Friday, April 28, 2006

Headlines for 28 April 2006

Trends
VNU Activist Sharpens Stock Plan
WSJ Online*
Is Microsoft Preparing Big Attack?
The New York Times*
Google Places Firefox Ad On Home Page
InformatinWeek
Interview: Vivian Schiller, New SVP/GM, NYTimes.com
paidContent.org
Bear Stearns podcasts research
Finextra
Coming Soon (Finally): A Critical Mass of eBook Content
Bill McCoy
ProQuest Reveals Exploration Of Strategic Alternatives; Reports Preliminary Restatement Ests.
RTT News via Trading Markets
Thomson sees further promise in Far East deals
The Globe and Mail
Is Web 2.0 Enterprise Ready?
Line56
Web 2.0 meets the enterprise
CNET News

Best Practices
Your RSS Marketing Strategy: Deciding How To Deliver Your RSS Content
Web Pro News
You’ve heard of splogs? Meet doppelbloggers.
MaxPower

Cool Tools
Google Goes 3D with SketchUp
TechTree

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier Joins GE Healthcare's Centricity Physician Office Partner Program
PR Newswire
Wolters Kluwer Health and Allscripts Join to Improve Access to Clinical Information and Best Practices
MarketWire
Talis and Endeavor Information Systems Form Strategic Partnership
PR Newswire
Ungaretti & Harris Selects LexisNexis Market Intelligenceto Enhance Client Development Efforts
CRM Today

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis ''Legal Industry Monitor'' Electronic Newsletter Keeps Legal Professionals Current
BusinessWire via TMCNet
EMC adds eDiscovery services
InfoStor

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Bay Area Hold 'Em: McClatchy's Orphan Deals Solidify Focus in Non-Major Markets

The Associated Press highlights along with major papers the details of McClatchy's spinoff of four newspapers recently acquired from Knight Ridder, a complex series of deals that puts privately held MediaNews in the spotlight as the principal winner of the Bay Area's San Jose Mercury News and The Contra Costa Times with support from other chains, while Hearst gains The Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minnesota and The Herald in Monterey County. The interest in the was enough to bring Editor & Publisher's analysis of this story for a good period of time today.

But apart from MediaNews becoming the fourth largest paper chain via this deal there's not a lot that's terribly new here. Like a game of Texas Hold 'Em poker most of the cards were already on the table before the final pieces fell into place. The interesting parts of this story are mostly in the little details, such as McClatchy picking up pieces of even more papers in non-major markets, emphasizing their positioning for news in markets in which electronic competitors are less likely to dilute earnings over the next few years.

The other not-so-small detail is that Hearst and Gannett are picking up minority interests in the MediaNews acquisitions, which is likely to raise concerns about the concentration of media ownership again at some point, but not likely to raise dust in the short run. But with both newspapers and magazines emphasizing online video production as a hot new outlet for their content there could be more complex ownership issues emerging in local markets where print video production begins to compete effectively with local TV news producers.

In the meantime a series of relatively quiet and complex deals such as those being executed via McClatchy is a good way to keep the regulatory spotlight away from potential ownership concerns. All appears to be on track in this little poker game, and perhaps everyone will go home happy yet. But if I were a betting man I'd put my money on McClatchy's markets. MediaNews knows what it has to do, but it's a far showier bet to think that any major is going to catch up with today's well-wired users that have a galaxy of good substitute content available. For now, I'm hiding my wallet.

Headlines for 27 April 2006

Trends
MediaNews Buys 4 Papers From McClatchy
AP via Yahoo! Finance
Analysis: Complex Sale Suggests McClatchy Deals to Come
Editor & Publisher
Microsoft's 'Massive' Move Into Game Ads
WSJ Online*
Next generation social networks & unintended consequences
ZDNet
Business starts to hear the ka-ching from Web 2.0
The Globe and Mail
Thomson Corp. Q1 profit up 88% to US$137M on solid legal and financial sales
Canadian Business
infoUSA Responds to Dolphin
BusinessWire
Over a Third of Airline Passengers Would Download Songs From Apple iTunes
PR Newswire
Media firms work to stay ahead of online consumers
Reuters
Mag Execs Tout Online Video
MediaPost
AOL Begins Blogging Stocks
Web Pro News
Happy World Intellectual Property Day!
TownHall.com

Cool Tools
New Tricks of a Browser Look Familiar
The New York Times*
Review: Webaroo Service Too Good to Be True
AP via WINS
Kanoodle launches new geo-targeting tool
BtoB Online

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

McClatchy and Webvisible to Provide Search Engine Marketing to Local Retailers
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
About.com Announces 16 New 'Guide Sites' to Offer Practical Information on Wide Range of Topics
BusinessWire via TMCNet
Yahoo! India Debuts Yahoo! Answers
TechTree
Bowne Launches Robust Content Management Technology
MarketWire

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reuters vs. Bloomberg: What's the Right Battle to Measure?

The Times Online notes the latest chapter in the perennial battle between financial content rivals Reuters and Bloomberg in their efforts to gain market share supremacy through their services to the global securities industry. According to The Times, Reuters is claiming through its slim eking out of another one percent of market share that its 27 percent slice of the pie now places it atop Bloomberg for the first time in a decade. As noted by The Times, though, this comes in part due to the absorption of user positions gained via the Reuters acquisition of Telerate last year - an indication of just how much potential redundancy there is in the financial content game - and a more accurate assessment of how data feeds contribute to the Reuters market share. So although Reuters has much to cheer about in terms of its efforts to revitalize and consolidate its product line, the gains in market share are hardly to be called organic at this point.

The broader concern, though, is whether this annual exercise in "mine is bigger than yours" is really telling Reuters shareholders what they need to know about their market position. Bloomberg is certainly facing major challenges as it tries to roll out expanded datafeed services and to fend off vendors nibbling away at their messaging services that are at the heart of their platform's value as a channel for deal-making; their monolithic pricing also faces stiffer opposition from clients as "The" Bloomberg becomes less of a desktop presence. All good news for the crew over in Canary Wharf, to be sure. But the broader issue of market share is not how much Reuters is slicing out of Bloomberg but rather the death by a thousand cuts that it is suffering from niche players, networks and content distributors more willing to bypass Reuters and Bloomberg services altogether to create a new fabric for financial content services.

A new generation of content services is emerging in financial markets thanks to the rise of increasingly independent content creators and network infrastructure and standards that eliminate much of the historical need for content aggregators to manage real-time market data. In this new era of financial content value-add service providers such as Reuters and Bloomberg are still critical components but they can hardly call the tune for the dance as they did when their global technology services were the only cost-effective way to glue financial content together effectively. We'll continue to see the annual Reuters market share studies come out, no doubt, but it would be refreshing to see them consider some of the emerging factors in the marketplace for financial content services more seriously. Otherwise these stats will have all of the heart-pounding relevance of major television network rankings in an era of online access.

Headlines for 26 April 2006

Trends
Reuters 'neck and neck' with Bloomberg

The Times Online
McGraw-Hill’s first quarter earnings slide 6%, B2B Revenues up 31.4%
BtoB Online
TheStreet.com's Back In Profits; Revs Up 43 Percent
paidContent.org
Publishers 'not afraid' of internet giant Google's plans to index books
CP via Canada.com
Google Searches for More Government Work
Publish
Corporate search needs to heed workers, Google exec says
CNET News
Magazines' Search For Upside Has A Digital Downside: Search
Media Daily News
Side by Side, 2 News Executives Say Little About a Possible Sale
The New York Times*
BBC looks to MySpace for Web site revamp
Reuters
TV Guide Magazine Debuts New ''Downloads' Column on the Best TV for Download and Online Viewing
BusinessWire
Here's an idea: Skype could distribute digitized eBay items
ZDNet
Wiki way the winds blow
BlogHer
TripAdvisor hopes to be Wikipedia of travel world
Hotel Marketing.com

Best Practices
Moving Targets: Research Advises DRM Vendors to Aim for the Source
BusinessWire via TMCNet

Cool Tools
Pheedo Unveils "Cut-and-Paste" RSS Ads
ClickZ Network
FeedBurner launches self-managment tool
AdJab

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Publishers Live365, Parade.com and ScienceDaily Select ValueClick Media as Ad Network of Choice
BusinessWire
Macrovision Selected to Secure Digital Content and Applications by Society of Petroleum Engineers
BusinessWire via Yahoo! Finance
Jambo Advertising Network(TM) Signs Urban Pages, Adds Online and Offline Lead Generation Partners
BusinessWire
Reed Business Launches SchemaLogic SchemaServer to Power www.Kellysearch.com
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
Endeavor Information Systems Unveils Vision for Hybrid Library System

PR Newswire
Verizon Online Boosts News Content and Updates the Look of Its Business Center Web Site
PR Newswire
LexisNexis(R) Offers Free Webinar for Lawyers Seeking to Promote Their Peer Review Ratings
BusinessWire
Weblogs, Inc. Names Judith Meskill Chief Operating Officer and Brad Hill Editorial Director
eMediaWire

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Headlines for 25 April 2006

Trends
Microsoft seeks to overturn EU ruling
AP via Boston.com
AP's Curley, Google's Mayer Talk Aggregation -- Carefully; AP-Google Deal?
paidContent.org
Judge: Worker can't be fired for Web surfing
CNET News
EBay Launches Set-Price Site In Challenge to Online Retailers
WSJ Online*
Google Pitches Business Search As 'Command Line Interface To The World'
Intelligent Enterprise
British Library opens consultation on new content strategy
eGov Monitor
Social Networking Comes to the Enterprise
Internetnews.com
Wikis and Blogs Transforming Workflow
SearchCIO.com
Are ads on your iPod next?
APM Marketplace
Google Video to include outside content from outside its own databases
VNUNet via Yahoo! News
Google: The Search Glass is Half Full
Publish
The Rise of the Video Blog
Rolling Stone
Welcome to the newspaper with something Extra
The Independent
Standby for world intellectual property day
Fairfax Digital

Best Practices
SealedMedia CIO Survey: 76 Percent of CIOs With CMS Need More Content Protection and,Controls
BusinessWire
New ".mobi" domain names are coming in May 2006
MobileRead.com
Podcasting book #1 seller at NAB
Lost Remote

Cool Tools
Gates' Microsoft Unveils New Internet Explorer
Forbes
Sphere: A New Approach to Blog Search
Search Engine Watch
Broadcast Yourself Live From Your Own Web Page: Stickam Is Here
Robin Good

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Factiva and ProQuest Information and Learning Expand Alliance for Latin America Markets
Managing Information
Ruder Finn Group Selects Bacon's Information Inc. For Improved Media Research
BusinessWire
Thomson Acquires Centre for Medicines Research International
PR Newswire
Federated Media and Metroblogging Team Up
FM Publishing

Products, Markets & People
Vivisimo Velocity Universal Connect: Plug-and-Play Connectivity for 3rd-Party Search and Content Apps
BusinessWire via Yahoo! Finance
Lionbridge Freeway 2.0 Delivers Web Software-As-A-Service Platform for Global Clients and Translators
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Boeing Subsidiary CDG To Launch On-Demand Information Manager
ECM Connection
24-7 Press Release Newswire Announces Availability of Free 'Plug and Play' Dynamic Web News Content
PR Newswire
ValueClick introduces behavioral targeting product
BtoB Online
The New York Times Names Web Site Executive
The New York Times*
Paradise Publishers is Developing the Largest Free e-Book Library
PR Web

News Analysis - SIIA Brown Bag: Personal Knowledge Management Empowers Today's User-Publishers

The recent SIIA Brown Bag Lunch Series panel on personal knowledge management highlighted tools from leading suppliers that support collaborative publishing by individuals in and beyond major enterprises who create collective knowledge quickly and easily. Be it wikis, weblogs, messaging systems or new forms of publishing personal knowledge management has taken content into new enterprise environments that attract people who want to share information effectively for profit with the ease that people doing it for fun on the Web enjoy. When anyone from any enterprise could be a part of this collaborative publishing environment it's time for publishers to examine more closely how their content can be central to these highly productive user/publishers.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Monday, April 24, 2006

Headlines for 24 April 2006

Trends
Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill
CNET News
Advertisers Change Channels: New media ads at all-time high as traditional media pays the price
Red Herring
Are magazines dead? Yes, but their brands are "vibrant"
Magazine Enterprise 360
For MySpace, Making Friends Was Easy. Big Profit Is Tougher.
The New York Times*
China censorship impact on Internet freedom overstated - Microsoft executive
AFX via Forbes
L.A. Times Suspends Blog for Pseudonym Postings
eWeek
Elsevier reviews its journal models
Information World Review
Google Scholar Unveils New Sorting Option and Other Ways to Keep Current
ResourceShelf
Squidoo has its eye on the Web
The Journal News
Everyone's an Editor as Wiki Fever Spreads to Shopping Sites
The New York Times*
Microsoft Hires IAC's Berkowitz To Head Up MSN
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Content is not distribution
Mark Devlin
Can newspapers do blogs right?
USC Annenberg OJR
Report: Should the Library of Congress jettison Library of Congress Subject Headings?
Library Journal

Cool Tools
One Day Soon, Straphangers May Turn Pages With a Button
The New York Times*
WebSideStory Search 4.0 is First to Automatically Integrate Site Search and Web Site Behavioral Data
PR Newswire
CustomerVision Redefines Enterprise Wiki for Sales Effectiveness, Rapid Learning and Communication
MarketWire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Reed Group Unites The Medical Disability Advisor and ACOEM's Utilization Management Knowledgebase
PR Newswire
CoreMedia Collaborates with Microsoft for Convergent Content DRM Services on Mobile Devices and the PC
BusinessWire
Fast Search & Transfer ASA receives search solution contract from SEEK Ltd
TMCNet
Ungaretti & Harris Selects LexisNexis Market Intelligence to Enhance Client Development Efforts
BusinessWire via TMCNet

Products, Markets & People
ReedLink Integrates Directories to Enhance User Experience and Accessibility
PR Newswire
Moody's to open Dubai base
AMEInfo.com
Yellow Pages Association Unveils IRIS ONLINE(TM) Version 3.0 Advertising Rates & Data Resource
BusinessWire
Verizon SuperPages President Kathy Harless Named Yellow Pages Association 2006 Board Chairwoman
BusinessWire

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Headline Summary for Week of 17 April 2006

Want to catch up on last week's headlines? Try our weekly categorized summary with embedded commentary on the latest trends.

Click here to view last week's headlines in review

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Congoo Tries for Transparency in Premium Content Web Searches - Sort Of

InfoWorld picks up on a new round of PR for Congoo, a tool to make it easier to access premium content located via a Web search engine. Congoo is a toolbar that you can download for your Internet Explorer browser (Firefox promised) that will allow you to form search queries much as any other search engine's toolbar. Enter some personal information in the Congoo tool such as zip code and email address typically asked for registration-based access to premium content and you're ready to start looking for premium sources. Search results yield a section on top of the page with premium results, followed by normal query results from the Yahoo! search engine, along with sponsored links to advertisers on the right side. Click on a premium result and you can get limited free access or easy pay-as-you go access with a click from a popup box, which then stays out of the way to allow you to access premium sources unimpeded.

That's the good news...now for the not-so-good news. Most of the premium sources are news and press releases stored in a subscription collection called Libraryo.com, with the most prominent direct access sources being Encyclopedia Britannica and institutional Investor. In some informal testing, I was able to find articles from Institutional Investor on the open Web that were displayed in the premium results of Congoo, as well as BusinessWire archive press releases available for free on the free side of the HighBeam research portal. However, on the plus side the Institutional Investor and EB results link to their native Web sites rather than the stripped-down Libraryo.com results for papers and press releases. The larger problem is that the Congoo tool does not work in conjunction with other search engines: you access the premium content only from the Congoo search portal, which is available today only to tool downloaders.

In a general sense there's a lot to be said for having a tool like Congoo to make premium content accessible easily from an interface that includes Web content. It's an idea that has been tried from many angles already by Factiva, Yahoo!, Highbeam and other prominent suppliers. But none of these efforts have been able to detach their subscription access schemes from a proprietary search engine or database management system. At the same time Yahoo!'s Subscription Search beta has virtually disappeared: the landing page still exists but it no longer returns search results.

Aggregating segregated premium content works well for some specific applications and content types, but as a general concept it's proven itself to be a loser on the open Web. The segregation of premium content in search engines has not enabled its value to be assessed in direct comparison to non-premium sources. Shore research shows consistently that people are willing to pay for premium content when it serves an important purpose in an important context, with Web search engines a key source. If that perceived value is so high, why continue to confuse content consumers by insisting on artificial segregation? In enterprise search engines and applications content from personal, enterprise and external sources are combined as needed to provide the highest contextual value possible. There's no real reason to do otherwise on the open Web - a fact that more and more publishers are beginning to appreciate without the help of traditional aggregation services.

Content license management for subscription content still revolves largely around database access controls rather than the devices used by individuals and institutions licensing content. With the prevalence of search and access methods for content in today's public Web and enterprise networks, there is a real need for more universal content monetization controls that don't tie publishers to these database services. Congoo tries to look like it can provide that universal access, but it's a long way off the mark, unfortunately. Next...

Friday, April 21, 2006

A Quick Muse on Memory Sticks: You Know It's Content When It's Pretty

I just opened up a gift box from a company for whom I provided a presentation at a private gathering and discovered to my pleasant surprise a 500MB memory stick beautifully bound in leather and brushed metal (photo and details). Memory sticks are now very popular as trade show giveaways, but this is a keeper, to be sure. It's very much like the difference between a fine leather-bound book and a trade paperback - except that the content inside could be anyone's, including my own. Packaging content in digital form doesn't mean that people don't care about its physical manifestation, but today's content user is less concerned about the specific item that's being cared for and more about the ability to have a treasured collection in the places where they need it most. Accessories such as my new memory stick are simple reminders that portable content is highly revered by today's users, independent of any one device on which it makes an appearance. Thanks for the gift!

Google Gains in Monetizing its Infrastructure but Strains to Gather the World's Content

The New York Times' summary of Google's quarterly earnings is a good piece, highlighting increased revenues from value-add initiatives such as Google Maps, Google Video and Google Earth, as well as the success of new news portals in overseas markets. paidContent.org notes that Google's Jonathan Rosenberg waived off notions of monetizing GoogleBase (in spite of reports of Google Payments being in the hands of key GoogleBase users - see Ecommerce Guide) and sees GoogleBase primarily as a way to gather more content for Google's search engine. It's all about growing the contextual value of content at Google, including scattered A/B test sightings (PC World) of expanded search results with more result-specific content, keywords, links and searching.

Apparently gathering all the world's information and making it useful is putting quite a strain on Google's infrastructure: "We have a huge machine crisis," Google's CEO Eric Schmidt noted, prompting this little tidbit in the Times article:
Jordan Rohan, an analyst for RBC Capital Markets, called Google's capital spending "unfathomably high," noting that it spent the same percentage of its revenue on equipment as a company in the telephone business, an industry traditionally seen as far more capital-intensive than the Internet.
What's kind of ironic about this observation from Rohan is the amount of media attention being lavished on cable and phone networks trying to leverage their network infrastructure more effectively for profits via Web content. Be it native search, GoogleBase or the myriad of other content products and features being rolled out by Google and other major Web content outlets the main difference between Web companies and the telco/cable companies is that their models were designed from the get-go not to be about distribution of content so much as enabling the value of content from all sources in the eyes of global audiences.

So yes, Google is a content company with a heck of a server farm and a growing network presence, but that infrastructure is always the means to a content end that eschews the "water and pipe" metaphor that the telcos and cable companies still embrace. Maybe the Wall Street analysts will come up with new yardsticks for Google that take a closer look at how well they monetize I.T. infrastructure versus the water-pipe crowd. In the meantime keep your peepers peeled for the expanded search results feature testing being conducted by Google, it's going to be a boat-rocker.

Headlines for 21 April 2006

Trends
Google Posts 60% Gain in Earnings
The New York Times
EBay Talks to Microsoft, Yahoo About a Common Foe: Google
WSJ Online*
More Americans Using The Web For Life's Critical Decisions: Pew Survey
CMP TechWeb
Among the audience: media in the era of participation
The Economist
Online advertising shows its age
Publish
Hard News in Yahoo's Hot Zone
Fortune via CNN Money
Congoo offers free gateway to subscription-only Web content
InfoWorld
Scripps test results in content-access registration protocol
The Editors Weblog
Earnings Call: No Plans To Monetize Google Base
paidContent.org
Google Base(d) E-Commerce
Ecommerce Guide
China's Baidu to keep focus on search engine, seeks regional expansion
AFX via Forbes
PR Newswire Reports Record Usage by Journalists in March
PR Newswire
Google Tests New Search Results Page
PCWorld

Best Practices
Embracing Web 2.0
Tech Planet Asia
Born Digital, Not Yesterday: Next-generation Web User Seeks Interactivity
EContent Magazine
Blogging brings rewards – and risk
VNUNet

Cool Tools
Accoona launches talking toolbar
NetImperative
UBS, Look Launch Live Mobile TV Demo

CableCaster

Products, Markets & People
Critical Mention New ClipSyndicate for Web Site Publishers Syndicates Broadcast News Segments
PR Newswire
TechTarget launches blog for IT market
BtoB Online

Thursday, April 20, 2006

SIIA Brown Bag Lunch Video - Personal Knowledge Management: Building Actionable Content from Collaborative Publishing

Missed yesterday's Brown Bag panel? It was an excellent session, my thanks to the panelists who I moderated for a very insightful and informative event. SIIA members may catch up with it by following the link below (check in with Marion Janic if you need help logging in):

http://siiacontent.scribestudio.com/

Panel summary:

Personal Knowledge Management is engaging individuals with today’s advanced collaborative publishing tools to create groups of people in enterprises and beyond who can communicate far more effectively with one another than ever before. From finance to major industries to the open Web these tools are creating bodies of content that leverage the insights, knowledge and opinions of actively engaged contributors to enable them to understand what a group as a whole understands with amazing speed and effectiveness. The technologies used to accomplish this can vary quite a bit, but they all have the same net effect: groups as large as entire enterprises can all be on the same page to respond to major opportunities and challenges without a lot of support from traditional content and technology providers. This panel will explore how Personal Knowledge Management tools are making it easier than ever for people to share knowledge with one another and how publishers will need to adapt their marketing strategies to publishing environments in which personally engaged users are the center of the value equation for content.

My panelists included:
Bob Serr, CTO, Parlano
Matthew Mahoney, Business Development, Socialtext
Greg Lloyd, President and Founder, Traction Software, Inc.
Ben Elowitz, CEO, Wetpaint.com

I'll post a News Analysis summing up the panel later this week.

Blogging and the Fate of Journalism: Do We Really Need Worry?

While Alan Meckler and Jason Calacanis mix it up in a WSJ Online "Reply All" online debate on whether bloggers can make money (answer: some do and will, more could) Phil Hall in a Media Industry Newsletter commentary punctuates the debate with a commentary on how the traditional career paths of young journalists only accelerate the rate at which writing talent is lured into online niches far away from traditional publications. Phil charts the fate of poorly paid J-School grads who wind up at a trade journal trying to cover niches that they know little or nothing about and then having to make choices between paying the rent and staying a reporter. It's nothing that any journalist hasn't been through before, but the publications that they work for are now paying the price of having relied on sub-grade reporting while attractive online alternatives developed before their eyes. The key benefit that weblogging has brought to journalism is that subject matter experts no longer have to wait to be interviewed to get their views out in the press: they can just punch them in and join the online publication world. As more trade journals add their own weblogs (see today's Accountancy Age announcement) the niches for young journalists to ply are likely to become even more narrow within the traditional trade and consumer media world. Add in the wide availability of corporate press releases on the Web and the rationale for traditional trade journalism becomes more narrow yet.

This is not necessarily a bad thing: the remaining journalists are likely to be left with assignments that are more worthy of the craft and develop their skills through a wider variety of outlets, including weblogs. But with all the world a-blogging, perhaps the greater question is why journalism schools are still little coddled enclaves churning out grads for a job market that no longer exists. Perhaps it would be better to include journalism skills adapted to the online era as a part of regular university curricula, so that subject matter experts can be better prepared to write to their colleagues in an online world of publishing that favors trusted peers as sources of news and insight at least as much as traditional journalism. We're entering a world in which being able to communicate with audiences online is becoming a fundamental job skill. Perhaps not everyone will churn out prose worthy of a major journal or newspaper, but the ability to communicate through writing is only going to increase the general need for journalism skills - even as specialists begin to fade into niche roles.

Headlines for 20 April 2006

Trends
Google in China: The Big Disconnect
The New York Times*
Yahoo's Earnings Message to Google: We're Bigger than You
Publish
Paid Content Growth: Sky's the Limit?
AAPL: iPods Contribute 39 Percent Of Q2 Revenue; iTunes Turns Profit
paidContent.org
Time Inc. Lays Off Union Workers, Closes Canadian Office
FOLIO: Magazine
Can Bloggers Make Money?
WSJ Online*
Where have all the good young writers gone?
Min Online
Audit Bureau of Circulations hit with fraud lawsuit
Crain's Chicago Business

Best Practices
Search Engine Optimization More Important Than Navigation Optimization? The Experts Reply
Robin Good
People scan content in an F-shaped pattern
guuui.com
Job Posting: Intellectual Property Exploitation Manager
The Telegraph

Cool Tools
Onstream Media Debuts New Technologies Including Ad Insertion Into On-Demand Video Streaming
PR Newswire
ClipBlast! Gives Bloggers and Web Publishers Access To Web's Top Video Content
PRWeb via Yahoo! News
Mondosoft Integration Services' Extends Search Functionality to Third-Party Applications
BusinessWire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

GSI Commerce Invests in and Enters into Alliance with WebCollage for Online Content Syndication
Sys-Con Media
Cisco backs DRM start-up
ZDNet

Products, Markets & People
ZoomInfo Surpasses 30 Million People in its Index -- Largest Source of Business People Information
eMediaWire
Elsevier Announces Acquisition of Gold Standard
PR Newswire
Reed Business Information Appoints Iain Melville CEO of Reed Construction Data
PR Newswire
CMP Media launches suite of sales lead development and database marketing solutions
B to B Online
Accountancy Age.com launches two blogs
Accountancy Age
LexisNexis Launches Legal Portal Site ''martindale.jp''
BusinessWire

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

OneBox to Rule Them All: Google Aggregates Enterprise Application Content via Search Appliance

Several majors cover Google's introduction of the OneBox for Enterprise, a new service integrated into its enterprise-oriented Google Search Appliance that allows users to access content stored in major enterprise application platforms. Initial partners providing OneBox interfaces to Google's search tool include Oracle, Cisco Systems, Salesforce.com, SAS, and Cognos. The InfoWorld article on the announcement has perhaps the best take on it, emphasizing that this is but one element of a broader enterprise campaign that Google is rolling out to get its search capabilities more firmly embedded in enterprise markets. The OneBox approach is to extract not just text but key facts and data from enterprise application databases, providing discrete presentations of this content similar to the results in its consumer search engine for weather in a local community or other key data points that complement text searches. As a Cognos rep notes in an Enterprise Systems article Google OneBox is a great way to expose business intelligence content to people who haven't been consumers of business intelligence applications - a somewhat backhand admission that IT-heavy BizIntel solutions have not always been cost-effective for the great majority of enterprise users.

For users of Salesforce.com the OneBox interfaces are available to vendors providing AppExchange modules, which includes of course premium content vendors. While this is a plus from a user perspective, in general the OneBox approach highlights the role of application providers in becoming new forces in enterprise publishing. Content aggregators are being trumped both by enterprise application developers and search engines in becoming general-purpose outlets for both premium and enterprise content. The issues of open Web access that publishers had hoped to escape in enterprise solutions are not really easily escaped when the Googles of the world are ready to treat all sources of content agnostically via tools that manage enterprise applications, publications and personal content sources with similar importance.

At the same time Google is delivering a hip-check to other enterprise search engine providers, arguing that the "80 percent" solution can include the 80 percent of enterprise applications that absorb much of an organization's most critical content along with unstructured sources. OneBox may not address some of the Google Search Appliance's fundamental weaknesses but it is building a huge reservoir of strength that can leverage content from enterprise, media and personal content sources with familiar and effective results.

Headlines for 19 April 2006

Trends
Google unveils enterprise applications search with big-name backing
InfoWorld
Cognos Touts Killer App for Mainstream BI
Enterprise Systems
2006 Will Be a Tipping Point for Online Media
IT World
World's First Stock Market Search Engine Released
PR Newswire
FeedBurner: Podcasts Outnumber Radio Stations
Publish
Yahoo Profit Falls 22%; Ad Sales Up
The New York Times*
Dow Jones Reports Improved Revenue and Profit for First Quarter 2006
BusinessWire
Brussels delivers blow to Reed Elsevier
The Guardian
Blogosphere Doubles Every Six Months
ClickZ Network
Mashups for fun--and profit?
CNET News
New York Times Faces Share-Class Challenge
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
The Gather.com Issue
TechCrunch

Cool Tools
Newsmastering Engines Keep Growing: reBlogger Is Next
Robin Good

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Facebook Gets $25 Million Funding
paidConent.org
Simply Hired Takes $13.5M
Red Herring
VNU & NewsGator Debut Localized RSS Aggregators for Germany, Holland, Italy, Belgium and Spain
Marketwire vis Mobius VC
Penton acquires HVAC-Talk.com
B to B Online

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Introduces its New Global Brand Guide; Cross-References Brands, Products and Trademarks
BusinessWire

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

QPass Acquired as Independent Content eCommerce Fades Away

If you're not familiar with QPass from their recent success in supporting content ecommerce for mobile content you may recall them from the bad old dot-com days when they tried with less success to combine an aggregation and cross-portal ecommerce model into a universal premium content access mechanism. With customer management solutions provider Amdocs having announced their acquisition of QPass, both visions of independent success with content ecommerce fade into the scenery. It comes after this year's earlier acquisition of content ecommerce specialist eMeta by content tools provider Macrovision and Bitpass' acquisition of Yaga, leaving few independent suppliers of content ecommerce services. Most content suppliers have implemented basic subscription management and "shopping cart" capabilities already through these and other of suppliers content ecommerce systems. As they do they focus less on transaction and subscription controls and more on leveraging the relationships that come through those transactions and visits into more engaging and profitable client relationships.

Content ecommerce today is less about the transaction and more about using sophisticated tools and marketing techniques to mine the most out of premium content relationships in all of the venues that audiences find to be appealing. One key element of the original QPass model had it right: make accessing premium content as transparent as possible through a wide variety of venues. What they missed is that a separate aggregation of content would make this rather unappealing to publishers trying to develop sophisticated relationships with their audiences, even as they try to broadcast content themselves via RSS feeds, podcasts and other developing channels. Years later we are for all intents and purposes no closer to a universal subscription access model than we were in the dot-com era.

Open-source DRM solutions hold out some hope that the infrastructure will be there to allow standard rights-managed content to pop out the back end of any number of ecommerce solutions, and accelerating markets for video and audio online content may push more producers towards open DRM. But it's more likely that we'll see a Google or other common online access point for content provide hooks that will allow publishers to have more universal access controls that complement their client care strategies effectively. QPass has moved on to new parents, but the problems that they wrestled with remain with us years later.

Headlines for 18 April 2006

Trends
Katrina Coverage Earns Pulitzers For 2 Gulf Papers
WSJ Online*
Seeking Attention: Measuring the Web's new Gold
MIT Technology Review
Magazines Shape Up for Digital Future
AdAge
Journals in the Time of Google
Library Journal
Talking ... Google Poised to Shake Up Copyright Law
White & Case via PR Newswire
Brave New Sales World: For sales professionals it's really about getting data when and where you need it
Sales & Marketing Mgt.
McClatchy in late-stage talks on 4 papers--sources
Reuters
Appeals court to weigh blogger's rights
Silicon Valley.com
'A very delicate balancing act': The columnist/blogger hybrid
USC Annenberg OJR
Study: Terrestrial radio holds steady
B to B Online
Microsoft Gets Social
BusinessWeek
Steal This Newspaper
The New York Times*
AOL's Weblogs Inc. Begins Foray Into Local Blogging
paidContent.org

Best Practices
The Future of Print Media in the Twenty First Century
The Cud
Search Engine Optimization for Corporate Websites
ISE Database
Ad-Supported Municipal Wireless Networks and the Future of Cities: 3 Issues Missing From the Debate
IFTF's Future Now

Cool Tools
Online Video Publishing Gets Into The Conversation: Click.TV
Robin Good
E-Book Technology Protects Copyrighted Material
BusinessWire
Microsoft Shoots for Photo Search
Publish

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Amdocs Agrees to Acquire Qpass for $275 Million
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Dow Jones and Relegence Launch ``Information Command Center'' for Traders and Analysts
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Adds Key Vertical and International Sources
BusinessWire

Monday, April 17, 2006

News Analysis - Gentrification: ECNext Markets Premium Content in Search Engines to Upscale Audiences

While many business publishers and aggregators still disdain exposing their content in Web search engines this appears to be the year in which their arguments are beginning to crumble away. ECNext CEO Pamela Springer's new eBook on search engine marketing points to many of the key reasons. Amongst them are the need to recognize that for highly focused premium content SEM techniques are very cost-effective ways to draw audiences to content in the venues in which they seek out first-try answers most often. Publishers may not like the "riff-raff" still found in many search engine results but when you're investing in a gentrified neighborhood it pays to service the trend-setters early on.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 17 April 2006

Trends
Once-Wary Industry Giants Embrace Internet Advertising
WSJ Online*
Advertising Out Front, Followed by the News
The New York Times*
Google appears to be building travel portal- maybe with Orbitz?
ZDNet
Does Your Company Feel Threatened by Search Engines?

Advertising Age
NBC-iVillage Term Sheet: Six Serious Bidders; Hearst Issue Predominant
paidContent.org
CNET introduces new on-demand video service
BusinessWeek
Web site to rate content of health care news
AP via The Star-Ledger
Futurist Alex Pang to give talk on 'End of Cyberspace'
USC Santa Cruz

Cool Tools
Run Windows and Mac OS both at once
The New York Times via CNET

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Kaboodle collaborative Web research gets funding

CNET News
WebMD to Acquire Summex Corporation
PR Newswire
Global Forex Trading's DealBook FX 2 Offers Customized Dow Jones Newswires Solution

PRWeb

Products, Markets & People
SAVVIS Completes Phase I Expansion of Enhanced Streaming Platform

BusinessWire

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Headline Summary for Week of 10 April 2006

Want to catch up on last week's headlines? Try our weekly categorized summary with embedded commentary on the latest trends.

Click here to view last week's headlines in review

Friday, April 14, 2006

News Blues in Print as Online Ads and Eyes Grow Rapidly in News and Beyond

Earnings week for many U.S. major newspaper chains surfaced fairly gloomy reports, according to The New York Times, paidContent.org and others this week. Print ads were down in key areas such as automotive where online has started to pay off in a big way for local and national advertisers, even as production costs such as newsprint continue to climb. Online news sites were reporting healthy gains, but the highlight was in Staci's report on paidContent.org where she noted that NYT's About.com was reporting about 40 percent margins on USD 18.8 million in revenues - earnings that the Times believes are highly sustainable. So in part the answer to the "can we afford to be in the news business" dilemma is to accept that today's news is but one form of content that people reference to get answers to key questions.

The About.com portal was in many ways ahead of its time when it launched back in the dot-com heydays, providing a personal editorial voice to knowledge on specific subject matters long before weblogs and wikis ever pushed to the front of the buzz stream. News has editorial control as well, but there is something about having "real-world" experts providing editorial control in the About.com portal that provides a different level of trust in people's eyes when they are researching a topic.

Online news portals are getting more sophisticated as well in providing background content on key topics in the news, but with news finding its value in many contexts beyond newspaper portals such as weblogs and social content sites it's not clear that newspapers have perfected the formula to build online margins significantly beyond their current levels through news alone. As more pressure is put on news organizations to keep margins up during the shift to online consumption expect them to pursue additional acquisitions and alliances that will broaden the range of content that their ad services can support.

While many worry that this drift of revenues away from traditional news organizations is worrisome for the future of journalism, in the long run it is likely to mean that we'll have media organizations that are able to monetize news far more effectively through a broader variety of multi-faceted content outlets. It promises to be a rocky road for news organizations for a couple of years yet, but at the end of that road could be a new "golden age" that will bring new life to quality news production efforts.

Headlines for 14 April 2006

Trends
Lagging Ad Sales Contribute to Earnings Decline at Newspaper Chains
The New York Times*
NYT's Web Ad Rev Up 23 Percent; Online Contributes 7.5% Overall; TimesSelect Subs Nearing Half Million
paidContent.org
With VNU pushing back annual meeting, takeover plan in jeopardy
B to B Online
Yahoo's RSS Ads a No-Show in Popular MyYahoo
FM Publishing
MetroFi to provide Wi-Fi in Portland, Oregon
SFGate
Executive Compensation in 2005 Flat, for Most Part
FOLIO: Magazine
Google Local to Be Lead by Classified Ventures Exec
Local Onliner
Google boss advises journalists to blog
Online Press Gazette
Pass the politics, please: Science blogs peppered with commentary
USC Annenberg OJR
Merrill Lynch Analyst Sees a Google Search Conflict-of-Interest
eWeek
Fox to Share Revenue From Reruns On Web With Affiliated Stations
WSJ Online*

Cool Tools

Pluck Launches Industry's First Service to Syndicate Blog Content Through Traditional Media Outlets
dBusiness News

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Headlines for 13 April 2006

Trends
Google Calendar Launches & Exceeds Expectations
Search Engine Journal
States seek levies on digital-media downloads
CNET News
Google Testing New Site Image & Content Summaries in Results
Search Engine Journal
eBay buys stake in social networking firm
CNET News
Tribune Profits Off 29%, NYT Co. Earnings Down, Too
Editor & Publisher
Earnings: Gannett's Earnings Drop; Online Up 30 Percent
paidContent.org
Time Warner urges all TV networks to go on demand
Reuters
Magazine Content 'Chunks' Ideal for Digital Delivery
MPA Magazine.org
Reality Shows and Comedies and the 'Network' Is AOL
The New York Times*

Cool Tools
Read it? Watched it? Swap it on Zunafish
The New York Times via CNET
A9 OpenSearch Enables Sharing of Search Results
A9.com
Social Networking Meets Music Listening: Mercora Launches Radio 2.0
Robin Good

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

PennWell buys London-based sustainable energy and technology titles
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
Yahoo Improves Travel Content With Maps, Search
Tech News World

Microsoft's Windows Live Academic Joins Search for Scholarly Publishing Content

There is wide coverage of Microsoft's launch of the Beta for Windows Live Academic Search (WLAS), the new search portal that includes content from many major scholarly publishers. Initial partners in journal and indexing content include CrossRef, the IEEE, the ACM, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Elsevier include: Taylor & Francis Group, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics, Ex Libris, TDNet, Blackwell, Nature Publishing, British Library, and OCLC, according to Web Pro News. Free and premium scholarly content is served up via the OpenURL and DOI link resolvers of partners, providing consistent references for researchers requiring stable citation information.

The interface is quite nice, if a little quirky. Glide your cursor over a given search result and an article abstract pops up in the left-hand portion of the display, as well as BibTex and EndNote data tabs, further facilitating citation for researchers. The abstract panel can disappear easily if necessary. The search results themselves scroll in a sub-window of the page rather slowly, which is a little annoying if you're trying to find a result that's not near the top of the stack. My assumption is that this "user friendly" feature is probably a way to provide an interface that will work consistently on both PCs and mobile devices.

There are other nice little touches in the interface that add up to something that is tangibly different from Google Scholar; it's a tool for researchers rather than search results for researchers. Still missing is metadata on purchasing that's already available in Google results - only a warning message "The search results contain freely available and access-restricted content from peer-reviewed journals." appears in a banner above WLAS search results (premium content as a danger sign...?). Also missing is consistent navigation: at least in this early Beta version there's no tracking back to the Academic search box. But the proof of the value of this service will be in the search results themselves, which is a little difficult to judge in an offhand test with the very esoteric topics covered in the service. In general WLAS appears to rely a little more on the cataloging metadata from partners to provide relevant content in high-level category searches.

Windows Live in general is trying to carve out a feature-by-feature competitor to Google services, neutral in its approach to content sources and attempting to provide superior usability for its audience. The WLAS facility offers a lot of promise as a tool, but it will do little to ease many underlying issues faced by publishers trying to define their own online futures via an expanding array of search partners. If WLAS succeeds it will take some share of the market for online scholarly content search: others such as Google and Yahoo will take their own part as well, but it's a given that none of these will ever "own" the market for scholarly content searching. In short time this will require scholarly publishers to provide a more consistent cross-platform approach to content licensing that will empower content subscribers to use whatever search tools work best for them at the moment. Pay-per-view access alone as a solution in these environments is not likely to suffice for many of their targeted users.

This new entry from Microsoft is sure to heat up the competition for effective scholarly content search services online with its distinct and useful features, but it is far from solving the many commercial issues that scholarly publishers must address to thrive in an online search-driven world.

News Analysis - Getting It 2.0: The Content Industry Adapts to Users as Today's Leading Publishers

This year's Buying and Selling eContent conference brought on a much-improved range of topics and participants who delved deep into many of the toughest issues faced in today's content industry. Yet in spite of the improved representation from enterprise content buyers and online media giants some of the most important publishers and buyers were nowhere near the Camelback resort this week. When everyone within reach of the Web can create, aggregate, enhance and distribute content themselves with amazing ease the dialog required to "get it" in today's content marketplace requires including the users who do far more publishing and aggregating than any one else today.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Web on a PC and Beyond: Webaroo Enables Users as Aggregators

The toy with buzz this week is Webaroo, a new service that provides Web users with the ability to download content from the Web automatically that can be synced with memory cards used in mobile devices via a PC or directly to a Windows-enabled mobile device. Kind of dull-sounding on the surface, but what's interesting is the packaging. Content comes down from Webaroo in convenient "web packs", files that have stripped out content from various sites and optimized it for display in mobile devices. These web packs are not small: the typical web pack is about 256MB of data, enough to fit into most memory sticks or thumb drives these days but hardly a smidgen of stuff. It's essentially creating mini-webs of content that can support people on the go in a variety of contexts. Web pack titles thus far include major cities (night life, tourist attractions, local news), world news, and world soccer/football sports reports. An included browser-based search utility makes it relatively easy to locate content on a specific topic. Pages appear in roughly the same form that they appeared on the Web, including ads and page layouts. Clicking on links will bring you to cached pages if available or to the option to go to the Web if connectivity is available.

The product itself is fairly rudimentary though it has the ability to define custom web packs: what you get it what you get. In some ways it's not much different in net result on a PC from the caching function on a browser used in combination with a local search utility such as Google desktop. But it's a hint of the scale of convenient content that can be made available to users in today's high-capacity devices fed by broadband network connections to the Web. With gigabytes of storage available in many of these devices users have the ability to aggregate mini-Webs of content that can travel with them with or without a network connection. In essence these mini-Webs are publications in and of themselves, synced up as needed with fresh content. This adds a whole new layer to what could be accomplished in the publishing industry to make content available to their users in a delivered service - which could include premium levels of content as well. Syncing content on wireless connections into local caches is one of the huge missed opportunities in publishing today, one which is likely to gain more traction as ad-supported wireless connections begin to take off. In the meantime, ponder what the future might bring by downloading this simple utility.

UPDATE: Webaroo came in handy on a tedious flight back home yesterday, allowing a little content into my life that would otherwise be unavailable in the air. I have tried a few sites and search engine queries for my custom "web packs": results are fair. Some pages outside of Webaroo's preprocessed universe can get rather messy as they get packed for efficient mobile use. But overall it's a handy tool that I look forward to testing further.

Headlines for 11 April 2006

Trends
Time Warner Cable mulls TV ad auctioning system
Reuters
The MySpace Economy; Cleaning Up
paidContent.org
Suppliers to put wikis and blogs on content menu
Information World Review
Magazine Problems Go Way Beneath the Surface
New York Post
Talk to the Newsroom: Executive Editor Bill Keller
The New York Times
Blogosphere suffers spam explosion
CNET News
Google Searches For Software Engineers With IPTV Know-How
TechWeb
RHIO Wiki Launched Today by Three National Organizations
PR Newswire
Elsevier boss Davis just misses £2m payout in 2005
Information World Review
'Star Wars Kid' cuts a deal with his tormentors
The Globe and Mail
About.com Goes Cable TV
Web Pro News

Cool Tools
SealedMedia Simplifies Enterprise Digital Rights Management for Email and Digital Content
BusinessWire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Newsweek.com Launches My Newsweek RSS Aggregator Powered by NewsGator
MarketWire
Cadmus Communications Announces Purchase of Remainder of KnowledgeWorks Global Limited
PR Newswire
Kanoodle Signs Exclusive Distribution Agreement with Dow Jones Online to Provide Sponsored Links
PR Newswire
Thomson in joint venture with Japanese partner
Canadian Press via Toronto Star
Inxight Partners with Clarabridge to Integrate Text Analytics Solutions for Business Intelligence Apps
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

Products, Markets & People
ECNext Releases “Search Engine Marketing for Publishers” eBook
eMediaWire
9thXchange Pushing Digital Sales Beyond Apple's iTunes
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance