Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Heard on the Street: IBM Web Fountain/Factiva Alliance Dead?

This just came in on a breeze, and it sounds to be fairly authentic. We'll probably read about it in the papers and magazines that read our blog. If true, and I have no reason to doubt the source, it would seem to match up with some rumblings that I heard a while back. You can look at this two ways, I suppose. From one perspective you could say that this echoes the early experience of AltaVista's hardware driven bigger-is-better model that fell upon the more specific requirements of a market that responded to more platform-independent approaches. The reputation management space is getting pretty crowded these days, after all, and it's not panning out to be the big differentiator that either IBM or Factiva had hoped (see our predictions along these lines from over a year ago when everyone was buzzing hot over this alliance - prophetic? You be the judge). The other factor to consider, though, is that players such as IBM and Factiva are recognizing that concentrating on positioning premium content effectively in as many contexts as possible is a better revenue driver overall than general I.T. capabilities for general content. Someone is going to be the Wal-Mart of business content moving forward, and this will tend to put technology companies and aggregators in more direct competition than ever before.
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