for Changes in Global Copyright
Financial Times Contests Claim For USD418 Million
BBC online news to host links to other news providers
RSS Web Content Is Delivering: NewsGator
Blogs enter mainstream, eye revenue streams
SunGard to Spin Off Data Unit
EU Parliament grills Commissioner-designate for Information Society

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Data Depth's iCopyright Plugin Aims to Make Licensing Awareness and Compliance Easy

Data Depth Corporation has announced announced a new beta plugin for Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers recently to facilitate the content licensing and redistribution for content users trolling the Web sites of some 600 major publishers, so a test drive seemed to be in order. A simple download and registration process yields a small icon in the toolbar zone that turns green within a few seconds on a high-speed connection when the user's company has a site license for a given publication, yellow when pay-per-use licensing arrangements are in place and red when there are no specific arrangements in place. Clicking on the icon allows one to specify the redistribution uses intended and submit them with single click while the original article remains on view. A "teaser" sample of proposed options that can be integrated into this licensing toolbar include printing, saving portions of content for fair use and emailing. The kit does not have technology hooks to lock out content use a la rights management software, but within its limits it provides a simple and easy way to understand reuse rights at a glance that are specific to an individual or institution. Looking at the "under the bonnet" code embedded in pages that interact with this facility shows that it is pretty simple to implement with minimal overhead. So much of rights management can be obscure and annoying to users, so starting with a visual metaphor that's easy for people to grasp and use for copyright compliance is an important step in the right direction. The technology for taking this concept further to manage a full range of licensing and storage issues is available, so perhaps the iCopyright toolbar can extend its footing into a broader array of content purchasing and management issues over time. A "one-stop shopping" approach to rights management is sorely needed in the industry, and tools such as the iCopyright toolbar point the way towards better solutions.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Headlines for 1 October 2004

Next big thing: The Web as your servant
EU funds innovative European ambient intelligence infrastructure
The Open Knowledge Network India Pilot Project
Vivisimo's Clusty Reducing Information Overkill
Blogging for Business
Microsoft launches appeal against EU anti-trust ruling
Telerate and Andrew Kalotay Launch Swap Service
ThinPrint and Brother showcase mobile office solution Content Beamer
Northern Light Releases New Version of its Business Research Engine
W3C Issues XML Inclusions (XInclude) Version 1.0 as a Proposed Recommendation

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