Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Lure of Regional Print Gains Focus of Financier

No, this is not another "print is dead" meme-blast, but rather a tip of the hat to people who know where print can still be converted into profits. FOLIO: Magazine picks up on Kim Mac Leod's post-DeSilva & Phillips efforts with Regional Media Advisors, a venture that targets regional magazines for M&A activity. She's had one deal so far this year, but my guess is that she has selected a pretty good niche to mine. Regional magazines have no real direct competitors in the online world: most Web sites doing pure online geographic plays are generally specific to cities or towns. Regional content is hard to do online: it's broad enough that you have to "get" a fairly wide array of cultures to do editorial effectively and hard to find content suitable for many online campaigns. Most online sites covering regions are either function-specific (job postings, classifieds) or sisters of regional print publications, leaving little room for online-only revenues from unique editorial content. Weaker listening patterns on regional radio stations also tamp down alternative channels, though cable TV throws a very powerful regional punch. So for the time being regional magazines have some play. That said, with user-generated content, increasingly sophisticated online techniques for managing personalization, ad campaigns and local marketing, the time for profitable regional online plays that include a broad array of content may be upon us. Long story short: Kim, get a Web site.

Headlines for 31 May 2006

Trends
Google to Bring 'Slow, Agonizing Deaths of Businesses'
The Boston Globe
The new news
The Guardian
D Conference: Gates: Broadcast Is Dead; We Can't Do YouTube; Hints XBox+Music Player
paidContent.org
Microsoft and eBay rumours defy facts
ITWire
FCC Probing Complaint on Video News Releases
Publish
How many news outlet staff actually read their own RSS feeds?
Corante
Tribune Co. to Repurchase $2 Billion in Stock, Make Cuts
Editor & Publisher
Iraq Becomes Deadliest of Modern Wars for Journalists
The New York Times*
CNN, Cartoon Network sue Cablevision
CNET News

Best Practices
Thinking (a lot) About Linking
SEO Blog

Cool Tools

Congoo(TM) NetPass Now Available For Mozilla Firefox(R)
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Do-It-Yourself Content Pays Off - With CafePress and Squidoo
PR Web

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

LexisNexis(R) Martindale-Hubbell(R) Legal Articles Now Available on lexis.com
BusinessWire
Hilliard Lyons Adopts Thomson Financial News and Takes a Full Site License
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Largest Swedish Online Information Service InfoTorg Deploys FAST to Enhance Subscriber Site
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
Elsevier’s ScienceDirect Announces Redesigned Interface
Information Today

Friday, May 26, 2006

Yahoo/eBay vs. Google/Dell Deals: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

The world of online pundits seems to have focused far more on the recently announced deal between Yahoo and eBay than the news that Google will be paying Dell Computer to load key components from its growing desktop suite of software on their PCs. The Yahoo/eBay deal is certainly significant in its own right: eBay takes in Yahoo ads, Yahoo will promote transactions via PayPal, eBay's Skype internet phone service will probably be used for Yahoo pay-per-call advertising services and a common toolbar widget will make it easier for people to shop and search online. Lots of "win-win" talk from analysts, and rightfully so, but it's important to note that these are somewhat defensive moves for both players. eBay has been facing a notable decline in visits in recent months as search engines and other user-driven content venues start to nibble away at their market share (mySpace comparison), even as Yahoo looks to get a solid top-ten client for its ad network to replace Microsoft's exiting from their ad relationship. So "win-win," yes, but there are losses that needed to be covered in the process of forging the win.

The real wins are probably going to be for PayPal, which will benefit from the broader transaction exposure, and Skype, which needed a far broader outlet to be paired with its telephony capabilities. For the main eBay portal there are possible wins from synergies emerging from Yahoo's alliance but these synergies are not necessarily going to replace the migration of younger users to the next movable feast of online coolness. Who owns the community coming out of this alliance? eBay is not likely to want to give up its relationship with its community of buyers and Yahoo will probably only extend their own users' profiles into eBay after a full acquisition. So the key factor that both of these players needed to amplify the most - a common community - will have to wait until some of the basic plumbing is in place to test out whether and how the two communities could blend effectively. Lots can happen in the meantime.

The somewhat ad-hoc announcement of the Google-Dell deal looms as a far more important development in the long run, as it promises to offer Google better positioning in both consumer and enterprise markets in the desktop arena in which it has everything to gain and little to lose. In comparison with Yahoo, Google seems intent on bridging the work-personal gap in content and related services in a way that focuses on users as creators of content on an increasingly equal footing with traditional publishers, be they in personal or enterprise roles. The focus is on getting Google's search services integrated as default desktop and browser elements but there is noise about elements of Google's nascent office suite making their way into the package also. Google seems to have picked a good moment to position itself more effectively against Microsoft's multi-pronged efforts against Google and Yahoo. Getting to users before they even think about a Web destination is a key factor in developing the broadest revenue base possible, a goal which Google has helped to advance significantly with the Dell deal. So let's call this whole thing "win-win-win" - for now.

Headlines for 26 May 2006

Trends
Inside Google Enterprise
ZDNet
MySpace growth may be undoing
The Mercury News
New York Times Invests In Online Leads Exchange Startup Root Markets
paidContent.org
NBC News Adds Content to iTunes
WorldScreen
What the eBay-Yahoo Deal Means to Google
Publish
Analysts React: 'Win-Win' Move
WSJ Online*
The Battle to Build the Personal InfoCloud
Vanderwal
Dow Jones says trust of former major shareholder amends trading plan
MarketWatch*
Conversation Search – The Next Generation
Web Pro News
Times of London to hit streets of New York
Times Online
Online Used-Vehicle Classifieds Outpace Print Ads Two to One
Auto Racing Daily
A Whole New View At Hearst
BusinessWeek
Web 2.0 pending a trademark
The Blog Herald
Merrill Lynch Raises Alarm on Health of Newspaper Industry
Editor & Publisher
Bertelsmann to Buy Back 25% Stake for $5.8 Billion
The New York Times*
Jim Baen's Universe Goes Naked-- eMagazine to Launch Without Copy Protection
PR Web

Best Practices

Knowledge/Information centricity vs document centricity

ZDNet
Content Syndication Builds Organic Search Engine Optimization
The Open Press
From Webmaster to Newsmaster: A New Generation of Content Development
Unleash the Traffic

Deals, Partnerships & Sales
For Sale By Owner Real Estate Website Shares Content With Google
PR Web

Products, Markets & People
Elsevier MDL releases drug safety database
IWR Log
Blog Search Portal Released by VeriSign's Moreover Technologies
Web Site Host Directory

Thursday, May 25, 2006

News Analysis - The Portable Me: A New Generation of Portable Media Redefines Personal Libraries

While flashy iPods hog the billboards and street posters in may urban centers, the quiet revolution is not in proprietary mobile devices but in the rise of pervasive memory sticks that are affordable and increasingly roomy. Why lock your library of premium content into one expensive mobile gizmo when you can hook up all of your favorite devices to one common storage device that travels with you as you please? Publishers that have gone the old "license the platform" route for electronic content are going to have to adjust rapidly to portable storage media that will be far better at putting publishers in a direct relationship with their audiences.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 25 May 2006

Trends
MSN Is in Talks To Buy Provider Of Wireless Ads
WSJ Online*
Analysis: MySpace becomes phenomenon, faces challenges
Macworld
Yahoo, eBay Form Web Advertising Alliance
Reuters via Publish
Switched On: TiVo should be on Google's wish list
Engadget
Interview: Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales
Atomic
Law In Business: Taming the wild web
LegalWeek
Is Google Dropping Conservative Sites They Disagree With?
Search Engine Guide
Moody's Downgrades Tribune's Credit Rating Because of Stock Buybacks and Debt
AP via Yahoo! News
China Embracing eBooks
Pacific Epoch

Best Practices
W3C: Redesigning the Internet
PC World
Clare Hart: Enterprises reap benefits from tagging data
IT World

Cool Tools
Visualize Online Information Trends Over Time And Geographical Regions: Google Trends
Robin Good
Verio Delivers New Hosted Podcast Tool, Enabling Businesses To Manage Unique Content and Updates
BusinessWire
How to Surf Safely at Cybercafes: Use Their Computer, but Bring Your Own Desktop From Home
The New York Times*
Microsoft shows off JPEG rival
CNET News

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

infoUSA Directory Assistance Content to be Licensed by Microsoft for Local Search
BusinessWire
Pearson to Acquire Apple's PowerSchool Division
MacNewsWorld

Beyond DOIs: Linkstorm Steps Up to Support Reed Business Information Content

Linkstorm is the reborn Content Directions, a company which struggled along with others to breathe life into the Digital Object Identifier as an industry-standard persistent link reference but found more interesting opportunities in the features that could be built off DOI infrastructure. The Linkstorm version of the company is focused on two key opportunities: providing value to links in advertising and in editorial content. It's a concept that has been picked up by Reed Business Information for online global news from their Flight publication, a major victory for Linkstorm beyond their initial base of directory clients, as noted in their announcement. Hovering your screen cursor over a Linkstorm link exposes a tiered directory of navigation options, which could include both related content and options such as purchasing, emailing or embedding Linkstorm-enabled links in your own Web site for an article (example article here - hover over the headline).

The result is a system that allows publishers and advertisers to create contextual navigation not only to related content but to related functions that can enhance the value of an ad or article significantly. Instead of thinking about how to get someone from whatever page a link leads to in an ad or headline to the content that's most attuned to their immediate needs, Linkstorm links provide a method of self-determined navigation that allows users to bypass precious seconds in search of what will really motivate their interests - without giving up valuable screen "real estate." Still missing from the Reed Business implementation is how to identify to users the availability of this navigation: the Linkstorm links appear as normal navigation elements until you happen to cursor over them. Linkstorm has a suggested icon to use to identify their special links, but it's not used in this instance.

Linkstorm offers a very valuable navigation tool that allows the content itself to navigate audiences to more refined interests - a great example of how to leverage the context of content in powerful ways. In doing so we need to think more carefully about how we use available space in an online page to provide these kinds of experiences and make both publications and ads more interactive navigation experiences. Linkstorm may not be the definitive answer to navigation issues, but it raises many powerful opportunities to explore in the meantime.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Headlines for 24 May 2006

Trends
Should the Net Be Neutral?

WSJ Online*
Google Plans Impromptu May 31 Investor Meeting
Reuters via Publish
Google Courts Business Intelligence Players
Enterprise Systems
USA Today Content Available By Voice Command On BlackBerrys
Editor & Publisher
Researchers look to semantic Web to drive Internet
InfoWorld
A Station With a One-of-a-Kind Campaign: All Snapple, All the Time
The New York Times*

Best Practices
Unlocking The iPod? Rights vs Content
paidContent.org
The Human News Aggregator: An Interview About NewsMastering
Robin Good
What works in online video news?
USC Annenberg OJR

Cool Tools
Navio Thinks Outside the Box on Digital Content
e-Commerce Times

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Hoover's and Salesforce.com Join to Deliver Business Insight Via Salesforce.com's AppExchange
PR Newswire
FAST Signs OEM Agreement with Day Software for Access to Legacy Data Through Enterprise Search
BusinessWire via TMCNet
Reed Business Information Applies Linkstorm to the Aviation Media Site, http://www.flightglobal.com
PR Newswire
BitPass in Deal With Entercom to Flexibly Monetize Digital Offerings in a Consumer-Friendly Manner
BusinessWire
Ovid in Partnership with 3D Medical Imagery Innovator Primal Pictures to Expand Medical Full Text Offerings
Media Press Release
InfoUSA to acquire Mokrynskidirect
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
TechTarget Magnifier launched
BtoB Online
VeriSign's Moreover Technologies Announces News and Blog Search Portal for Global Enterprises
Promotion World

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Inxight Search Extender for Google Brings Sophisticated Clustering and Entity Extraction to a Familiar Enterprise Interface

The rap against Google's enterprise search strategy revolves oftentimes around its lack of sophisticated presentation of taxonomies and categorization, strengths enjoyed many familiar names in enterprise search. But using the interfaces provided into the Google Search Appliance and Google Desktop Inxight Software has announced the integration of its content extraction and content clustering capabilities to content retrieved by Google's enterprise search technology. As demonstrated at the Enterprise Search Summit conference today in New York City, the Inxight Search Extender clusters search results into dynamically generated categories, providing both topic-oriented views and extracted content in categories such as "People, Places, Date/Time, Product, Currency" and so on. Right-clicking on the results can allow one to hook into content from subscription services such as LexisNexis or Hoover's or to online services such as Google Earth.

That's pretty handy in and of itself, but the kicker is that Inxight can also flip this around and provide on-the-fly clustering for Google results in its Intelliseek-based Inxight SmartDiscovery federated search technology. With the SmartDiscovery interface the Google results are exposed as one of several aggregated internal and external sources, providing a relatively quick and simple integration across both structured and unstructured content sources, including premium content. This helps to narrow that gap between traditional business intelligence applications and Google-crawled content that much further, as well taking away some breathing space from more sophisticated enterprise search engines, enterprise subscription aggregators and auto-clustering tools trying to define their own niche.

Using the OneBox application development program Google has insinuated its way into a wide variety of valuable mainstream enterprise applications (see our earlier weblog entry), making it as easy for users to look up purchase orders in an Oracle database as it is to track a FedEx package online. This rapidly growing network of affiliates extends many of Google's online philosophies for content integration deep into enterprises. The Inxight Search Extender is a fairly simple example of this growing strategy, but one which makes it clear that labeling Google Enterprise as an unsophisticated newcomer underplays the strengths of its rapidly growing range of leading solutions partners. This is one area in which it turns out that Google plays very well with others, indeed.

FT Stares Down Enterprise Aggregators: Is it Safe to Take a Walk?

The Editor's Weblog posts a good piece on the Financial Times' recent decision to extend the time for postponing posting of their news content to major content aggregation services from 12 hours to 24 hours. As John Burke points out there are many aggregators who scoff at this move, pointing out that knowledge workers in today's enterprises prefer to get content in one place via applications that they trust. With an elite print readership the FT has been slow to pick up the pace of developing its online presence, but as European online markets heat up they've begun to take a fresh look at how they position content for their users.

While John Burke and the aggregators have an important point about valuable contexts provided by aggregation services, it's an argument that tends to sidestep the obvious concern that many publishers have with managing contexts with users in aggregation services today. Typical content aggregation services strip out everything but metadata and raw text from a news provider's content, leaving little for their users to click on if they'd like more value and depth from the publisher. Most want it that way via aggregators to encourage more direct relationships where possible, but the increasing use of open Web search engines as a source of referrals for ad-driven online revenues is pushing many publishers to reconsider carefully how they license content through aggregators.

At the same time Google Co-op encourages premium publishers to add metadata and navigation context to their content similar to that provided by the enterprise aggregators - in an environment that allows for direct access to original versions of publishers' content. The argument for publishers working with major aggregators to license content still holds water, but it's time for both publishers and aggregators to consider how they can do a better job of providing both normalized search results and access to the richest versions of content available from a publisher in context - whether as an included part of their aggregator subscription or via their direct relationship with a publisher. As the "where" of content becomes less about where it came from and more about how valuable it can be in user-defined contexts the issues surrounding aggregator content licensing will be rising to the fore in ever-larger ways.

Headlines for 23 May 2006

Trends
AP and Topix To Announce Web Search Deal on Tuesday

Editor & Publisher
Google to Begin Selling Web Ads That Include Video
WSJ Online*
Berners-Lee calls for Net neutrality
CNET News
Library Groups Join Coalition Supporting "Net Neutrality"
Library Journal
Re-Org At Yahoo Media Group; Yahoo Studios Formed; Vince Broady Joins From CNET
paidContent.org
FT's "aggregator embargo" poses a challenge for newspapers
The Editors Weblog
Deal May Be Near to Buy 2 Philly Papers
AP via Yahoo! News
Tribune buys ForSaleByOwner.com realty Web site
Reuters
Majority VNU shareholders accept EUR 7.58bn buyout offer
New Ratings
Akismet publishes Blog Spam stats: 67 percent spam?
The Blog Herald
In Print, Staring Down a Daily Worry
The New York Times*

Best Practices
Large-Cap Internet Courtships: Do They Make Sense?
paidContent.org
Building on the future of the web
BBC News
CIOs Lack Content Control
Enterprise Systems
Reviving a Dying Online Category
iMedia Connection

Cool Tools
RSS To Email: How To Let Readers Subscribe To Your RSS Feeds Via Email
Robin Good
Atom Launches AJAX-Supported Content Management Suite
Linux Sys-Con
Book on True Story of Xbox 360 is Edited and Published in30 Days via Lulu's Print-On-Demand
PR Newswire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Experian Teams With Thomson Gale(TM) to Provide Additional News & Info on 300,000+ U.S. Businesses
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
USA TODAY and Gannett Partner with MobileVoice Control for Voice-Driven Mobile Search on BlackBerry
BusinessWire via FinanzenNet
Brightcove and Limelight Networks Team to Deliver Internet TV
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Sapient Partners with Google to Bring Advanced Search Solutions to Enterprise Customers
BusinessWire via TMCNet

Products, Markets & People
Information Today, Inc. Launches Enterprise Search Portal
EContent Magazine
Recommind Enhances Its MindServer Platform
Information Today
Inxight Launches Search Extender for Google, Helping Users to Filter Search Results Rapidly
PR Newswire via Yahoo! FInance
Mirror Image Announces Major Upgrade to Content Delivery Network
BusinessWire via Yahoo!
Finance
Hanley Wood to launch new magazine titled ‘Architect’
BtoB Online
About.com Enhances Broadband Video Content
Editor & Publisher

Monday, May 22, 2006

The New Life of Books: New Packaging, New Features, New Channels

One of the more interesting moments in my travels last week was coming out of a conference session at BookExpo in Washington, DC and having one of those field-level promo people shove a flier in my hand for...podcasts? Yes, podcasting books was a fairly hot trend at BookExpo this year, along with a variety of packaging options. As outlined in last week's Library Journal article ideas for packaging books more effectively in digital form are beginning to include not only text but virtually any media that can be encapsulated in digital packaging, including links, comments and community features. Other tools such as Osoft's rechristened DotReader (formerly ThoutReader) emphasize the role of premium books as but one source of media that people can to share with their peers to be productive in a Web-centric distribution environment. All of these developments, though, seem to be at odds somewhat with the editorial processes that create books as we know them today.

It's still a fairly laborious process that creates a book, which in some part is responsible for their lasting value but also for their increasing challenges in meeting the needs of a content marketplace that's addicted to online content. Chris Anderson noted in his presentation at BookExpo that blogs and other forms of online content were about external context and whereas books are about internal context, capturing ideas versus exploring ideas. I think of it as the difference between a jam between jazz musicians jamming and a symphony: one form is born to improvisation and updates while the other is crafted for eternity. The question being, though: who's writing symphonies these days? The beauty of books is that they can be crafted for the ages, yet most of the money in books is from content that has much less lofty goals.

As more online "symphonies" come into being, the editorial processes that have defined the creation of long-lasting books are likely to get more in line with online production processes and leave the question of what a book is increasingly in the hands of authors and the audiences that are attracted to their content instead of in the hands of traditional publishers. Online works such as Wikipedia hint at our ability to create lasting human knowledge in a new editorial regimen quite divorced from the book industry and yet with many book-like characteristics in its overall value. We're still waiting for the debut of that first great online novel, but with the rapid development of publishing technologies that can enable the creation of new kinds of books its time will be doubtless upon us quite soon.

Headlines for 22 May 2006

Trends
Shunned Yahoo Shares Poised for Rebound

Publish
Google winning searches, but losing portal battle
Pocket Lint
Question: Who Is MediaNews's Dean Singleton?
The New York Times*
UK-Heavy Social Network Bebo Gets $15 Million Funding
paidContent.org
Blog-Based Analysts Shake Up IT Research
InformationWeek
More Chinese prefer electronic reading
Xinhua via China View
Net Neutrality's End Might Turn a Buck
Unstrung
One billion people have Internet access
AFP via Yahoo! News
Three Experts Offer Hard Truths on Future for Newspapers
Editor & Publisher
An Online Market Blooms for Video Clip Reruns
The New York Times*
Internet addiction a growing concern
Reuters via CNET News
LexisNexis spends $150m on improvements
Information World Review

Best Practices
If Profitability Is The Foundation Of Trust, Is Google Trustable? - Part II
Robin Good
Advertising vs. semantic design
Brain on Fire
ABM Research: Marketers Prefer to Build Brand, Find Leads at In-Person Events
FOLIO: Magazine

Cool Tools
Seagate 750GB: A Must-Have Desk Accessory for Digital Content
Storage
Navio Systems, Inc. Unveils New 'Rights-Based' Commerce Platform for Web and Mobile Content
PR Newswire

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Autonomy and Cognos to Converge Unstructured Structured Data for Business Intelligence
DM Review
blinkx Partners With Times Online to Bring FIFA Archive to the Web
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
LexisNexis gobbles up CaseSoft
Law.com Blog Network

Products, Markets & People
Prospero New Personal Journals Application Offers Targeted Social Networking in a Branded Environment
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
OneSource adds strategic insights on 2000 UK Companies
OnRec

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Headline Summary for the Week of 15 May 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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dueling Authors: Web 2.0 and the Future of Publishing at BookExpo 2006

It was an honor to speak at this year's BookExpo in Washington, DC today on a program entitled "The 2.0 Revolution: Seizing the Web's New Realities." This was a series of hour-long presentations from myself, Don Tapscott, President of New Paradigm Learning Corporation, Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine and Carly Fiorina, former Chairman & CEO of Hewlett-Packard. I wasn't able to stay for Carly Fiorina's presentation but I was very glad to hear Don Tapscott speak and to hear Chris' take on the transformation of his "Long Tail" weblog into a business book - my second time listening to his presentations this week, though this one was unique. Don is an amazing font of insights into what makes business and markets tick, generating long-lived memes such as "Paradigm Shift," "The Digital Economy," "Digital Capital" and the more recently coined "Wikinomics."

Don provided a far-ranging talk on trends inspiring and growing out of the Web 2.0 movement, showing how the plethora of information appliances, mushrooming bandwidth, geo-mobility and multimedia sources have combined in open and self-organizing content services. Don showed some neat comparative performance charts from Alexa, showing how the growth of self-organizing Flikr now outpaces the pioneering Webshots service, Wikipedia flattening the flatlining Britannica, Blogger now eking out CNN.com and so on. These Web 2.0 winners are riding on the backs of digital natives, the children of post WWII "baby boomers" who were born to PCs, collaborative gaming and online communications and who will fuel the economy of the next few decades. The result is what Don calls "Marketing at the Instant of Truth," mining micro-relationships in an increasingly transparent marketplace that places a premium on collaborative relationships. These concepts Don markets in his well-received business books, which have packaged major trends to the needs of leading executives for decades.

By contrast Chris finds himself pumping out his first business book under decidedly unique conditions. From a slide buried deep in a presentation deck to the most popular online story ever posted by Wired Magazine to a weblog that was used as an online community to evolve his Long Tail concept more fully, Chris has positioned himself in the somewhat untenable position of being the first person to try to evolve a Web 2.0 publication into the output of a mainstream publisher. Chris pointed out in his presentation that although the weblog has been instrumental in developing the book there is a wealth of new materials: less then five percent of the words used in the book overlap with the weblog, about half of the ideas and - surprisingly - the book has about half of the total text posted on the weblog. People may be likely to trash Chris' concepts if the book takes a dive, yet ironically if it does have problems selling it would probably be a great example of how The Long Tail and Web 2.0 can work together. The issue isn't whether the book is a hit but rather whether the total revenues that he can generate from publishing and other activities are going to have been worth its publishing.

As for the book itself, I had a little time to examine an advance copy on the train back home. It's been positioned with the subtitle "Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More." The book is relatively short, which is oftentimes considered a virtue in trend-oriented books oriented towards senior executives. It's a well-written book, but it's interesting to see how the shape of Chris' ideas and presentations was changed in their conversion into book form from his original trend-setting insights backed by excellent statistical analysis of marketing and sales data. Much of the trimming and adding has made his concepts more accessible to general audiences. In the process of making it accessible and applicable to a wider array of business conditions, some of the edge from Chris' original efforts has been lost - a factor that may bode well for volume sales when it's released, but it will also mean less valuable content available in book format once sales settle down after its initial sales.

What may help to mitigate this problem is Chris' diligent upkeep of his weblog on The Long Tail. It's kept his meme in play on Web sites linking to his weblog and may act as a resource for executives that want to dig deeper into the concept via the weblogs' deeper materials and discussions. These two factors are likely to help boost book sales in the long run, even if initial sales fall short of expectations. Whatever the sales of this first print run, it would be wrong to declare the book a success until the Long Tail concepts that he has offered have been proven out by the measurements of its sales over a fairly long period of time. In the meantime whatever doubters of the power of The Long Tail that are out there should retune their analysis to measure the total return on publishing from Chris' book instead of looking just at print title sales.

Headlines for 18 May 2006

Trends
Yahoo execs tout Internet advertising boom
AP via Boston.com
Google to Enable Books to 'Talk to Each Other'
Washington Post
News Corp's Chernin: We're in the 'Most Revolutionary Period in Media History'
Fortune via CNN Money
TechTarget Acquires 2020software.com; IPO In a Year
paidContent.org
Breadth, Ease, Not Original Content, Is Yahoo Aim
Publish
Pheedo: RSS Ad Click-throughs Settling Down a Bit
Marketing Vox News
Time Magazine to Become a 'Guide Through the Media Chaos'
Washington Post
David Carr: Building a Brand With a Blog
The New York Times*
Copyright triumph may become hollow victory
Sydney Morning Herald
Microsoft pitches Live Search at corporates
VNUNet
AOL acquires Lightningcast
CNET News

Best Practices

Beyond Business Intelligence: Delivering a Comprehensive Approach to Enterprise Information
Bill Gates
Building the Universal Library
Search Engine Watch
Gartner Says Web 2.0 Offers Many Opportunities for Growth, But Few Enterprises
Moneyweb
Scottish City To Pioneer Personalized Local Wireless Information
Wireless IQ

Cool Tools
Microsoft IE Problems With Flash/Quicktime/Active Content Sites Are Still Here
Robin Good

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

TechTarget Acquires 2020software.com, Helps Decision-makers Evaluate Business Software
BusinessWire
KDDI and Google Partner to Incorporate Google Search into Australia's EZ Web
JCN Network
Business Objects, Information Builders Open BI To Google Enterprise Search
Intelligent Enterprise
YellowBrix to Offer Real-Time Content Syndication, Competitive Intelligence Services for Sun Micro's Java
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Google Goes on Asian Phones
Red Herring via Stockhouse
Paramount Classics Strikes Deal With Technorati to Embrace Bloggers, Build Buzz Around New Movies
PR Newswire

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

News Analysis - Birds and Mammals: The SIIA Content Forum Outlines Evolutionary Paths for Publishers

This year's SIIA Content Forum in San Francisco was a robust gathering of content professionals, with great panels providing details on content product development, deployment, licensing, relicensing and search marketing. With an impressive panel of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and Chris Anderson reminding us how large the "Long Tail" of content has become it would be easy to dismiss many at the conference as the "old guard" ready to head the way of dinosaurs. But evolution doesn't always turn out the way that you think that it will. Be prepared for the rapid evolution of many content companies into high-flying survivors that can feast on the best contextual opportunities for marketing content.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Headlines for 16 May 2006

Trends
Chairman says Starbucks could start book sales by Christmas
MarketWatch
Pearson shakes up FT management
FT.com
Yahoo Unveils Completely New Look
News Factor Net via Yahoo! News
Are Consumers Ready For Digital Convergence?; Survey Highlights Barriers To Market Development
RTO Online
A Guide to the Online Video Explosion
Wired Magazine
ABC.com Users Watch More Than Two Million Streams
paidContent.org
infoUSA Calls ISS Recommendation ''Absurd''; Company Urges Vote for its Director Nominees
BusinessWire
A Web Address for a Phone Number? Do .Tel
Publish
Feedburner Unveils Ads-for-Sites System
Adotas
Grokking Syndication: Media, Publishing & Marketing
Down the Avenue
Me, Me, Me The personalized newspaper is getting closer and closer
WSJ Online*
Maybe the FT is finally getting the hang of this online thingy
Davos Newbies
Wolters Kluwer to Buy a Maximum of One Million of its Shares
MarketWire
Marchesano: B-to-B Publishers Must Think Outside the Box
FOLIO: Magazine
Paper Profit: Singleton Still Investing in Papers
Forbes
Deadline Set for Wireless Internet in Parks
The New York Times*
Music Industry Sues XM Over Replay Device
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
The Social Life Of Books
Library Journal

Cool Tools
Buying Guide: Online Collaboration Services
PC Magazine via ABC News
Newly Patented Technology Could Revolutionize Online Content Management
MarketWire
Wetpaint Launches Six New Websites in Response to Enthusiastic User Demand
PR Newswire
IBM offers new BI search and discovery WebSphere solution
eChannelLine

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Kaiser to use Google tool to help focus web searches
San Francisco Business Times
Business Objects Announces Support for Google Search Appliance and Google Desktop
BusinessWire via TMCNet
OpinionJournal.com in Distribution Agreement With RealClearPolitics.com to Publish Political Poll Data
PR Newswire
Newstex Adds Blogs Covering Media and Enterprise Content to Blogs on Demand
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Canada Goes for RSS
Vancouver Law Librarian Blog
LexisNexis Group Names Walsh President and CEO of U.S. Legal Markets
BusinessWire
Elsevier MDL Unveils PharmaPendium -- A New Drug Safety Product
PharmaLive
Voxant's Viral Syndication Network(TM) to Revolutionize Online News Distribution
PR Newswire

Coverage of Panels at the SIIA Content Forum on our Events Weblog

This year's SIIA content forum in San Francisco is bigger than ever and has been offering some very meaty panels offering practical insights into how to improve publishing services. Catch up with the details of many of the panels on our events weblog. We'll update this index as items are added. Key posts include:

Transformation Through Technologies

Case Studies: Looking at Insourcing and Outsourcing Solutions

Rapid Deployment of Content Assets

Bob Merry , President and Publisher, Congressional Quarterly

Jeffrey Moore: The Rise of New Models for Innovation

Sales, Marketing and Distribution in a Fragmented Market

New Ad Models & Techniques for Web Content

Chris Anderson on The Long Tail of Time

Licensing Strategies, Distribution Strategies and Negotiations that Work

Search Workshop for Publishers

Secondary Licensing - Realizing the Full Value of Your Content

CEO Panel

Monday, May 15, 2006

Headlines for 15 May 2006

Trends
Consumer Reports to Launch Magazine Dedicated to Shopping
WSJ Online*
Search sites answer calls for visual, community results
Reuters via CNET News
Redmond Eyes Online Ad Dollars
Red Herring
Snap.com Blurs Lines Between Ads, Content
AP via Yahoo! News
Whither Google? Report on Google’s Press Day Webcast
Information Today
Carmakers woo youth with Web videos
The Detroit News
Social networking continues to grow: —Social networking sites collectively grew 47% YOY in April
BtoB Online
Bloggers spreading 'netroots' in influence
Houston Chronicle
Enterprise Search Gets Lost
BusinessWeek

Best Practices
Information Safety And Accuracy: Is Google Trustable?
Robin Good
At an Industry Media Lab, Close Views of Multitasking
The New York Times*
Potential and pitfalls of government-produced information for AdSense content
Eric Giguere

Cool Tools
Hitachi Announces Commercial eBook-Like Display
Daily Tech
IBM wikis hard on Java's heels
Australian IT
Handmark(R) Pocket Express(TM) Wireless Services Bundled With Palm(R) Treo(TM) 700p Smartphone
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Microsoft Launches Beta of Expression Web Designer
Publish
New Google News Cloud tool provides related topic mapping
Google News Cloud

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

LexisNexis to Integrate FactSet Research Content
Information Today
Newstex Adds Blogs Covering Media and Enterprise Content to Blogs on Demand
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Newstex to Distribute Japan's Daily Yomiuri Via Content on Demand
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Autonomy and Cognos to Converge Results of Unstructured Information and Structured Data for BI
CNW Group
Media Gateway adds Newsweb to its content line-up
AME Info
MetaCarta Joins the Google Enterprise Professional Program to Extend the Power of Geographic Searches
PR Newswire
Reed Construction Data and Beck Technology to Partner in First-of-Its-Kind Project & Budget Tool
BusinessWire via Chron.com
Gannett Buys Interactive Advertising Technology Agency Planet Discover
AP via Yahoo!News

Products, Markets & People
Yahoo launches Philippine unit, sets eye on local mobile content
The Manila Bulletin
EDN.com Debuts New Vertical Search Solution
BusinessWire via TMCNet
New Xerox Software Reduces Copyright Worries for Print Providers
BusinessWire

The Circle of Politics Draws Tighter on Scholarly Publishers

The Guardian noted recently the progress of U.S. legislation to make publicly funded research available online, a development that's been tracked for some time but one which is beginning to resonate more strongly with scholarly publishers facing mounting pressures in other research-intensive markets such as the U.K. As the Guardian notes if this legislation were to become law there would be a major impact on the margins of scholarly publishers, though it's far from clear which direction they would take to address the issue. The open access model is cited most frequently as a reasonable alternative, but it's not clear that open access will be feasible as a solution for each and every scholarly market. Established circles of academic peer review have a power base that will move extremely slowly towards any changes that would disrupt their comfortable position in the publishing industry.

The slowness of change in the peer review process has been a hedge against rapid changes in scholarly publishing for many years, but with increased pressures from governments sponsoring research that hedge is likely to be trimmed reasonably soon. Governments needing results from research to power their economies in a highly competitive global economy have outgrown antiquated review processes and need new solutions - solutions that they're willing to force on a reluctant publishing industry intent on preserving print-based margins in a Web-centric publishing environment.

Open access is not the answer to each and every publishers' issues in making a graceful transition to an era of online content distribution, but if open access is not the answer then scholarly publishers need to think far more aggressively about how they can make the scholarly review process more efficient to keep up with the expectations of global scientific markets under pressure. People may not be willing to pay for access to the research per se, but they'll probably value very highly content and context driven by peer reviewers and other scholarly contributors built around that research to help them judge for themselves how valuable a piece of research really is. It's time for scholarly publishers to develop aggressively post-print models of premium profitability - before anxious governments force their own solutions on them.

Headline Summary for the Week of 8 May 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

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The New Subscription: Google Co-Op Transforms Search Into a New Kind of Aggregation Tool

Yesterday's annual press day at Google saw the debut of a number of interesting services. A new beta version of Google Desktop offers enhanced desktop "widget" software that can be dragged to a PC desktop or in some instances dragged from a Google personal homepage on the Web to the desktop. Nifty tricks that publishers should pay attention to, as they offer an opportunity to provide content in a key part of a user's screen real estate (see our earlier entry on Google's widgets). Also of interest are expanded desktop search capabilities and a new feature called Google Notebook due out next week. Google Notebook is billed as making it easier to collect and republish content from the Web. All part of the ongoing war with Microsoft for providing a usable desktop that blends Web content with personal and enterprise content, and all important evolutions in their own right.

But the big news for online publishers this week is Google Co-op, a new feature that is attempting to blend content subscription and reference models with the search engine paradigm. Google Co-op has two main components: topic maps and subscription tools. Publishers both amateur and professional are encouraged to submit content from their Web sites to Google Co-op with XML tags that make it easy for their content to be categorized in topic maps that appear above the main Google search results. When a user enters a search query on Google that matches a topic, a listing of subtopics that have tagged content available appears above normal search results. Clicking on one of these subtopics then displays a listing of search results relating to that subtopic - with tagged content appearing at the top of the list.

Users can "subscribe" to search results from sites using Google Co-op XML tags. Results from these sites appear above Google's normal search results and below the topic map when that site's content matches a topic. Users "subscribe" to sites much in the same way that they would subscribe to an XML weblog feed, except that you subscribe to links instead of to delivered content; click once on a publisher's icon in a directory that Google provides and you're done. While weak in its current form due to the very limited number of sites available for subscription (do I really care what Digg has to say about cancer? Maybe...). It's also possible to create subscription links to not only typical keywords but also very specific types of queries. For example, the technical documentation outlines how you can set up matches to queries such as "speed limit info for [place name]."

Google Co-op has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool for publishers - especially those providing premium content. It addresses the issue of what content people really want to see from professional publishers willing to support tagging versus "all the web" results fairly neatly. The subscription features in particular hold great potential. User-driven premium content aggregation has come to town, it appears, in a design that drives audiences to publishers' sites directly as well as to subscription databases.

There are just a handful of topics defined so far, one of them being "Health," which Janice McCallum discusses on this weblog in an earlier entry. As Janice notes Google Co-op is a way to encourage publishers to tag their content so that it will map to key topics effectively. The key thing to bear in mind is that this will be have to be true for ALL publishers rather quickly. As topics get built out over time more and more tagged content will push untagged content down the stack of search results for specific topics selected from topic maps. Normal search results will not be impacted in the short run - tags only relate to the topics when selected - but you can expect content with this valuable metadata to be factored into organic search engine results over time.

In the meantime Google has managed to come up with an innovative approach to categorized search that compels publishers of all stripes to provide highly visible and usable metadata for their online content. In a sense Google Co-op is like an inside-out Google Base: rather than try to get publishers to deposit and categorize content in a place that may not offer its most valuable context Google instead has allowed content to stay in at home on the servers where publishers can manage its value most effectively. There are a number of rough edges to this new feature, as usual, but in sum has the potential to take the relationship between publishers, users and Web search engines to a whole new level of service. It also has strong implications for the enterprise search environment as well, as these same tags could be used in time to integrate internal and external content more effectively via Google Desktop-initiated searches.

Just another day down at the Googleplex, though a very exciting one at that.

Google Health

Google Health has been widely anticipated in the past couple of weeks. After yesterday's press day at Google, the reaction to Google Health seems to have cooled, perhaps because it was introduced as part of a new program at Google called Google Co-op. Instead of the approach taken with Google Scholar or Google Finance, where Google staff choose sites to crawl for inclusion in the specialty search areas, Google Health will be a cooperative project between product architects at Google, authoritative sites selected by Google, and content tagged by interested individuals, businesses, and organizations. The latter categories of content "contributors" will earn higher relevancy rankings if sufficient number of people subscribe to that contributor's collection of labeled webpages.

Google Health comes out of the gate with seven "significant" providers whose content is being tagged by health professionals. They include the National Library of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control, Health on the Net Foundation, Harvard Medical School, Mayo Clinic, U. California, San Francisco, and Kaiser Permanente.

Co-op verticals are a clever means of providing an incentive for publishers in the hottest topic areas to add consistent tags to their content to improve the relevance of search. It is too early to gauge whether this approach will work. There are some questions about ease of tagging (see Danny Sullivan's review in Search Engine Watch). Nonetheless, this approach has the benefit of adding depth and an added level of relevancy to main search engine results; providing a targeted experience for users who want authoritative information on health topics; and providing a means for knowledgeable insiders and publishers to raise their profile via votes of confidences in the form of subscribers to their labeled webpages.

In essence, Google Co-op allows users to build their own list of favorites to rank as most relevant for a topic via subscribing to the sources listed in the directory as well as supplemental sources of labeled content. To reach its full potential, the ease with which individuals will be able to use the tools to become contributors to create their custom view of relevancy will be perhaps most important to the success of the co-op approach to vertical search.

Headlines for 11 May 2006

Trends
Google CEO sees "limitless growth"
Reuters
Google boosts web content management with Desktop 4 release
Computer Weekly
Google Press Day: Making Google Stickier
paidContent.org
The Perfect News Site, 2016
WSJ Online*
Is 'Big Daddy' Choking Google?
Publish
Reed Elsevier selling eight trade shows, magazine
Reuters
VNU Confirms Status of Supervisory and Executive Boards
BusinessWire
US senators propose to make scientific research freely available
Guardian Unlimited
Canon Communications Ex-CEO Forms New Company
FOLIO: Magazine
Microsoft: Let's Make More Deals
BusinessWeek
Advertising sales boost News Corp profits
999 Today
Congress targets social network sites
CNET News
Internet Agency Rejects '.xxx' Domain Name
Houston Chronicle

Cool Tools
Putting the Wire Back Into Networking
The New York Times*

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Netupdate, Inc. and Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Announce Mutual Referral Agreement
PR Newswire
Open Text Combines Invention Machine's Semantic Indexing and Concept Retrieval with Livelink ECM
BusinessWire via TMCNet
Yahoo, Telemundo create Yahoo! Telemundo
BusinessWeek
Rogers Wireless and Virtual Reach Introduce Rogers Newsclip
CNW Group

Products, Markets & People
USATODAY.com Launches My USA TODAY
PR Newswire via Yahoo!Finance
OneSource(R) to Co-Sponsor Clinton Global Initiative
BusinessWire via TMCNet