May 2009 Issue


News Features

Amid wall-to-wall news coverage about banks, insurance companies, auto manufacturers, and other pillars of the American economy that are buckling under the oppressive weight of the global financial crisis, the fact that the print media outlets reporting that news are themselves on the verge of financial ruin may be lost on readers.
By - Posted Apr 27, 2009
Most of the country has been looking at President Obama's stimulus package and wondering just what's in it for them. Among the millions of people wondering what economic relief might come their way are researchers—people whose success, and sometimes their jobs, rely on government funding. With $10 billion earmarked for the NIH and another $3 billion of stimulus funds set aside for the National Science Foundation, researchers will be scrambling to compete for the highly sought-after funds.
By - Posted Apr 30, 2009
Between spending huge amounts of money on books—only to have them bought back for a fraction of the price—and lugging behemoth texts all over campus, the relationship between coeds and their textbooks is strained at best. So it makes sense that with another school year coming to a close, professors and students alike are looking for alternatives and opting to download etextbooks rather than cracking a printed one. With new social networking features designed specifically for the classroom, companies such as VitalSource are taking things one step further and are combining the interactivity of Web 2.0 with text. In the process of doing so, VitalSource managed to triple user numbers since June 2008, suggesting that etextbooks are becoming the latest learning tool in an academic's arsenal.
By - Posted May 04, 2009
Over the past few months, from scattered corners of the web, the sentiment "enough already" has slowly emerged. Yes, we're in a recession; friends and family members are losing jobs, retirement savings, and homes; people are scared and frustrated. But enough with apocalyptic forecasting—let's move on to the question of how we're all going to get through this.Sites such as Recessionwire, Economic TurningPoint, and the Reinventing America series of reports on MSNBC.com have launched with the goal of helping readers understand not only what is going on with the economy but what to do now.
By - Posted May 07, 2009

Featured Stories

As increasingly rich digital media becomes a regular part of consumers' information diet, it also becomes a more important aspect of business operations. Effective asset management helps organizations of all types make the most of their digital assets.
By - Posted May 07, 2009
In today's enterprise, information discovery is often treated more as a survival mechanism than an opportunity. And that's only for the companies that have solid information discovery practices in place. For organizations that still rely on simple search engines to uncover data assets within their IT infrastructure, the opportunity costs can be catastrophic.
By - Posted May 11, 2009
To succeed today, content sites must amass huge content collections, yet accomplish this with tighter budgets. At the same time, content consumers need to be enabled to find exactly what meets their needs. There are several strategies that can be employed to achieve web publishing's Holy Grail: the Triangle of Content Success.
By - Posted May 14, 2009

Columns

To rescue the beleaguered newspaper industry, there has been talk of a return to paid content (not so sure about the soundness of trying to unring a bell), nonprofit endowments, or government bailouts. Yet, as we've seen with the auto industry, throwing money at complex business problems does not suffice. Consider the music business, beset by the increasing legal and illegal distribution of music online. Today, successful musicians are giving music away to make money on concert tickets. Deeply entrenched, seemingly fundamental models have to be rebuilt in light of digital distribution and the expectation of free content, despite the fact that making quality content costs money.
By - Posted May 01, 2009
No, this is not another column instructing publishers to extend their brands to mobile. I think that case has been made already to almost all parties on the consumer side and to an increasing number of business information providers. At this early stage, everyone's degree of commitment varies, of course, because no one really knows what sort of revenue streams will evolve. Some publishers just repurpose their RSS feeds for mobile access; others have third-party providers cherry-pick website content to reshape it for the small screen. It feels like 1997 all over again.
By - Posted May 07, 2009
In April, when this column is printed, Americans will be engaged in the annual ritual of calculating and paying state and federal taxes. Although tax activity is most intense in April, we all pay taxes daily in many forms, such as sales tax. Just as taxes have always been with us, so too have taxonomies. Like dealing with taxes, taxonomy management is an evolving process that never ends. There are many definitions of "taxonomy," but I view them as merely the various ways we categorize and manage groups of things so we can find them, whether they're dishes in a cupboard or scrolls in the ancient library of Alexandria.
By - Posted May 11, 2009
Search appliances can be rather like a ready meal. They are almost instantly available; all you have to do is slot them into a server rack the way you would a meal on to a tray in the oven. The meal can be quite satisfying if all you need is "food," but you learn little from the experience. The hard work has been done by developers and scientists, and while you may marvel at their skills, you certainly don't learn how to "cook."
By - Posted May 11, 2009
Quality, conference-centric web content can provide an ideal confluence of on-site and online. Smart organizers create all kinds of different content that helps people to make the decision, prior to the event, to buy a ticket (or not). The content also serves as search engine fodder, driving traffic to the show site prior to the event. As I wrote in last month's column, successes such as the Singapore Tattoo Show, which used a Facebook Group called Tattoo Artistry to help drive 15,000 people to the show's debut in January 2009, are the models to emulate.
By - Posted May 14, 2009

Faces of EContent

"I get to meet the people with whom I frequently work virtually."
By - Posted May 01, 2009

Case Studies

In 1885, when The Dallas Morning News first started covering the area in and around Dallas, it had a circulation of 5,000. Published by A.H. Belo, a Texas-based publisher, The Dallas Morning News now covers 65 communities in the Dallas area and has a circulation of more than half a million. Not to be left out of the internet loop, it created its web counterpart, www.dallasnews.com, which now logs more than a million views a day, and neighborsgo.com, a social networking site that focuses on community-generated news.
By - Posted Apr 30, 2009