One of the advantages of living in the San Francisco Bay Area—a longtime hub of technological innovation—is the ability to attend events that add to one’s knowledge of the evolution of computer and Internet technology. Earlier this year, I was able to attend one of the Computer History Museum’s Speaker Series, which featured Steve Case, the founder and former CEO of America Online. The informal talk was led by Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal’s Personal Technology columnist.
This article gives an overview of the various technologies through which end users can take advantage of the power of RSS feeds. It includes micro-reviews that highlight the pros and cons of a representative sample of RSS aggregation tools.
By Geoff Daily
- April 2005 Issue
Posted Apr 22, 2005
An international forum aimed at standardizing digital media and copy protection technologies is set to achieve a major milestone in its drive toward creating interoperable Digital Rights Management. This month, the International Digital Media Project (DMP)—which brings together more than 25 member companies across the digital content and device industries including Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Telecom Italia, and the BBC—is expected to release the industry’s first DRM technology specifications for Portable Audio and Video devices (PAVs).
At a time when anyone with a computer and a bit of Internet know-how can access an ever-expanding world of free content, you may wonder how fee-based content services survive. They are doing it through innovation and by finding ways to better aggregate, filter, and deliver content in ways that the free Internet does not offer.
By Ron Miller
- April 2005 Issue
Posted Apr 18, 2005
Frode Hegland, a researcher at University College London (UCLiC), gives hyper new meaning. The native Norwegian, whose thought processes take tantalizing tangents to exponential extremes, wants to return to the one of the Web's founding principles: interactive information that actually informs.
Panels at the second annual New York McGraw–Hill Media Summit, held February 9 and 10, 2005, tackled topics ranging from mobile content to maintaining a loyal customer base to VC funding for entertainment and technology. One of the more lively panels faced the issue of DRM head-on, covering the changes in DRM over the past year, the state of DRM today, and an informed peek at the future of DRM.
Purveyors of digital content continue to seek the best ways to market and sell their materials while ensuring that only authorized parties access content. The trick is to find an end-to-end solution that lets customers use content in the ways they feel they should be allowed and at the same time, protect the rights of content providers.
Despite displays getting smaller, brighter, and more energy-efficient, they pale in comparison to the portability, readability, and feel of paper—still the medium of choice for the printed word. The electronic version of old faithful, epaper, may promise a new chapter in content delivery. geoff daily
By Geoff Daily
- March 2005 Issue
Posted Mar 31, 2005
The potential combination of Time Warner and Sprint, which was still only in the discussion phase as of January, has caused a great deal of speculation about how it would change the mobile content marketplace. Undoubtedly, the merger would further promote the “any time, any place,” content model, but it would also continue to concentrate the media market. This powerhouse partnership, if it were to come to pass, would give Time Warner and Sprint a so-called “quadruple play,” which would allow the partnership to offer a bundled package of high-speed Internet, television, long-distance, and wireless telecommunication services.
Nearly a decade ago, Margaret Bodde, co-executive director of the Film Foundation, began having a discussion with Martin Scorsese about how best to teach film to a broader audience than simply those studying film in college. "We started to see that if kids aren't introduced or exposed to films from the past, they'd have no motivation to protect them for the future," explains Bodde, so the Film Foundation was established with the express purposes of preserving film and educating the public.
By Geoff Daily
- March 2005 Issue
Posted Mar 28, 2005
A year ago I would have said that the XML-based RSS protocol is still way too geeky for mainstream users, but RSS is catching on at a remarkable rate. The question is, how will content companies profit from its popularity?
By Steve Smith
- March 2005 Issue
Posted Mar 22, 2005
Singapore, long a central shipping hub for the distribution of physical goods throughout Asia, now wants to be Asia's hub for the distribution of digital goods, as well. To realize that goal, and to cash in on its telecommunications infrastructure investments, the Singapore government has formed a trade association called the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
By Mark Fritz
- March 2005 Issue
Posted Mar 21, 2005
In the fee-based info world, this has been borne out by the increasing problem of information overload and the savvy content user’s preference for packaged content offerings that simplify the job at hand. The fact is that information is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Different users have different needs and, importantly, different sized organizations have different budgets for that information. OneSource Information Services, long known for its high-end business information product, Business Browser, has moved into the small to medium business information strata with the introduction of OneSource Express.
Much of the impetus for examining CMS usability has come from systems users themselves, but as customer cries grow louder, vendors are examining the very meaning of usability. In this first of two articles, I’ll offer a general introduction to the problem of CMS usability with a focus on contributor interfaces.
By Tony Byrne
- March 2005 Issue
Posted Mar 17, 2005
Because the confusion of archiving and compliance is enough to defeat the most determined of executives, a group has come together to offer best practices and resources for companies struggling with email and IM compliance: the Electronic Communications Compliance Council, or TE3C. While the name may not roll off the tongue, it suggests the council’s approach to compliance action—take it slow.
As automotive entertainment and information options grow from your basic AM/FM radio and CD player to include GPS devices, backseat DVD players, satellite TV and radio, and even hard drives, the industry is on the lookout for content that appeals to drivers and passengers. With this potential for a near-captive audience at stake, the automotive market has just started to heat up.
Financial services—among the most regulated companies in the world—lag behind most other industries in implementing CMS, but those that are doing so are reaping benefits.
Legitimate email marketers have turned a wary eye towards a new proposal gaining momentum at the Federal Trade Commission that would award hard-cash bounties to ordinary citizens who help arrest the bane of email marketing today: spam.
Napster, KaZaA, and Gnutella have fuelled consumers’ passion for downloading and swapping MP3 music files—and BitTorrent and eDonkey are doing the same for video. Now, a handful of upstart vendors are poised to move peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications from the wired Internet to the wireless space to create an anywhere, anytime network for content creation and distribution.
Open source isn’t for everybody, but for a growing number of organizatons, taking the open road can lead to a customized CM solution.
It has taken nearly a decade for the vast majority of Web content to prove the old mantra that media money always follows the eyeballs, but it won’t take that long for Web logs to find reliable business models.
WiFi access has been cropping up in some unexpected places lately. While access at airports and other hubs of activity is useful, if not terribly surprising, WiFi is slowly making its way to more off-beat locales. New York has made Bryant Park and other public areas WiFi-enabled; Starbucks and retailers around the country provide access while you sip your latte, grab a burger, or make copies. The latest on the WiFi roadmap is the city of Tempe, Arizona. And you better believe that the state the Grand Canyon calls home is doing WiFi in a big way.
Revenue leakage, insufficient marketing, and inadequate mobile operator business infrastructure rank high among the issues holding back the development of mobile commerce in Europe, according to a September survey of major mobile content providers. The Mobile Content Providers Confidence Study, conducted by Qpass, a U.S.-based provider of mobile commerce software solutions, revealed that 85% of mobile content providers believe operators are “constrained by poor or inadequate systems for mobile commerce.” Moreover, 70% of content providers deemed this situation “unacceptable.”
The EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that—while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list—are well worth taking a closer look at.
Companies are opting for elearning over more traditional learning due to the increasing mobility of the workforce, the need to save on training costs, greater acceptance of Web-based training, and better interoperability of system.
Mobile content was once considered mass market and low value, so primitive DRM solutions sufficed. Today, the distribution of rich multimedia content and an increasing amount of sensitive corporate content mandates a much more stringent approach to mobile DRM.
Over the last three years, mergers and acquisitions have become de rigueur in the ECM market as major players in the space strive to broaden the definition of enterprise content management, especially through the addition of digital asset capabilities. In 2001, Bulldog Group—a Canadian company that specialized in DAM—was acquired by Documentum. Interwoven signed an agreement in June of 2003 to acquire MediaBin. Less than two months later, in August of 2003, Stellent followed suit and purchased DAM vendor Ancept. Then in August of this year, Open Text announced its acquisition of Artesia Technologies.
"More, More, More, How Do You Like it?" Who knew that Andrea True’s disco lyrics would presage today’s digital information dichotomy? When you really need to know, quantity without quality just won’t do. Anybody using a search engine realizes that, unless you get a perfect hit on page one, too many results are a very bad thing. And if you are a researcher, the seemingly endless resources of the Web seem swell until you actually have to pull a needle of data out of a haystack of results.
Matrix Semiconductor, Inc. has introduced a low-cost, write-once flash memory chip called Matrix 3-D Memory (3DM) that could create an important new content delivery platform for devices such as cell phones, PDAs, and media players equipped with a memory card slot.
Founded in 1848, The Associated Press has long been considered a venerable news institution with considerable authority, clout, and expertise. With its announcement of Electronic AP (eAP) last October, add cutting-edge to the list.
The overriding goal of implementing CM, CRM, KM, BPM, and collaboration technologies is to make enterprise employees operate more efficiently, but sometimes in spite of all these databases and information repositories and graphical front-ends, business needs to get done with good old-fashioned, one-to-one human communication. But do how do you make the connection? Somewhere in the organization is someone who has an answer, if only you knew who that person is or even how to look for him/her. The answer may lie in a growing niche market known as Expert Locator software.
Ah, the coveted 18-24 year-old voter. Every election year, the public is assaulted with statistics on the apathy of youth, and experts and political pundits debate how to get the demographic registered and voting. MTV and Rock the Vote want to make it cool to vote, and, this election year, they have the very specific goal of getting 20 million 18-24 year olds to the voting booths.
For the first time in years, Hollywood’s online ad spending is up, and the backrooms of Sunset Boulevard eateries are abuzz with producers talking about the Internet. Hollywood has timidly started to embrace the online world once again. Will it be for real this time? And if so, how is Hollywood seeking to get the most bang for its online content buck?
Metadata is not going away, and there is no one simple solution to how to add metadata and maximize its value. So let’s take a look at some of the basic issues around adding metadata to unstructured content and explore a range of approaches that various groups and software vendors are trying.
By Tom Reamy
- October 2004 Issue
Posted Oct 15, 2004
The FCC has mandated that all television stations be capable of broadcasting HDTV by 2006, but that isn’t the date that the Electronic Frontier Foundation is counting down to. Instead, it’s July 1, 2005—the day that the FCC’s broadcast flag mandate takes effect.
In the world of politics, voters are taking advantage of the Web to track the progress of their favorite candidates, monitor what the other side is up to, and support causes they believe in.
So it goes in business intelligence circles, where how a company receives and processes critical business information can mean the difference between a firm that is recording its financial ledgers in black ink or red. Perhaps that explains why Reuters Business Insight pegs the business intelligence marketplace at $35 billion in 2004, and says it is growing at a seven-percent annual clip.
LaserFiche thinks it has weapons in its arsenal that police departments throughout the country can use to better fight terrorism…but not the kind you might first imagine. The
An ever-increasing number of digital libraries are cropping up to fill very specific niches and offer visitors access to documents and materials that the public library has simply not been able to.
Setting up the technology for major events means creating the infrastructure equivalent of a temporary city. At the Democratic National Convention held in Boston’s Fleet Center July 26-29, more than a year of planning culminated with Verizon, the main contractor, employing 200 people for several months to install 4,000 miles of cabling to support convention organizers, the real-time econtent requirements of the media, and the massive security operations.
While their spelling would make your English teacher cringe, the brevity and simplicity of SMS (Short Message Service) messages can’t be be denied. Long the rage in Europe and Asia, SMS is exploding in the U.S. As it takes off, companies of all types are exploring how to use SMS as a content delivery mechanism, a marketing tool, and a platform for internal communications.
As spam, adware, and other abuses of the Internet become evermore prevalent, the need to have a meaningful way in which end users can report this abuse has grown exponentially, not to mention network administrators’ need to have an automated system to facilitate these complaints. This is the problem that George Davey, network administrator at Des Moines University, has set out to solve through the development of a new protocol, dubbed the Iowa Internet Abuse Logging Protocol (IIALP).
The ability of wireless networks to reach virtually any point on the planet makes mobile communications one of the most important and challenging frontiers for the enterprise. To be successful, organizations must absorb mobility into their way of doing business. This fundamental transformation demands new methods—and a new mindset.
About.com, an online source for original consumer advice and information, has announced agreements with editorial brands to provide select content across the health, auto, technology, and travel channels on the About.com network.
Posted Sep 10, 2004
News Technologies LLC has introduced the latest member of its TriggerNews family dubbed TriggerNews PL Multi-Brand. The product, announced in late August, builds on the company’s premise that information consumers need meaningful ways to bypass the information overload problem presented by the open Web and publishers need to get content to them in more targeted ways.
Picture this. You’re going to visit relatives across the country; to amuse yourself on the journey you take a few movies and favorite TV shows, a couple of audio books, a few thousand of your favorite songs, and an inordinate number of new photos to show your family when you arrive. So what did you have to cram in your carry-on? Nothing more than a slim Portable Media Center (PMC) that takes up about as much room as a couple of CD cases.
Newspapers grew out of local communities’ need to communicate, for the most part, the more mundane aspects of life, but over time, the newspaper’s role shifted from community service tool to expertise and entertainment vehicle. The Northwest Voice has gleaned a lot of press for being one of the first print and Web newspapers to be produced almost completely by voluntary contributions, in its case, from the people living in the northwest part of the Bakersfield, CA community it serves.
Increasing complaints by new media firms that big-name media companies are blocking their access to content has prompted EU Competition Commissioner Mario Monti to launch an investigation. Speaking before an audience of telecommunications and entertainment companies in Brussels, Monti said his office would open an inquiry later this year into the provision of content—music, films, and sports—over the Internet for such services as video-on-demand (VoD).
Disagreement in understanding can make a big difference in the end result of an IT project. In a discussion involving data, the terms content management, digital asset management, enterprise content management, and even enterprise resources management may be bandied about almost interchangeably. In business, things can get tricky surprisingly fast if the meaning of certain terms isn’t clear to everyone.
It would seem that traditional publishers have much to teach other types of organizations about the digital content mantra: Create once, use many. And what better way to use a CMS than to channel content into multiple outlets, allowing an initial expense to yield multiple revenue streams. But in reality, are traditional media companies deploying content management systems?