Thursday, August 31, 2006

2014 Already: The New York Times Offers a Newsletter Service

When an online presentation called EPIC 2014 made its debut on the Web a couple of years ago amongst its futuristic and jarring predictions was that by that date The New York Times will fold and become a newsletter for the elderly and the elite. It was with some amusement, then, that I received my copy of the NYT at the end of my driveway this week and pulled out...a light-version newsletter of the venerable paper. In standard letter paper format of just eight pages in length, the newsletter is being offered to subscribers who would like to receive a light version of the paper via email in a format suitable for local printing. At fifty cents it's a convenience that people on holiday are likely to appreciate, especially since it includes the daily crossword puzzle, so it's not a bad use of the print format.

Yet one wonders to what degree this kind of aggregation is going to appeal to readers on the go when the same machine that allows them to print out the newsletter also allows them to browse news online and to visit aggregation sites such as Original Signal that highlight the RSS feeds of many of the key Web 2.0 weblogs available online. Now if there were a news service that could allow me to get a print-formatted version of any number of news sources along with treats such as crosswords and such - ah, that would be worth something, to be sure.

One cannot fault the NYT for trying to maintain the value of their brand for beachcombers who don't want to bring electronics along to ponder Will Shortz' puzzles but it highlights the opportunities for a new generation of aggregators to think about how they can create value for audiences on the go who have a world of content from other sources that can entertain them when they're not willing to browse the Web. Welcome to 2014, readers - a few years early.

Headlines for 31 August 2006

Trends
Release of Google Contract with UC Sparks Criticism
Library Journal
Google Goes for the Suite Spot
BusinessWeek
Website Owners Applaud as Google Delists or Bans Garbage Sites
eMediaWire
Five Do's and Don'ts for the New News Media
Christine.net
Will Social Nets Be The New Monopoly On Music Rights & Earnings?
paidContent.org
I've Been Rocketboomed
Micro Persuasion
FOO Camp 06: Plenty of Smart People, Self-Organization, and Web 2.0 Goodness
Dion Hinchcliffe
YouTube launches Colleges, enters Facebook territory
Download Squad
N.Y. Times move to block U.K. readers raises questions
Reuters via CNET News
No Day at the Beach: Bloggers Struggle With What to Do About Vacation
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Web content on trial: Who gets sued?
IT Business.ca

Cool Tools
Faces.com stands apart in social networking
TechCrunch

Products, Markets & People
ReedLink Offers Manufacturers Opportunity to Add Content
PR.com
Newsweek's Whitaker to Leave Editor Post; Meacham to Take Over
WSJ Online*
AOL.com Launches FanHouse Blogs for Football Enthusiasts and Sports Fans
AOL

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Realignment: Google's Schmidt Joins Apple's Board of Directors

The "tubes" are abuzz with chatter about Google's new business-oriented "Apps for our Domain" service, which is interesting but somewhat off-topic for this weblog. Like many online developments Google's application suite is more about the battle for I.T. supremacy between Google and Microsoft than any specific publishing concern. But combined with the announcement of Google CEO Eric Schmidt joining the board of Apple the chessboard of corporate positioning takes on a new wrinkle that should get publishers thinking. With Microsoft's DRM scheme having been hacked already and the early views of their new Vista operating system presaging a slow and bulky package that's not likely to favor upgrades to current PCs Microsoft may find itself in a position that will not be terribly favorable for consumer and enterprise migration.

So if Vista's going to be a slow-to-arrive "magic bullet" and Google's making headway with productivity apps that can appeal to the anti-Microsoft crowd, might this be a time when consumers and businesses begin to look at the Intel-based Apple platform as a more serious alternative? If so, then publishers have a lot to think about. With Apple's success in music and video downloads and pressures on them for more portability, the presence of Google on the Apple board is likely to influence moves that could result in content packaging that could appeal to a broader array of publishers and operate in both Apple and non-Apple venues over time. The bloom is already off the iPod rose, so the question becomes how to engineer the next content-driven gizmo success.

The combined thinking of Google and Apple would be a powerful driver for a more content-centric approach to information appliances. Microsoft's new management team is trying to push in that direction also rather aggressively, but with a boat anchor like Vista to carry around it's not clear how quickly or effectively it's going to be able to make that transition. Expect Google-Apple alternatives that leverage Google's huge server farm investment to evolve incrementally and acceptance of them to accelerate as Vista question marks become more pronounced in business and consumer circles.

New Checkout Procedure: Google Book Downloads Enabled for Non-Copyrighted Content

If you're one to look for "tipping points," news from Bloomberg of the availability of downloadable books from its book search service may qualify as the moment in which the norm was to have an eBook format available for literature. The service itself is nothing to shout about: instead of being able to flip through images of an introduction to Dante's Inferno online I can now view a download of that same book in PDF format plastered with "Digitized by Google" labels and prefaced by "keep it legal" advisories to encourage care as copyright laws vary from country to country. The boilerplate also advises against making commercial use of these downloads, which is somewhat ironic but necessary in the light of publishers concerned about Google's semi-competitive position. Other than that the PDFs are just image shots of a book right off of a library shelf, with all of the little notes, stamps and scribbles that a volume accumulates through the years. Searching of the PDF is not enabled since it's just an image file, which makes the searchable online versions more useful for research. But if you're dying to have one of these books on your PC or mobile device you're good to go.

As is often the case with Google these features roll out incrementally and individually may not seem to be hugely significant in and of themselves. But in this instance I think that it's important to recognize the breadth of literature that will come into downloadable status automatically as time moves on. As with many Web inventions it's not so much what they do out of the box that matters as much as the net effect of millions of people worldwide becoming used to a format as normal and acceptable. Book publishers are beginning to ramp up for eBooks in a big way now that a new generation of readers migrates to Web-defaulted reading patterns, a trend that is likely to be accelerated by Google Books having made centuries of literature available in that format.

Headlines for 30 August 2006

Trends
Google to Offer Downloadable Versions of Out-of-Copyright Books
Bloomberg News
Hypergrowth Web era gives way to media dealmaking
Reuters
IDG Goes To China
Forbes.com
Danny Sullivan Leaving Search Engine Watch
Daggle
Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt Joins Apple's Board of Directors
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Clip and Save Holds Its Own Against Point and Click
The New York Times*
Pilot invites go out for Microsoft’s AdSense competitor adCenter
TechCrunch
Mags drop print for Web to reach teens
AP via Yahoo! News
A Social Newsblog and Sighting Center for Information, Entertainment and Interaction
PR Newswire
Will All of Us Get Our 15 Minutes On a YouTube Video?
WSJ Online
Now Even AT&T Loves MuniFi
GigaOM
Blogs Start Job Boards
Red Herring
Ex-Rocketboomer partners with PopURLs
Scobelizer
Microsoft's Digital Rights Management System Hacked
All Headline News

Best Practices
9 Ways for Newspapers to Improve Their Websites
The Bivings Report
Targeting the Social Behavior
ClickZ News
Mining the World's Data for What You Need
Ecommerce Times

Cool Tools
Nimbuzz: MSN and Google Talk for your mobile
Download Squad
blojsom: Internal Aggregator Plugin
blojsom

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier to Publish ISA Transactions
ISA
Saxony Consortium Chooses Elsevier's Leading Online Resources
PR Newswire
Marketingworks to deploy Nstein's Ntelligent Enterprise Search and sentiment analysis via IBM
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

Products, Markets & People
Swets Launches the 'China Suite'
Managing Information
Yahoo! Go for Mobile Now Available for Windows Mobile Devices
BusinessWire
Jupitermedia's JupiterWeb Division Launches APIFinder.com
BusinessWire
OhmyNews Japan service launched
The Japan Times
JupiterResearch Adds Research Service Dedicated to Social Marketing
Tekrati

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rich News: The New York Times Acquires Industrial-Strength Entertainment Data

The announcement of The New York Times' acquisition of Baseline StudioSystems is raising some eyebrows, as reflected in a piece at Motley Fool today (subscription). Brian Gorman points out in the article that it seems odd that the NYT would take on a company primarily oriented towards B2B business intelligence. Yet that in and of itself may be a key component of the deal, not to mention the rich licensing of entertainment profiles and other industry data to consumer portals such as Yahoo!. and more. On the B2B side the entertainment industry's bizintel infrastructure is has been tooling up significantly in recent years as the industry finds itself having to respond to more real-time marketing and image management issues prompted by Web distribution and commentary. So if the NYT is looking for a good foundation of revenues the B2B side of this deal makes sense, much as About.com's solid revenues made for a good starting point.

But it's just a starting point. Beyond solid B2B potential is the ability to syndicate entertainment content to the explosion of movie and video outlets on the Web and to solidify its own solid entertainment content with rich data on the premium side of the online fence. While their Times Select premium online content offering has not been a failure it's had limited success with consumers: adding more solid sector-specific rich data to add to business coverage is perhaps another angle by which NYT can go more toe to toe with the Wall Street Journal over time in business sectors where it already offers significant strength.

Another interesting property of Baseline StudioSystems is their Script Log 2.0 system, an online service that allows scripts and materials to be tracked and submitted online and assigns material to readers along with a host of reports and management features. In a world of journalism that is becoming increasingly virtual this may be infrastructure that could help an organization like the NYT could use to manage independent authors more effectively. Call that one pure spec, but it's a tool with intriguing possibilities.

All in all this is not a deal that your average columnist can chop into digestible sound bites easily but in sum it seems to make sense from a revenue and strategy standpoint when you look at the details. Since fewer people go to newspapers any more to get entertainment listings this important information needs to be ready to travel with audiences to the entertainment venues that matter most to them - and along with that will come the Times brand. Think of this as but one step along the path towards The New York Times embracing The New Aggregation in a bigger way.

Headlines for 29 August 2006

Trends
The mobile Internet: Are we there yet?
CNET News
Reflections on Knight-Ridder: What-Ifs of a Media Eclipse
The New York Times*
'OhmyNews Has Unlimited Potential': Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank
OhmyNews
Outsourcing takes on to journos!
The Hindu
Yahoo rolls out a more comprehensive real estate site
Washington Post
Lycos Looks to Video via Blinkx
BusinessWeek
BookMooch Online Book Exchange
Download Squad
An Odd Buy for New York Times
Motley Fool*
Hearst to Close Two Print Titles
FOLIO: Magazine
Journal Register says explores sale of some papers to focus on online properties
Reuters
EBay Gambles on Google Partnership for Success of Skype, the Internet Phone Service
The New York Times*
Google aims to befriend UK television industry: "Not a media company"
Reuters
Viacom Discovers Kids Don't Want Their MTV Online
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
It’s becoming a rule “to RSS” information
Promotion World

Cool Tools
Simply Headlines : RSS snapshot
Library Clips
firstRain Patented Technology Increases Speed and Relevance of Searches
PR Newswire
A9 OpenSearch enables aggregation of search results in common
format

A9

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier and UCLA announce the publication of Carranza's Clinical Periodontology
EurekAlert

Products, Markets & People
CNET PartnerAccess: Content and Communication Between Manufacturers and Channel Partners
BusinessWire
ProQuest Selected to Digitize Major Historic Newspapers
PR Newswire

Monday, August 28, 2006

News Analysis - $100 Million Locomotive: GE's Calhoun Couples Up with VNU to Haul B2B Media's Future

VNU's new ownership has moved to put in an aggressive management team focused on transforming the Dutch publishing giant into a high-efficiency engine of profits. At the head one now finds David Calhoun, spirited away from General Electric's Industrial division. A locomotive man at the head of this train is probably not a bad idea given the strength and vision that's required to lift leading B2B media companies into higher levels of performance. With Michael Marchesano and Robert Krakoff pulling their portion of the freight VNU has assembled a powerful team that will have a lot to prove and much to transform in the months ahead.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 21 August 2006

Trends
Google, eBay form advertising alliance
AP via Yahoo! News
Google expands into business software market
Reuters
Google Adds Library Search
TechWeb
At Forbes.com, Lots of Glitter but Maybe Not So Many Visitors
The New York Times*
Google boss: 'Internet won't replace TV'
This is London
Windows Live breaks into Alexa Top 10
Read/Write Web
Free Streaming Quotes On Yahoo Finance
Download Squad
More media, less news: Newspapers adapting to Web, but most too timid, defensive or high-minded
The Economist
European Commission calls on Member States to Contribute to the European Digital Library
Public CIO
Tribune to cut 250 call-center jobs in outsourcing move
Reuters
HarperCollins Explores Opportunities in China, India
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Outsourcing Creative Content
Global Services
Feeds That Matter: A Study of Bloglines Subscriptions
ebiquity group
An Open Letter to Microsoft - Why you shouldn't kill FairUse4WM
Engadget

Cool Tools
Yoto T-21 offers portable media playback for USD 50
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Groxis Inc. Raises $4 Million in Series B Financing; Visual Search Pioneer to Expand Marketing & Sales
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
The New York Times Company Acquires Baseline StudioSystems from Hollywood Media Corp.
BusinessWire
Convera Announces Web Search Partnership in Japan with All In One Solution to Create Portals
Internet Ad Sales

Products, Markets & People
Post Time Media Launches News Blog and Website Portals for Information, Events, Activities and More
PR Web

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Headline Summary for Week of 21 August 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, August 25, 2006

Quoza vs. Thomson/CCBN: Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Regs as a Lever for Web Mining

Investor Relations magazine reports on an interesting approach to openness in Web text mining taken by Quoza.com, an online service that focuses on extracting content from the Web sites of more than 7,000 public companies and news sources covering those companies. Much of this content appears on investor relations sites, many of which are hosted by Thomson Financial's CCBN corporate communications service. When Quoza's crawlers were getting so aggressive that they started to skew CCBN's Web site report statistics they were tipped off - and ticked off enough to bar Quoza crawlers. Quoza responded with an email blitz to CCBN clients suggesting that they check with their lawyers as to whether Thomson's actions were putting their companies in jeopardy of violating U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act Section 409 real-time issuer disclosure regulations. Needless to say, this caused quite a stir in corporate communications circles.

It's an interesting play to protect Web crawling, but it may be on shaky legal ground. The CCBN service is already exposing content to the public, while services such as Quoza are simply helping to accelerate the redistribution of this content. Quoza provides an aggressive crawling scheme, hitting sources once each minute on a 24-hour basis. This puts it in the zone of being potentially subject to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which has been used in a number of instances to rein in aggressive access to Web sites and other electronic facilities. The real question hinges on a key phrase in SOX 409 which says that information must be disclosed by corporations to the public on "an urgent basis". Is posting something on a Web site really "urgent" distribution? If there are distributors willing to do better, shouldn't public records be available to them on an urgent basis?

While good legal teams could
push this to Thomson's favor without too much difficulty, there are reasons enough for them to rethink their approach to this situation. It's a simple enough fight to take on a renegade redistributor of public information, but what would happen if corporations with their own crawlers were excluded? That would be a tougher fight, no doubt, and a greater threat to service performance. Quoza could stand to get some marketing savvy and work with services suppliers such as Thomson to share the wealth from premium services derived from their proactive crawls so that their infrastructure costs could be born fairly. But at the same time suppliers like Thomson could get smart and recognize that there are great opportunities in distributing public information of all kinds far more aggressively than most IR site services are equipped to support. There are no clear heros or villains in this tiff but plenty of opportunity to make the most of public content.

Headlines for 25 August 2006

Trends
Quoza to Thomson/CCBN clients: You may be violating Sox 409
IR Magazine
The Data War: Google, Yahoo, and MSN
ClickZ Network
Confidentiality of Piracy Reports to SIIA Upheld Court Case Determines Piracy Trumps Defamation Claim
PR Newswire
This 'Pirate' Flopped: Time, Inc. pulls the plug on Web site for young men
New York Post
Audiences Demand "Urgency, Utility, Visual Energy And Interaction"
paidContent.org
New 411 User Survey Points To Mobile Local Search Demand
Search Engine Watch
IEEE Communications Society Chooses Eprise from SilkRoad Technology for Web Content Management
CRM Today
An Easy Way to Keep up with Web 2.0
Micro Persuasion
BP, Wolters Kluwer Cash Hoards May Slow Bond Sales in Europe
Bloomberg News
Google Seeks Fund Rule Exemption to Increase Investment Returns
Bloomberg News
Editorial: Let Companies Buy and Sell News
LA Times*
Microsoft's Zune aims to be social butterfly via content sharing
CNET News

Cool Tools
Windows Live Connection Center Wi-Fi Beta
Techlog.org
Affiliate RSS Feed Syndication Available from AvantLink.com
eMediaWire
Amazon, Now Offering Computing On Demand
GigaOM

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

WSJ enters publishing pact with Hindustan Times
IANS via Daily India.com

Products, Markets & People
Complinet Launches Unique Regulatory Calendar Service
PR Newswire
CMP Technology introduces 'RFID Applications' event for hospitality and health care markets
BtoB Online

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Google Base API Feeds Open Up a World of Content to Value-Add Publishing

Thanks and a tip of the hat to DevX News for picking up on the announcement of the new Google Base programming API that allows content to be extracted easily from this rapidly growing data store. URL-based queries go in and an XML-formatted data feed comes out via Google's RSS-like Atom Feed format. Google offers a demo page to show just how easy it is to get information into a highly digestible form that can be used to build all kinds of content-oriented applications quickly and effectively. One needs to have a Google login ID to use the service (natch), but other than that it's open to all.

For those who think that this may have impact just on consumer goods and services try out the tool on Product News Network Publisher Paul Gerbino's favorite example of "flushometers." The normal search results are here - a fair amount of useful industrial content, to be sure. The buzz surrounding Google Base has been fairly low key as of late but the reality of Google Base is an infrastructure that is allowing structured content to become as accessible as unstructured Web content in a simple and reliable format.

With the Google Base API there's a tool now that will allow publishers of all kinds to consider how to integrate Google Base content into everything from mashups to high-end publishing products. It's encouraging to see a very visible example of how a new generation of feeds is changing how content can be consumed on many levels by individuals and institutions alike.

Headlines for 24 August 2006

Trends
AT&T sues data brokers for stolen customer records
Reuters via Computerworld
eBay Loosens Restrictions on Digital Content Sales
Auction Bytes
Asia warms up to intellectual property
CNET News
Google Data API Opens Up Its Base
DevX
How Will Search Fit Into The Media Mix In 2011?
Search Insider
The Web 2.0 Economic Conundrum
Micro Persuasion
VCs See Dollar Signs in Blogosphere
Law.com
Investing in blogging, part II
Scobelizer
Fireside Chat: The Long Tail
37 Signals
Suppliers, Intermediaries Tear Down the Walled Garden of Content and Let Users Inside
HospitalityNet
A New Story Lead for the Newspaper Industry: Newspaper Websites Contribute to Audience Growth
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
'Wiki wars' rage in political arena
McClatchy News via RealCities
Harlequin hopes e-book offerings will seduce more readers
IT Business.ca
Borders Group Down, Reshuffles Management
AP via Houston Chronicle
Actress Xu Jinglei most popular blogger in world
China Daily
Internet search gets Web 2.0 style
CNET News

Best Practices
How to make your blog more useable in 3 steps
The Blog Herald
Going to the Source: Dallas Paper Uses Footnotes in Print
Editor & Publisher

Cool Tools
Stay informed with 4INFO mobile search
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Moody's 49 pct stake purchase of China Chengxin gets govt approval - report
AFX via Forbes
Elsevier to publish Mendeleev Communications: Russian Academy of Sciences partners with Elsevier
EurekAlert
Taylor & Francis Partners With EBSCO In Global eBooks Offer
Managing Information

Products, Markets & People
Rightslink(R) Chosen by Springer to Fine-Tune Worldwide Copyright Permissions
BusinessWire
Factiva Achieves Top Market Position According to Analyst Firm
PR Newswire via Bolsamania
VNU Business Media launches 'Contract China'
BtoB Online

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mini-Size Me: Trying to Bridge the Gap to Local Online News Content

Ken Doctor notes on his ContentBridges weblog an effort by Amy Webb of Philadelphia to try to consume nothing but online news content for thirty days - kind of the inverse of Morgan Sperlock's quest to eat nothing but McDonald's food for a month chronicled in his movie "SuperSize Me". It's the inverse because unlike Spurlock's dangerous weight gain Amy found herself on a starvation diet for certain kinds of news. Between mainstream news, weblogs and other sources she kept up with mostly via RSS feeds she felt that she had done a good job of understanding world and national news but she was flunking out on local news. Ken ticks of a short list of mobile-oriented equipment that can be used to "replace" a local newspaper these days, but it's far from clear that this alone is going to fill the bill.

There are a wide variety of experiments in online local news collection large and small, including my home town's WestportNow, a great online collection of news, down-home photos and such. But in most instances they are supported by a very thin layer of revenues from Google AdSense and a few venturesome local merchants: most local advertising is either in print or search engine ads, not local online content sources. As much as it's great to talk about how weblogs and other user-generated tools are revolutionizing content, there are very few examples of how they are helping local communities collect and distribute news to the point of providing robust news-sustaining revenues.

Local papers, especially community weeklies, continue to have a stranglehold on local news reporting of substance, and most continue to support that reporting via the one medium that local marketeers continue to understand: print. Search engine ads help local merchants to extend their markets, but it's print for the one thing that people are likely to pick up and browse at the local coffee shop. This will change over time as the Amys of the world get fed differently and a new generation of local merchants thinks differently, but I am not expecting that any time soon. For local news to succeed online there needs to be a combination of professional editorial resources combined with community input and the ability to help local merchants become online marketers as well as advertisers to drive new revenue streams.

I have a six-year old business plan that's ready to be dusted off for doing this right - I don't think that the fundamentals of the market have changed all that much and newspaper chains will progress towards online solutions as slowly as possible until really viable alternatives arrive. In the meantime they will suffer a "death of a thousand cuts" from a wide variety of fractured channels such as Craigslist and American Town Network that are building pockets of value which will drain off their news-supporting revenues step by step. Sorry, Ken, print's not the enemy but a lack of imagination in how to develop effective marketing channels via online news for local markets. The solution includes today's technologies, yes, but these technologies have been widely available for quite some time. The imagination to string them together effectively with an effective marketing model is what's lacking.

Headlines for 23 August 2006

Trends
Google could face Brazil lawsuit
BBC News
Researchers Yearn to Use AOL Logs, but They Hesitate
The New York Times*
'Google-creep' strikes again as website puts itself up for sale
The Guardian
How Google can make - or break - your company
Fortune Small Business/CNN
Privacy Worries Spur New Search Engine Tool
InformationWeek
Microsoft Signs Agreement to Show Ads on Facebook Friend Finder
Bloomberg News
Blogging for big bucks
Business 2.0 via CNN Money.com
Blogs As Media Bubble Business 2.0, Or Something Like That
paidContent.org
Exploding books: The blooking of the world
BuzzMachine
Google's love affair with old media
FT Deutchland
What's the Big Deal With Social Search?
ClickZ Network
Marketing.FM Marketing and Advertising Blog Network
Online Marketing Blog
U.S. magazines' newsstand sales fall
Reuters
Can German engineering fix Wikipedia?
CNET News
ABC Sells News Clips on iTunes
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Digital Diet: Just Say No to Papyrus
Content Bridges
Exploring the scholarly neighborhood
Google Blog
Eliminating the Echo Chamber
The Blog Herald

Cool Tools
Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Beta 2 released - finally a GUI
Download Squad
Urchin RSS Aggregator
Urchin

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Knovel Partners With Synapse Information Resources for Engineering, Pharma and Industrial Content
PR Newswire
FAST and Fuji Xerox Singapore Team Close Partnership to Serve the ASEAN Market
BusinessWire
EcoWin data added to Perfect Information analysis
Information World Review
Outsell acquires Electronic Publishing Services
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
VNU Names David L. Calhoun Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer
BusinessWire
BusinessWeek Appoints Roger W. Neal As New SVP and General Manager of BusinessWeek Online
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
ScienceDirect Redesign is Proven to Enhance Researcher Productivity
PR Newswire
VNU Business Media pulls content from five titles to create new Web site for marketing professionals
BtoB Online

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Elsevier Delivers Valuable Enterprise Scientific Content to Broad Audiences via Scopus Selected Sources

Elsevier has announced a new enterprise content mining and distribution service for its Scopus abstract and citation database of scientific, technical, medical and social science content. The Scirius search engine that has been used by Elsevier to crawl Web content for scientific information, powers the new Scopus Selected Sources feature that crawls similar internal repositories of scientific content. Using the Selected Sources feature an institution can expose this internal content to its own enterprise users via Scopus as well as to others outside of their enterprise. Lecture notes, presentations, manuscripts, pre-press papers and other similar materials will now be available to far greater general audiences, supplementing peer-reviewed materials available to scientific audiences within a familiar framework through which they already access abstracts and citations on published sources. The service is highly customizable, allowing customers to create complimentary content streams that fit in to specific areas of interest through the Scopus interface.

While the technology used to create the Selected Sources feature is hardly new, it's a very important breakthrough for scientific publishers to embrace the exposure of enterprise content to a more general audience. It helps to expose ideas and research under investigation in a way that is far more likely to result in powerful awareness and interactions surrounding the work of scientific professionals in highly useful contexts. The Selected Sources feature positions Elsevier as a provider of a far broader base of content than just journals that can help scientific professionals to solve key problems and that can help to position participating institutions as thought leaders in ways that will encourage collaboration. It's "low hanging fruit" from a product design perspective but as a first step it's an exciting hint of what scientific publishers can do to develop high-margin services that amplify the value of an enterprise's intellectual property significantly.

Headlines for 22 August 2006

Trends
FTC chief slams net neutrality
Silicon.com
Publishers Fight Back Against Google with New Book Search Service
eWeek
VCs see opportunity in blogosphere
CNET News
Google CEO wants $74 billion TV ad market
ZDNet
YouTube to Sell Advertisements In Video Format
WSJ Online*
Google & MTV Networks Streaming Content Pilot
Search Engine Roundtable
AOL Reviews Privacy Policy After Shake-Up
CIO
WaPo Does FM?
FM Publishing
Standard & Poor's places CNET Networks on CreditWatch
BtoB Online
WOWIO Introduces 'ebooks for Free' Concept to U.S. Readerdom
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Google welcomes Writely sign-ups
CNET News

Best Practices
Content Aggregation And The New Curators: Podcasting Newsmasters
Robin Good
RSS Syndication Raises SEO and Online Visibility
The Open Press
How Weekly Magazines Try to Balance News on the Internet, in Print Editions
WSJ Online*

Cool Tools
Winer Navigates RSS River Of News On Mobile Devices; Starts With NYT, BBC
paidContent.org
AmigoFish, VlogMap Point to Podcast Goodness
MediaShift
SanDisk takes on Apple with latest MP3 player
FT via MSNBC

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

GlobalSpec Announces Enhanced Partnership with CMP Technology's Electronics Group
GlobalSpec
Moreover Technologies and Information360 to Provide Media and Researchers with Real-Time Online News
Internet Ad Sales
Encyclopaedia Britannica Selects Omniture to Optimize Online Customer Engagement
Internet Ad Sales
CMP Sells Book Titles to Elsevier
FOLIO: Magazine
OCLC Unifies Digitization Forces with Its Acquisition of DiMeMa
Information Today
Perfect Information Partners with Reuters EcoWin
BobsGuide
Salesforce.com Acquires Kieden
WSJ Online*

Products, Markets & People
ScienceDirect Redesign is Proven to Enhance Researcher Productivity
PR Newswire
Springer Launches SpringerLink for Access to the Springer eBook Collection
Managing Information
Nstein launches 12 UIMA annotators supporting intelligent enterprise search and sentiment analysis
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Mondosoft Names Agner N. Mark as Chairman of the Board
BusinessWire
Dow Jones Newswires Unveils "Dow Jones Advantage" Enhanced Development Program
BusinessWire
Plaxo Introduces "Connected Index," Ranks Most Connected Countries; Argentina Tops List
BusinessWire
Scopus Announces first-of-its-kind Customized Institutional Resources and Digital Archive Searches
WebWire
LexisNexis to offer new e-mail archive service
Dayton Business Journal
Elsevier To Publish Chinese Chemical Letters
Library Journal

Monday, August 21, 2006

News Analysis - 12x Train Departing: B2B Media M&A Deals are Helping the Strong Become Stronger

It's still a hot market for mergers and acquisitions in publishing today, especially for companies that have picked out profitable niches and built strong relationships with their audiences. But it's clear that the deals of 2005 are not the deals of 2006. Where last year portfolios were being trimmed and fattened left and right this year is seeing aggressive multiples rewarded only to those companies that have defined diverse paths to profits that will fit in with increasingly sophisticated and demanding audiences. Getting 12x cash flow is not unheard of these days, but be prepared to be examined carefully for how your products and services deliver on many levels.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 21 August 2006

Trends
Third Time's a Charm? Google Sued for Click Fraud (Again)
eWeek
Google search share slips after 11 months of increases
IT Wire
How Weekly Magazines Try to Balance News on the Internet, in Print Editions
WSJ Online*
Wikipedia Tops Education Information Sites
iMedia Connection
Bloggers Gauge Web 2.0 Features for Newspaper Sites Around World
MediaShift
Now the Music Industry Wants Guitarists to Stop Sharing
The New York Times*
Bill Gates, Newspaper Guy
Seattle Weekly
Space Shot: Bloomberg Headquarters
Fast Company
WashingtonPost.com Launches Sponsored Blogroll
Adotas
Is Fighting TiVo a Good Idea?
ClickZ Network
Road Trip: Testing Google's Wi-Fi Network
Publish
'Comment is Free,' but designing communities is hard
USC Annenberg OJR
At Some Publishers, Nonbusiness Is Going Strong
The New York Times*

Best Practices
User Experience Design: The Importance Of A Great Ending
Robin Good
Google AdSense: What Pamela Anderson And Mr. Rogers Taught Me
Best Syndication
A Company Blog Keeps People Connected
BusinessWire
Who Owns the Online Brand? How Publishers Can Better Share Brand Value with Advertisers
Adotas

Cool Tools
Feeds2Be: Either you create an RSS feed, or you will be "scraped"
Silicon Beat

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier Extends Content Offering to Entertainment Technology Professionals with Content from CMP
MarketWire
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Seattle Times Launch Advanced TV Personalization with MeeVee
BusinessWire

Headline Summary for Week of 14 August 2006

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Friday, August 18, 2006

A Rush to Launch: Google's Blogger Beta Trips Up in Wake of Windows Live Writer Debut

Microsoft's new Windows Live Writer weblogging beta software is getting positive reviews from many corners, albeit with some grumblings that it's dumbing down blogging for the masses. But at a first pass it's a very competent package that integrates well as a front end to many existing weblogging packages - including Google's own Blogger utility. Two days after the Live Writer introduction Google introduced quietly its own beta of an enhanced version of Blogger that offers features such as tagging that have been offered by other weblogging services for quite some time. The Blogger beta has been marked by numerous technical issues and limitations chronicled in the Blogger Help Group bulletin board. While Google would probably say otherwise it appears that the Blogger beta is a very rushed response to Microsoft that is exposing the limits of Google's current vision for personal publishing.

While suppliers such as Google and SixApart have been focusing on weblogs and others on Wikis, Microsoft has rightly broadened the question that they are trying to answer in personal publishing. With a mish-mosh of weblogs, wikis, emails, messaging and other systems available for personal expression there is a crying need for an environment where it's easy to shift from personal expression to collaborative expression to formal expression as simply as possible. This first "hit" application from Microsoft's Live family is an important step towards a more author-oriented approach to personal publishing that other tools suppliers need to consider carefully in expanding their own marketing strategies. The days of weblogs and wikis may not be numbered, but the days of having to wrestle with half-baked software packages that solve only part of what people want out of personal publishing may be drawing to a close.

Headlines for 18 August 2006

Trends
Timely Change: Newsweekly Switches to Fridays
WSJ Online*
CBS Evening News To Be Shown Live on Internet
Broadcasting & Cable
ABM Panel: B2B Publishers Should Partner with Search Engines
FOLIO: Magazine
Conde Nast working on its Net
CNET News
YouTube video policy takes on iTunes
Guardian
TiVo awarded $90M and permanent injunction aginst EchoStar
Engadget
In Florida, a Library Park Emerges
Library Journal
Bursting Technorati’s Blogosphere
Stats at George Mason University
Boeing 'Disappoints' In-Flight Internet Partner
CIO Magazine
Google domination of world's information includes your playlists
ZDNet
Google Video: No Tube of Plenty
BusinessWeek
Web Searches Go Low-Tech: You Ask, a Person Answers
Washington Post
The Complicated Web Of Content Licensing
InformationWeek

Cool Tools
Touchline Media finds a new way to "cell" magazines
Mail & Guardian

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Google WiFis Mountain View: Are Ads Really Out of the Picture?

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on Google's launch of a free municipal WiFi network for its home town of Mountain View, California, with MetroFi providing the "tubes" for the system covering its 72,000 residents. A Google ID and password are required to log in to the free system, a strong motivation for people to provide profiles to Google that will activate a widening range of value-add services such as personalization, mail, messaging and ecommerce. Google sees this as a lever to accelerate rolling out similar services in San Francisco, a strategy that will make a Google login a "must-have" for Web users on the go in wired municipalities.

Google claims it has no plans to put an additional layer of ads to monetize their wireless plans, seeing the additional eyeballs for its existing ad services a good enough revenue driver that supports its mission of universal access. This will work in some locales such as Silicon Valley where Web access is considered a birthright by many. But what about the far-flung corners of the earth where public funding for such ventures may be a little shaky? As the showcasing phase of this project progresses, there will need to be a firmer value proposition offered to municipalities for providing services of a high enough quality to justify an investment in free access. In New York City there are islands of free access that are oftentimes highly overcrowded with users and prone to hackers: with more solid funding of access through optional supplementary ad layers Google could provide towns and cities with the ability to choose how they want to finance free WiFi to the point where we begin to have truly universal access.

Don't expect this to be the last word in what Google will do to move forward with WiFi support, especially should media-conscious carriers begin to make competitive offers to municipalities. It's kind of ironic that the old AOL model has been turned on its head to provide a universal login centered around the world's content rather than a proprietary set of databases - something that the telecoms carriers are having are hard time accepting as well. With Google's increasing abilities to contexualize and localize ads for its users, they have everything to gain from its universal access efforts. Just think of all of those coupons that they just launched through Google Maps - what a kick to be able to log in to Google right in front of a store where you can use their coupon! Early days, to be sure, but the mission of universal access could be just what Main Street/High Street needs to get a shot in the arm.

Headlines for 17 August 2006

Trends
YouTube gets its close-up Popular video site even leaves 'em sleepless near Seattle
San Francisco Chronicle
There's only one online community that matters
The Times Online
Newspapers, online giants collaborating
Courier Post
Thailand: IP owners advised to sell their licenses if they do not want to do businesses themselves
Thais News

Best Practices
RSS Newsfeeds Aggregation: My Business Experience
Robin Good
Blogs are one of the best SEO tools available
IQBlog
Blogs, Wikis, Forums Sway Consumer Opinion, Research Shows
TechWeb

Cool Tools
Yahoo! Answers Now Has an API
Search Engine Roundtable

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Barron's Online Now Carrying Seeking Alpha Headlines
Seeking Alpha
Congressional Quarterly Launches CQ Legislative Impact With MarkLogic Server; Integrates 30+ Sources
BusinessWire

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Pay-Per-Post: A New Option for Independent Journalism or Low-Class PR?

An AdSense banner ad caught my eye in searching for headlines today that brought me to the site for PayPerPost, a rather ingenious way for marketers to get PR out in the "blogosphere". In a nutshell, a company wanting PR (termed "advertisers" on the PayPerPost beta Web site) can post opportunities for webloggers to post content on their site regarding a specific topic that a company would like to have covered. Bloggers have to fulfill certain quality requirements and posts must stay on their sites for a period of time before they will be paid by the marketers - and the pay ain't much: 100-word posts go typically for USD 10 and 50-word posts for USD 5. For these rates the likely quality equates to little more than paid search engine spam for marketeers who want to create synthetic "buzz" for their products and concepts. Yuk.

If this particular instance of Pay-Per-Post is not likely to result in quality content it's worth noting that the model as a whole may have some long-term promise. We see at Gather contests for the best stories submitted to the service and of course AOL has had a good degree of success in hiring away social bookmarkers from the Digg service to support Netscape. People with money are willing to pay for amateur and semi-pro content out of pocket, a concept that may have some appeal to people who are unable to get out of contextual ad dollars what they feel their efforts are worth. The trick is to make it a market for independent journalism and not a propaganda marketplace. For example, if a on online journal or a corporate weblog needed a piece on a particular topic, why not put out a price tag for it and let good webloggers fight for the right to post at a realistic rate? Or, alternatively, if a good weblogger is writing on a key topic, why not auction off the redistribution rights to the highest bidder online?

Some say that there's no such thing as bad PR, but it's clear that paying for artificial enthusiasm disguised as real interest is not in the long-term marketing interests of companies. But on the other hand new tools that enable high-quality independent writers and opinion-makers to make a living out of generating content that's consumed via key channels may be in the long-term interests of both publishers and authors. Expect there to be further ideas for online authoring marketplaces that provide a more sophisticated approach than PayPerPost to paying authors for quality content and more ideas as to how marketers can leverage weblogs effectively for PR value in a more authentic way.

Headlines for 16 August 2006

Trends
Google gives city free Wi-Fi Internet company's hometown of Mountain View gets network
San Francisco Chronicle
Google Says It Has No Plans for National Wi-Fi Service
The New York Times*
CNN expands citizen journalism with I-Report initiative
Strategiy
Handicapping The Next Big Web 2.0 Sites for 2006
Ajax World
Web 2.0 and Its Impact on Blogs - Will there be an Alternative Medium to Blogs?
Eioba
Proquest deals aim to retain 2 leaders
Ann Arbor News
Penton Reports Revenue, EBITDA Increases in Q2, First Half of 2006
FOLIO: Magazine
‘New York Times’ ad revenue drops 3.3% in July
BtoB Online
Until Recently Full of Promise, Satellite Radio Runs Into Static
WSJ Online*
Satellite TV providers bow out of wireless sale
Reuters
An end run round copyright laws?
CNET News

Best Practices
AdSense Placement Optimization: User Behavior
Robin Good
Turn Library's Information Stew Into a Gourmet Menu
Law.com
ALM Report: Knowledge Management Begins to Gain Ground in Law Firms around the World
BusinessWire
New Fortune SEMLogic(TM) Research Sheds a Light on How Search Engines Determine Rankings
BusinessWire

Cool Tools
Google, Neven Vision & Image Recognition
Search Engine Journal
Trailfire Rewires Web to a Blogger's Point of View; Enables Trails and Comments on Any Page
BusinessWire
Web Content Grabber: Mine Phone Numbers Yourself from Yellow Pages Services
CWZG.com
Google Talk marks first year with upgrade
CNET News

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

PatientKeeper and Wiley Combine Patient Information With Evidence-Based Medicine
Managing Informaiton
Yahoo! Advertisers to Reach Consumers Through go2's Mobile Local Content Channels
BusinessWire
Elsevier in content deal with Jordanians
UPI
TheStreet.com and NASDAQ Launch Broadcast Co-Branding Initiative
BusinessWire
Wiley Acquires Clinical Cardiology and Scanning Journals; Expands Clinical & Microscopy Portfolio
BusinessWire
Attune Adds Google Search to Enterprise File Platform
Byte and Switch

Products, Markets & People
Complinet Helps Improve Due Diligence With Adverse Media Search Service
PR Newswire

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Google Does Content Deals that Complement Its Core Mission

While yesterday's Wall Street Journal article emphasized Google's efforts to make nice with publishers and media companies as a key component of its growth strategy, it's clear that it will be through a Google-shaped view of the world regardless. An interesting example of this can be found in today's Mercury News story on Google's use of ValPak local coupon data from Cox Enterprises in Google Maps. Pull up a local search for services such as car washes and ValPak coupons available in that area will be displayed (disclosure: I tried this using the example in the MN story, but darned if I can figure out yet where the stuff displays. But it's there, we're told.). This is going to be fairly emblematic of the kinds of deals that Google will be striking in many instances with premium content sources: contextual uses that add value to Google's key strengths and that generally avoid looking too much like any other portal on the Web. With players like Comcast going after the Yahoo look-alike market, that's largely a losing proposition for Google.

Getting syndicated content to work well in a Google-shaped world may not always result in content products and services that look familiar to suppliers, but in the race to get content into its most valuable contexts Google's emphasis on unique tools that provide a way of relating to content that is easily re-contextualized via mashups and other tools is going to provide publishers with an important boost in their efforts to become relevant to increasingly source-agnostic audiences. As content brands change to become something that content does for a person rather than what content is it becomes more important for publishers to understand how to play with Google to stay with the shifting focus of their audiences.

Headlines for 15 August 2006

Trends
Marketers Trace Paths Users Leave on Internet
The New York Times*
Google offers ValPak local coupons
The Mercury News*
NYTCO: Digital Ad Revenue Up 30-Plus Percent For NYTimes.com, About.com
paidContent.org
The Influence of Consumer-Created Content is Dramatically Affecting Online Businesses
BusinessWire via Yahoo! Finance
Comcast's Online Goal? Become Another Yahoo
Advertising Age
$3 million wiki.com starts to emerge
The Blog Herald
News Corp Joins Online Film Race
Forbes
Nelson Peltz buys stake in Tribune
Reuters
Agencies Are Watching as Ads Go Online
The New York Times*
Probe finds federal prescription drug directory incomplete, inaccurate
AP via The Boston Globe

Best Practices
What's the Big Deal With Social Search?
Search Engine Watch
The Value of Content-Related Text Advertising
ClickZ Network

Cool Tools
1TB drives by end of year
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales


Reed Business Installs Burst AdConductor

Adotas
Wolters Kluwer Corporate & Financial Services to Acquire GulfPak Corporation
PrimeZone
IAC to Acquire Control of Connected Ventures, LLC, Parent of Leading Comedy Site CollegeHumor.com
PR Newswire
AOL Acquires Userplane
Content Business

Products, Markets & People
eClickZ Launches Pay Per Click Search Engine
XTVWorld
LexisNexis Extends Total Practice Advantage Offering with New Consumer Bankruptcy Version
BusinessWire