On the frontlines of the technology and communications convergence


I've moved...

... and found a new home at Typepad. Here's my new RSS feed: http://mediaresearcher.blogs.com/mediaresearcher/


CNET Spin-off: BNET and Aggregated News Sites

There’s been some buzz recently about CNET’s spin-off site BNET focused on non-tech biz issues. From what I can tell, whitepapers seem to be the main offering of the site although there are a couple of blogs – one from Don Blohowiak on leadership and another penned by Regina M. Miller covering HR. I like the look and format of the site including the colorful comic on the page. But after clicking the link to view the animation I am wondering why BNET chose such a strange cartoon as an attempt at levity. Of more interest and business value are the aggregated news sites that CNET has developed as an offshoot of BNET. Check out Business Updates boasting 15 topics and 34 companies and Technology Updates with 40 topics and 73 companies to date as of this posting. In addition, there are a slew of “know how” sites like FinancialServices KnowHow, Sarbanes-Oxley KnowHow, StrategyKnowHow and SupplyChain KnowHow that focus on key verticals and markets.


Watching the Web: Newscasts

Almost every news organization has some sort of streaming video on its site offering up TV-style news. Video clips of news broadcasts aren’t new but there's a shift that’s taking place at online news properties. There’s a growing emphasis on TV-style programming and a trend toward making it available on the homepage with just one click. Recently I posted about the Forbes.com Attaché “videonews stream” and now CRN is the latest publication to offer TV-style news in streaming format within a box on the top right of the home page. CNET is also a prime example of a news site with a TV-style viewing monitor on the home page in hopes of luring visitors to “watch” rather than “read”.

CNN, the leader in world news approaches videonews in a couple of different ways. At CNN.com Video, there are about 15 news clips that you can click on and view. And if you go to CNN NewsPass you’ll arrive at a full menu of "news streams" for your viewing pleasure. That is if you're a paid subscriber. While CNET, CRN and Forbes rely on advertising, CNN charges for commercial-free videonews. Taking the subscription model one step further, CNN is offering a dynamic new service called CNN to Go, which allows users to download CNN QuickCasts to mobile phones. Expect to see more of this as mobile video devices proliferate. It’s going to take some time before the lines blur between broadcast TV and Internet streams but this very well could be a precursor to "web watching."


RSS Platform for the Media Industry

A recent press release from NewsGator announced new customizable RSS readers for media companies and news organizations as a way to private-label their own media platform. The first customer to announce that they will launch branded RSS readers powered by NewsGator's platform is The Denver Post. What's interesting here is that a mainstream news outlet has embraced RSS-based reading and sees it as the next generation of news delivery. It's only a matter of time until other news companies follow suit.


Forbes.com Re-Fresh

For those of you who haven’t been to Forbes.com recently, I wanted to point out a couple of new features:

  • Forbes Attaché – This is a new module on the site that allows users to customize information they want to get stocks, sports, weather, and industry news. Go to the Forbes homepage and look for the tutorial stream on the top, right side of the screen.
  • Forbes CEO Access – This webpage is a smattering of CEO profiles, as well as stories like “Day in the Life” and includes CEO speeches from conferences and events. Forbes is also distributing the webpage as an email newsletter to registered recipients (see below).
  • Forbes Video – A centralized location where you can watch Forbes video clips. Categories include News, Business, Technology, Investing, Leadership, Lists, Events, and Lifestyles. Clips average about 2 minutes each.
  • Forbes Wireless – Forbes is offering downloadable software for users of PDA and mobile devices. Nice.

Top 5 Posts on Attention.xml

1. Recap notes and shared ideas from attendees of the "Friends of O'Reily" tech conference. 2. Niall Kennedy makes an Apple connection with his code written for Attention.xml format. 3. Steve Gillmor's explanation of metadata feeds and RSS is posted on Release 1.0. 4. Slideshow from Technorati on the technology overview of Attention.xml. 5. The Technorati Developers Wiki.


Happy 10th Birthday Yahoo!

Being a Yahoo! loyalist, I was excited to see that the company is celebrating a decade of business. Red Herring posted a piece on the big event with Gartner analyst Allen Wiener commenting on the company's powerful brand. One of my favorite new services has been the Yahoo! RSS feeds, a very smart move on their part. I use it on a regular basis to monitor my clients' competitive landscape, as well as stay current on specific market news. UPDATE: I just read that Yahoo! is rumoured to be the lucky acquirer of Flickr. If this is true, it's another smart move on their part and one more proof point that Yahoo! is king of the Internet companies. 3/15 - UPDATE: Yahoo! announces "Yahoo 360", a new service that combines blogging and social networking together. Read more at Online Media Daily.


The News on Nooked

Check out this interview from Jason Dowdell with Nooked CEO Fergus Burns. It's a good source of info on the company with some background info on Burns, a Microsoft alum. Nooked, which specializes in RSS feeds, is leading the way for companies entering the RSS marketing and communications fray. Of particular interest is the new Nooked Directory where you can search for RSS feeds on a specific topic. I expect the directory to become a tool of choice in the very near future.


Tech Mags Are Sexy Again

It's really encouraging to see people excited about tech magazines again. Forrester's new print publication, the launch of AlwaysOn and the return of Red Herring have a lot of people feeling good again. And why shouldn't they. Punished by a nasty recession, publishers have taken a beating but learned to trim fat, optimize processes and adopt new revenue models in order to stay alive. More importantly, these magazine houses are using technology to stay ahead, from automating internal processing to developing new forms of content delivery. For an interesting look at the changing industry, check out Folio Magazine's piece on how publishers are using technology to stay profitable, competitive and downright savvy.


Baseline Benchmarks

I found so much value in the measurement numbers from Technorati, I just had to flag. In preparation for his speech at Web 2.0, David Sifry (& Co.) analyzed blog activity for the last two years that resulted in some interesting findings. For example, a new blog is created every 7.4 seconds totaling 12,000 new blogs every day. Who knew? I suggest keeping an eye on the "Technorati Tags" - See TECHNORATI TAG: BLOGGING

New Blog Stats

Corporate Blog Breakout


Blogs, Wikis and Lawyers, Oh My

It may come as a surprise but legal issues are one of the top concerns that businesses have when it comes to developing and posting content online. The boundaries of what one can say on a blog without disclosing insider data or infringing on corporate guidelines have become a hot topic. Commenting on financials, strategy and/or upcoming products can all land you in hot water. But fear no more. Giovanni Rodriguez (a PR genius who is also my boss!) gives us his predictions on what we can expect to see in the coming year on the subject in "2005: The Year of the Lawyer".


Microsoft Branding Blunder

Ok, this made me laugh out loud. The fact that MS has to unbundle its Media Player from XP in Europe due to recent regulatory agreements, has the company naming it as "Windows XP Reduced Media Edition." See the CNET brief on the subject: "Hey, why not simply call it "LameWare?"


The Future is Now

Let's just say that I've recently been motivated. A very stimulating conference called the NEW COMMUNICATIONS FORUM took place this week that brought together several experts on the topic of blogging. Andy Lark gave the keynote that was simply brilliant. Too many individuals to mention now but rest assured that I'll be referring to them in the near future.


2005 Technology Trends

It’s that time of year again as leading authorities weigh in on top technology trends impacting business. Below you’ll find what the top business and technology publications are predicting for the coming year. Business 2.0: What IT Can Expect in 2005 - When you look back on 2004, the direction of the information technology business looks pretty clear. Now it's time for developers to deliver on their promises -- and make real the technological leaps of which we saw glimmers. If they achieve even a fraction of what they've promised, computing power will become cheaper and more flexible than ever -- to the clear benefit of your business. BusinessWeek: Tech Outlook 2005 - The tech sector lost some shine in 2004, as worries about economic growth and weaker demand persuaded investors to look elsewhere for growth. So far this year through Dec. 17, Standard & Poor's Information Technology index edged up just 0.3%, vs. a 7.4% gain in the broader S&P 500. The tepid gain isn't too surprising after the 47.2% jump for Info Tech in 2003. However, telecommunications stocks have fared much better this year, climbing 16%, after rising just 3.2% in 2003, amid consolidation news and more focus on dividend-paying stocks. The strongest performers in 2004 were Internet software and services (up 61%), followed by wireless telecom services (up 53%). Semiconductor-related shares were the big losers. Fortune: What's Ahead for Tech Next Year? - More "bottom-up" transference of power—much more. The long-term consequences are still unknown, but it's safe to say that they will be vast, especially in the developing world. Technology is suddenly giving people who've had no voice at all a surprisingly powerful one. I'm not sure that I'd want to be a dictator these days. Ukrainians, protesting their presidential election results, show us just how effective technology can be in organizing political movements. With that said, I'll reprise my last year's prediction. Who knows, many of you may even have your own blogs by 2006. InformationWeek: Outlook 2005: A Strong Foundation - If you've got it, flaunt it. And business-technology leaders have plenty of enterprise software, infrastructure, and networking bandwidth to flaunt, which is why 2005 is shaping up to be a year to leverage existing systems to gain a competitive edge. Line 56: 2005 IT Spending Trends - After several lean years, 2005 promises to be a fat year for IT -- to the tune of 7 percent growth. That top-line figure is great in itself, but the opportunities are even greater down-market and in specific application areas like content management and business intelligence. Red Herring: Top Ten Trends for 2005 - Each year, we spend hundreds of hours talking with venture capitalists, brainstorming with technical innovators, and scrutinizing investment research reports. This year, we worked closely with ChangeWave Research and its team of experts to grab key data points for our trends from its technology alliance. We looked for technologies with innovative capabilities and the potential to redefine not only the way we do things, but how we think about them. For example, the ability of voice-over-IP to destroy today’s concept of distance. Silicon Strategies: Industry Discovers the IC: Inventory Correction - By some accounts, it has been a banner year for the IC industry in 2004. The first half was hot as vendors racked up record sales and profits. And in total, the industry is expected to grow anywhere between 25-to-30 percent in 2004 over 2003, depending on the forecaster. Still, others believe the industry is in the midst of a slowdown — if not a downturn. Following a strong and much-needed upturn in the first half, the industry discovered another meaning of the abbreviation IC: inventory correction. StoragePipeline: What's In Store For Storage In 2005 - Right out of the gate, some key storage technologies are poised for takeoff, and, not surprisingly, they're an alphabet soup of acronyms. But first there are some business issues that bear noting: In particular, the year that just passed was a tough one, notably for the disk-drive segment of the storage business. Price wars wreaked havoc on suppliers of disk drives, all but ensuring an inevitable shakeout. That said, it's still a huge market; sales of disk-based storage systems are projected to hit $23 billion this year, up from $22.4 billion last year. Wall Street Journal: The Year in Technology, by the Numbers - "Blogs" became one of the most talked about terms of the year. According to Merriam-Webster, the noun short for Weblog -- a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer -- was the most searched word in 2004. Merriam-Webster's Arthur Bicknell says "blog" has appeared in the top-50 lookups on a daily basis since July, which amounts to tens of thousands of hits per month. ZDNet: Microsoft's 2005 'to do' list: What the analysts say - Specialist analysis house Directions on Microsoft has released a list of what it considers the top 10 challenges for the software giant in 2005. In its customary end-of-year research note issued late on Wednesday, the analyst house wrote: "Left unattended, each [challenge] could ultimately interrupt Microsoft's 25+ year run of growth and profits and leave the door open for younger, smaller and more nimble competitors."


Consolidation of PR Tools - Bacon's Acquires Delahaye

The PR tools market continues its consolidation with today's news that Bacon's will acquire Delahaye, the measurement arm of MediaLink. This should delight Bacon's installed customer base since product integration will likely occur in the short term. Joe Mandese of MediaPost provides an excellent persective into the acquisition and touches on the growing adoption of the "marketing mix".


Ubiquitous Computing Boost from Fujitsu & PARC

Fujitsu and PARC have teamed up to accelerate new technologies designed for connecting devices over the internet. Building on PARC's "Obje" software the partnership will further ubiquitous computing that will hopefully lead to me being able to find my car keys via the internet. See Michael Singer's article on the Fujitsu/PARC joint effort.


Watch out SAP - Oracle is out to get you!

Larry Ellison finally got his way. I was reading in CFO Magazine that Oracle will acquire PeopleSoft for $10.3 billion - that's 75% higher than the original makret value before the hostile takeover. Amazing. PeopleSoft Agrees to Oracle Deal - - CFO.com

Top 100 Innovative Companies

Red Herring announced the top 100 tech companies that will help shape 2005. See the full list