Monday, February 7, 2005

Choose Your Sectors: Dialog Focuses on STM, Business News

Information Today reports on the splitting of Thomson's Dialog business unit into two separate lines of business. Dialog and DataStar will shift to Thomson Scientific & HealthCare, the remaining units (NewsRoom, NewsEdge, Profound, LiveNews, and Intelliscope) will stay as part of Thomson Legal & Regulatory. This reflects both the separate platforms used to deliver these services as well as the distinct audiences to which they catered, and is aimed to take advantage of Factiva's unexpected exit from the legal scene as well as to focus on other business news opportunities. More importantly, though, it begins to bring the Dialog assets more in line with the overall Thomson mission of defining content solutions for specific users in specific market segments. All-singing, all-dancing databases are a thing of the past from a product perspective: content is what happens to information and experiences in the venues that audiences value, not what sites in a database. Giving the news-oriented assets of Dialog an audience that appreciates news and research-oriented assets a similarly well-aligned audience is an important step in reinvigorating these products' value in the eyes of their audiences. Thomson's ability to mix and match databases to service specific audiences' needs in an integrated fashion is becoming their hallmark, a far cry from the balkanized holding company of only a few years ago.
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