Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Headline Summary for 31 July 2007

Trends
The soap opera is over - now on to the real deal...
News Corp. Is Poised to Win Dow Jones
WSJ Online*
Bancrofts' Jockeying Over Murdoch Deal Goes Down to the Wire
WSJ Online*
New Opposition Arises to Dow Jones Deal
WSJ Online*
Dow ponders free finance news site
Australian IT

For a decade traditional news outlets have not moved quickly enough to build new revenues....
New York Times Co. earnings fall 49 percent in second quarter
BtoB Online
Free Fall From Tribune Tower: Profit Down 58% In 2Q
Editor & Publisher
Tribune Sale at Issue as Newspaper Woes Mount
Editor and Publisher
Can the Washington Post survive?
Fortune via CNN Money
Tabloid Eaten by Aliens! Fake Columnist Loses His Job! World Weekly News Ends its Run
The New York Times*

And for a decade publishers have dragged their heels on making the Web a universal medium...
Cuban: The Internet is dead
Multichannel News/CAgenda
U.S. Internet dominance fading fast
Download Squad
Who Still Reads Magazines? Just About Everybody
TV Week

Google tries to bust open the wireless Web with hungry partners and lobbies for mobile openness...
Google kicks WiMax goal with Sprint Deal
CBR Online
FCC shuns Google plans for open mobile network
CBR Online
Google plans search service for mobile content
WSJ via Pantagraph.com
Bloggers Invited to Collaborate on Writing Broadband Legislation
PC World
The U.S. May Get A Free Mobile Service Before Europe
TechCrunch

With revenues from its own intellectual property waning Microsoft turns to brokering ads for others' content...
Ballmer: We are 'hell-bent' on succeeding in ads
CNET News
Microsoft acquires ad exchange company
InfoWorld
Microsoft Signs Digg To Exclusive Display, Contextual Ad Deal; Google Loses Out, FM Keeps Hand In
paidContent.org

As ad-supported content makes greater inroads premium content thrives in high-value B2B contexts...
Advertisements demolish the paywalls
The Guardian
Thomson Corp. Q2 revenue up 11 per cent, net more than doubles to US$377M
CP via MSN Finance
Thomson results please as Reuters merger looms
Financial Post

B2B media thrives in niches but the margins hoped for in recent acquisition sprees may not materialize...
IDG’s CIO.com Audience Increases 19%
BusinessWire
Latest Reorg Leaves Observers Wondering About Cygnus
FOLIO: Magazine

Copyrighted content gets more protection online as portal producers line up major licensing deals...
The Net Gets Real On Copyrights
BusinessWeek via WTOV.com
Google to filter copyright videos by September
CNET News

Which is little comfort to artists seeking beyond-the-grave rights to their works...
Musicians' copyright pleas fall on deaf ears in UK
The Guardian

Google remains the contextualizer in chief, but a broader array of venues are capturing the action...
They dont know you, they don't know us, but they know Google
Sail World
From Search to (Re)Search: Searching For The Google Killer
Read/Write
Ad Networks: Why it’s better than ever to be a targeted content site
VentureBeat

Social media is thriving but business models to monetize it are still works in progress...
Facebook: What's In It For Journalists?
PoynterOnline
Wanted: Experienced, passionate citizens for hyperlocal sites: Earn $$$ from your home!
USC Annenberg OJR
Calacanis asks deep questions about social networks
Scobelizer
A Social-Networking Service With a Velvet Rope
The New York Times*

Open access scientific content gets major boosts from the U.S. and scientific markets...
House Bill Mandates Public Access To Research Results
C&EN
Momentum for Open Access
Inside Higher Ed

And plain old television online should get us excited...why?
Joost to launch with million users by year's end
Engadget

Memo to Fox Interactive: Wonder why people are moving over to Facebook in droves...?
MySpace Finds 29,000 Sex Offenders
AP via Content Agenda

In other major trends in content this week...
ComScore refines web metrics system
FT.com
Businesses Can Benefit From The Boom In Consumer Digital Content
InformationWeek
YouTube video debate actually worked
CNET News
Federal Appeals Court Holds Email Content Is Constitutionally Protected
Ctr Democracy & Technology
Congress is considering a law to stop Social Security Numbers from being posted in unsafe places
American Chronicle
No Contest: eBooks Are Winning!
American Chronicle
XM, Sirius plan a la carte offerings
USA Today

Best Practices
'S.F. Chron' Announces Newsroom and Web Changes
Editor and Publisher
Counterpoint: 'Content Made for a Handful of People'
NewTeeVee
Ideas to Shake Up Publishing
Inside Higher Ed
End Mobile Browser Sniffing and Give Consumers Choices
MicroPersuasion
Robots Exclusion Protocol: now with even more flexibility
Google Blog
A checkpoint on Web 2.0 in the enterprise
Dion Hinchcliffe
Mobile Weather Information Is Most Popular Among Americans, While Europeans Prefer Browsing Sports
Marketwire via EarthTimes
Interview: Peter Suber On Copyright Law and Free Online Scholarship
Global Politician
New Technology Tools Have High Acceptance Rate in Public Relations
BusinessWire
Free information for the taking
CNET News
Google Tussles With Autonomy Over Search Criticism
InformationWeek
The Problem with Web Measurement, Part 1
MediaShift
Syndication Wars 2007: Atom's Time is Nigh, With Google on its Side
Read/Write Web
US info pros plug into Web 2.0 computing
Information World Review

Cool Tools
Screencasting Gets Easier With New Screen Capture And Desktop Recording Tool: Jing Project
Robin Good
Near-Time Premium Is Creating Online Businesses
dBusiness News
Tool reclaims time for journalists, researchers
Scoop
Engagd with an Attention Platform
Download Squad
Digg Launches Digg Widgets
Mashable
Find old colleagues with WorkedHere
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

AOL To Acquire Online Ad Net Tacoda For Around $275 Million
paidContent.org
WashingtonWatch.com and PR Newswire Announce Content Partnership
PR Newswire
Real Cities Network and DotConnect Media Announce Partnership
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Answers.com & mtvU Launch Interactive Reference Tool on Over 500 Online College Newspapers
BusinessWire
Penton’s Truck Blue Book to Partner with DealerManage
BusinessWire
Jobster Launches New Application on Facebook Platform in Partnership with Hundreds of Employers
BusinessWire
Twitter Takes Funding from Del.icio.us Investor
Mashable
Hearst expected to announce the acquisition of UGO Networks
Forbes
DeSilva + Phillips' Client Mediabistro.com Acquired by Jupitermedia for $23 Million
PR Web
TomTom to buy map supplier Tele Atlas
Reuters

Products, Markets & People
Factiva SalesWorks from Dow Jones Offers New JavaScript-based Web Service Capability
PR Newswire
Thomson Learning to become Cengage
Norwalk Advocate via Topix
Getty Images Liberates Its Footage Collections
PR Newswire via CNN Money
LexisNexis Launches ExecRelate(TM) for Relationship Management
BusinessWire
Marchesano Named Jordan, Edmiston Group’s New Managing Director
FOLIO: Magazine
Dow Jones NewsPlus -- Capital Markets Report Edition Expands Fixed- Income and Currency News
PR Newswire via CNN Money

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Headlines for 29 July 2007

Trends
A Social-Networking Service With a Velvet Rope
The New York Times*
Can the Washington Post survive?
Fortune via CNN Money
Bancrofts' Jockeying Over Murdoch Deal Goes Down to the Wire
WSJ Online*
Calacanis asks deep questions about social networks
Scobelizer
Google kicks WiMax goal with Sprint Deal
CBR Online
Google plans search service for mobile content
WSJ via Pantagraph.com
Dow ponders free finance news site
Australian IT
Congress is considering a law to stop Social Security Numbers from being posted in unsafe places
American Chronicle
Bloggers Invited to Collaborate on Writing Broadband Legislation
PC World
The U.S. May Get A Free Mobile Service Before Europe
TechCrunch
IDG’s CIO.com Audience Increases 19%
BusinessWire
Google to filter copyright videos by September
CNET News
Thomson results please as Reuters merger looms
Financial Post
Latest Reorg Leaves Observers Wondering About Cygnus
FOLIO: Magazine
AP Ending Its "asap" Service in October
Editor and Publisher
Tabloid Eaten by Aliens! Fake Columnist Loses His Job! World Weekly News Ends its Run
The New York Times*

Best Practices
Ideas to Shake Up Publishing
Inside Higher Ed
End Mobile Browser Sniffing and Give Consumers Choices
MicroPersuasion
Robots Exclusion Protocol: now with even more flexibility
Google Blog

Cool Tools
Near-Time Premium Is Creating Online Businesses
dBusiness News

Products, Markets & People
LexisNexis Launches ExecRelate(TM) for Relationship Management
BusinessWire

Friday, July 27, 2007

Microsoft Swings a Late and Heavy Bat at Online Ads

CNET News chronicles Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's assertion that the software and services giant would be making a big noise in online advertising - an assertion that's been backed up by two short-term deals and likely to be followed by other major announcements. Forbes covers Microsoft's deal with social media portal Digg to use Microsoft for most of their online advertising, a deal that displaces John Battelle's FM publishing in large part for now - though based on John Battelle's upbeat assessment of the deal FM is gaining some inroads into Microsoft. Such a deal would be good for both partners: FM has done well with a number of major social media properties but has lacked the ability to fill available ad inventories effectively oftentimes, whereas Microsoft, ever late to the game, needs to start finding some leverage in social media as soon as possible. Both deals could presage exit plans that result in Microsoft acquisitions, but Microsoft may be learning from Google that it's more important to own the context than the content.

The other deal announced by Microsoft is the acquisition of ad auctioning technology from AdECN, a capability that should enable Microsoft to succeed more effectively against self-service ad placement services such as AdSense. AdECN is modeled after stock exchanges used in financial securities markets, requiring matching sellers' inventories against offers from advertisers, dealing only with existing ad networks as its members. So in effect demand for advertising coming in from one ad network could flow over to match inventory on another ad network, with each network receiving a portion of the buyer's ad fee proportionate to their role in the brokered transaction for the end publisher's sold inventory. AdECN takes a proportionately small piece of each transaction as a processing fee, in addition to up-front membership fees to cover basic infrastructure costs.

One can see how AdECN can be used by Microsoft to match inventory from ad networks such as FM Publishing to a greater universe of advertisers being glued together by Microsoft, giving FM-affiliated properties a broader universe of buyers without having to expand its direct sales presence. One can also see how this will enable Microsoft to enable traditional publishers and advertising agencies to gain access to a wider array of online properties without having to resort to the legwork required to cut deals with an ever-expanding universe of online niche market players and advertising networks. This will become increasingly important as more micropublishers begin to service niche markets more effectively online in B2B and consumer markets. So Microsoft can play "middle man" now with any number of media players, making easy money in the process and developing more direct sales and marketing relationships where it is most profitable for them to do so.

Given Microsoft's relatively late moves into trying to dominate online advertising a brokered market approach is a good strategic move. It enables Microsoft to gain the benefits of broad market penetration while enabling advertisers and publishers to work directly with the ad networks that make the most sense for their industry profiles. Given the increasingly niche-oriented nature of online advertising this may offer Microsoft more flexibility than a one-size-fits-all network like Google's AdSense network or its potential acquisition DoubleClick. The main weakness in this strategy is that it doesn't help Microsoft reach the "long tail" of advertisers as effectively as Google and Yahoo straight off, but in time Microsoft is likely to make inroads there as well. As its software revenues from tools that create content weaken Microsoft has little choice but to seek revenue from the content that's created by publishing tools. It's early days but expect Microsoft to develop some increasingly savvy solutions for ad buyers and sellers in search of the most premium online content markets.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Headlines for 26 July 2007

Trends
Ballmer: We are 'hell-bent' on succeeding in ads
CNET News
Microsoft acquires ad exchange company
InfoWorld
U.S. Internet dominance fading fast
Download Squad
Cuban: The Internet is dead
Multichannel News/CAgenda
Advertisements demolish the paywalls
The Guardian
Who Still Reads Magazines? Just About Everybody
TV Week
Facebook: What's In It For Journalists?
PoynterOnline
From Search to (Re)Search: Searching For The Google Killer
Read/Write
Thomson Corp. Q2 revenue up 11 per cent, net more than doubles to US$377M
CP via MSN Finance

Best Practices
Counterpoint: 'Content Made for a Handful of People'
NewTeeVee
A checkpoint on Web 2.0 in the enterprise
Dion Hinchcliffe

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
Jobster Launches New Application on Facebook Platform in Partnership with Hundreds of Employers
BusinessWire
Twitter Takes Funding from Del.icio.us Investor
Mashable

Going Where the Users Are: Factiva Opens Up its Content to Widget Integration

The announcement of Factiva's deployment of improved integration capabilities via browser-based Web applications is being heralded as a major leveraging of Web 2.0 technologies to improve Factiva content delivery. The new tools allow Factiva SalesWorks content to be integrated into enterprise portal applications via user-embeddable widgets into Web 2.0 platforms using technologies that eliminate having to deal with feeds into back-end server applications. This is an important step forward into allowing both enterprise users and development teams to use SalesWorks content where it matters most to them, without having to rely on expensive and time-consuming custom integration efforts. SalesWorks offers a good range of content, but as enterprises turn to a wide range of CRM applications, Wikis and other platforms as their "go-to" business information platforms services such as Factiva have to move quickly and effectively to make their content a part of those user-centric environments.

While these new integration capabilities are hardly revolutionary by overall industry standards they do represent an important step forward by a major enterprise content aggregator to move further away from its own platform to offer customers the ability to put their content where they will find it to be most useful. Much of the focus on enterprise workflow integration by aggregators has been on creating comprehensive tools to solve specific information retrieval problems. By moving to browser-based content embedding technologies aggregators can move more quickly to bring their content to users via the applications that matter in their workflows already on a day-to-day basis.

This is a sword that cuts both ways, of course: in ceding the complete workflow to other applications integrators trade off more complete integration for more quick market penetration. As penetration is the key to both retaining subscription bases and expanding opportunities for add-on marketing efforts it pays to go the embeddable route - a picture that will become more clear to more aggregators in time. Aggregation is no longer such a rarefied game - both Factiva and other content aggregators will face increasing competition from technology-oriented companies that know how to provide value-add functionality on top of many different types of business information content sets. It's a race of sorts to see how providers of licensed content sets can switch to a strategy that will get embedded in desktops securely before these other providers gain the upper hand. In the meantime Factiva has made a strong move to claim their place in the new widget-oriented enterprise desktop as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Headlines for 25 July 2007

Trends
New York Times Co. earnings fall 49 percent in second quarter
BtoB Online
Free Fall From Tribune Tower: Profit Down 58% In 2Q
Editor & Publisher
FCC shuns Google plans for open mobile network
CBR Online
ComScore refines web metrics system
FT.com
Federal Appeals Court Holds Email Content Is Constitutionally Protected
Ctr Democracy & Technology
Businesses Can Benefit From The Boom In Consumer Digital Content
InformationWeek
They dont know you, they don't know us, but they know Google
Sail World
Musicians' copyright pleas fall on deaf ears
The Guardian
MySpace Finds 29,000 Sex Offenders
AP via Content Agenda
House Bill Mandates Public Access To Research Results
C&EN
Joost to launch with million users by year's end
Engadget

Best Practices
Free information for the taking
CNET News
Google Tussles With Autonomy Over Search Criticism
InformationWeek
The Problem with Web Measurement, Part 1
MediaShift
Syndication Wars 2007: Atom's Time is Nigh, With Google on its Side
Read/Write Web

Cool Tools
Tool reclaims time for journalists, researchers
Scoop
Engagd with an Attention Platform
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
Microsoft Signs Digg To Exclusive Display, Contextual Ad Deal; Google Loses Out, FM Keeps Hand In
paidContent.org
WashingtonWatch.com and PR Newswire Announce Content Partnership
PR Newswire
Real Cities Network and DotConnect Media Announce Partnership
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Answers.com & mtvU Launch Interactive Reference Tool on Over 500 Online College Newspapers
BusinessWire
Penton’s Truck Blue Book to Partner with DealerManage
BusinessWire

Products, Markets & People
Factiva SalesWorks from Dow Jones Offers New JavaScript-based Web Service Capability
PR Newswire
Thomson Learning to become Cengage
Norwalk Advocate via Topix

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Headlines for 24 July 2007

Trends
YouTube video debate actually worked
CNET News
New Opposition Arises to Dow Jones Deal
WSJ Online*
Tribune Sale at Issue as Newspaper Woes Mount
Editor and Publisher
Ad Networks: Why it’s better than ever to be a targeted content site
VentureBeat
The Net Gets Real On Copyrights
BusinessWeek via WTOV.com
XM, Sirius plan a la carte offerings
USA Today
Momentum for Open Access
Inside Higher Ed
Wanted: Experienced, passionate citizens for hyperlocal sites: Earn $$$ from your home!
USC Annenberg OJR
No Contest: eBooks Are Winning!
American Chronicle

Best Practices
'S.F. Chron' Announces Newsroom and Web Changes
Editor and Publisher
Mobile Weather Information Is Most Popular Among Americans, While Europeans Prefer Browsing Sports
Marketwire via EarthTimes
Interview: Peter Suber On Copyright Law and Free Online Scholarship
Global Politician
New Technology Tools Have High Acceptance Rate in Public Relations
BusinessWire
US info pros plug into Web 2.0 computing
Information World Review

Cool Tools
Screencasting Gets Easier With New Screen Capture And Desktop Recording Tool: Jing Project
Robin Good
Digg Launches Digg Widgets
Mashable
Find old colleagues with WorkedHere
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
AOL To Acquire Online Ad Net Tacoda For Around $275 Million
paidContent.org
Hearst expected to announce the acquisition of UGO Networks
Forbes
DeSilva + Phillips' Client Mediabistro.com Acquired by Jupitermedia for $23 Million
PR Web
TomTom to buy map supplier Tele Atlas
Reuters

Products, Markets & People
Getty Images Liberates Its Footage Collections
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Marchesano Named Jordan, Edmiston Group’s New Managing Director
FOLIO: Magazine
Dow Jones NewsPlus -- Capital Markets Report Edition Expands Fixed- Income and Currency News
PR Newswire via CNN Money

Monday, July 23, 2007

Winners and Losers: MPA Revenue Figures Reveal Major Losses at Many Traditional Titles

The headline at BtoB Online announcing rosy revenue increases for magazines seemed like great news for the magazine industry, but when you look at the details of statistics from the Magazine Publishers of America’s Publishers Information Bureau there's a far less rosy picture for several major publishers to consider. While Time Inc.'s People showed a reasonable 6.4 percent revenue increase in 2Q07 versus 1Q06 Time magazine was down 16.8 percent, Fortune down 13.4 percent, Money magazine down 8.3 percent, Business 2.0 down 38.4 percent - enough to spark talk of Business 2.0 heading to the dead pool - and the now-deceased Life magazine clocking a 78.7 percent drop in revenues. Overall health, fitness, food titles and hardcore business magazines fared well while older regional and niche titles, small business, consumer-oriented finance and men's enthusiast magazines seemed to fare worst.

Magazine gainers easily trumped losers in overall title count and revenues so there's some good reason for print producers to feel that there is some good potential growth ahead as print becomes the status media of choice for affluent people trying to achieve more and to hold on to what they have through health and diet regimens. But general-interest print publications and publications catering to more traditional home and recreation interests (who has time?)
seem to be fading or growing moderately at best, with few exceptions. This may be a reflection of the current U.S. economy as much as anything else, but it also indicates that print is going to continue to succeed as a status symbol for mostly high end up-and-comers but only when it meets very specific points of pressing concern. In the meantime most entrepreneurial and tech-oriented audiences seem to have migrated for good to online venues.

Where this leaves general interest publishers such as Time Inc. is uncertain. The Web's ability to excel in both general audience aggregation and to dissemble general interests into highly focused niches rapidly via social media and vertical portals puts any traditional publication's strengths in a precarious position. For the most part these publications are going to have to make sure that they are contextualizing their content online as effectively as possible via search engines, social media and personal syndication, with their revenue streams following their content to its most valuable contexts. In print these publications will need to consider how mass customization will enable them to extract editorial value from a range of staffs more effectively through different interest lenses.

In general publishers have to consider how they can use their online portal presences to drive print consumption more effectively. Users need to be encouraged to let publishers know what they'd like to see in print - and to facilitate its delivery along with other editorial content that complements those expressed interests. It is difficult for publishers to out-Google Google in contextualizing online content but for now they stand a chance to do that more effectively for individuals in the print medium

Building a Reference Portfolio: Answers.com Plans to Pump Up Reference.com Properties with Profits

I had a chance to catch up with Answers Corporation Chief Strategy Officer Bruce Smith recently regarding their recently announced acquisition of Lexico Publishing Group, the publishers of the Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Reference.com online portals , for USD 100 million. Lexico's reference portals are fairly simple and undramatic properties, but they have an audience that's about comparable to Answers.com in overall ranking and a footprint in education that offers Answers.com a complementary and loyal footprint. Most importantly Answers.com has been more efficient in being able to extract revenues from its references audiences than Lexico, so it effectively doubles its advertising base for marketing and ecommerce any may come close to doubling its revenues and then some along the way. As with its acquisition of FAQ Farm the Lexico properties are likely to remain autonomous sites, gaining common branding and integration over time but remaining tools that for the time being leverage highly popular bookmarked addresses.

While many magazine publishers are still sniffing around for undervalued print publications to take under their wings this move by Answers.com to scoop up highly ranked but underperforming online sites with complementary advertising bases demonstrates how quickly a highly profitable online site can extend its advertising efficiencies to build profits - even before an ounce of synergy or integration is added. To hearken back to my earlier post on Yahoo's possible sale it's far more likely that media companies that know how to extend advertising synergies online to related online holdings are going to build profitability more quickly than companies looking simply for overall scale of operations.

Weekly Headline Summary for 23 July 2007

Trends

The deal is almost done but Dow Jones' transition into robust online earnings has just begun...
Dow Jones, News Corp. Set Deal
WSJ Online*
Dow Jones Posts Lower Q2 Profits; Revenue Up 16.2 Percent; Director Resigns
paidContent.org

Facebook is taking on greater online cachet but must now live up to more mature expectations...
The Impact of Facebook's Platform
Read/Write Web
Daily news lost on Facebook generation
CNET News
Facebook Adds Ajax - Abandoning Page Views?
Read/Write Web
It's no secret: Facebook's allure is its privacy
Reuters via CNET
Facebook sued for 'stealing source code'
Times Online

Second Life fades as marketers discover that not that many people like to walk around inside a commercial...
Virtual marketers have second thoughts about Second Life
LA Times

Magazine revenues are strong but many general and niche titles with online foes are feeling the pinch...
Magazine ad revenue up 6.1% in first half
BtoB Online
Ad Downturn Threatening the Survival of Business 2.0
The New York Times*

As Reed Elsevier exits education it gets a substantial nest egg to invest in business and consumer content...
Riverdeep to Buy Some Harcourt Assets for $4 Billion
Bloomberg News

So you want free trade? Then offer free speech. Google pushes a compelling formula to open markets...
Google's Free Trade Agenda
Forbes

Tries to finesse its DoubleClick deal and privacy management past regulators...
Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy
Google Blog
Google's deal for DoubleClick faces scrutiny; Lawmakers worried about competition
Bloomberg News /Content Agenda

And strengthens a broad array of programs to set it apart from the publishing pack...
Relax folks, Google isn't Yahoo
CNET News
Google Rolls Out Custom Search Engine for Businesses
InformationWeek
Google Developing Niche Search for Mobile Content
Mashable
Google Expands Print Ads Program, Non-Americans Not Wanted
TechCrunch

A management exodus and sinking shares make it likely that Yahoo will be sold to - whom...?
Yahoo! Sale Is Now More Likely, According to Analyst
Bloomberg News

Social media continues to become a favored outlet but its monetization is only beginning to be explored...
Email Has Evaporated As a Social Tool
Napsterization
Marketers coming up short on Web 2.0
IT Business
LaunchTags Offers Revenue-Sharing Model for Bloggers
Mashable
Aggregation & Context in The Video World And Threat To Media Companies
paidContent.org
You be the publisher: the next wave of newspapers
Journal & Courier

While many are just starting to jump on the Web 2.0 bandwagon others are already starting to move on...
Wal-Mart Adds Customer Reviews Online
WSJ Online*
Wither Blogging? Not Yet, But Perhaps Soon
Micro Persuasion

How do some increase content licensing revenues? License content that you don't really own...
False Copyright Claims
Slashdot

In other major trends in content this week...
The Washington Post to Trade in Hyperlocal News on the Web
The New York Times*
Why We're Like a Million Monkeys on Treadmills
Micro Persuasion
162 Million Internet Users in China, reveals Report
TechShout
Windows Media DRM hacked yet again
Wired via Content Agenda
EBay Profit Is Up 50%; Listings Off
The New York Times*
The Boat Is About to Rock (Again) in Internet Video
The New York Times*

Best Practices
When Web 2.0 meets information infrastructure
CNET News
Co-Founder Potts Shares Lessons Learned from Backfence Bust
MediaShift
Mobile Phones As Mass Media: Advertising Models And The Creative Challenge
Robin Good
IE Dropping, Now Near 70% In Europe
Slashdot
DRM and open source are the great divide
ZDNet

Cool Tools
Prerollr Launches Dead Simple Video Advertising Product
TechCrunch
BEA Launches Web 2.0-Style Computing Inside The Enterprise
InformationWeek
Wetpaint Launches Free Private Wikis, YouTube Search
Mashable
Owl Music Search: find music with music
Download Squad
First Review of Streamy - The AJAX-based Digg Rival
Mashable

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

Answers Corp. to Acquire Dictionary.com for $100 Million
Answers.com
Healthwise and Revolution Health Make Consumer Health Information Widely Available
MarketWire
Onstream Media Expands Business with Bonnier Corporation
PR Newswire via CNN Money
AP Selects SchemaLogic to Manage Its Content Tags For News Delivery
PR Newswire
Scripps Networks Extends Online Reach with Acquisition of Recipezaar
BusinessWire
Facebook(R) Acquires Startup Parakey
PR Newswire
RR Donnelley Works With Microsoft to Offer XBRL Solution to the Mutual Fund Industry
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Mark Logic Secures $15 Million in Third-Round Financing
Marketwire
Cenveo to Acquire Commercial Envelope
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Emerald Group Publishing Acquires Journals from Edith Cowan University
PR-GB
New Partnerships for ProQuest
InfoTech

Products, Markets & People
Academic publishing veteran to direct the University Press
U of Chicago Chronicle
Dow Jones Adds European Company Content to Factiva Products
PR Newswire via CNN Money
RR Donnelley Introduces DigiMag(SM) Digital Editions
PR Newswire via CNN Money
PR Newswire Launches the 'PR Newswire Widget'
PR Newswire
Thomson Financial to Provide Background On Executives and Private Companies
Wall Street & Technology
Ask.com to Give People Unmatched Privacy Control
PR Newswire
Elsevier Launches Artery Research, Latest Specialty Journal In The Field Of Hypertension
Medical News Today

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pouring Cold Water on the Microsoft-Buys-Yahoo Meme

Bloomberg News covers Stanford Group analyst Clayton Moran's claims that the seeming listlessness of Yahoo's management since Terry Semel's departure and sinking share prices are laying the groundwork for an inevitable and likely sale of Yahoo. Moran cites Microsoft as the likely bidder and beneficiary of online synergies that would boost both properties into a newly competitive position against rival Google. There are a lot of things that still argue for this combination - invigorated search technology and online office components from Microsoft, advertising know-how and effective destination content development from Yahoo - and a such sale is certainly not improbable. Yet I can't help thinking that this may be one of those "perfect" marriages that would go south far more quickly than people may imagine.

The main rub that I see is that both companies suffer from two similar maladies: weakening market mindshare for their brands and dysfunctional product development cultures. Microsoft has had a remarkable string of product introductions that have been flops, duds or near-misses, in spite of having a near lock on many key technologies. Its Internet Explorer browser, once the unchallenged ruler of online Web content consumption, now boasts only about 70 percent of the European marketplace, a problem only exacerbated by mobile content markets moving further away from Microsoft technologies. Yahoo has many comparatively healthy and innovative initiatives, but some of its most innovative properties such as Flickr, del.icio.us and Yahoo! Pipes are either standalone brands or initiatives that are relatively orphaned from the mainstream Yahoo offerings. The Semel legacy of traditional media development stalled the effective development and integration of social media, a strategic error that Yahoo is working hard to correct but nevertheless a legacy of poor market timing that Microsoft will do little to bolster.

Moreover a Yahoo acquisition will do little to help Microsoft penetrate the enterprise/prosumer space very effectively. Yahoo's withdrawal from enterprise services a few years back left the playing field open for Google, which is still at the foothills of enterprise content but building a steadily growing array of products and integration resources to build that base over time. On the consumer side the addition of Microsoft properties to Yahoo's ad base would be a strong plus, but not one that could not be offered by other parters as well with greater online growth potential.

Which brings us to the question: who would want to buy Yahoo? I think that it's far more likely that News Corp will see a Yahoo acquistion as a perfect complement to its holdings.Its online management team is both upbeat and highly experienced with social media via Fox Interactive Media's MySpace platform and would offer Yahoo a better chance to develop as a dominant media brand with a strengthened advertising base. Yahoo's strong online finance portal would complement potential content fed in from Dow Jones holdings should that deal close, a deal that would have already provided News Corp with good enterprise revenues and technology platforms. Yahoo entertainment offerings would complement MySpace nicely and its enormous base of user accounts would offer MySpace a shot in the arm as Facebook builds a stronger market share.

The only real question for a Yahoo sale is timing - and it's likely that Yahoo's nascent social media replacement for its less-than-booming 360 portal may be the timing telltale. If the introduction of this effort is not stunning or if management becomes discouraged in its early testing phases then it's highly likely that a deal will be executed fairly quickly one way or another. But don't be surprised if quiet talks are already in the works - no doubt awaiting News Corp's finalization of Dow Jones details before focusing on Yahoo. Other potential suitors such as TimeWarner could enter the picture (AOL round two? Probably not.) but few offer clear synergies. We'll see whether Microsoft has the gumption to pull the string on a Yahoo deal, but my guess is that they have their hands full with many core competitiveness issues already - and that News Corp will be able to define more profitable synergies and longer-term brand strength before Microsoft gets to pop the question.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dow Jones Navigates the Channel of Online Transition with Profits in Tow

paidContent.org notes the Dow Jones boardroom resignation of Dieter von Holtzbrinck in protest over the pending News Corp deal, but away from the acquisition soap opera are some interesting details culled from the recent Dow Jones earnings report. Though overall earnings are down notably online revenues are up 5 percent and paid subscribers to The Wall Street Journal Online grew 23.6%, buoyed in part by a USD 99 combo package for the print and online edition. These are good numbers at a time in which business news is challenged in all directions by new sources. Think of the WSJ as the world's largest country club, a point of social distinction that allows one to join an elite (kind of) group for very nominal greens' fees.

It's a model that social media plays will be leveraging more in search of high-value focused market segments, which begs to some degree when WSJ will be doing more to integrate community features into their platform. I have great respect for Gordon Crovitz and his business acumen, but the WSJ's shyness on social media is likely to leave additional "gated community" revenues to others in time. And perhaps time will be the factor - they aren't growing any more WSJs any time soon, as Rupert Murdoch knows very well, so Crovitz and others with deeply entrenched media brands seem content to let their content become contextualized elsewhere. A little imagination is in order here to consider how to build a new clubhouse at this online country club - for premium fees, of course.

Meanwhile over at Dow Jones Enterprise Media the Factiva buyout makes things look temporarily rosy on the unit's top line but Factiva's compartively thin profits dragged down the unit's operating margins to 23.2 percent. The Enterprise Media unit is another example of where Clare Hart does a magnificent job of talking about Web 2.0 but so far has not really touched its potential to change the fundamental profitability of a licensed content aggregation business. By contrast Thomson Financial's recent deal to incorporate executive background briefings and private company profiles from Generate is a key foray to use Web content to build premium content revenues via direct extensions to their core content sets. The New Aggregation that we talked about a few years ago, in which publishers and aggregators must embrace Web-generated content and contexts aggressively to generate better margins, is now being embraced by key business information providers very aggressively.

Hopefully the Factiva buyout will enable Dow Jones to infuse their Factiva investment with more capabilities incorporating Web content that will improve both margins and content quality - once News Corp acquisition formalities have settled down. In the meantime here's hoping that Dow Jones' model for online and enterprise success continues to broaden both coverage and online audience engagement.

Headlines for 19 July 2007

Trends
Relax folks, Google isn't Yahoo
CNET News
Google's Free Trade Agenda
Forbes
The Impact of Facebook's Platform
Read/Write Web
Dow Jones Posts Lower Q2 Profits; Revenue Up 16.2 Percent; Director Resigns
paidContent.org
Email Has Evaporated As a Social Tool
Napsterization
LaunchTags Offers Revenue-Sharing Model for Bloggers
Mashable
Google Expands Print Ads Program, Non-Americans Not Wanted
TechCrunch
Marketers coming up short on Web 2.0
IT Business
162 Million Internet Users in China, reveals Report
TechShout
Google's deal for DoubleClick faces scrutiny; Lawmakers worried about competition
Bloomberg News /Content Agenda
Wither Blogging? Not Yet, But Perhaps Soon
Micro Persuasion
Daily news lost on Facebook generation
CNET News
Yahoo! Sale Is Now More Likely, According to Analyst
Bloomberg News
EBay Profit Is Up 50%; Listings Off
The New York Times*
Wal-Mart Adds Customer Reviews Online
WSJ Online*

Best Practices
Mobile Phones As Mass Media: Advertising Models And The Creative Challenge
Robin Good
IE Dropping, Now Near 70% In Europe
Slashdot

Cool Tools
BEA Launches Web 2.0-Style Computing Inside The Enterprise
InformationWeek

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
Healthwise and Revolution Health Make Consumer Health Information Widely Available
MarketWire
Onstream Media Expands Business with Bonnier Corporation
PR Newswire via CNN Money
AP Selects SchemaLogic to Manage Its Content Tags For News Delivery
PR Newswire
Scripps Networks Extends Online Reach with Acquisition of Recipezaar
BusinessWire
Facebook(R) Acquires Startup Parakey
PR Newswire

Products, Markets & People
Thomson Financial to Provide Background On Executives and Private Companies
Wall Street & Technology
Ask.com to Give People Unmatched Privacy Control
PR Newswire

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Headlines for 17 July 2007

Trends
Dow Jones, News Corp. Set Deal
WSJ Online*
Riverdeep to Buy Some Harcourt Assets for $4 Billion
Bloomberg News
Ad Downturn Threatening the Survival of Business 2.0
The New York Times*
Google Rolls Out Custom Search Engine for Businesses
InformationWeek
Reed near deal to sell Harcourt
Reuters via The Scotsman
Why We're Like a Million Monkeys on Treadmills
Micro Persuasion
Google Developing Niche Search for Mobile Content
Mashable
Windows Media DRM hacked yet again
Wired via Content Agenda
Facebook Adds Ajax - Abandoning Page Views?
Read/Write Web
Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy
Google Blog
The Washington Post to Trade in Hyperlocal News on the Web
The New York Times*
Facebook sued for 'stealing source code'
Times Online

Best Practices
When Web 2.0 meets information infrastructure
CNET News
Co-Founder Potts Shares Lessons Learned from Backfence Bust
MediaShift
DRM and open source are the great divide
ZDNet

Cool Tools
Prerollr Launches Dead Simple Video Advertising Product
TechCrunch
Wetpaint Launches Free Private Wikis, YouTube Search
Mashable
Owl Music Search: find music with music
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
Answers Corp. to Acquire Dictionary.com for $100 Million
Answers.com
RR Donnelley Works With Microsoft to Offer XBRL Solution to the Mutual Fund Industry
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Mark Logic Secures $15 Million in Third-Round Financing
Marketwire
Cenveo to Acquire Commercial Envelope
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Emerald Group Publishing Acquires Journals from Edith Cowan University
PR-GB
New Partnerships for ProQuest
InfoTech

Products, Markets & People
Dow Jones Adds European Company Content to Factiva Products
PR Newswire via CNN Money
RR Donnelley Introduces DigiMag(SM) Digital Editions
PR Newswire via CNN Money
PR Newswire Launches the 'PR Newswire Widget'
PR Newswire

Monday, July 16, 2007

Headline Summary for 16 July 2007

Trends
The NewsCorp-Dow Jones deal is getting closer to the altar - with the Bancrofts hoping to elope before then...
Dow Jones Makes Late Push To Find Other Buyers
WSJ Online*
Still Hunting: Dow Jones Board to Meet With Burkle, 'Probably not Significant'
Editor and Publisher
Dow Jones Sale Nearing Make-Or-Break Mark
Editor and Publisher
Expert on Murdoch Insisted the Dow Jones Deal Was Done
The New York Times*

Marketers used to passive audiences are confronting online audiences that research and share content...
New Web metric likely to hurt Google, help YouTube
ComputerWorld
People Who Search Spend More
Web Pro News
Bayer Goes Viral in Web Pitch for Painkiller
The New York Times*
New Research Reveals Consumers Delay 34+ Hours Between the Click and the Purchase
Marketing Sherpa

Facebook soars into the top site rankings as sharing content with peers takes on a more social framework...
Facebook’s Massive Growth: Hits 30 Million Users
Mashable
Is Blogging Dead?
Read/Write Web

Social media is becoming a staple for online news and opinion but still struggles to establish ethics...
UGC Voted One of the Ten Most Significant eCommerce Developments of the Last Decade
Social Computing
Wikipedia remains go-to site for online news
Reuters via CNET News
Wikipedia rises above inaccuracy criticisms
Monsters and Critics
Pay-for-blogging site raises questions
CNET News

Video surges into the online spotlight along with new distribution and production channels...
IPTV will take off, says study
Broadcasting and Cable/CAgenda
Online Video And Social Networking To Drive The Evolution Of Tomorrow’s Digital Lifestyle Globally
Ipsos Insight
A New Studio Will Market Short Videos for the Web
The New York Times*
TiVo's new "Buy on TV" feature for Amazon Unbox
Engadget
Top 50 Copyrighted Videos Google is Pirating
TechCrunch

Yahoo keeps focused on products and features that will keep it growing as a major online destination...
Mosh, Yahoo’s New Social Network Initiative
TechCrunch
Yahoo Gives Search Suggest A Promotion
Web Pro News

Search is still a key focus of content development as new forms of content aggregation take shape...
A Web That Thinks Like You: Semantic Software Could Help to Transform the Web
BusinessWeek
Google’s Next Social Play: Search behemoth brews up content aggregator for social networks
Red Herring

In the meantime Microsoft seems to be swinging hard and late at every idea for media that comes along...
Microsoft patent application reveals plans for paid Zune sharing
Engadget
Microsoft unveils 'Joost killer'
Ars Technica via Content Agenda
Ballmer charts future of online togetherness
Channel Register

Memo to business information services:your new rival for enterprise-ready SaaS content has arrived...
Google Buys Online Security Firm Postini In $625 Mil Deal
IBD via CNN Money

Memo to print aficionados: no amount of cachet will get a general-audience print tile off the ground today...
Conde Nast to Close Jane, Ending Effort at Revival
The New York Times*

In case you're wondering whether the Web has changed our thinking about content...
SIIA Announces the Ten Most Significant eCommerce Developments of the Last Decade
PR Newswire
This is what the web looked like in 1994
Download Squad

In other major trends in content this week...
Springer - I resign from your Journal
University of Cambridge
Private Equity Fund-Raising Jumps 42% in 1st Half of 2007, On Pace To Break 2006 Record
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Topix Capitalizes on Forums, Reaches Rural Areas
Media Shift
Web startup reinventing Wiki? Well, sort of
Indy Star
Happy Fair Use Day
Boing Boing
The Big Move: The New York Times Says Farewell to 43rd Street
The New York Times*
All Shook Up, Right Down to the Musical Core
The New York Times*

Best Practices
The Golden Age of Individualism
MicroPersuasion
35 Perspectives on Online Social Networking
Social Computing
MIT integrates del.icio.us in their reference system
Really Simple Sidi
A Behind-The-Scenes Look At How DRM Becomes Law
InformationWeek
The Future Of Media Report 2007: What's Coming, What's Changing
Robin Good
5 News Aggregation Methods Compared
Read/Write Web
Anywhere Wordsmith: The Google office
MacWorld
Video Aggregation and Search for the Enterprise Information Worker
Daniel Barbarosa

Cool Tools
Mapplets: Google’s new tool for customizing Google Maps
Monsters and Critics
Feedburner Comes to Blogger: Google Analytics Next?
Mashable
Content Routing Solution offers persistent messaging
ThomasNet
WeShow Launches Worldwide, Human-Powered Video Aggregator
Mashable
How To Upload Your Video Clips To Multiple Video Sharing Sites: Hey!Spread
Robin Good
WikiYou is Twitter Plus Wikipedia
Mashable
Internet Typewriter: Distraction-Free WriteRoom Effect Goes Online
Digital Inspiration
Flock Version 0.9 Focuses on Social Media Discovery
Read/Write Web
Shelfari application in Facebook
Really Simple Sidi
eSnailer: Send Postal Mail From the Web
Read/Write Web

Deals, Partnerships & Sales

White Label Social Network Ning Raises A Huge $44 Million Round
paidContent.org
LexisNexis Acquires Juris, Inc., to Lead in the Time, Billing, and Accounting Software Market
BusinessWire
FAST Acquires AgentArts, Bolstering Company’s Industry-Leading Search Experience
BusinessWire
E-mail Newsletter Service ConstantContact Files For $86 Million IPO
paidContent.org
Nielsen Business Media Launches Convera Powered Search Destination for Kitchen and Bath Industry
PR Newswire via CNN Money
Gather.Com, Harvard Health and LifeMasters Launch 35 Health-Specific Online Communities
BusinessWire
Connexus Acquires AdModus’ Online Ad Serving Technology
BusinessWire
Hachette Filipacchi UK Partners With Brightcove to Launch Internet Video Channels
PR Newswire via Sys-Con
AOL Partners With Fidelity National for Real Estate Listings
Web Pro News
Fimalac Offers $337 Million For Les Echos, Outbidding LVMH
WSJ Online*
Freedom Interactive Teams Up with Pluck to Expand Opportunities for Reader Engagement and Advertising
eMediaWire
QUALCOMM, NTELOS Launch Web Portal to Deliver Mobile Content
TMCNet

Products, Markets & People
Penton to Consolidate Industry Product Coverage at Electronic Design; Announces Editorial Promotions
BusinessWire
Brent Weinstein will run 60Frames, a new online syndication company
Variety via Content Agenda
Marchesano to Leave The Nielsen Company
FOLIO: Magazine
Dow Jones Launches Publication Focused on Global Clean Technology Market
CNN Money
Forbes.Com Launches Eight Separate Widgets
BusinessWire
InfoTech: EBSCO Debuts NoveList Portal
Library Journal
Xinhua Finance CEO Sends Letter to Shareholders
PR Newswire
Blackboard Extends e-Learning Capabilities to Additional Learning Platforms
MarketWIre via CNN Money