Thursday, January 31, 2008

Headlines for 31 January 2008

Trends
Google Looks Recession-Proof to Analysts
Wired News
Amazon Web Services: Bigger Than Amazon: Kindle Does Well
Read/Write Web
Google and Dell tipped to reveal iPhone rival plans
MarketingWeek
Auction Bid Triggers Airwaves Open Access
The New York Times
A Tour of Google's New Experimental Search. Verdict: Awesome
Ars Technica
ComScore says social networks' growth is slowing
ValleyWag
Fresh from New York: Trends in online advertising
VentureBeat
Music labels say no deal with Qtrax
Reuters
Verizon: We don't want to play copyright cop on our network
CNET News
Wiki maps replace toilet walls for some
Newindpress India
Washington jumps on Wiki bandwagon
The Tennessean

Best Practices
B2B Social Networking at the SIIA Information Industry Summit
Clara Shih
Google is now an OpenID provider
Social Media Today
Keeping Citations Straight, and Finding New Ones
Inside Higher Ed
Generating ROI from eye-tracking
e-Consultancy

Cool Tools
Garmin announces the nuvifone
Engadget
Instapaper, A Beautifully Simple Bookmarking Tool
ParisLemon
Google Universal Search: 2008 Edition
Search Engine Landd
Rating Burner Debuts With RSS Feed Ranking, Growth Stats
Louis Gray
Delver announces personalized social search engine
Download Squad
Skype released for PSP
Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
SezWho Partners with BlogCatalog for Distribution of Comment Reputation System
TechCrunch
OCLC Acquires EZproxy Remote Authentication Software
Library Journal

Products, Markets & People
Mosio Uses Twitter For Mobile Q&A
Mashable
Google Finance UK open for business
Google Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SIIA Information Industry Summit 2008: The Transformation of the Digital World

The seventh Information Industry Summit from the Software and Infomation Industry Association comes at a time of both great optimism and great worries for the digital publishing industry, Transformative technologies have made more content available from more people and organizations for more audiences than ever before and the ability to monetize content in more contexts than ever before is truly unprecedented. This is great news for publishers and technology companies that are a part of this transformation and quite a challenge to publishers and distributors who are locked into older cost structures and marketers who are slow to adapt to new opportunities to reach their markets online. With a soft economy it's not always easy to make the most of new opportunities. But with the ability to target buyers and sellers through contextual advertising services and to target users of high-value content services more effectively through easily accessed online services there's the hope that marketing can be so focused as to help both publishers and marketers weather leaner times more effectively than ever before. SIIA President Ken Wasch underscored this with a summary of an SIIA report that indicates a combined content and information industry that is continuing to grow in the face of the tougher 2008 economy.

We'll be posting coverage of the Information Industry Summit throughout the event, with links to individual items posted here as the event unfolds. Our thanks to the SIIA and its fellow members on the planning committee for putting together a rich and engaging event.

Headlines for 30 January 2008

Trends
Deal pace for Internet content segment strong, valuations rocket
BtoB Online
Yahoo serves up layoffs but no strategy
CNET News
Reuters Permits Publishers to Freely Monetize Video and to Offer Downloads (video)
Beet.tv
'Wall Street Journal' plans move to midtown, will add sports section
BtoB Online
Wireless auction concerns rise as some airwaves languish
Reuters
Microsoft ventures into open access chemistry
Chemistry World
Still and Eye on Diller vs. Malone
Reuters MediaFile
ISPs new role in network control
Content Agenda
WSJ's Web site adds Facebook function
AP via Yahoo! News
Have Facebook Apps Peaked in Popularity?
Read/Write Web
Coca-Cola Launches a Corporate Blog
Social Media Today
Google Introducing new search views
Google Blog
Dvorak: Wikipedia Just Gets Better, Despite All Odds
PC Magazine via Fox News
Video Activists With “New Screw Tube” Campaign Against YouTube Dominance
P2P Foundation
Viacom Chief Says Company Is 'Recession-Resistant'
Bloomberg News
New Media Icon CNET Grapples With Newer Media Rivals
WSJ Online*
TV Showman, Once Exiled, Returns With Video Site
The New York Times

Best Practices
Beyond Vertical Search to Business Networks
Read/Write Web
Break.com CEO Keith Richman on Online Video Market & Video
Advertising

paidContent.org
Startups Abandon Moore’s Law
GigaOM

Cool Tools
Sprout: The Online WYSIWYG Editor for Flash
TechCrunch
MySpace Developer Platform Launching on February 5th
Mashable
Create Your Own Blog Version of Twitter
Web Pro News
CarTorrent - Peer-to-peer networking for cars
The Guardian

Deals, Partnerships and Sales
Yahoo To Reach Out And Touch 70 Million AT&T Mobile Users with Contract Renewal
Commweb News via TMCNet
Randall-Reilly Sold to Investcorp
FOLIO: Magazine
Sprint and Clearwire talking again, might still go to prom together
Engadget
Pearson to Sell Rest of Stake In FT Deutschland to Partner
WSJ Online*

Products, Markets & People
Hoover's launches professional networking tool
ComputerWorld
MuseGlobal News Hound and Blog Hound give Instant, Integrated Access to News and Information
BusinessWire via PR-Inside

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SIIA Previews - The New, New Things in Content

This year's SIIA Information Industry Summit includes for the second year the "Previews" event, an opportunity for major publishers, technology companies and investors to take a look at the up-and-coming companies in the content industry. There were at least 63 applicants for appearing in the Previews event, of which ten were chosen, so the quality of the companies is quite high overall. I live-blogged most of this, so some of it is a bit rough, but I think that you'll get the flow of this very dynamic event - and some good insights into some of the best of new content plays.

State of Startup Investment - PWC

Investment in venture plays remained strong 2007 according to David Silverman, Partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers' MoneyTree report, with a 10 percent CAGR boost over 2006 overall and USD 70 billion-plus across all quaters. Software investment is down as a catgegory, but with investment up strongly in the media and entertainment industries and in business processses, it's a strong sign that technology plays are working their way up the value chain into solutions that inevitably make them increasingly content plays. Valuations on established companies are down, pushing more investors into earlier stage companies. VCs were able to turn 86 IPOs in 2007, the highest since the dot-com crash and a hopeful sign for emerging investments. There's quite a but of money that's being raised, so as the economy softens smart investors will continue to look towards venture capital plays to help them weather the down markets by building new value.

I will be providing short takes on a relatively live basis as the speakers provide their elevator pitches today, stay tuned for updates, when my batteries run out I'll post the rest this evening. The good news is that we got connectivity at the last minute for blogging.

Larry Schwartz, President, Newstex - How did the Class of 2007 Do?
Larry's quick update to last year's Preview event, apologies for scant details:

Eurekster: 5.5 million in financing, averages 25 million queries versus 10 million in early 2007.
Generate: 80 news customers, including Hearst Newspapers, Thomson Financial and Yahoo.
Near-Time: Added Wiley, CareFirst, partnership with U.S. government for "green" initiatives.
Inform Technologies: 15 million investment, 40 media clients
Pando: 16 million application installs, powering online delivery for NBC.
Attributor: Deals with AP, Reuters, speaking at IIS
Cranium Softworks: New product launches, anticipating funding in 2008
iCopyright: added 500 publishers in 2007, 5,000 transactions a day

Business & Investment Climate Update
Moderator: Bambi Francisco, CEO, Vator.tv

Brian Hirsch, Managing Director, Greenhill SAVP
Robert Levitan, CEO, Pando
David Silverman, Partner, PricewatershouseCoopers LLP
Ed Reitler, Parther, Reitler Brown & Rosenblatt LLC

Levitan: Lots of support for early-stage companies, later stage companies lot of support for known business models. VCs like to do due diligence on known business models. Our S/W deployed as consumer app, from 2 mil to 16 mil installs, everyone understands "freemium," took software up a level to corporate customers, NBC using technology between media player and software delivery network. Figures out if/when content should be downloaded, eliminates 80 percent of delivery costs. People don't know how to price this yet, it;s enterprise sales, sits on desktop, but still feeling their way through business model.
Bambi - rise of angel networks, lots of compa. nies that don't need VCs, just a few millions
Lots of CEOs using blogging to reach out to both investors and clients.

Silverman: VCs looking for established models, want to see revenues, profits when available. Might see more of a risk shift into earlier stages. Very vibrant market in NYC and beyond, downturn can happen but businesses are moving along. good opportunities for future.

Reitler: Good healthy growth 2003-2005, in current slowdown vs. internet "winter" of 2002-2003, not the same problems with recapitalization, more sustainable growth, slight uptick in early stage companies, healthier capital base. Lots of funds were insured, by SBA before, this time around plug is pulled on insurance. But deal flow is still strong, venture funds aren't investing in highly leveraged deals, mostly pure equity deals. Cash-rich institutions are taking on compelling business plans, as long as revenues come in from advertising and lead generation, should be a strong environment.

Hirsch: May be a recession, but doesn't really impact investment on innovation over past 30-40 years, many of the best companies were invented in the worst of times. But valuation is a factor, may have to give up more of your company or settle for less capital. Don't let economy stop you from starting a business if you have a good idea.

Bambi: Where are funds being deployed?
David: More of the same, biotech, med devices, in NYC internet ad companies, content creation companies, IAB/PWC quarterly report on interactive advertising, phenomenal growth, increased penetraion, more broadband, but need more technology.
Bambi: Brian, where is your money going?
Hirsch: Half of cos in marketing services, leadgen growth is accelerating, more measurable ROI, more value to marketers. Online ads, peel away Google and Yahoo still growing healthily, pure ad model challenging if you can't aggregate enough of an audience. Very careful at deploying dollars, west coast more aggressive in funding ad models. Not more risk-averse, like info-driven models, oppys for ad-driven models but pure ad-driven models can be developed via angel-backsed investments but for 30-50 million exits need to be highly efficient with capital and growth plans. Exits in social networknig are in 15-75 million exit range, not a lot of breakouts expected, cautious therefore for ad-driven.
Silverman: Big deals with nice returns, big players picking up pieces. [COMMENT: This is key, good time to pick up feautres and content that can make you stronger.]
Levitan: Video advertising is ripe for reinvention, will be nothing like pre-roll/post-roll markets today, complex algorithms will generate matches that will provide huge returns.
Reitler: Quigo had great returns. Leadgen offers still a lot of room for growth, buy media low and sell leads high, like a securities exchange, leading sellers to buyers. E.g., driveway pavers, narrow niches can be matched very precisely.

Bambi: Funding, what't it like raising funds today?

Levitan: Most VCs like to see mature business models, I enjoy being somewhere else, but telling the story requires much more education, investors need familiar benchmarks. Bambi: Do they care if you have revenue? Levitan: depends what traffic is for. As entrepreneur, a lot more people know a lot more details about a lot more business models. Kids may not have the full picture at how business models can grow. VCs are so smart, angels look more interesting for people proving ideas out, may be able to avoid VCs altogether. Previously it was a badge of honor to have a VC, but now you don't need that endorsement as much. Some VC funds will have to adapt.

QUICK TAKE: Funding is still healthy, private money has no where else to go right now, angels are more important than ever and there are plenty of people who may be able to make progress without going deep into VC money. Angels are getting more sophisticated, so the lines may be blurred to some degree.

Presentations Round One

ExpoTV: Video storytelling about products. 200K product reviews, unbiased, screened, coded, organized. Treat usergen more professionally, full rights to content and creative purchased but compensate contributors. Lots of metadata, more than in usergen platforms, leadgen revenues from ad inserts. No longer lonelygirl15, it's "lonely mom" as a consumer advocate. Syndicates to Yahoo! Shopping, Oxygen, Amazon, TimeWarner, Beliefnet, Planetfeedback. 8x video play growth, current views 2 million a month. Refer a friend program, most find it via the portal. Leadgen model is a winner, reviews are so highly targeted it should work very well. Also ad revenue.
QUICK TAKE: This is a strong play, great combination of community, structuring unstructured content for sophistiaced retrieval, syndication strategy, building revenues and reputation for contributors. Fairly high barriers to entry already with solid deals and content maintenance.

Health Monitoring Systems: Katrina hit, NOAA knew exactly what would happen, in contrast, no such event management, epidemics come but with no forecasting. Many events don't bloom into health crises, others do unexpectedly. Maps of disease patterns. 2006 Superbowl fans got sick on the way home and spread disease down I-80 in Ohio. Vision is to be national surveillance system for health. largest in U.S., 500-plus hospitals, customers in 10 states, looking fo expand data sources, provided by hospitals, they own analysis. States buy subscriptions.
QUICK TAKE: Didn't present all that well, but it's a pretty good play, that is, if they can build momentum. The "get it" factor is pretty good, there's a real market need. Low barriers to cometitive entry overall, but its pioneering position can help them build deal flow. Down economy may slow adoption. However, also possible to cross-sell into law enforcement.

LinkStorm: Pop-up content contextually related, focused on ecommerce, related products, 3x boost in click-through rates, equipped with graphics. Multi-level menu of options makes drill-down easy. Measure heavily user engagement, track click-throughs on a per-menu-item basis. Advertisers can act on insights and optimize menus real-time. GM, Overstock.com, Cisco, SAP, many majors. Estimating 100-200 million exit [COMMENT: well, with luck, never know]. "Roll Over" cue on screens demystifies use of technology, it's transparent, strictly OEM model. Take in feeds, will show all relevant products automatically, can sell sector data also.
QUICK TAKE: Great to see this technology find a home in advertising, solid investors backing it who understand markets, Makes each click much more valuable, user self-qualifies for more specific products before they ever get to actually click. Some barriers to entry given Sidman's investments in technology from other efforts, but main barrier is deal flow, he's moved very quickly into small presences and needs to expand it quickly before it gets positioned more as a feature than a platform. Pretty good bet for future growth, Google others could acquire, so exits are probably plentiful.

TutorVista
: 5-10 million hours of free tutoring to give away, VOIP with whiteboarding, scheduled in advance, 30 subjects, PowerPoint-enabled instructional tool. Ad-driven, CEO helps to optimize content. Big push in India, Bangalore-based, tesp prep centers, 120 million Indian students attend centers. Creating branded "private schools," Sequoia, LightSpeed on board. India has the largest below-19 population, huge market. Tutors compensated well, double what they would make at university or schools, low turnover. new, voice-based tutoring, not a chat, subscription-based but some ads. Goal is a million tutees in a couple of years. One-on-one personalized tutuoring.
QUICK TAKE: Has competitors, but its focus on India's domestic market as well as international markets is key. Expect strong rapid growth, technology really isn't the issue, sounds fine overall, it's the VOIP that allows personal interaction that can make the difference. Solid, relatively quiet investment which is good for the investors as it's growing strong.

FeeDisclosure: About 1/3 of fees for closing mortgages are junk fees, fees for Adobe's free Acrobat software, etc. Identified fifteen categories that make up a real estate transaction, brokers give data for reporting and can become featured members, similar to LendingTree. Data includes service provider ratings, professionals provide trust by providing full disclosure. Forcing market to become more transparent. Consumer can compare their closing costs to national averages, whether fees are common. Patent pending. Can break down data to zip codes, price, location closes to home.
QUICK TAKE: Good basic argument, huge market, may become a trusted leader, in a tough lareal estate market this may be appealing for consumers, new legislation may force disclosure, pubic sentiment behind this. Could flip quickly, management seems professional, know their. market.

Presentations Round Two

Vator.tv
:A platform for young companies to be discovered. started with 250 companies, now 800-plus. Wants to be the place where startups grow up. Wants to provide services and features that helps them to do it. Distributes news from companies via Blinkx, AlwaysOn, YouTube, VentureBeat, Mashable, profile updates get picked up as blogs. Hoover's company profiles are static, Vator.tv profiles are dynamic, cover hiring needs, creating announcement in video, RSS feeds, constituents, can help audiences to find related companies. A resource for other sites writing about these companies. Looking to make 70 percent of content from community, 30 percent editorial [COMMENT: This is probably going to be close to the de facto industry standard]. 1.5 million total views, seeking $30 CPMs, potential value in archives, subscriptions to data cuts. Thinking about value-add from directories of angel investors, etc.
QUICK TAKE: Sounds like an idea bigger than its initial packaging, still too early to tell where this is going. With Bambi's reputation it's likely that she'll have the entrees to make this fly to some degree in the long run, and "build it and they will come" can work when you have a highly focused and monetizable community such as high tech/content startups. Watch this as a potential model for evolving trade media in new directions - long run looks lot betster than the short run.

LingoSpot
: Monetizing links. Harder to interlink in large sites, can be expensive proposition. Automatic, dynamic document interlinking - zero effort from pubishers, natural language processing provides links to relevant information. Can embed related videos, Amazon content. Sees 12 billion addressable market. More time spent on pages, Monthly licensing fee, revenue share on advertising sometimes, for example on video pre-rolls. Launched in July 2007. Looking for 3-4 million.
QUICK TAKE: Sphere-like but no big deals, more contextual analysis of keywords, like Sphere it can help people find more content in their own site more effectively. has potential but there's so much technology chasing these problems I worry about whether they'll be able to get significant deal flow and buzz to differentiate.

ArchieMD: Rich graphics for online service with deep content that can educate people on the body, diseases and injuries. High school students, military surgeons, internet health portals, general public, jury education - have 300 law firms as clients - with both generic animation and customized animation. Reed Elsevier partnershipfor health professions and higher education, looking for wider scope of distributio n for legal. A.D.A.M. is primary competitor but is more text oriented.
QUICK TAKE: This is a strong play, a good variety of audiences, monetization models, high-end value and mass audience value, Nobody really owns this, I think that main challenge is to make this a model that can interoperate with as many environments as possible. I can see markup with social media APIs something that could be quite appealing . A Google Health exit, perhaps?

Keibi: Control and measure user-generated content, adjacency is an issue for many publishers, moderation suite is key product. MySpace has tiers of moderators, small publishers have maybe one or two people, it doesn't scale either way. Content is ranked, scored, looks at other signals, prioritizes most likely offenders, keeps moderators productive. Hosted SaaS model, mostly subscription model with some CPM-based ad models. Has Bebo as client. Certification model, Keibi will provide a rating for a page of content (G/PG/R/X is general concept), ability to manage scores to be appropriate to specific advertisers has a filed patent.

QUICK TAKE: A highly useful service, SaaS model is fine, can be expanded, helps to decrease costs while growing UGC as rapidly as possible. This is a market that will grow significantly, has potential to become an industry standard, the need is clear, will only grow, competitive environment unclear, could wind up with too many solutions following a specific opportunity, but it seems to be a pretty clear field right now.

Courtroom Connect: Discovered more value in getting content out of courthouse than content into courthouse. Video will change practice of law, they capture the dramatic moments. Demo of Bill Gates testimony in antitrust suit, video side by side with exhibits of stamps, squirming as his testimony doesn't match exhibits. Cost MSFT 100 million on that case alone. Networks installed in 50 courtrooms in major markets, developing data bank, makes money on big hits but long tail is strong, 15-plus years of reuse. All major legal firms, legal outlets, can help lawyers be much more efficient. Universities want content in curricula. Review videotapes of opposition, helps them to prepare against lawyers and expert witnesses. Interactive focus groups, exhibit & document sharing, YouTube professional commentary. Revenues growing 50-100 percent per year.
Existing television networks look only at sensational stuff, these are money-oriented trials.

QUICK TAKE: Wow. What a great application of public informaiton to a high-end and media product, well-placed, building up huge expertise, winning bids against telcos who see only the infrastructure opportunity, text transcripts are pricey, they have video and multimedia, more efficient. Oftentimes network installations are exclusive deals, like Wayport in hotels, so you have an exclusive service channel with deep content. Strong, strong, strong.


Closing Keynote: Kevin Ryan, Co-Chairman and Co-Founder, Alley Corp

Growth of Doubleclick was like 40 years in 9 years, dot-com crunch as "less fun," 70 percent of clients went bankrupt. Panther Express doing well, other key deals, ShopWiki, User-Generated Nation, SampleSales Online - needless to say a deep and successful portfolio.

Traditional media companies - it's going badly, but it will get much worse, "It's a disaster." Time-Warner has lost 80 percent of value in 18 months. Market Cap of TimeWarner now smaller than Google. Yahoo wouldn't budge off of one billion to buy Google [oops]. Google is even more powerful than people realize, sucking all the air out of the room. Numbers staggering. New York community is incredibly well positioned for startups, compared to ten years ago it's night and day. In 1950s, TV didn't wipe out movies, but movie consumption went down 90 percent, fundamental trends can change industry dynamics. Internet not as bad as that because human nature hasn't changed that much. But same people may not make the same amount of money. Profit margins were related to distribution monopolies. CapCities/ABC deal, how could ESPN be worth more than ABC, saw the 10x growth of value of ESPN. Structural problems, distribution, cost structures "just ridiculous." Doubleclick now worth 3 billion, Warner Music 3 billion, 10 people at WM with more than a million in compensation. Is that inherent in the model? $120/sq/ft offices is a choice. EMI was buying expensive "flowers" hand over fist, turned out to be hookers and drugs. [Sheesh]

"Traditional media companies have not been able to create new value in the online media space." They said "Wait 'till the big boys get in there," now not a single one of the top companies online was created by a traditional media company. People from startups have created more market capitalization than existing media companies from their infrastructure plays. Media companies are making better acquisitions, About.com, MarketWatch, MySpace, but cannot create internal DNA to be more competitive. On fundamental issues it will get worse, if I had a Kindle-like device to read my New York Times I would, not far away, about three years.

On Google side, "Google will be the first trillion-dollar company," takes percentages of other markets' ad shares consistently. Take out the Google numbers from internet spend, growth is in teens, not 30 percent. Will probably dissipate, number ten-priority products will suffer, but leading products have 80 percent-plus margins.

New York companies - why still in NYC was a question in old days, couldn't get a lawyer in 1996 that had worked on an Internet IPO. Changed completely - ten to twelve ex-Doubleclickers have developed their own companies. Two thirds of people in a recent Meetup for online people were already on their second startup. Infrastructure is here, will benefit from recession, relative value of VCs versus private equity will increase. Investment banks have no deals to talk about. Fundamental trends are not going away. 5 billion of acquisitions of New York-based media, more than Silicon Valley, don't hear about it, tech community "has a chip on its shoulder." Ladders is huge, don't hear about it. Digital media is a big growth area, New York is logical space, fashion is here, advertisers are here. Look at how much you spend per person in real estate, just use less per person. 6,000 per person on real estate, 3-4,000 in Pittsburgh, not as compelling as getting the right people. Oursourcing makes some functions more cost-effective for NYC work. Need better VC infrastructure, Boston firms are all working in NYC every week. Biotech still in Boston, but more pure technology companies like Doubleclick appearing in NYC. Lots of people being "freed up" from Wall Street this year, will learn that the Street is not as secure as they thought.

All of this creates opportunities. Social media is hot, but risk-reward is not always there. Look at taking areas worth billions and seeing if there are all the products that you need in the space. TheLadders was targeted at 100K+ jobs, those people don't use Monster, return will be huge. Re-segment markets - five windsurfing magazines in France, always opportunities. "If you spend more than five minutes online trying to find something, there's an opportunity." Hotel niches, retail niches. Video serving costs dropping rapidly, down to levels where advertising can support access. Magaines, radio are ugly, TV is not as bad, harder for a startup to do from scratch. Music labels are worth almost nothing, devastated.

QUICK TAKE: Not all new news, but a very compelling present on the online content markets that I've seen in a while. I'd agree that some of the Silicon Valley narcissism may have reached some sort of threshold, and I agree that NYC offers strong opportunities for startups picking off the bones of larger media companies and the ready pool of advertisers, but I'd suggest that the footprint is broader, more of a Bos-Wash Corridor community. That's where the West Coast iations a little more advantageous in some ways - a more concentrated community. The key factor is that there is not that much happening that's fundamentally new in consumer media technology lately. Apple's iPhone's advantages are based mostly on their largely failed exclusive deal with AT&T, for example. So we'll see whether there's any shift to the East Coast this year, I'll have to think about it but I'm still betting on a lot of trips to SFO this year.

Hope that you enjoyed this, more tomorrow on the Information Industry Summit

Elsevier Goes Online-Only for Key Reference Titles with a Social Media Twist

Major book pubishers have not been known in years past for their innovation in adapting to online audiences, but after years of investing modestly in the future of online content many print publishers are stepping up their efforts to capture a new generation of audiences who grew up with online content as a given. Elsevier is one major scientific publisher that seems to have picked up their pace of online innovation significantly as of late, Their announcement last week of 10 major reference works being made available online this year was trumped today by the announcement of a new Wiki-based platform that will enable practicing physicians to update evidence-based medical information online. In both instances Elsevier is betting that some titles will do best as online-only reference materials.

Having seen a major response to its making chapters of its Major Reference Works availableonline Elsevier is indicating that two reference titles - the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience and the second edition of Encyclopedia of Ocean Science - are to become
online-only references. Elsevier indicates that other reference titles will be available in print for some period of time, but clearly the trend is to move towards online access that's likely to move people into recurring revenues rather than chancing the publication of expensive reference materials. Knovel showed the way years ago to Sci-Tech publishers with its Knovel Library of online reference content, but now the major scientific publishers are beginning to see that electronic additions are going to become the core of their revenues moving forward it's not just a game for aggressive startups.

Today's announcement of WiserWiki underscores not only the awareness that Sci-Tech publishers have for the value of online reference but also how best to make use of social media technologies to make it valuable to specific audiences. WiserWiki is seeded with The Textbook of Primary Care Medicine, a reference book covering problems, conditions and diseases encountered in the practices of primary care physicians. No longer in print, what better way to keep this grass-roots information about the real world of medicine than to let the physicians encountering these phenomena to update it themselves? This is a great online product strategy, combining authoritative content from peer professionals as a core that can help to build an online community rapidly. Just as Wikipedia did not spring from thin air - it took more than 100,000 articles from an earlier project to get it going - Wikis built for specialized online communities will work best when there's a core of content to help people feel that they don't have to wait for their contributions to be part of something that has collective merit.

Print titles are going to be with us for quite some time to come, but as printing, shipping and stocking expenses fall prey to rising energy and raw materials prices the need for better margins with less risk is pushing book publishers of reference materials inexorably towards "digital native" audiences who have become used to search engines as primary tools for accessing reference content. Obviously other types of titles benefit from this move but for reference works the move is essential if publishers are to keep these products growing and profitable. In the end scientific publishers have much to gain from tranforming their business from one of delivering tomes to delivering content in higly valuable contexts that can drive scientific research and applications forward more rapidly.

Murdoch on Free WSJ.com at Davos: Subscriptions Look Good in a Down Economy. Kind Of.

There are some basic patterns that seem to repeat themselves through the publishing industry, one of them being the relative attractiveness of subscriptions in a down economy and the relative attractiveness of ad-supported publishing in an up economy. With the global economic cycle already beginning to cut into online advertising money and that money spread across more high-quality online inventory than ever, it's not really a surprise that there's some reaffirmation of subscription models at Dow Jones. As noted in The Wall Street Journal, News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch underscored in comments at the Davos World Economic Forum that Dow Jones would be continuing a subscription component to the WSJ's online offering, even as it expands its free offering to a far broader online audience.

Dow Jones has little to lose and quite a bit to gain by trying this "guns and butter" approach to online monetization. With about two million affluents and influential online subscribers, WSJ offers strong demographics to advertisers who would otherwise be left to compare only WSJ's open Web assets with other quality online content. WSJ will hold its own with those competitive products, to be sure, but why toss out higher ad rates if you don't have to? By expanding both search engine exposure to much of WSJ's online content and continuing to build an online club for elites there's reason to think that the Journal is headed towards a comparatively robust year of growth.

The main question is, what will keep the subscribers coming back for more? We've mentioned in earlier posts that the subscription component could be used to leverage WSJ's upscale demographics in any number of social media-oriented efforts, as well as to offer financial analysis tools that would one-up offerings made available by Yahoo! Finance as well as premium offerings from Morningstar and other online suppliers. Whatever the changes they need to be oriented more towards a younger generation's needs if they are to use subscription revenues for anything more than the temporary bulwark that the TimesSelect premium experiment turned out to be.

Any way you look at it it's not clear that there's a core of traditional editorial content from any news publisher that's likely to sustain growth in online subscriptions in the long run. The tricky job that Dow Jones has on its hands is to project the value of its brand more globally via ad-only content whilst maintaining some sense of value in its exclusive subscription product. Dow Jones has much to gain in retaining its subscription model as it expands ad-only content, but they will be challenged to keep the value of the Wall Street Journal brand high unless there are new styles of content that can build on the existing brand's loyalty.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Headlines for 01/25/2008

Well, the jury is in...and you liked it that way that it was! I will continue to look at ways in which annotated headlines can add value on a daily basis but for the most part people seem to like our traditional condensed version. So it shall be. For now.

Trends

Reuters Unaffected By US Slowdown
Microsoft Reports Record Revenue

WSJ.com to Retain Subscription Component - WSJ.com

VentureBeat » Google Health launching soon?

Report: iPhones piling up at AT&T stores | One More Thing - CNET News.com

Digg: How The Internet's Biggest Social News Site Saved Itself (Again) - Gawker

Battelle Turns Down $100 Million Offer For FM Publishing. Decides To Shop Around For a Higher Price.- TechCrunch

Is Google's gamble Wikipedia's nightmare? - iMedia Connection


Best Practices
Alchemist Author Pirates His Own Books - TorrentFreak
Using Facebook to Build Community - Social Media Today

Bands, fans find new ways to connect - Reuters

The Wiki That Runs a Radio Show - The Globe and Mail


Cool Tools
Google expands YouTube Mobile: Watch any video on your phone - Download Squad

Deals, Partnerships and Sales

Copernic Announces Agreement With Yellow Pages Group to Provide Local Content to the Mamma.Com Search Engine

Attributor Grows Customer Base, Adds Sales Leadership - BusinessWire

Mochila Welcomes American Media, Inc. as Latest Member of Online Media Marketplace - BusinessWire

IAC Buying Major Chunk In HealthCentral; Carlyle, Sequoia & Polaris Also Investing; Total $50M - paidContent.org

Endeca Gets $15M Embrace From Intel, SAP

Products, Markets and People
Elsevier Extends Electronic Content Offering

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Deciphering Yahoo's Maladies: Is a Market Vertical Approach the Solution?

Sramana Mitra at GigaOM tries to makes sense of the recent reorgs, cutbacks and general malaise at Yahoo. Mind you it's sometimes hard to figure out how people can cluck about a company that has over 500 million unique audience members, but clearly a USD 20 billion loss in market capitalization since its peak is bound to bring soul-searching in many major company. Sramana's suggestion is for Yahoo to focus more on excellence in specific vertical markets rather than to get lost in trying to out-everyone everyone else. Oddly Sramana gives as one suggested change the addition of photo processing service Shutterfly to Yahoo's Flickr photo community, even though Flickr has had the QOOP photo printing service for some time now.

This points out a major problem that many content aggregators face: it's almost impossible for an all-singing, all-dancing content vendor to buy enough good content to compete cost-effectively with specialists in any one market vertical. Yahoo could buy its way into a more dominant position in verticals such as travel, jobs and real estate classifieds by purchasing market leaders and then position management that wouldn't stop until they had dominant positions, but there are only so many verticals in which one can dot this effectively and still manage to maintain both rapid responses to market needs and the advantages of scale. Thomson has discovered this to a large degree as it has chosen to divest itself of market verticals in which it was both not possible to dominate effectively and to take advantage of common infrastructure for legal, scientific and financial markets more deeply.

The main problem Yahoo faces is that its brand does not resonate effectively with many of its holdings as well as many of its core offerings. In terms of breadth of content that it licenses or manages there's no single provider larger than Yahoo in online markets. That's a fine position to be in if you're a Google with a brand that is functionally oriented more than vertically oriented, but when you're more about destination content it's hard to get a broad encompassing brand to work for both functionality and destination content - even when there's comparable functionality or content available. People gravitate to Google for search over Yahoo as much for branding reasons as they do for its technology: that is, Google is a "techie" brand, so it's viewed more as a tool for solving specific problems. Yahoo has great content, but with a handful of exceptions it's not really seen as a tech tool intuitively. Strangely Yahoo's focus on well-designed user interfaces only seems to exacerbate this branding issue. By looking more user-friendly and idiot-proof than Google and other tech-oriented brands it continues to send signals that it's a company focused more on destination content than leading-edge content technology.

I'd hesitate to call Yahoo a dying brand, for it has a wealth of assets that are hard to beat in many arenas. But it is a brand in search of its soul, captive in large part to an earlier generation of the Web when aggregating content from existing media brands seemed to be a lot more powerful business concept than it is today. Google's more agnostic approach to content aggregation and more askance perspective on marketing alliances with established content brands has enabled to keep its content acquisition costs relatively low and its ability to focus resources on transformative technologies and approaches to markets relatively high. In an era in which a brand creates trust moment by moment Google's more contextual and flexible approach to brand management carries with it inherent advantages, as do many social media brands focused on transformative technologies.

Yahoo need not become another Google from a branding perspective, but it does need to think about the positioning of its brand far more carefully before it tries to focus on improving existing product lines that may not be well aligned with a repositioned Yahoo brand. I remain optimistic that this can happen over the next few years, but I don't expect a short-term turnaround.

Headlines for 01/23/2008

Trends

Sector Snap: Online Content Dives - AP via CNN Money
A bad day for Answers.com and other public online publishers. An easy target for panicked investors.

Hundreds of Layoffs Expected at Yahoo - New York Times
Expected cutbacks, WSJ reports also that Yahoo Worlds brand effort has been cut, Yahoo! Answers to be managed by Europe.

Yahoo, Please Put Up A Fight - GigaOM
Om Malik rants about Yahoo's loss of USD 20 billion in market capitalization and points to its need to dominate more market segment verticals. I don't know that this is possible in a highly horizontal brand like Yahoo's built around traditional media aggregation. More later on ContentBlogger.


Editor Fires Parting Shot at His Chain - New York Times
Departing editor thinks that quality has suffered with newsroom cuts. Not a "get rewrite" insight, but he's right in that newspapers are losing their ability to attract top-quality writers.

CNET Board Fights Takeover - Trading Markets|
While public media stocks get dumped, private holdings are still very much in play.

Revisiting Googlezon: The Future of the News Media - Portfolio.com
The creators of the famous EPIC video in 2004 that predicted the fall of major media outlets reflect on how they got some things right, but underestimated the role of social media in democratizing content.

Proposal to extend Euro copyright dies - Boing Boing
European copyright will not be extended to U.S. standards. A good thing, encourages publishers to innovate and to create more valuable new content.

IP Addresses Are Personal Data, E.U. Regulator Says - Washington Post
The EU. muddies the waters on privacy issues.

HBO launches Web service in 2 markets - ContentAgenda.com
More than 375 movies on demand via the broadband Web. HBO's preparing for the death of the cable format.

The Digg Story Doesn’t Sell Anymore - Jeffro2pt0.com
Social bookmarking sites are having problems, there's not enough community policing and editorial control in most to ensure quality. Better to stick with your real-world friends' bookmarks in Facebook oftentimes.

Tribune reporters, now on Facebook - Reuters MediaFile
"The dangers of YouTube and Facebook." Man, what a gap in consciousness.

LinkedIn chairman hints at IPO in 2009 - ValleyWag
An acquisition is ruled out for now. Seems counterintuitive, but with LinkedIn's extraordinary growth as of late perhaps it's not altogether unthinkable to go IPO next year.

Best Practices

Search, Content Processing, and the Great Database Controversy - Beyond Search
Stephen Arnold contemplates the future of the database in an era in which the world is a database.

The Only Way For Journalists To Understand The Web Is To Use It - Publishing 2.0
Good compare-and-contrast of journalism styles between blog-oriented publishing and traditional print-oriented publishing.

How Free And Paid Approaches Do Complement Each Other - Robin Good
"Freemium" debate from a fresh angle - good take.

Streaming Ads Driving Users Away From Content: Report - paidContent.org
Younger people are more tolerant, but don't recall much of them.

YouTube Community Council Provides Update - WebProNews
More social media portals are opening up to user groups that provide input on both features and policies.

Handpicked Video - RobinGood.TV
Robin Good TV has changed his focus to aggregating video clips from sources not normally highlighted in online news. Good model that should be incorporated into other social media aggregation services.

Cool Tools

Orchestr8 Widgetizes Content with New Clipping Tool - Mashable
This looks to be very, very interesting on the surface - in essence turn any Web page into a platform for a personal or shared mashup. Will explore.

Pownce goes live - Download Squad
A Web-only alternative to Twitter. Kind of an oxymoron, but interesting nevertheless.

New Cell Phone Boasts Unique 'Foldaway' Screen - CityNews:
A very cool idea - a phone with a screen larger than an iPhone that folds into a tiny phone.

Deals, Partnerships and Sales

Publicis, Google reveal digital ad collaboration - Reuters via CNET News.com
Google eyes French ad partner.

ProQuest acquires RefWorks
Good acquisition to help ProQuest build a more effective social network of collaborative researchers.

B2B Newsletter Firm FierceMarkets Bought By Questex Media - paidContent.org
Sounds like a pretty good match, FierceMarkets will provide good infrastructure for events marketing.

Alfresco Secures $9 Million in Series C Funding Led by SAP Ventures - PR Newswire
More than USD 19 million now backing this open source content management startup.

Products

Plaxo Pulse Optimized for 4 Million iPhones - Mashable
Plaxo pushes platform integration. Socialware is supplanting hardware as the common denominator for communication.

Alacra Launches Premium Content Ad Network - PR Web
Clever use of online ad technology to put premium content in context, sharing revenues from purchased research with advertisers. Pay-per-action with a twist. Good stuff. - post by jblossom

Pitt's university press to test demand for digital publishing - AP
Be still, o my heart. How daring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beyond Search Engines: The Database is Now

Steven Arnold writes a thoughtful post on his Beyond Search blog about the inadequacy of traditional databases and search engines to deal with organizing and delivering content when the Web and many private content collections measure in petabytes and exabytes of information. Steve hints at a "next generation" database management system that can start to leapfrog over these problems, but the greater question is perhaps unasked in his article. Namely, as the problems that people need to solve with content technologies become increasingly complex and increasingly fleeting, why is it that we really need permanent unified databases to solve those problems? There is an important need for data normalization, but if normalization can be achieved "on the fly," as leading content federation services can provide, do people need a database or instead data objects that solve specific problems in the moment?

When data normalization was associated with creating massive databases that would be used for repeated functions such as payroll management or publishing functions such as newspapers or directories permanently structured databases made a lot of sense. But as market advantages gained through content publishing fall increasingly to those who can mine unstructured content, aggregate content from disparate sources and enable people normally confined to consuming content to create it and organize it, the traditional database is being relegated to one of many silos from which advanced content services can develop on-demand content solutions. Search engines, which rely on databases that can be queried in a standard format to provide standard answers, are beginning to fall into this same role of specialized answer tools. If you look at the typical search results page today from major providers you're looking at federated content from multiple sources, logically related to a greater whole but residing in separate storage environments and coming together in the moment as the answer to a specific question or need.

In short, what we have called a database is no longer a storage and indexing device. Rather, the database is now, the content sets that we assemble in a given moment to solve the moment's problem. Its structure is consistent thanks to XML standards, data dictionaries and data mining normalization tools, it can be stored as needed for time series analysis or corporate compliance, it can be shared with others to develop collaboration services or new forms of content and analysis. But in the next moment our needs may shift, sources may change structure or become unavailable or be replaced by different sources.

Market advantages tend to flow from institutions who can take advantage of content most effectively, and in the markets we can see how this concept already impacts business in a large way. In financial markets profits are shifting from public securities exchanges, whose transactions are built around highly normalized databases and data formats, to private transactions on highly complex financial instruments, whose underlying complex calculations on financial risk and return may apply to only a single transaction at a time. There is structure in such transactions, yes, and lots of normalized data, but the uniqueness of the content's structure at the moment that a deal is executed is far more important than its standard components.

Search engine providers such as Google understand this paradox explicitly and work hard to provide value-add interfaces that enable people to use search engine content as one of many feeds that can power "mashup" consumer and enterprise content applications. The Google search engine may be one of the world's largest databases but if other content in a form that's more usable in a specific context can come along and complement it in the moment, it becomes rather moot beyond a certain point whether or not it's in Google's index or another index. This federated approach to content value becomes at least as important as the quality of the individual sources. In a "the database is now" world, quality is as quality does - and it may mean something else a moment from now.

The implications of this concept for content publishers is enormous. Long used to building their standardized databases, the long-promised New Aggregation is on the verge of becoming the value leader for both enterprise and media publishers. Through the on-demand federation of content sources into aggregated content solutions the uniqueness of insights for small audiences is becoming a much more important method for creating value in aggregation than the pervasiveness of standardized insights.

Make no mistake, we'll be using today's search engines and databases for a long time as building blocks for federated content services, but we'll be less fixated on owning databases and more focused on owning the contexts in which they provide solutions. This is likely to change the pricing structure of content aggregation services significantly and to force traditional publishers into becoming on-the-fly aggregation services pulling in content agnostically from many sources that may not be under their direct control for more than a few moments. Subscription databases will yield, sometimes gradually and sometimes very rapidly, to subscription contexts, services that can assemble content from anywhere consistently and reliably for workflow and lifestyle applications. Yesterday's email inbox is becoming today's content inbox via feeds and social media: tomorrow's federated inboxes will be even more rich and complex through databases that live in the moment.

Social media and enterprise content federation services have already pressed many of these changes forward, but expect 2008 to be the year in which more than one company will begin to recognize the value of databases in the moment. The database is now - and so is the opportunity for publishers and enterprises to move beyond isolated content solutions.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Analyzing Facebook with Mark Logic's Kick It: The Potential of Personal Social Media Content Analysis

The capabilities of XML server capabilities from Mark Logic are unleashed oftentimes on large-scale content solutions for enterprises and publishers, but that's not to say that XML servers are only about such major projects. Mark Logic's David Amusin decided see if he could use their technology to make sense of the hundreds of contacts that he had amassed on Facebook, a sidebar project that took only a few weeks of tinkering to get whipped into a good demo.

The problem that David faced with making sense of his Facebook contacts is a common one: too much information about too much people. When he had a couple of extra tickets for a concert recently, that spurred him to create Kick It, which uses Mark Logic technology to power a Facebook application to filter on multiple user profile attributes. So, for example, Kick It could help David find how many of his Facebook contacts in Los Angeles liked the Dave Matthews Band very quickly. Problem solved. The current iteration of Kick It enables you to traverse your Facebook contacts by category - activities, interests, companies and so on - to search by logical combinations of attributes and to get surprised by a "did you know that" random display that shows you interesting combinations of attributes (for example, three of my contacts participate in tennis. Hmm. Maybe I should dust off that racket after all).

Kick It is a simple and yet powerful example of how analysis of social media content can yield a treasure trove of potentially useful associations that can fuel both personal and professional contacts in unexpected ways. Take these associations and layer on additional content from other content sources and you can begin to get a sense of why embedding your own publication's content in social media portals such as Facebook can be so valuable. Mark Logic's technology is not unique in being able to do this, so the fact that it was able to develop Kick It as an interesting demonstration of its integration capabilities with social media using very limited efforts should spur on other content technology providers and publishers to consider just how easy it can be to make a big impression of their own. In the meantime kudos to Mark Logic for seeing an important opportunity to demonstrate how content integration technologies can make it easy for publishers to extend their value beyond their own portals into social media outlets.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Headlines for 01/18/2008

Media Biz Recession fears hit media stocks hard - CNN Money

tags: trends

  • With a presidential campaign year ahead cable TV ads are likely to be strong, offsetting general media weakness. - post by jblossom

Rumormonger: The coming online-ad apocalypse - ValleyWag

tags: trends

  • Yes, Virginia, there will be an online ad recession - and it's already been hitting Google. - post by jblossom

Dueling Stats: Yahoo, Google Vie For Top Site - Internet News

tags: trends

  • Would someone please come up with ome consistent online metrics? - post by jblossom

Directors, Studios Reach ‘Tentative’ Three-Year Deal; Residual Rate For Paid Downloads ‘Doubled’ - paidContent.org

tags: trends

  • The guilds know where revenues are moving and they want their share. - post by jblossom

Google finding success in D.C.; The company is beginning to flex some lobbying muscle. - ContentAgenda

tags: trends

  • Google is learning the Washington game pretty well, just in time to take on the FCC's broadband auction. - post by jblossom

Internet 'significant in 14 or 15 years time' until then the paper makes the money, claims Sun editor - Journalism.co.uk

tags: trends

  • 'Gads, some print folks are still pretty darn dense... - post by jblossom

Supreme Court Declines To Hear Orphan Works Case - Library Journal

tags: trends

  • Brewster Kahle is denied his challenge to extended copyrights - for now. - post by jblossom

New York Times, big in Bucharest - MediaFile

tags: trends

  • The NY Times, like other major news brands, will be focusing on broader global revenues to offset domestic markets stagnation. - post by jblossom

Next-Generation Digital Set-Top Boxes will be able to Play Content from Other Devices in the Home - Business Wire

tags: trends

  • Everybody seems to want to have a finger in controlling the distribution of media in a networked environment - and Macrovision is there with the others trying to become the all-purpose content server. - post by jblossom

Global Voices Online » An Introductory Guide to Global Citizen Media

tags: best_practices

  • Interesting case studies highlighting how people around the world are using social media to change their lives. - post by jblossom

Exclusive: Digg's secret editors - Valleywag

tags: trends

  • Social media news bookmarking sites are democratic. Except when they aren't. Turns out that editors are important after all. - post by jblossom

Content Meets the Purchase Funnel - ClickZ

tags: best_practices

  • Heidi provides a nice outline of how to ensure that you have the right content all the way through a purchasing process. - post by jblossom

Organic Content and the Printed Book - Sacred Vapor

tags: best_practices

  • Rightfully points out that eBooks are really not very innovative, just digital packaging of static content. When the standard package includes user-generated content and dynamic content then "organic" books will be more interesting. Agreed. - post by jblossom

Three Reasons Content Companies Need To Embrace Social Media - Social Media Today

tags: best_practices

  • In case you needed a crash course. - post by jblossom

Digging Deeper::Traditional Media Ready to Elevate the Conversation Online -- with Moderation - MediaShift

tags: best_practices

  • Good overview of how news organizations are finally getting with the program on moderating comments on their content. "Big" revelation: maybe registration isn't needed. - post by jblossom

IPod: Put Wikipedia on your iPod - Lifehacker

tags: cool_tools

  • The iPod/iPhone platform gets more rich content, but at 750MB it's a bit of a squeeze. - post by jblossom

Mobifusion Partners with Encyclopaedia Britannica to Bring the Most Trusted Information Source to Mobile Phones - PalmAddicts

tags: cool_tools

  • Good content, bad integration compared to Wikipedia on iPhone - post by jblossom

flickr2iPhone - Museum of Modern Betas

tags: cool_tools

  • More iPhone content - making photo sharing easy. - post by jblossom

Social Networks Optimized For The iPhone - Mashable

tags: no_tag

  • Do Facebook right on your mobile. Social media's zoning in on mobile platforms more effectively. - post by jblossom

AskMeNow - eliminate brain fog with instant text answers - Download Squad

tags: cool_tools

  • Neat - send an SMS text message to 27563 with a question, get the answer texted back. Good for 411 info, directions, maps, stock quotes, weather, flights, etc. - post by jblossom

Microsoft to serve ads on financial site EDGAR - Reuters

tags: deals_partnerships_sales

  • A content for advertising deal that gives EDGAR Online access to better ad inventory and Microsoft access to high-quality financial content - post by jblossom

Flickr brings tagging to vintage images - CNET News

tags: no_tag

  • Really neat project - get the world to categorize content for the Library of Congress. Content Nation as the world's librarians. - post by jblossom

Microsoft names Tony Scott as information chief

tags: people

  • From Disney to Microsoft - underscoring their need to become more like Apple and get a chokehold on controlling in-home content distribution. - post by jblossom

Professional Social Networks, Inc. Launches First Professional Social Network for Chief Information Officers - PR Newswire

tags: products

  • Locking up socicaal networks via functional verticals - a smart move that many publishers will be asking themselves why they hadn't taken a few years from now. - post by jblossom

Why watermarking will never replace DRM - Ars Technica

tags: best_practices

  • Some interesting arguments that watermarking needs to have some more what's-in-it-for-me motivation to become a more powerful alternative to DRM. Misses the point of watermarking, though: it should be used to increase marketing opportunities, not to prosecute. - post by jblossom

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Headlines for 01/17/2008

Steve Jobs: "People Don't Read Anymore," Android Is Going Down - Gizmodo

tags: trends

  • Typical Jobs psych-out chatter, the truth is that Jobs wants to push away more open solutions so that Apple can be the new "choke point" for controlling and producing media. - post by jblossom

Will Silicon Valley Deals Kick Into Overdrive? - WSJ.com

tags: trends

  • It's all about effective content service solutions as I.T. vendors try to provide a higher level of content integration. - post by jblossom

Borders to break free of Amazon - Reuters via CNET News.com

tags: trends

  • Borders finally sees that personalizing customer service is the key to its future and that online services are critical to its success. - post by jblossom

What Does the Future of the Newspaper Look Like? - WebProNews

tags: trends

  • Newspapers still not getting it - again. When are they going to see the light and become the aggregators of record for community content? - post by jblossom

Nature makes genome chain officially free - Information World Review

tags: trends

  • Nature is on a tear with its application of online media best practices. Already under creative commons licensing the genome data is a great example of how freely available data can enhance a title's audience engagement. - post by jblossom

White paper - distributed influence: quantifying the impact of social media - Technobabble 2.0

tags: best_practices

  • A very, very important study on how to measure influence via social media. - post by jblossom

Islamweb wins World Summit Award 2007 - The Open Press

tags: best_practices

  • Just a reminder that some of the most interesting innovations in online publishing are out of the Western spotlight oftentimes. - post by jblossom

Even in the "DRM" debate, Content is not King. - Enterprise Insights

tags: best_practices

  • Interesting take on DRM, basically saying that music labels going non-DRM on non-Apple platforms is unfair. See links to Apple news above as Apple tries to trump distribution channels. - post by jblossom

Data Portability explained in video - Download Squad

tags: best_practices

  • Web 2.0 is discovering the value of interoperability and data standards, which promises to make for a powerful combination. Nifty video. - post by jblossom

Hanlin's V9 e-book reader with 9.7-inch e-ink display previewed - Engadget

tags: cool_tools

  • Finally an eBook reader with eInk that's about the size of a real book page. But at USD 600 a pop it's likely to be yet another exotic toy. - post by jblossom

Shake-Up at EMI Clouds Future of Its Artists - New York Times

tags: people

  • Pretty snarky politics in the EMI reorg:

    "Artist managers, including a group referring to themselves as the Black Hand Gang, after the similarly named pre-World War I Serbian nationalists, are angry."

    Hmm, not a good sign when your staff identifies with gangs. No wonder the music industry's in trouble. - post by jblossom

CNNMoney.com debuts redesign with emphasis on video programming - BtoB Magazine

tags: products

  • CNN goes with its strong card to develop CNN Money, but the real power is in how it blends content from other TW assets. Still, captive brands like this are not going to grow as quickly as aggregated financial services. - post by jblossom

Elsevier Acquires MEDai, Leading Provider of Healthcare Predictive Analytics and Data Mining Solutions - Press Release

tags: products

  • Another great example of how mining unstructured content and applying semantic technologies are transforming enterprise content services. - post by jblossom

Informa surges as broker rates stock top 2008 play - International Herald Tribune

tags: products

  • Kudoa to Informa for a well-deserved stock rating, its mix of events, research and publications features the high-value return on investment that professionals are looking for from B2B media services. - post by jblossom

FitchResearch Debuts Next Generation Search Experience for Credit Ratings Information - Press Release

tags: products

  • Fitch has always been a leader in online design for credit ratings research, but this may be small comfort as structured finance takes it on the chin. - post by jblossom