Tuesday, January 31, 2006

SIIA Information Industry Summit - Users Taking Control

We'll be at the SIIA Information Industry Summit for the next two days, blogging along as time and batteries allow and providing you with insights into the thinking of the many leading figures in the content industry. Follow along as we add items to our Events Weblog. Stay tuned!

Headlines for 31 January 2006

Trends
RIM rivals cash in as BlackBerry hearing looms
Reuters via CNET
Time Inc. to Cut 100 More Jobs as It Focuses on Web Business
The New York Times*
Publishers Say Fact-Checking Is Too Costly
WSJ Online*
Papers take a leap forward, opening up to new ideas
USA Today
Google vs. Government Row Raises Worrisome Legal Issues
eCommerce Times
Media tries to regain its mojo
CNN Money
Reed Business puts New Products Division up for sale
BtoB Online

Best Practices
Polk Study Finds Traditional Media Nearly Obsolete Among First-Time Vehicle Buyers
PR Newswire
Policymakers grapple with online content
SwissInfo
DRM: Media companies' next flop?
Knowledge @ Wharton

Cool Tools
Sony's New Reader Is For More Than eBooks
GearLog

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Sling Gets $46.6M in Funding
Red Herring

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Total Search v.4.0 Leverages Additional Sources of a Law Firm's Intellectual Capital
Nieuwsbank
BizFilings’ LLC Forms Makes Compliance Viable for Small Businesses
PR Web

New Research from Shore - Outlook 2006: Investing in Users

2006 is the year in which we'll see content companies making far greater investment in publishing infrastructure and in new marketing strategies to tailor their services to increasingly sophisticated users untethered from many traditional content sources, distribution channels and platforms. Shore sees four key areas where investing in users will be most active: packaging, platform, premium and personalization.. Our annual outlook details the major trends that will be impacting the content industry as seen by our award-winning team of industry analysts.

Click here for details and a complimentary download

Monday, January 30, 2006

News Analysis -Work in Progress: Safari Exposes Books in Development for Immediate Content Needs

In an age of instantly available global content services the gestation period required to bring most any book to the marketplace seems to be far out of synch with the expectations of most of today's audiences. How do publishers maintain the integrity of book publishing while adapting to the expectations of an electronic era? Safari Books Online's new Rough Draft product line offers audiences a chance to peek at new books online as they're being developed and to provide useful feedback in the process - all for a premium price. In the process of doing so these publishers and audiences are reshaping the very nature of what a book is and can be as a form of vital content.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 30 January 2006

Trends
Digital 2.0: Powering a Creative Economy
World Economic Forum
Google, US seek showdown over search data
AFP via Yahoo! News
A Newspaper That Focuses on Business Makes Room for More Personal Content
The New York Times*
Multimedia Launch of 'Bubble' Gets Mixed Response
WSJ Online*
Road maps for the digital revolution
International Herald Tribune
TimesSelect Passes 390,000 Subs But Fewer Than Half Paying Extra For Privilege
paidContent.org
The Big Guns' Next Target: eBay
Business 2.0 via CNN Money
Dow Jones relaunches Barron’s Online as stand-alone subscription product
BtoB Online

Best Practices
Get in the Game with Online Video Ads
iMedia Connection
What are the lessons from Dan Gillmor's Bayosphere?
USC Annenberg OJR
There's a Popular New Code for Travel Deals: RSS
The New York Times*

Cool Tools
Internet protocol coming to the tube
Reuters

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Quova Media Illuminates Digital Rights Compliance with Limelight Networks
PR Newswire
Recommind Announces Partnership With Interwoven
MarketWire
About.com and NBCOlympics.com Team up to Blog 2006 Olympic Winter Games
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
HighBeam(TM) Research Expands Premium Content, Makes 1.5 Million Articles Free
BusinessWire
ProQuest Decides That Evidence Matters
Information Today
ContextWeb Adds Leading Financial Sites to Its Growing Publisher Network
BusinessWire
Wolters Kluwer Unveils Compliance University On-Line Learning
MarketWire

Newsvine Tunes in Content Communities to Share and Create News

User-generated media is still a work in progress, trying to find a model that allows it to amplify the best of mainstream media sources while adding its own unique value with original works. As noted in our earlier News Analysis on Gather mixing the two together in a community-driven publishing environment with monetary rewards for publishers is one important key to develop both ratings and loyalty, but we suggested that it would be nice to make the model more open and to onpass revenues directly to publishers. A new "private" beta product called Newsvine seems to be striking the right balance between core media, content, community commentary and original publishing. Newsvine takes news wire content from AP and wraps comments, chats, and rankings around them, but also provides the ability for users to "seed" other stories from Web links and to build the same type of community content around them, as well as around content posted from community members.

Newsvine content can be fed via RSS or a Javascript tool that allows headlines from an RSS feed to be embedded in a Web page. Users whose content attracts ad clicks will get to keep the ad revenue from those pages, so there's a high motivation both to contribute content and to make a community aware of it. While the front-and-center AP content may offer a little less of a homespun community feel compared to a service like Gather it offers both strength and neutrality that is likely to accelerate contributions from a wider array of individuals who are looking for a tool that offers more real content and community than a Digg and more of an open model than a Gather. Newsvine is in its very early days but it seems to strike the most powerful balance between content from individuals and mainstream sources to date - with reasons for people to grow with the service that jingle in the pocket.

HighBeam Expands both Free and Premium Content Offerings to Grow Base of Quality Content

If you've been stopping by HighBeam Research as of late you no doubt have noticed that the search results from the HighBeam Library highlight both premium and free sources available from the online research service. Today this live "Beta" has been dubbed officially successful, as HighBeam announces the availability of both formerly premium sources such as BusinessWire, Financial Management and Science News for free via the HighBeam Library as well as high-quality sources from the open Web such as American History, CIO, Financial Advisor, Inc. and Wine Enthusiast. HighBeam will also gain free content shortly from the Oxford University Press, including The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English and The Oxford Pocket Thesaurus of Current English, while Oxford will also contribute additional premium content to HighBeam's reference collection. The HighBeam Library will also see new premium contributions from the archives of the Washington Post and Knight Ridder newspapers.

Alexa stats show overall visits to HighBeam to be stabilizing somewhat over the past several weeks so the combination of premium and free content in a consolidated index is certainly finding some appeal among online researchers. This mix of monetization models is most likely to service the needs of online searchers who care far less about how content is gathered and licensed and far more about whether it actually does them any good. Putting free and paid sources of equivalent quality side-by-side is the best way to service these discriminating users who can choose their level of financial engagement accordingly. HighBeam is offering incremental steps towards unified searching of free and premium content, but they are steps headed in the right direction to be sure.

ALA Midwinter Meeting: Shifting to Meet The Information Challenge

Shore Senior Analyst Deb Wiley reports on the "smaller" convocation of 11,000 information professionals in San Antonio, Texas that revealed how search and monitoring services are allowing infopros to define valuable content services that provide measurable return on investment.

Read Deb's full report on our Events Weblog

Friday, January 27, 2006

Linux Guru Torvalds Opts Out of Anti-DRM Open Source License Proposal

CNET News offers the best coverage in a confusing field of reports on weblog comments by Linus Torvalds, progenitor of the open source Linux operating system that powers many of the Web's servers. Torvalds states in his posting that he does not plan to convert his Linux code to support the proposed new version of the Free Software foundation's GNU General Public License, the legal instrument that has been the foundation of the open source programming movement for the past fifteen years. Section 3 of the proposed license, entitled "Digital Restrictions Management" (sic), states among other things that the new GPL license will not support "modes of distribution that deny users that run covered works the full exercise of the legal rights granted by this License." This means that works using DRM cannot be used as a distribution mechanism for software protected under this proposed license, but also that it would not be possible to create an open-source DRM system using the GPL Version 3 license.

While Torvalds does not rant directly against the anti-DRM stance in his post, he is clearly opposed to the measure. To some degree he is no doubt thinking about the commercial viability of the widely used Linux software in an era in which publishers are trying to adopt viable strategies for protecting copyrighted materials. But I think that the larger issue is whether this is a legal provision that serves the public or whether it is a provision being used to frame an ill-formed political debate that has no real place in a legal document for open source software or other types of electronic content. The provisions of the proposed license state that "no permission is given to distribute covered works that illegally invade users' privacy" and yet at the same time it "intrinsically disfavors technical attempts to restrict users' freedom to copy, modify, and share copyrighted works."

This is the core of the problem: if users are supposed to have their rights to personal privacy protected, shouldn't those rights include the ability to protect their intellectual property via technology as they see fit? In a world of user-generated media, "we" are "they"; it's individuals as much as media companies who need DRM to manage content that finds its greatest value in the hands of the audiences who use it and create it. "The commons" is an important feature in any successful community, but its value comes from people being able to have both common rights and personal rights. Pushing away DRM developers from a GPL framework will make it far less likely that a DRM framework that works for individuals as much as for institutions will see the light of day. That's bad for the commons as much as for private goals.

Increasingly the commons will be found not in central repositories but in digital works distributed to and by individuals that have both public and private elements. Every author and user should have the right to define their comfort levels for what they consider public and private use of those digital works as they please within broader legal boundaries. Open source licensing has been a boon for online publishing; hopefully its proponents can find the right mix of recognizing the rights of individuals as both publishers and users of content that will carry it forward into the emerging era of user-distributed digital works.

Headlines for 27 January 2006

Trends
Torvalds: No GPL 3 for Linux, Cites DRM Provisions
CNET News
Google admits online video store stumble
Seattle PI.com
Does Yahoo dig Digg?
Business 2.0 via CNN Money
Venture Capital Blogs? They're About Anything But
The New York Times*
Davos Summit: Where old media still matter
Fortune via CNN Money
Bono, blogging, and second-guessing at Davos
MarketWatch*
Google's Chinese firewall blocks more than Yahoo!
Silicon.com

Best Practices
Microsoft Launches MSN Research Labs
PC World
Time to get tough: Managing anonymous reader comments
USC Annenberg OJR

Cool Tools
Computational couture
CNET News

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

VNU Business Media Europe buys the INQUIRER
The Inquirer
Experian acquires database services company
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
Factiva's 2005 Momentum Positions Company for Continued Success in 2006
PR Newswire

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Factiva Grows the Top Line While Wrestling With the Bottom Line

Well, it's one of those days when you have to go through the details of earnings reports carefully to get a clear story. The good news at Factiva is that their top line grew by 12 percent in 2005 to USD 281 million, a report in line with InfoUSA''s 11 percent increase. However operating income at Factiva was down 36 percent, including a $4.3 million "restructuring charge" that was "primarily reflecting employee severance and termination of an operating lease" according to parent Dow Jones' SEC filings. This charge presumably accounts for a negative operating income at Factiva for 4Q05, which otherwise would have been about at the same levels as 4Q04 and down only 12 percent for the year. InfoUSA provides an important benchmark for performance, though: it managed a 77 percent boost in net operating income for 2005 and a 70 percent rise for 4Q05. InfoUSA has been long known for lean-and-mean operations and with the addition of OneSource Information Services last year it has been applying those talents to a premium business information service that is benefiting from its aggressive moves into sales force automation integration.

As the press release from Factiva today noted it has a lot of things to consider in its plus column for 2005: its sales integration services, reputation management and taxonomy services have advanced its ability to bring business news and information into more useful contexts in its core accounts. But as parents Dow Jones and Reuters wrestle with their own struggles to prop up their bottom lines Factiva is going to have to move quickly from being a coddled experiment to a strong contributor to both top and bottom lines. With its restructuring and a strong '06 product announcements thus far there's reason to think that it's moving in that direction, but it's going to have to be a sprint rather than a trot as competition from across the spectrum zeroes in on Factiva's core value proposition.

Headlines for 26 January 2006

Trends
New Big Daddy Google Coming
Smarthouse
In Case About Google's Secrets, Yours Are Safe
The New York Times*
Congress catching on to the value of blogs
CNET News
Google Praised, Chided for Sanitized Site
AP via ABC News
Sisterwoman.com: Social Media Company For, Well, Woman
paidContent.org

Best Practices
Digital Rights Management (DRM): Media Companies' Next Flop?
Knowledge @Wharton
Survey: Internet Should Remain Open to All
Consumer Affairs

Cool Tools
Document Sciences Announces Worldwide Availability of xPresso
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

FAST InStream to be Integrated into SAXOTECH’s Web Publishing Platform
Internet Ad Sales

Products, Markets & People
InfoUSA posts higher earnings, revenue
BtoB Online

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Headlines for 25 January 2006

Trends
Google News finally emerges from beta
VNUNet
Google agrees to censor results in China
AP via Boston.com
Google beats business
TMCNet
Wither Goes The Wire Services
Web Pro News
Google offers fee-based online ad analytics
CNET News
B-to-b ad pages, revenue rise
BtoB Online
NATPE 2006: Defining The New, New TV
paidContent.org
TimesSelect Draws About 156,000 Web-Only Subs in First 4 Months
Editor & Publisher
As Gadgets Get It Together, Media Makers Fall Behind
The New York Times*
New York Times Net Falls 41%, But Ad Demand Shows Strength
WSJ Online*
Brewster Kahle's Open Library Project pushes imaging envelope -- an alternative to Google
Media Giraffe Project
Government report concludes that some Internet taxes may be allowed
Ars Technica

Best Practices
Blogs in the MSM: Rating the roundups
USC Annenberg OJR
Google News fatally flawed
Squash
Sarbanes-Oxley vs. the free press
Media Law

Cool Tools
Online Team Collaboration Services: Near-Time Is On
Robin Good
Audiobook Device on New Player
Library Journal

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Cadmus Communications Wins Contract for American Chemical Society Journal Composition
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Relegence Adds Dow Jones Newswires Local Language Real-Time News
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Thomson Scientific To Index Proquest's Open Access Content
Yahoo News Australia
Healthline Secures $14 Million in Funding From Leading Strategic Investors
MarketWire
Consumer Health Complete Now Available from EBSCO Publishing
Managing Information
Teragram Categorization and Linguistic Technology Selected for Reed Business Information Online
BusinessWire
ICIS Acquires Decyfer, Leading Publisher of Price Assessments and Market Analysis
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
Ask Jeeves Launches Ask Deutschland
PR Newswire

News Analysis - Raw Footage: Google Video Surfaces a World of Rich Media from Pros and Users

While there's quite a bit of excitement about Google's new video search and ecommerce service it's also taken considerable flak being generated by those claiming to be in the know about what video on the Web should be. Many of these suggestions call for slickness and more features, but the basics of what make content work on the Web don't necessarily call for the most flashy and gimmicky solutions. It's more important to think about where video content is put to use by users and portals that put it to the most use by its audiences. That may mean more than premium video benefiting from online exposure but that's the playing field that premium providers must adjust to sooner rather than later.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Monday, January 23, 2006

Research in Motion's Blackberry Appeal Denied: Rethinking Channel Strategies

For those of you who read our earlier news analysis on the potential impact of a shutdown of Research in Motion's Blackberry mobile devices, today's news (CNN Money) that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on a patent infringement suit brought against RIM should leave you well prepared to think and react to this event. As popular as any given gizmo may be at one point in time, many, if not most, will fade away rapidly in the rapidly evolving world of consumer technologies. Remember TiVos? Maybe not for long. iPods? Gosh, those were neat back when, weren't they? The details of where to take your content channel strategies in this shifting world of mobile and wireless platforms is detailed in our earlier news analysis, but to put it simply, it's time for publishers to think more seriously about platform-independent content packaging and licensing. For all of those out there trying to redirect content licensing deals in the wake of this court decision, best of luck.

Headlines for 23 January 2006

Trends
Japan's Livedoor founder Takafumi Horie arrested - reports
AFX via Forbes
Things change fast online--even for GOOG
Fortune via CNN Money
S&P report shows less optimistic outlook for U.S. media and entertainment industry
BtoB Online
'Wash Post' Ombud Vows to Stay on Job Despite Uproar
Editor & Publisher
Like This? You'll Hate That. (Not All Web Recommendations Are Welcome.)
The New York Times*
Worldly Offshoring Lessons for Wolters Kluwer
BusinessWeek via Sulekha
Podcast Interview with Clare Hart, Factiva CEO
Resource Shelf

Best Practices
Anytime, Anywhere Has Its Limitations
paidContent.org
Pop-Up Ads Worth the Price For Free Content
BusinessWire

Cool Tools
CloserLook digs for buried Web content
Columbus Business First
TagWorld Adds Video To Content Warehouse
PC Magazine

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

IBM and ebrary to Distribute Technical eBooks to Libraries Worldwide
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
Yahoo! Research Expands Globally with Centers in Spain and Chile
BusinessWire via FinanzenNet
IBM to Enhance Open Source Knowledge Discovery
eBizQ
Elsevier Announces iCONSULT to be Offered as Part of Epic Electronic Health Record
CNW Group

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Headlines for 19 January 2006

Trends
Out with old media; in with... what?
Fortune
Amazon.com Broadens Content With Live, Weekly Internet Show
WSJ Online*
Google Video: Trash Mixed With Treasure
The New York Times*
Old mogul, new media
The Economist
Digital Music Sales Tripled in 2005 to $1.1 Billion
Bloomberg News
Clear Channel launches first multicast stations
Reuters via Boston.com
Wikipedia Germany offline due to court order
P2PNet
FAST ProPublish Provides Premium Content Publishers with Powerful Search Solution
Internet Ad Sales
The State of Grassroots Journalism
Japan Media Review

Best Practices
Newsmaker: Defender of the GPL
CNET
Content Management System Selection: Key Factors Affecting Choice
Robin Good

Cool Tools
Kiptronic creates ad marketplace for podcasting
BtoB Online

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Reed Business Information Acquires Spec Check
PR Newswire
ebrary Announces Strategic Partnership with Kirtas Technologies for One-Stop Digitizing Solution
BusinessWire via TMCNet
Fast Search & Transfer wins contract with Ayna Corp for its ESP search engine
AFX via Forbes

Products, Markets & People
Factiva Introduces Factiva SalesWorks for Salesforce.com’s AppExchange
Enterprise Systems
LexisNexis Offers New Congressional Archives Research Interface and Single-Search Capabilities
BusinessWire via Chron.com

The Google dMarc Deal: How Many People Can Miss the Point?

As a former radio advertising salesperson it's interesting to read the flap about the Google-dMarc deal as they acquire a major ad infrastructure provider for the radio industry. However, I think that many of the pundits may have misinterpreted what Google intends to get out of the dMarc deal. As Google does with many of its better deals, they went for infrastructure, knowing what they can grow around it. Yes, the print ad experiment was kind of a flop, and yes, there's no way that a ClearChannel is going to kiss Google's toes for trying to help them manage their monopoly more effectively. But that's not the point. Google is buying the highways of commerce for radio, knowing that they lead not only to existing channels but new ones as well. Remember that Google is rolling out wireless networks as well nationwide. Wireless IS radio - just on other frequencies. Google will probably use dMarc to tinker with radio AdSense sales on a subsidized basis to keep the monopolies happy in the short run and to then have a perfect competitive network on broadband frequencies already in place. What happens on existing radio frequencies may be moot rather quickly.

The key to all of this is that Google thinks horizontally about content, as in our New Aggregation model, while most media companies think vertically. Google sees that it's better to own and manage discrete capabilities that can service a user base across all media channels than to try to own all of the channels. In today's media world, where users create a new weblog every second, you can't own it all anyway. So the whole inventory issue for ads is becoming meaningless. There's infinite inventory, with just a lack of facilities that know how to monetize it effectively. Media companies are like little city-states huddled against the edge of vast, untamed continents. Most either don't get the value of what's outside their gates or they want to turn it into a city. Google says forget that, let's just build the roads and own the traffic that takes them where they want to go. The radio model is being reborn via the Web into a much more healthy and robust advertising environment that will meet the needs of both advertisers and their audiences far more effectively.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Real Enterprise Battle: EMC Allies with Google for Desktop Search

As I mentioned in my earlier post on Factiva Search 2.0 it's a crowded field out there for technology players trying to corral enterprise content into the same pen as external content sources. Add in personal content on the desktops of enterprise users and the field gets more crowded yet. EMC is an enterprise systems vendor and integrator that is increasingly capable of taking on IBM and Microsoft with a sophisticated range of infrastructure, document management, content management and digital asset management capabilities. From their Documentum division comes news that EMC is extending its relationship with Google to include its Google Desktop capabilities with their Enterprise Content Integration Suite, a federated search capability that allows EMC users to query content residing in any enterprise repository as well as the Web and, now, individual desktops via Google.

Such integrated capabilities are the true competition for providers such as Factiva, who face not only the need to create meaningful business content integration capabilities using external sources but as well to address the need to integrate internal sources effectively. With licensed content assets still a key portion of the revenue and profit structure of such aggregators they need to display the wares of oftentimes reluctant and uninventive publishers in the best light behind enterprise firewalls when direct access to news via the Web is increasingly prevalent. As capabilities such as Google Desktop integrated with the Google Search Appliance come along to make searching internal, external and personal sources easier from a trusted interface it challenges content aggregators to out-technology more agnostic solutions that can embrace the heavyweight I.T. requirements of many major institutions effectively. Alliances with such providers are key to the long-term success of many integrators, but as Google Desktop and other solutions that reach out to the Web directly make it easier to get access to premium content without the aggregators the battle will be only tougher.

Headlines for 18 January 2006

Trends
Nielsen Buys Majority Stake In BuzzMetrics
Media Post
Icahn Wants to Merge AOL With Small Internet Portal
WSJ Online*
EMC Adds Google Desktop To EMC Documentum
EFY Times
Factiva Search 2.0 - An Images Mirror
IT Analysis
Google-dMarc: React To Radio Ad Buy Is All Over The Dial
paidContent.org
News Online: Static Text-Only Is Over - Video And Audio Are Next
Robin Good
Bad Timing For Yahoo!
TheStreet.com
Napster says premium subscriber base above 500,000
Reuters via Yahoo News
Craigslist Founder Envisions Improved New Media
InformationWeek

Best Practices
Can B2B Newsletters Survive the Preview Pane?
MarketingProfs
Web 2.0: 'a read and write mechanism'
SiliconValley.com

Cool Tools
Web 2.0 is more than just the big guys
Napa Valley Register

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

SealedMedia Receives 3rd 'Designed For Documentum' Accreditation From EMC
ECM Connection

Products, Markets & People
VNU Brings Together BuzzMetrics, Intelliseek to Create Nielsen BuzzMetrics Service
PR Newswire
Factiva Search 2.0 Revolutionizes Search for Business Information
eMediaWire
EDGAR(R) Online(R) to be the First U.S. Provider of Chinese Company Financial Data in XBRL
BusinessWire
Ovid Announces ClinicalResource@Ovid
PR Newswire
Fast Announces Availability of ProPublish 4.1
XTVWorld.com
Senator Bill Bradley Named to Gather.Com Board of Directors
BusinessWire

Test Drive: Factiva Search 2.0 Beta Wows With Highly Usable Features and Design

Well, regarding last night's post, sometimes I should just keep my mouth shut and wait a day. Clare's been doing her homework, and the results are beautiful. I had an opportunity to test drive the announced Beta of Factiva's Search 2.0 interface, a stunner of a search tool with great usability and a veritable shopping mall for best practices in search. Log in to the Beta for the first time and you'll be profiled for professional focus and how you search. This brings you to a Google-like single search box: OK, we expected that. But pop in a query and wow, what an improvement. "Did you mean" prompt, quick-click categories for all Factiva sources, magazines, newswires, separate tabs for Web content and pictures. Then to the right of the search results a "Discovery Pane," which provides a bar chart of how results cluster by date, a del.icio.us-like topic cluster heatmap with most prevalent topics in largest print, and bar chart rankings of most prevalent items by Companies, Industries, Subjects and Sources. Alerts via email are bone-simple to set up for any query. Individual articles from the Factiva database are equipped with "more articles like this" suggestions and topic clusters.

Web results offer only a News Clusters topic heatmap and news results from online mainstream news sources. This has its limits. For example, when using my benchmark "General Motors" query it pulls up a number of current articles for online mainstream publications but not the corporate Web site. Switch from "General Motors" to the suggested "General Motors Corp" and no results appear. Obviously this is still early days for Factiva to be taking on open Web search in a more aggressive way, but it's clearly trying to carve out a more well-defined position for corporate searchers trying to find mainstream news on the Web. The approach is likely to appeal to publishers trying to position their increasingly online content with enterprise searchers effectively, allowing them both access and segregation from competing "born on the Web" sources.

While very well designed overall, it's definitely still a Beta, with some notable glitches. Once you're in "Web News" mode new queries shift you back to Factiva-internal results first rather than sticking with your current focus. One query when in Web mode returned me to a "no results" listing on the Factiva-internal results page with no option to search the Web or the pictures archive. What, if it's not on Factiva it's not anywhere? Clicking on a clustered result in the Discovery pane applies a filter for that cluster term to the original search results, but it's not entirely intuitive at first that it's a filter on the original search. But these are mostly noise-vibration-harshness critiques of a search ride that's mostly very powerful and smooth.

My comments from yesterday's post on where search really brings Factiva in the long run still stand, but if Factiva had to come up with a far better weapon to convince corporate users to stick with them for general news content and research, it would be hard to think of a better job being done on fairly short notice. There will be many companies this year arguing to enterprises that their search interface can provide the highest value to their users. With Search 2.0, Factiva has earned themselves a place at the negotiating table for business news users.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Zoominfo Connects with A9.com to Power People Searches

While Amazon's A9 search engine is not the most popular search engine on the Web its federated approach to finding high-value content on the Web is gaining validity and a broadening audience as the range of content types and sources available via the Web soars. So a partnership between A9 and personal profile aggregator Zoominfo to make their content easily accessed via A9 seems like a natural fit. Click on a checkbox for "people" on the A9 interface and you'll get a column of Zoominfo listings next to your other search results. Click on an individual profile and you're off to the Zoominfo listing for that person. Maybe not the sexiest thing in the world, but good luck finding another provider integrating personal bios for millions of professionals into a major search portal. An affiliation with a major search engine has been a key requirement for Zoominfo to move up from being a reasonably popular destination to a default "go to" source for personal profiles. Hopefully this alliance gives Zoominfo a boost in recognition that can be used to increase its range of user-generated content to supplement its web-mined content. The breadth and quality of its unique destination content seems to be the key to Zoominfo's continuing growth, leaving other services such as LinkedIn that lack a broad base of compelling content far behind.

From the Hart: Factiva CEO Tries Her Hand at Blogging

Leave it to Clare Hart to leverage two of Factiva's strongest assets - her insight and her go-getter personality - to promote their outlook via her new "From the Hart" weblog, with weekly entries on the content industry. Clare's entries thus far are pretty insightful, if tending to reinforce the marketing themes of Factiva (hey, it's a CEO blog, after all). Clare emphasizes the importance of metadata, enterprise search, vertical search, visualization - all of the tools that have been our focus at Shore for some time. But does this add up to an effective growth strategy yet for Factiva? With newly patented content categorization software to take on unstructured content there's reason to think so, but it's early days for a company that's forging into ground well-occupied by many sophisticated content technology vendors.

Factiva's push into more sophisticated taxonomy and categorization services will serve it well in the months ahead, but it's far from clear that it will be enough to carry the weight of a general-purpose subscription database that is rapidly aging in its usefulness as direct access to premium content via Web search engines gets incorporated into enterprise federated search infrastructures. Clare is pushing all of the right buzz words and has the right big picture from a technology perspective, but let's hear some chat on her blog about how an aggregator can become a "go to" content service that can turn in impressive growth and margins. Looking forward to hearing more of Clare's observations.

Headlines for 17 January 2006

Trends
Yahoo Hopes to Make Network Flop a Net Hit
WSJ Online*
New Orleans 'Times-Picayune' Trying to Report, Survive
AP via Editor & Publisher
City dot-coms still waiting to strike it rich
USC Annenberg OJR
Now Out In Theaters—And On Your TV!
New York Magazine
Aftermath Of Barrons/WSJ Online Subscription Split
paidContent.org
Secure Exchanges: The SEC’s Online Alternative to Paper Proxies

EContent Magazine
Marketers Interested in Small Screen
The New York Times*
New content puts Ovid in rude health
InformationWorld Review
Video Search: Still "Early Days"
Search Engine Watch
Learning On The Move: MLearning Is Next
Robin Good
For Sale: Fabulous Pink Money Pit
The New York Times*
UK dog barks at digital rights management
The Inquirer

Best Practices
NewsML Architecture Open
Content-Wire
Research: Internet Users Judge Sites in 50 Milliseconds
CIO Today
57% of Teens Online are Content Creators!
Lansing Library

Cool Tools
One-stop site for blogs offered
Boston Globe via TMCNet

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Google and canada.com Announce Search and Advertising Partnership
CNW Group
ECNext Launches Webbolt’s Ad Supported Business News Site
PR Web
Emblaze Group Acquires Majority Interest in Israeli Mobile Technology Startup, Smart Content
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
Factiva Introduces Factiva SalesWorks for Salesforce.com’s AppExchange
eMediaWire

Monday, January 16, 2006

News Analysis - eBay for Content: Social Publishing Models Vie for Community and Profits

Would-be authors have a myriad of options for publishing on the Web today, but few are sure-fire roads to a professional career. In the meantime, a lot of people would like to have their writing noticed and appreciated by an audience without having to wrestle with traditional publishing channels. The Gather.com platform is one new tool that's helping amateur authors to find some modest revenues alongside professional content in an easy-to-use online portal that encourages ratings, feedback and participation from its online community. It's "eBay for content" in the minds of some - but there's more required to make the concept work than just a database and a friendly interface.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 16 January 2006

Trends
VNU Gets Bid of Up to $8.88 Billion From KKR Group
Bloomberg
Factiva to Launch Search 2.0 Beta
Information Today
Google's Shadow Payroll Is Not Such a Secret Anymore
The New York Times*
Gather Them Eyeballs!
Om Malik
Taking Newspapers Private: A Way Out?
Columbia Journalism Rvw
Europe's 'Google killer' goes into hiding
InfoWorld
Sovereignty in cyberspace
The Boston Globe
China, Still Winning Against the Web
The New York Times*
Expedia Ex-CEO Sets Web Real-Estate Venture
WSJ Online*
Show Me the Content: Web Search, Verticals, and Metasearch
Search Engine Watch
Channel opportunities lay ahead after Autonomy and Verity merger
VNUNet
Microsoft to Launch AdCenter System by June
eCommerce Times
New York Times 'disconnects' public e-mail addresses for its columnists
The Raw Story
Yet sorrier news at the Financial Times: New report says British readerhip has sunk
Media Life

Best Practices
Teachers use blogs instead of traditional software
Daily Illini

Cool Tools
Willcom's new WX310J biz phone with fingerprint scanner
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

CMP, CyberMedia debut Web site on global technology and business services sourcing
BtoB Online
Wolters Kluwer expands alliance with Sage
Reuters

Products, Markets & People
United Business Media names ex-EMAP FD Gary Hughes as CEO of CMP Information
Forbes
Yahoo! Executive Appointed CEO of SideStep
PR Newswire

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Jigsaw Continues to Grow Content and Corporate Revenues

I had an update from Jigsaw CEO Jim Fowler the other day on their progress in developing their online database of business contact content. Already holding more than 2 million business contacts and growing at a rate of about 10,000 new contacts a day, Jigsaw's formula for developing high-quality business information from content contributed by business professionals seems to be unfolding rapidly on both the individual and institutional front. While sales and contributions on an individual basis are still the key to Jigsaw's success - especially for sales people who are more likely to want to keep their own contacts and contact history from job to job - Corporations are excited to get what amounts to a near-realtime update service for their sales forces. This is especially important for keeping up with middle management contacts who are oftentimes the doorways in to corporate accounts, contacts that are far less likely to crop up in updates from Web mining services and traditional database services tracking more senior management positions.

While social networking services for business contacts such as LinkedIn and OpenBC offer the ability to traverse business contact networks to get from one professional to another, people on these services are typically reluctant to onpass sales-oriented requests from relatively unknown contacts. This helps to increase the quality of referrals, but sometimes you just have to get to a contact no matter what. The transparent market model of Jigsaw offers sales professionals a marked advantage for those who need to find contacts for a particular account regardless of the quality of their social network. Content from public sources such as Jigsaw may never replace completely private databases of business information, but they are beginning to develop momentum and breadth of content that's likely to create a "go to" source that will challenge major database providers of business contacts to rethink traditional content collection methods sooner rather than later.

Google Video: "Slow" Start is Fairly Meaningless as Premium and Amateur Sources Merge

The consensus is that Google is off to another slow start in terms of site design with the premium portion of Google Video, relying on users to help them tune what they really want and need from an online video service. Although that's somewhat of a risk given the rate at which Yahoo is developing a very media-savvy balance of professional and amateur sources, it's early enough in the development of online video services that listening to your users carefully is probably a very good idea. More to the point, Google is much more in-your-face than Yahoo with selling premium video content - from any source.

The advent of more mature DRM functions is providing a somewhat different playing field for video producers than other content producers had bringing professionally-produced content to the Web earlier in its development. Effective DRM will allow premium content to be exposed toe to toe with free results and to be monetized very effectively. This is something that in general the traditionally print-based publishing community has stayed away from, but now with video searching trying to take hold in a mixed free/premium model we may see some changes in this area.

In the long run that's a good thing for the content industry, but it will mean some significant pressures for producers to rethink how they are monetizing content. The movement in content monetization is towards making profits out of context, not out of distribution. Pay per view will help video content from existing premium channels to get out to some degree in the beginning of online video. But amateur sources are as likely to gain as social bookmarking, social content distribution and enhancement of socially distributed video take off , as seen in phenomena like the Star Wars Kid video. This will begin to make the video industry look increasingly like weblogs and other user-generated media that rely on the acceptance of peers to create content value more than centralized marketing. While a strong focus on amateur sources won't be an excuse for Google to drop the ball on gathering video content from mainstream sources more effectively it will challenge mainstream sources over time to create products that can compete on a more level playing field with amateurs. The topsy-turvy world of online content is about to get a little more shaken up - again.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Headlines for 12 January 2006

Trends

UK Intellectual property law under government review

Information World Review
Oh, Canada! Hollinger International Exits Nation With $104M Deal
Editor & Publisher
NYT, Tribune calls busy on consolidation talk
Reuters
Hard Times at Inc. and Fast Company
BusinesWeek
Big news at Dow Jones
Fortune
Google: The Bear Case
Internet Outsider
2005 By Numbers: Consumer Magazine PIB Revenue Up, Pages Show Slight Lift
FOLIO: Magazine
Newspapers Starting To Cede Agate Readers To Internet
paidContent.org
EBooks take load off students' backs, wallets
Green Bay Press Gazette
Can Wikipedia Survive Its Own Success?
Knowledge @Wharton
New Broadcast Regulations Could Hamper Korean New Media
Chosun.com
Check it out: Libraries on the rebound
The Morning Call

Best Practices
Digital Rights Management Will Get Worse Before It Gets Better
InformationWeek
Overhaul of GPL set for public release
CNET News

Cool Tools
PodZinger Makes Podcast Searching Fast, Easy and Accurate
BusinessWire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier announces a new publishing partnership with the American Association of Endodontists
Eurek!Alert
Jessop & Company Looks to ISYS Search Software for Attorneys and Staff with Advanced Search Capabilities
BusinessWire
InstitutionalInvestor.com Announces Partnership with Ultramercial LLC
eMediaWire

Products, Markets & People
ALM Research Launches ''Newsline'' E-Newsletter for Law Firm and Legal Market Researchers
BusinessWire
Executive Daily Brief(TM) (EDB) Now Available from EBSCO Publishing
BusinessWire
Content Analyst Company Partners with EBSCO on Business Information Monitoring and Alert Service
PR Newswire
Thomson brings in chief executive from TalkTalk
DataBulletin

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Journal Publishers Huddle Under the Wings of Blackwell

It's not the best of times for independent scholarly journal publishers, a fact that keeps them moving towards distributors with more marketing and distribution savvy. Blackwell has announced that it will begin 2006 with 39 new publishing partnerships and 59 journal titles added to its of more than 600 society publications. Not a bad short-term solution for journals challenged by open access publishing and lacking the marketing muscle to distinguish themselves via online search solutions. Notably quite a few of these titles include converts from other aggregation and marketing services that were not as focused on facilitating journals as independent publications. Blackwell offers a quality publishing solution for journals that provides cost-effective technology and marketing infrastructure that can help them to be more effective independent publishers. But in spite of its Synergy online search interface it's still a heavily print-oriented marketing solution.

As independent journals choose marketing partners it's important for them to recognize that these partnerships and alliances offer them the opportunity to become more educated about content marketing - and to use the strength that they gain from these partners to consider how they can become more effective electronic publishers. Making sure you can milk the most from the print model is certainly important in this era of transition for print publications, but bridging the gap between online and print means a lot more than just lowering your costs for print production and having a nice "walled garden" for the curious online patron. It's important for independent publishers to consider their options for improving online and print marketing through partnership very carefully for options that will carry them aggressively into online revenue streams as more of their audiences make the shift to online as a primary consumption channel. For many publishers the move to Blackwell will be a positive experience in the short run, but it's a move that won't eliminate to consider long-term marketing solutions carefully.

It's Still About the Search: ComScore Shows Growing U.S. Gains for Google

ComScore's November '05 search engine rankings are in, indicating a growing lead for Google amongst major search providers. Year-on-year the November totals show Google growing by 5.2 percent while Yahoo's search function dropped by 2.5 percent. The only other gainer amongst majors was AskJeeves, which posted a 1 percent gain. Overall Americans conducted 5.15 billion searches online during November 2005, up 9 percent from November 2004. General search remains a powerful magnet for content, with Google becoming increasingly the brand name that is synonymous with it. This may accelerate the push towards more focused vertical search solutions and more use of user-generated indexing as ways of organizing content effectively based on users' interests: "Everyone knows what general search looks like, now what do we do?" may be the question being asked by many - including Google, with its increasingly popular Local search and other specialized searches for journals, books, weblogs, video and other sources.

It also means that general aggregators will continue to position their search services increasingly for specific verticals, as with the recent repositioning of Dialog's services for scientific and business intelligence audiences and Factiva's focus on sales integration. We may not see these trends in the general stats, but it's likely that we'll see a continuing general growth in search with increasing growth in Google that doesn't quite match up to the general growth - with focused search and indexing solutions filling the gaps, detected or otherwise. The key to this growth, though, is not "vertical search" per se. Just putting a filter on the same technology is far from the answer. Instead focused search is about getting the focus on the needs of specific audiences and the unique characteristics of specific content types. In other words we've been doing "vertical search" all along in the content industry - and the media is just catching up.

Headlines for 11 January 2006

Trends
Google Video Store goes live
CNET News
Google mulls online book future
BBC News
A Guy Named Craig
New York Magazine
Buy newspapers: Profit margins, premium-content potential overlooked
MarketWatch
Survey: B-to-B Editors 'Dissatisfied' with Ethics at Their Own Magazines
FOLIO: Magazine
Does Yahoo Aspire To Be MySpace?
Web Pro news
AOL Acquires Video Search Company
AP via Yahoo! News
Make Money Online with Resale Ebooks
PR Web
Bertelsmann AG Repairs Phones? Yes, to Diversify
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Underestimating time requirements for ALM research
Harvard Extended
News Analysis: When a Memoir and Facts Collide
The New York Times*

Cool Tools
Audio Transcription For Podcasts: JC Human vs. CastingWords.com
Robin Good
Zimlets! Web 2.0 Zimbra Style
Zimbra
Preplan, Prepublish and Display RSS Feeds with FutureRSS
PR.com

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

CMP Media Acquires MediaLive International's Technology Media Group
PR Newswire
CareerJournal.com and TheLadders.com Sign Exclusive Partnership
PR Newswire
United Business Media Acquires MediaLive Events for $65m
PR Newswire
United Business Media Acquires Shorecliff Communications for $12.3m
PR Newswire
LexisNexis and American Bar Association Section of Taxation Renew Sponsorship Agreement
BusinessWire via TMCNet
Factiva Adds Content from The Press Association, Further Strengthening UK Coverage
Internet Ad Sales

Products, Markets & People
FAST To Power Search Across 53 Daily Newspapers For Leading North American News Organization
Internet Ad Sales
Thomson TradeWeb Reports Record $42.8 Trillion in Trade Volume for 2005; Launches 4 New Marketplaces
PR Newswire
Inxight Expands Sales in China, South America and Eastern Europe With New Reseller Agreements
PR Newswire
Elsevier Launches Online USMLE(TM) Prep Program for Medical Students
PR Newswire
Relegence extends its global reach with launch of London office and appointment of industry experts
PR Newswire
Xinhua China Introduces Innovative Online Book Preview Program
PR Newswire
Blast Radius Announces New Features to Support Content Creation and Translation for Global Market
BC Technology