Friday, September 29, 2006

Headlines for 29 September 2006

Trends
MySpace May Be Worth $0 in Three Years
MediaShift
MySpace's New Rivals Are Winning Friends
WSJ Online*
Microsoft, BBC collaborate on content delivery
InfoWorld
Google Maps vs. Yahoo Local: multi-billion dollar local search battle
ZDNet
Zecco: Working hard to build a revolutionary financial community
Museum of Modern Betas
Google surrenders Orkut data
Download Squad
BusinessWeek lays off 12 "to enhance long-term prospects"
Poynter Online
Newspapers, Magazines Face Challenges In Internet Age, But Will Survive
Media Daily News
Prelude To Going Private? Tribune Hires Strategic Consultants
Editor & Publisher
Yahoo to Be Featured on H.P. Computers
The New York Times*
DigitalPulp Publishing Sponsors the World eBook Fair
PR Web

Best Practices
The Many Forms of Influence
Data Mining
Network Collaboration: Peer To Peer As A New Way Of Living - Video Interview with Michel Bauwens
Robin Good
Most reliable search tool could be your librarian
CNET News

Cool Tools
Google Reader steps it up with new version
TechCrunch
Western Digital's My Book getting a 1TB Pro II Edition?
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Thomson Acquires LiveNote: Strengthens Thomson West leadership position in litigation solutions
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
Elsevier Announces iCONSULT to be Offered as Part of SOAPware Electronic Medical Record
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Amdocs Launches Cross-Network, Cross-Device Digital Commerce Solution
CRM Today
OneSource(R) Database To Include Coverage Of Great Britain’s Small Business Market
BusinessWire
TechTarget opens subsidiary in U.K.
BtoB Online

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Video Distribution Unleashed: Trying to Tame Users in Control

There's quite a storm brewing over at YouTube these days centering on the recent interview of former U.S. President Bill Clinton by correspondent Chris Wallace on Fox News. A number of people on YouTube posted the entire interview on the user-generated video service, many copies of which have turned out to be quite popular - popular enough that Fox News has apparently asked for these full-length clips to be removed. Although this is a fairly common confrontation when copyrighted content gets posted in full on online video services this time it seems to have been perceived by some YouTube posters as censorship based on building rumors that News Corp. is preparing to buy YouTube (interesting rumor clip from YouTube covering a Fox executive speaking at a conference).

Judging by the attitudes of some of the YouTube posters such a takeover by NewsCorp may wind up leaving the cupboard bare of the community-builders that are at the heart of this video service. It highlights the ongoing struggle between traditional distribution schemes based on content licensing and the power of user-enabled distribution to enable content to meet audiences in the contexts that they find to be most valuable. Unlike other media, Web-based content services based on users in control of production and distribution vote with their clicks when services don't play by the rapidly developing unwritten Constitution of this online Content Nation. In the long run these confrontations are going to push premium content away from the most influential user-distributors that can help to build online brands.

As in the earlier confrontation between NBC and video sharing networks (our earlier coverage) Fox News is in bunker mode with its own video clip access: yet again, I cannot provide you with a link to the full-length clip on their site, it's wrapped up in layers of software that make it impossible to do this effectively. So if I can't send a link to someone else easily it only stands to reason that a service that makes this easier to do would be a popular alternative (NBC has learned since February, they're now much more aggressive in enabling their own clips for bookmarking and sharing).

In the highly democratic environment of Content Nation it's difficult to work against an audience that is willing to create content as aggressively as traditionally copyrighted sources. Many publishers and producers of premium content would love it if user-generated content resided in its own little ghetto, safely segregated from mainstream media content. But every indication that the Web has given us in more than a decade of use is that mainstream content benefits greatly from a well-designed program that allows it to rub shoulders with user-generated content - and that allows users to dictate its most valuable contexts. Publishers and media companies need to listen to these new online publishers and begin to negotiate a seat at the table that draws up the Constitution of Content Nation - before it's written without them.

Social Media Payouts to Authors Begin to Approach Pro Levels

The Newsvine social news-gathering and authoring portal notes in a recent posting that they are beginning to pay out some reasonably serious money to its authors. Newsvine aggregates wire stories from AP with stories bookmarked and tagged by its community of news enthusiasts, who in turn post their own articles and comment and vote on what their peers produce. The site is booming these days to the point that the top poster-author in August earned USD 414 for their efforts. Not bad, and fairly close to fees paid out to some docents at About.com and not all that far away from Jason Calacanis' USD 1,000 payouts for top bookmarkers to support the new Netscape portal.

Unlike About.com or Netscape, though, the Newsvine payouts are based on ad revenues associated with their content, with Newsvine paying out 90 percent of the revenues in this sharing scheme to the authors. If authors don't want to be bothered with the payouts they can donate them to a major charity. As the site's ads were only about 35 percent sold out in August and as they are targeting 70 percent sellout rates the payouts will in time be very much in line with emerging industry standards.

The bottom line is that it pays all around to enable authors to focus on their work in ways that give them independence in their work and the ability to get rewarded in direct proportion to the quality of that work. This is something that magazines and news organizations have not been adept at managing to date: most writers live on meager incomes regardless of the quality of their work with a handful of superstars being paid handsomely regardless of whether they've produced revenue-worthy content or not.

In theory this new meritocracy of authorship can help to grow far superior content as time goes on - probably the most significant aspect of the emergence of weblogs and social publishing tools such as Newsvine. The systems aren't perfect - clicks may equate to good search engine placement as much as to an article's inherent quality - but it's likely to favor original content producers who are respected for their work as time goes on. Four hundred bucks may not sound like a lot for starters, but think of it as 400 dollars that a mainstream outlet did not fork out - and that much worthy content that's escaped their revenue streams.

Headlines for 28 September 2006

Trends
Global Publishers Head Off Legal Clash With Search Engines
World Association of Newspapers
Google in Tussle for Digital Rights
BusinessWeek
AOL chief: Established media to dominate
CNET News
Mobile Apps Need A Revolution to Cut DRM Tape
Publish
MySpace Worth $20 Billion? It Could Happen, Analyst Says
DealBook - The New York Times
An iPod For Readers
Forbes
Top Newsvine Earner Nets $414.27 in August
Newsvine
Ad Week '06: Trying To Engage No Matter The Screen
paidContent.org
US: publishers missing online collaboration
The Editor's Weblog
Web 2.0 for Business: Innovation, The New New Internet, and Change
Dion Hinchcliffe
Rural Areas Left in Slow Lane of High-Speed Data Highway
The New York Times*
Google speak on copyright: content owners beware
ZDNet
Getting an Earful of Printed Words
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Capturing Web 2.0 Content for Better BI
EBiz
Your Guide to Citizen Journalism
Media Shift
Top 10 Uses for RSS in Law Firms
Home Office Lawyer
Joining the Blog Heard vs. Being Your Own Cow
Micro Persuasion
10 Things That Will Make Or Break Your Website
AU Interactive

Cool Tools
Pathway: A better way to Wikipedia?
Download Squad
Happy trails with Google Transit
Google Blog
Zune price and date: $249, November 14th
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Elsevier Partners With Institute of Coal Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
WebWire
Softbank promises easy, free Yahoo! Internet content on new mobile phones
AP via IHT

Products, Markets & People
Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Introduces AuthenticWeb for Contract Provisions
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
AP Images creates photo Web site
BtoB Online
Text Link Ads launches Feedvertising
The Blog Herald

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Google Gone Wild: Goes on Offense Against Copyright Claims

A good article by Web Pro News covers the aftermath of a Belgian court's judgment against Google's use of content from Belgian news sources, a decision that required Google not only to pull the content from their Google News search engine but as well to post details of the decision on Google's Belgian home page. This apparently set off some sparks specific to Belgium but also seems to have triggered a new PR campaign by the search giant to bolster its image as a "good guy" player in online content. A manifesto of sorts has been posted , on the corporate Google Blog. The piece outlines how Google respects copyrights, lets content owners choose their stance on Google's service and how Google's approach benefits publishers. On other fronts Google is trying to emphasize that it's role is not focused on generating original content but to make others' content more useful, as underscored by Google VP of Advertisting Sales Tim Armstrong in a Reuters article.

One hopes for the sake of a vibrant online content marketplace that the Belgian judgment turns out to be a backwater decision that fails to reset the hands of the clock to a pre-web concept of copyright. Indexing and cacheing content for search purposes based on fair use doctrines inherent in most all international copyright law is the backbone of the productivity gains that have benefitted publishers of all kinds in the online environment. Fair use is also under threat from digital rights management packaging systems, a development that the British Library is pushing to have addressed more clearly in today's copyright laws (CNET News coverage). Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, put forward the case for clarification of copyright laws most succinctly in the CNET article: "Unless there is a serious updating of copyright law to recognize the changing technological environment, the law becomes an ass," she notes.

While Google is trying to mend fences with publishers uncertain about their motives the rhetoric becomes strained when one looks at products such as AdSense, Google Local, Google Earth and Google Base that are built on open but proprietary platforms and designed to aggregate a world of unique content for its own purposes. Google is most definitely in the publishing business, whether or not it has traditional media operations, and needs to adjust its rhetoric to reflect that reality more objectively. In doing so it may find itself more able to have its core mission statement resonate more clearly in the courts and in the court of public opinion. The mission is sound and the wording may be true but without further adjustments to its communications Google is in danger of it becoming rather the ass that the copyright law itself is in danger of becoming. Here's to better communications between all parties in this matter.

Headlines for 27 September 2006

Trends
Beijing Equity Exchange To Trade Intellectual Property Rights
EasyBourse
Sony to launch Web bookstore, e-book device
Reuters
Facebook Opens Site To Everyone
PC Magazine via ABC News
Google Seething Over Belgian Judgment
Web Pro News
Google says focus on Web search, not own content
Reuters
Our approach to content
Google Blog
BuzzLogic innovates in social influence space
Read/Write Web
Location, Location, Location: 'Geotagging' Will Bring Everyone Closer Together. Advertisers, Take Note
Micro Persuasion
With Online Friends Like These… Social networking sites offer hackers a rich trove of potential victims
BusinessWeek
Facebook's Open Door Policy is a Big Mistake
Publish
Techmeme Announces RSS Ads; Symantec Actually Does Them
ChasNote
Wolters Kluwer mulls education unit sale
FT.com via MSNBC
LimeWire Files Countersuit Against Music-Industry Group
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
W3C boosts Web access for disabled
InfoWorld

Cool Tools
Google Notebook adds collaboration
Lifehacker
iBloks Unveils Revolutionary Digital Media Service That Lets People Create Like Pros
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
Jelbert GeoTagger adds GPS tracking to cameras
Engadget

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

ContextWeb Closes $15.5 Million Series C of Funding
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
SEMDirector and Omniture Join Forces to Optimize Complex Search Marketing Campaigns
PR Newswire via Yahoo! FInance

Products, Markets & People
Scopus Enriches Literature Research With PatentCites and WebCites Features
PR Newswire via Earth Times
WordPress.com announces VIP Hosting
Download Squad
Amazon To Upgrade Unbox and Toss Two Bucks at Early Customers
paidContent.org

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

LexisNexis Launches Client Development Solutions with Corporate Intelligence in CRM Package

When LexisNexis launches a new product line these days it takes a bit of patience to troll through all of the press releases to get the full picture of their full-featured and complex product offerings. This week's announcement of their new Client Development solutions portfolio is no exception. "Client Development" means the focus is on establishing and growing accounts for legal firms and other professional services companies with a suite of familiar (but now integrated) content and technology products. The Client Development portfolio includes the LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell database of legal professionals and legal services buyers but focuses especially on their InterAction CRM solution that provides relationship intelligence for business development. Now integrated into the InterAction platform is content from their core subscription database via LexisNexis Corporate Intelligence Subscription package and the new LexisNexis AtVantage tool that provides access to prospect lists and filtering tools to help professionals develop marketing campaigns.

This is the most advanced marketing-oriented workflow integration to date from LexisNexis and demonstrates what a challenge it can be to steer a product line traditionally oriented towards subscription database sales to a true productivity tool. There are a lot of moving parts available and it may take a while for clients and their staffs to focus on how all of this works together. But once they can step back and see the sum of the parts it's a pretty impressive array of services that brings together best-of-breed content sources with both workflow tools and access to familiar LexisNexis databases to make productivity gains a reality for aggressive services marketers.

As with the other LexisNexis Total Practice offerings it's about making content services of all kinds pay off for the customer in concrete and measurable ways. While rival Thomson West challenges LexisNexis strongly in the integration of legal content into internal workflows for bottom-line functions, LexisNexis Client Development focuses on developing the top line for their clients in professional services markets with highly specialized content and CRM functions that competitors both horizontal and vertical are lacking in such an integrated form. It bodes well for other content services companies seeking growth opportunities that will come out of looking at content from the perspective of helping clients in specific verticals succeed in their markets as much as in their operations. Now if only they can wrestle these press releases to the ground...

Wolff on the Warpath: Welcome to the Golden Age of Online Content

There are "media pundits" and then there are REAL media pundits - folks who feel specially ordained to speak about and for the general media industry. I don't put our own observations in the latter category - we're just glad to have some insights now and again - but Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff's observations on media and publishing put him in the real pundit arena by his own measure at least. paidContent.org's Executive Editor Staci Kramer caught up with a Wolff-moderated panel at this week's Online Media, Marketing and Advertising Conference and Expo in New York this week. In Staci's summary Wolff laments that the current levels or revenues and earnings that mainstream media companies are making online just aren't going to be enough for his foreseeable bar tabs. "What if what we are doing right now is creating a kind of ghetto of cheap content?" Wolff howls. "There will never be this golden era of online media?"

A timely retort came from Jim Bankoff, EVP, product and programming at AOL: "If you're just a consumer, there's never been a more golden age than now." And there's the point. Most media hit their peak in consumer value before they've been packaged and channeled to death by marketing execs and other agents of profitability that whittle out the fun but unsustainable options. While this golden age of content choice may be only in its very early days its profitability is not likely to focus on just a few original producers of branded content in the ways that it used to ever again. This is probably in part because of the way that business models are approached. As Bankoff noted later on how to use a media company's content online, "It has to make economic sense as a whole. If there is no business model then it doesn't make sense."

By contrast, many of the most successful online content companies started out with only a glimmer of how to monetize their offerings but a strong idea as to how to build an audience. They built it and indeed they came in many instances, at which point the audience was there to cash in on readily. And there is probably the key difference that traditional publishing companies stumble on again and again in online venues: they look at monetizing content from the product on out rather than from the audience on in. For all of the weaknesses of VC-backed content plays this technique opened up the door to radically different ideas as to how to conceive of a content product that had little to do with traditional media marketing and distribution methods and everything to do with servicing audiences where their interests lay.

It's an outlook that may discourage many publishers today, but there's still plenty of time in this golden age to develop and position high-quality content in audience-friendly venues. They may not look like your typical content products of yesteryear, but after they've been chugging out profits for a few years that probably won't be of much concern to you anyway. So thanks again, Michael, for reminding that this evolving world of online content doesn't look anything like the old watering hole. Let us know when you're ready to have a round with the new crew...

Headlines for 26 September 2006

Trends
Internet Advertising Revenues Continue to Accelerate at an Unprecedented Rate: 36% Increase in 1H06
Interactive Advertising Bureau
Microsoft launches effort to woo advertisers
CNET News
Failure to launch: magazines holding fire
Crain's New York Business
Hoping to Be a Model, I.B.M. Will Put Its Patent Filings Online
The New York Times*
Google's Structured Data Search Play
Read/Write Web
B2B mags plugging in to generation net
Online Press Gazette UK
OMMA East: Lots Of Content But Not Content
paidContent.org
PENG Project: Refining the process of gathering information
IST Results
Why Aren't Newspapers Breaking Out of the Box?
Editor & Publisher
Annotating the Earth: Google Earth is becoming the standard tool for organizing geographical information
MIT Technology Review
WikiKnowledge - "A more inclusive Wikipedia"
WikiKnowledge
Microsoft Spinoff Wallop Launches
TechCrunch
About the Google News case in Belgium
Google Blog
Fox Interactive to Yahoo: watch out, we are on your digital tail!
ZDNet
Redstone Takes a Cut in His Salary
The New York Times*
British Library calls for digital copyright action
CNET News
Scripps to Sell Five TV Stations
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
The Future of the Newspaper is as a 2.0 Platform
Micro Persuasion
Sharing Economies: Video-hyperlinking
SmartMobs
Is Moderating User-Generated Content death to Web2.0 or begriming of Web3.0?
ChrisekBlog

Cool Tools
Panasonic's Words Gear color e-book reader
Engadget
IBM Helps Businesses Increase Productivity With New Web Content Management Software
IrishDev
SiteKreator Debuts All-In-One Web Site Design, Publishing and Hosting Solution for Businesses
PR Web
Books for Amazon Mashups via APIs
Programmable Web

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Times Online Launches New Travel Channel Built with FAST Search Technology
BusinessWire
Dice Teams with Endeca to Provide New Job Search Experience
BusinessWire
go2 and Enpocket Form Strategic Mobile Advertising Alliance
PrimeZone
Tele Atlas to Provide Digital Map Data for Nokia N95 Multimedia Device
PR Newswire
WangYou Media, Baidu.com Establish Channel Partnership and User-generated Content Sharing
Broadcast Newsroom

Products, Markets & People
S&P's Capital IQ Adds Ratings Content to Information Platform
PR Newswire
The Nation's TV News Now Searchable and Viewable Online via Critical Mention
Critical Mention
Scholastic Announces Top-Level Appointments in Trade Publishing Division
PR Newswire
ComStock Adds Extensive International Level II Data to Real-Time Datafeed Service
BusinessWire
RealNetworks tests desktop news feed
CBC News

Monday, September 25, 2006

News Analysis - Micro-Context: Moving Beyond Search Engines to Content-Enabled Publishing Services

While many publishers focus on search engines to get their content in the most valuable context possible that's not where issues of context begin and end for online content. A new generation of micro-context services are bringing valuable content sources down to the level of words and phrases in destination content. These new and evolving services enable publishers to expose their own content and content from high-quality content partners to give audiences a high-value experience whenever they decide to shift their focus. Think of every bit of content in your services as the potential starting point for an enhanced relationship that can keep audiences coming back for more.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 25 September 2006

Trends
Young Internet Producers, Bankrolled, Are Seeking Act II
The New York Times*
Publishers aim for some control of search results
Reuters
The Future of the Internet II: Internet leaders, activists, and analysts see opportunities in a “flattening” world
Pew Internet & American Life
Microsoft May Offer Free Ad-Supported Office
Reuters via Publish
Web 2.0 Companies Garner $262.3 Million in First Half of 2006, Gaining Ground in U.S. VC Investing
PrimeZone
OMMA East: Ross Levinsohn, President, Fox Interactive Media
paidContent.org
Google plans product search upgrade for search engine
Web2.Ohhh
TechMeme Invents New Kind of Advertisment
TechCrunch
BuzzLogic calculates social media influence
ZDNet
Craig Newmark reflects on the power of the Web
CNET News
How to Get Attention In a New-Media World
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
3 Reasons Why Delicious Bookmarks Beat Digg Traffic Hands Down
Performancing
The 8 Free Things Every Site Should Do
Squidoo
It feels relevant: biological tactility in news media
USC Annenberg OJR

Cool Tools
Add Me Unveils 'AddThis Button', Announces Public Beta
PR Newswire
NewsGator Partners With Directory Xpress to Help School Communications to Parents and Students
MarketWire
New DRM Add-on for Google Writley, Spreadsheets, Cash, Maps and Picasa Web Albums
PR Web

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

LexisNexis Launches Corporate Intelligence Subscription for the InterAction CRM Solution
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Launches Client Development Solutions, Aligning with Professional Services Firms’ Strategies
LexisNexis
LexisNexis Announces Launch of atVantage Business Development Tool
BusinessWire
Ancestry.com Adds Major U.S. Newspaper Birth, Marriage and Death Announcements, 1851 to 2003
PR Newswire
Knows.jongo.com, the leading English language information tool for China-related subjects on the web
Jongo Knows

Headline Summary for Week of 18 September 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, September 22, 2006

Building Friendly Social Media: Socialtext Gears Up for Wiki 2.0

TechCrunch notes the debut of Socialtext 2.0, a long-needed overhaul to the enterprise-oriented Wiki publishing package. This new version provides a cleaner look, enhanced usability for non-techie page editors and an application programming interface that will enable content from Socialtext-enabled sites to be extracted for other content applications such as mashups.

Our colleague Robin Good notes in comments on the TechCrunch posting that the TechCrunch review is a bit of a soft treatment and that they should acknowledge that many packages have come along in the last year that provide more streamlined functionality and features that will widen the appeal of Wiki packages to users. With packages such as Wetpaint providing very user-friendly interfaces and features tuned to make Wikis far more accessible to the users on whose contributions the success of a Wiki rises or falls Socialtext is indeed a little late to the party.

But it's hard to have your cake and eat it too. With a focus on making Wiki software acceptable in behind-the-firewall environments Socialtext has had its hands full with early successes that haven't necessarily allowed them to focus on the explosion of online Wikis that are beginning to bloom thanks to more easily licensed open source packages and the new wave of less geekish Wiki products. A body of code can move only so fast, oftentimes not as fast as a content marketplace demands of its evolution.

This seems to be especially true of most software supporting social media. We're in the process of vetting a number of social software packages which, while all useful, are clearly early-stage systems that are having a hard time managing the addition of enough features to provide robust publishing environments that capture the many facets of effective social media. Major publishers are not any better off with more mature content management packages that are for the most part oriented towards a more rigid view of content production and sharing. It's a bit like the early days of content management systems about ten years ago - with the notable exception of open source packages making it far easier for publishing Everymans to get in the game.

In the meantime publishers impatient to have social publishing software that's both enterprise-ready to satisfy their I.T. staffs and robust enough with features to satisfy online media clients are having a hard time closing the gap this year. This tends to favor destination sites such as Wikipedia and Gather that have built up publishing communities around their own technology platforms, gaining valuable insights into how to make these packages work from their diverse and broadening audiences. The Wikimedia Foundation that sponsors Wikipedia has also spun off its Mediawiki platform as a public-license Wiki software package that's popular in its own right, though falling behind the times in user-friendly features.

Where does this leave publishers? I leave the details of when these packages mature to the code hounds, but my sense is that we're less than a year away from Wiki software creating a new wave of social publishing similar to the recent weblog explosion. Some in the thick of Wikis may view that as a very conservative forecast given the stellar growth of Wikipedia but I think that the real growth has not yet arrived for the medium as a whole. Wikis need to act more like databases and less like scratch pads for them to gain full acceptance.

In the meantime the rough edges of the technology are being worked out as best practices are still forming for managing the sometimes free-for-all environments that can erupt in the medium. Wikis are far from perfect database publishing tools, but then again weblogs are pretty puny content management systems - yet they have already changed the publishing world. Welcome to Wiki 2.0 - social publishing meeting the demands of both enterprise and media publishers on a common ground that attracts user-publishers far more effectively than ever before.

Headlines for 22 September 2006

Trends
Amazon working with TiVo for Unbox integration?
Engadget
Tribune to Consider Sale of Some Media Assets
The New York Times*
Yahoo flexes its reporting muscles
Tuscaloosa News
The Case for Citizen Ownership of the Los Angeles Times
Media Shift
Click Fraud: The Dark Side of Advertising
BusinessWeek
SocialText aims for wiki 2.0

TechCrunch
Collaborative research, Wikipedia or elsewhere
Institute for the Future
NYT August: Media Online Ad Rev Up 17.2 Percent; About.com Up 45.1 Percent; TimesSelect Update
paidContent.org
Microsoft Media Player 11 shreds your rights
The Inquirer
Will Citizendium become Wikipedia 2.0?
Sydney Morning Herald
Viral Video Chart: Tracking the Most-Watched Videos
Download Squad
YouTube's dream could get clipped by copyright issues
Chicago Tribune via TMCNet
Time Spent Watching Television Increases
LA Times

Best Practices
Online Communication Skills: How To Get More Of Your Readers' Attention
Robin Good
Blog Advertising Programs A-Z
Performancing

Cool Tools
MeeVee Launches MySpace TV Widget
Mashable!

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Incisive Media agrees to takeover
Reuters
Japan's Jiji Press inks deal with Xinhua
Asia Media

Products, Markets & People
Convera web search goes vertical
Computer Business Review
Innodata Isogen Announces Restructuring
BusinessWire
Wolters Kluwer on health drive in India
DNA India

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Headlines for 21 September 2006

Trends
Web 2.0 entering corporate world slowly
CNET News
At Los Angeles Times, a Civil Executive Rebellion
The New York Times*
Are Search Engine Spiders Infringing On Copyright?
SearchNewz
Pew Report: One In Five Seek Political Info Online
Online Media Daily
YouTube’s Magic Number - $1.5 Billion
Tech Crunch
Facebook, Riding a Web Trend, Flirts With a Big-Money Deal
WSJ Online*
The Books Google Could Open
Washington Post
Who Cares About Acrobat 8?
Publish
The Google Goal Of Indexing 100 Billion Web Pages
Site Pro News
Over Four Million North Americans Will Subscribe to Mobile Broadcast Services in 2007
Wireless Developer Net
Google and MarketCast Release Benchmark Study on the Internet's Influence on Consumer Moviegoing
BusinessWire
Yellow or Otherwise, American Newspapers as Media That Molded the Masses
The New York Times*
P2p and the ephemeral
P2P Net

Best Practices
Content Is King in Professional Services: The Key to Effective Marketing is ``Thought Leadership''
BusinessWire
How to explain RSS the Oprah way
Back in Skinny Jeans
Applications That Unify Access to Information Will Fuel Growth in BI, Search, and Discovery Markets
BusinessWire

Cool Tools
Tracking the web with Single Page Aggregators
Solution Watch
Some Hot Recorders for Those Cool Podcasts
The New York Times*
Blogoozle.com takes your blog exposure to a new level.
PR Web

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Jay Rosen's NewAssignment.net Gets $100,000 Boost From Reuters
paidContent.org
TheStreet.com, Inc. and DirectoryM Launch TheStreet.com Business Directory
PR Newswire
‘Billboard’ inks deal to distribute content in Japan
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
Voxant’s Viral Syndication Network™ for online news
Web 2.0 List
Factiva Webcast to Demonstrate How Enterprise Search is Disrupting Existing Online Profit Models
BusinessWire

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Web Site is the Machine: Answers.com Finds Powerful Context via The New York Times

Answers.com has a wealth of reference content aimed at both consumers and professionals that has brought it a solid audience and strong revenues. Nevertheless it lingers oftentimes in the shadow of Wikipedia's growing online following - in spite of incorporating Wikipedia as a key source in its own product. How to get more visibility and contextual value for the product? Having links from Google's search results page on an experimental basis hasn't hurt (look for the "definition" link up on the right hand side), but something more was needed to accelerate growth. That something is coming in the form of an announcement of a new deal with The New York Times that brings Answer.com's "one-click answers" to New York Times news viewers - without the hassle of a user software installation.

From any online NYT article (NOTE - not on headline pages) any reader can point at a word, press the ALT key on their keyboards and while doing so do a mouse click. Up will pop a NYT-branded window into Answers.com reference content (demo) that applies to the selected word or phrase. This elimination of the user software download enabled via a simple piece of code added to content pages makes this a completely natural function that adds immediate value to the site's content. In doing so both the Answers.com brand and the site's brand gain prestige and value also. That's important from the Answers.com perspective because their database contains many branded content sources that deserve the recognition that high-quality content partners can provide. From the New York Times perspective it enables their content to be seen as a more high-quality source of reference for people who like to dig into topics.

This is but one completed deal for Answers.com but clearly the simplicity and elegance of the solution are going to make this a popular option amongst destination content sites, most especially sites oriented towards news and research. What's missing is some compact little icon equivalent to the little buttons now prevalent on Web sites equipped with RSS feeds that will alert users to the availability of the feature. Will this little graphic become as prevalent on sites as much as RSS buttons? Perhaps not, but with the simplicity of implementation and the power of contextual content becoming ever more important in content product development there's reason to think that Answers.com may be on to a solution that will have very broad appeal. In having done so they may have created a content contextualization tool with far broader potential for marketing content than even their current plans encompass.

Gore Goes to Yahoo as Murdoch Moves from Mainstream and Portals

The online video scene seems to be moving along at the pace that weblogs had set for fomenting online change not so long ago. In addition to recent deals for music videos to appear on YouTube from major music distributors comes word from The Hollywood Reporter that News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch is now ready to flip his interest in the DirectTV satellite television distribution network back to rival John Malone in exchange for Malone's interest in News Corp. Murdoch is also cooling on the idea of building traditional Web portals as aggregation centers, noting in an AP article "We're not sure the portal model is the way of the future at all,...We think people are going straight to the sites." Whatever doubts one may have had about Murdoch "getting" The New Aggregation as a model for online success have to be put aside at this point. He understands clearly that the future is not in aggregating and distributing mainstream content but in aggregating audiences who are themselves consumers, creators, aggregators and distributors of content in all major media forms.

In the meantime former U.S. Vice President-turned-media-entrepreneur Al Gore seems to have soured on his Current user-generated TV project's Google relationship and is sidling up to Yahoo to have a more mainstream service alongside its user-generated videos, according to a great summary by paidContent.org. The Yahoo! Current Network is to expose Current's online user videos alongside studio-produced content generated specifically for YCN. A post on Current's weblog seems to capture Current's frustration with the Google approach to video: "Here's what I've learned already: once you create a system in which everyone can participate, you need to brace yourself for how ridiculously random the participants are inevitably going to be." In other words, there's something to be said for blending professionally-produced content alongside user-generated content.

Gore's insistence on the lingering power of mainstream television may be valid for a new outlet trying to develop a first-Web-then-TV model, but Murdoch's outlook from the perspective of an established media giant trying to plot out its future seems to be more in focus with where video and other online media types need to go. Traditional broadcast media will be with us for at least one more generation in one form or another but the power shift away from distribution-centric content business models is disintegrating far faster than most experts would have predicted even six months ago. Lonelygirl15 seemed to figure that out easily enough - why hassle trying to get on some TV talent show to promote your acting career when you can start it right away online?

In trying to help users decide who from the democratic field of content producers gets to be seen on a broadcast outlet Current still presumes that those users really need that broadcast outlet to have market impact and importance. Yes, the rabble of user-generated content may not command the revenues at this stage that Current's investors expect, but with brand advertisers rushing in the other direction towards online outlets the money is in chasing publishing-empowered audiences, not distribution channels. Current may yet succeed via its online alliance with Yahoo in creating a solid path to mainstream ad revenues online and via its cable TV channel, but the odds are that the Murdochs of the world will beat Current to the punch via TiVos equipped to feed video from the Web directly to TV tubes. Sorry, Al, the climate's warming faster than you think...

Headlines for 20 September 2004

Trends
Yaho-ouch! Online Advertising Slows Down Portal Growth
GigaOM
News Corp. may not use Internet portals
AP via Yahoo! News
Murdoch-Malone deal is glimpse at the future
The Hollywood Reporter
Award-Worthy Blogs Showcase Evolution of the Medium
Media Shift
New York Times Draws Ragged Line Between Fact and Opinion
New York Observer
Yahoo's Next Attempt At Social Media: Yahoo Current Network; Current-Google Relationship Scaled Down
paidContent.org
A week in DRM wonderland
Tech Crunch
As the World Turns from MTV to ITV
MicroPersuasion
Journalism goes pro-am
The Guardian
Zillow and Home Owner Content
Search Engine Journal
The Money Behind Local Search
BizReport
Rupert Murdoch: MySpace Video Bigger than YouTube in 60 Days
Mashable!
States Define Law Blogs As Advertising
Web Pro news

Best Practices
What Are Microformats And Why They Make Your Information Easier To Find
Robin Good
Berners-Lee: Semantic Web's success lies in cooperation
CNET News

Cool Tools
Newsgator Go! for mobiles launches
Tech Crunch
Oracle Announces General Availability of Oracle(R) Content Database and Oracle Records Database
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Harte-Hanks to acquire AberdeenGroup
BtoB Online
TiVo and Information Resources Inc. Launch Groundbreaking TV Advertising Research Services
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
RR Donnelley To Acquire Financial Printing Business From Canadian Bank Note Company
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
Pearson Technology Group Develops Digital Short Cuts, Providing Information Readers Need Now
BusinessWire
Billboard Magazine Heads to Japan
FOLIO: Magazine
Online Veterans to Aid Alibris Expansion into U.K. & European Used Books Markets
PR Newswire
Google upgrades enterprise search device
IT World

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Listening to Users: Microsoft's Wave of User-Friendly Content Moves

Whatever you can say about Microsoft these days it's trying hard to listen more to its online audiences to craft an effective online strategy. First came last week's launch of its production version Windows Live search engine, with many of the goofy Windows-esque features that hampered the early Beta version eliminated. Stripped down to a light Google-weight interface and very serviceable search results (though its news algorithms are still needing a tune-up), Windows Live is a viable alternative to Google that offers its own flavor of content. They're high quality in overall relevance but tending to favor mainstream/established sources of information more than those that come out on top based on popularity. That's not necessarily a bad thing for searchers looking for a viable "plan B" when seeking out quality content - especially those in a work and study environment who need to cite reference-worthy sources.

Then came the announcement of Zune, Microsoft's erstwhile iPod-killer, compatible with a wide range of audio file formats - including MP3s and the iPod-compatible AAC format - and equipped with the ability to share DRM-encoded content with other Zune users within wireless range of one another. Users get three plays of a shared song and then the option to purchase it from Microsoft's online music store - kind of a simplified version of the Windows Media-compatible Weed file sharing DRM system that we've heralded over the past few years. Zune is slick, tuned for both openness and rights-savvy use and ready for users who are tired of iPod's service limitations and looking for the "new, new thing."

Now comes word gleaned originally by TechCrunch from a Microsoft employee's weblog of Soapbox, the invitation-only beta debut of Microsoft's YouTube competitor, complete with multiple formats for uploading, user tagging and categorization, simultaneous viewing and browsing, RSS feeds, weblog embedding and hooks into Microsoft's Live Spaces social networking service. Feature-wise it sounds like a hit, though the quality of the content in the eyes of highly democratic audiences will tell all. These are all Johnny-come-lately services, of course, but if you're going to be late to the party at least come dressed appropriate for the action and with a unique proposition that your audience will find to be appealing.

While there are still obvious tie-ins to Microsoft products these new content-oriented product efforts seem to be a far more concentrated on leaving the traditional software business to fend for itself and to earn their stripes one user at a time on the stand-alone merits of what works for users today. It's a positioning that overall has more media savvy than Google but one that's less tied to older online media and marketing models than Yahoo. I am sure that Microsoft would like to think of itself as "plan A" for online content but as a starting point a user-friendly approach to developing content products that leverages the best of its existing relationships with publishers and media companies is a good place to begin building deeper street creds in the eyes of today's savvy online audiences.

Headlines for 19 September 2006

Trends
Microsoft SoapBox Video Service Launches
TechCrunch
Knight Foundation To Grant $25 Million For Community News Experiments
The Knight Foundation
Here's how a post-lawsuit YouTube will work
ZDNet
Communacopia XV: Murdoch: No Spin-Off of Fox Interactive
paidContent.org
Bosses alerted over user-generated web content
Online Recruitment
Travel Site Taps the Wisdom of Crowds
Micro Persuasion
The Social Bookmarking Faceoff
Read/Write Web
News Corp: Thanks to the Internet, Who Needs TV?: Murdoch Ready to Thwart Malone with Swap
FT.com
Napster Ponders Sale or Alliance
Bloomberg News via NYT

Best Practices
Zen and the Art of Enterprise Search
CIO Magazine

Cool Tools
Intel trumpets optical computing breakthrough
VNUNet
Media players on parade
CNET News

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Veronis Suhler Stevenson to Sell Stake in Solucient, LLC to Thomson
PR Newswire
Cantor Fitzgerald Makes Faster Market Decisions With Realtime Analysis Platform Built on Kx Systems
PR Newswire
Social Event Listings Firm Eventful Gets $7.5 Million Funding
Red Herring
CBOT in deal with Reuters
Crain's Chicago Business
Techbooks Acquires Whitmont Legal Technologies, Inc.
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
Federated Media Publishing Strengthens Business & Marketing, Adds Auto Federation
FM Publishing
ISYS Search Software Announces Arrival of the ISYS 8 Product Suite
dBusiness News
NewspaperDirect Launches ''Newspaper Radio''
BusinessWire
ProQuest Launches PressDisplay 3.0
EContent Magazine
Convera introduces product platform for b-to-b search
BtoB Online

Monday, September 18, 2006

News Analysis - Publishing Express: The Impact of Publishers Acknowledging Online Dominance

The time for puffery and posturing about print's power and supplemental online revenues is officially past for many publishing companies, yet many of those same companies have failed to assemble a coherent strategy that will take them forward into an era of online-dominant revenue models. The latest market statistics point to an environment that will not favor those who have not prepared to make that transition. Getting content into context, going toe to toe with private investors and building management that thinks like digital natives are the keys to jumping on a train just about out of the station.

Click here to read the full News Analysis

Headlines for 18 September 2006

Trends
Google loses in Belgian court
CNET News
Tribune Faces Pressure To Sell Los Angeles Paper
WSJ Online
Searching the Want Ads Moves Online, Too
The New York Times*
IDG’s Carrigan Sees Says Online Shift is Transformation, Not Transition
FOLIO: Magazine
Engineers increasingly rely on Web for work purposes: GlobalSpec
BtoB Online
Citizendium: a more civilized Wikipedia?
TechCrunch
Lets All Build Walled Gardens
GigaOm
France Web Market Overview
Read/Write Web
IBM grabs real-time collaboration market ahead of Microsoft?
Download Squad
BBC's On-Demand Services Up For Approval
paidContent.org
Changing Its Tune: In Face of Download Growth ClearChannel May Sell Radio Stations
The New York Times*
Google, YouTube: multi-billion dollar 'fair-use' risky bets
ZDNet
The future of TV?
Corante
Libraries go into overdrive with audio books
Nashua Telegraph
The Rise of Baidu (That’s Chinese for Google)
The New York Times*

Best Practices
Why Participants Matter in Online Communities
MediaShift

Cool Tools
Not in the Real World Anymore: MTV's Avatar World
The New York Times*
MyFeedz - The Social Newspaper
MyFeedz
Acrobat 8 learns new collaboration tricks
IT Week

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Yankee Group Acquires Trendsmedia, Inc.
BusinessWire via Yahoo! Finance
YouTube To Distribute Warner Music Videos
Mashable!

Products, Markets & People
Bacon's Expands Monitoring Services for Improved Management of Corporate Communications
BusinessWire
Harcourt Education names new president
Austin Business Journal
ProQuest's PHAR, Obituaries: Hits and Misses
Library Journal
Inc.com launches IncTechnology.com
BtoB Online
Engadget re-launches with updated design and new features
The Blog Herald
Fast Search develops search app for enterprise desktops
ComputerWorld

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Headline Summary for the Week of 11 September 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, September 15, 2006

Headlines for 15 September 2006

Trends
The Economics Of Social Media Conference: What It Entails
paidContent.org
Banks Jump to Social Nets to Reach Gen Y
Micro Persuasion
New York Times Reader Launches
Read/Write Web
The best stories on Earth
Google Blog
Digg and FM Get Dugg: Thoughts
FM Publishing
Time Selling Magazines Out of Necessity, Not Market Conditions
FOLIO: Magazine
Future of wireless media bright but challenged
Reuters
SLA Forms Knowledge Management Division
PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance
New York Times Chairman Volunteers to Take Pay Cut
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
How to Blog a Conference
Hyku
UnGoogle Your Marketing With Social Media
Web Pro News

Cool Tools
Acquire 3.0 – Makes Digital Content More Manageable
The Open Press

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Sun New Media Announces Exclusive E-Publishing Partnership with China State Publishing Group
PR Newswire
Wiley Expands Partnership with Skyscape
EContent Magazine
CMP Technology sells noncore publications to Wicks Group for $47 million
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Time Matters 8.0 and Billing Matters 8.0 Improve Mobility, Offer Additional Accounting Features
BusinessWire
SAP Enterprise Search Simplifies User Access to Information, Enhancing Productivity Across Enterprise
PR Newswire
Free Access To Journal Of Nuclear Medicine Offered By Society Of Nuclear Medicine
Medical News Today
DMS Business Intelligence Database Reaches Data Milestone
PR Newswire

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Headlines for 14 September 2006

Trends
Advertising seeps into the cell phone
CNET News
Microsoft launches the Zune!
Engadget
Microsoft Zune: Not Just A Portable Device, A New Community-Based Platform
paidContent.org
Xinhua defends foreign media controls
AP via TimesUnion
ABM panel: When it comes to innovation, b-to-b publishers must be more proactive
BtoB Online
Google Scans Enter Michigan Catalog
Library Journal
Can Microsoft Out-Google Google?
BusinessWeek
Google Earth Featured Content - just the beginning
IT Wire
Google 'eager' to work with Republicans: Starting Political Action Committee

Roll Call via The Raw Story
Yahoo Expands Web Mail Beta
PC World via Yahoo! News
Live.com and Yahoo! bulk up for local search brawl
Tech Crunch
Tolman Geffs' Dot-com buyout candidates
Frank Barkano's Media Blog
Web journalist, know thyself: What it takes to set up shop online
USC Annenbert OJR
Commercials Find New Life on Web
The New York Times*

Best Practices
The Net Democracy Guide
Center for Democracy & Technology
Wiki journalism
La Vanguardia
Content Strategy as a Marketing Tool
ClickZ Network
On the Quality of Metadata...
Stefano Mazzocchi

Cool Tools
New at Apple: Smaller iPods, Bigger Ideas
The New York Times*
Turn Your Favorite Feeds Into an Email Newspaper
Micro Persuasion
Microsoft quietly launches desktop RSS feed reader
Blogging Stocks

Deals, Partnerships & Sales
United Business Media Sells Non-Core US Media Portfolio
PR Newswire via DV Format
BIA Financial buys Digital Information Network
Washington Business Journ'l
Reed Business Information Nederland chooses Arcade
e-Consultancy
Google Strikes Marketing Deal With Intuit; Selling Ads via QuckBooks to Businesses
Online Media Daily
Credit Unions Look to Wolters Kluwer Financial Services for Web-Based USA PATRIOT Act Solution
PR Newswire
News Corp poised to acquire Milkround Online for £20m
Telegraph
MediaBrains forms strategic partnership with Highline Media
BtoB Online

Products, Markets & People
Recruiting.com Gets Web 2.0 Facelift
WebWire
Yahoo Taps Media Executive To Head New Marketplaces Unit
WSJ Online*