Thursday, January 20, 2005

Factiva Flushes Web Fountain: The End of a Relationship, but Not of a Need

Well, two months ago you heard on this weblog about the impending death of the alliance between Factiva and IBM to promote its Web Fountain product. This week IT Week notes that you may now send flowers officially to the dearly departed. According to the article poor performance was the main sticking point, with content refreshing oftentimes occurring not even on a daily basis. That could get a little sticky with people becoming more intent on monitoring reputation on an increasingly real-time basis. As we noted in our earlier weblog reputation management has become an increasingly competitive field, leaving those late to the game having a difficult time leveraging the untamed content that puts the advantage in aggressive technologists' hands. It also reinforces some original thinking that I had about the Web Fountain/Factiva alliance two years ago: content can help sell iron, but it can't make up for weak software or iron. Doubtless Factiva is not done with this vein of thinking, as the need for effective reputation management is growing and relies increasingly on content sources that have breaking insights well before traditional news outlets, but it will take more than a secondhand I.T. approach to the problem at hand to gain pre-eminence in taming unstructured content for corporate use. See today's item on ChoicePoint for some best practices in this realm of content. A thanks and a tip of the anonymous hat to our source on the earlier weblog entry: I never doubted you.
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