May 2005 Issue


News Features

With Ovum—an independent UK-based technology and research consultancy—forecasting mobile phone connections will hit the 2 billion mark next year, it’s no wonder content owners are scrambling to repurpose content for mobile device delivery.
By - Posted May 04, 2005
Podcasting has jumped onto the scene rather quickly, and its latest trick involves enabling subscribers to receive alerts when their favorite podcasters offer new files. Essentially, LiveMessage is “a broadcast application” for information alerts. “Alerts have been around for a long time,” says MessageCast CEO Royal Farros, “but the only mechanism for delivering alerts has been email.” And email, as Farros points out, is certainly not without problems, like its lack of authentication.
By - Posted May 12, 2005
The definition of content management continues to expand, while content often remains fragmented throughout organizations. For years, the market moved steadily in the direction of a broader and broader definition of content management, seeking to encompass everything from assets and data to knowledge and intelligence and adopting adjectives like Enterprise and Total. According to FileNet, the content management landscape is set for another tectonic shift.
By - Posted May 12, 2005
The Health Record Network Foundation (HRN) has started a number of pilot programs to create a market for automated online health information. The goal is to create a voluntary online medical record system where patients can enter their medical history and allow access for their physicians or other medical providers. HRN’s first three pilot programs are with the Duke University School of Medicine (North Carolina), the state of Wyoming, and the Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Brian Baum, CEO of HRN, says, “This idea means the consumer can start the process. They can go online anywhere, anytime, and initiate the creation of a personal health record, storing things like a family health history, medication list, allergies, who their clinical care team is—just basic information that’s within their control.”
By - Posted May 05, 2005
For more than a decade, European reliance on SmartCards—to secure financial transactions, authenticate cell phones, and more recently, to launch the ePassports initiative—has grown steadily. A SmartCard is essentially a little computer that, when put on a banking card, mobile phone, or other device, acts as a gatekeeper between the stored content and the outside world. Unlike the magnetic strips of credit cards that passively spit out data as they’re swiped, “the SmartCard chip plays a much more active part in the transaction,” says Chris Caruk, chief technologist and VP of marketing for Aspects Software. Today, as a result of work done by Aspects, SmartCards are poised to play a much bigger role in enabling the secure transfer of content in all its glorious forms.
By - Posted May 10, 2005

Featured Stories

It was not that long ago when PC users were pleading for decent consumer desktop search tools—software that provides a way to search your hard drive the same way you do the Internet. But with the exception of a few companies, nobody seemed to be heeding the call, not even the big names in Internet search: Google, MSN, and Yahoo!. Then suddenly last summer, that all changed, starting with Copernic’s release of a free desktop search tool. By the end of last year in flurry of releases, the big three followed with branded offerings. Others, including AOL and Ask, released tools as well. Some developed their own, while others purchased a solution or licensed one from another vendor. But in the course of a few months, we went from a sparsely populated desktop search marketplace to one crowded with solutions.
By - Posted May 16, 2005
Recently there’s been an explosion of new developments related to finding and using visual and audio resources on the Web. Multimedia is definitely hot. While there have been some fee-based services that monitor and provide clips of television programming for corporations, such as ShadowTV and Critical TV, we’re seeing considerable activity in providing free access to multimedia content on the Web.
By - Posted May 13, 2005
“Search,” as Steve Cohen, EVP and VP of products at Basis Technology, explains, “is made up of two stages: indexing and retrieval.” Monolingual search is relatively straightforward, but things get much more complex when you start offering search options in more than one language. Given that the Web is increasingly multilingual, the need for robust search options in a wide variety of languages is growing. As such, major search engines Google, Yahoo!, and MSN Search all offer multilingual search, to varying degrees. Google is the polyglot of the group, supporting more than 100 languages. MSN Search offers the fewest, but this may be due to its relative newness to the search game.
By - Posted May 13, 2005
Local search technology, which has been growing in popularity, is all about bringing information about where you live into your search parameters. For example, you can find a doctor or a florist in your area, get their phone number, a map with directions, and in some cases, access reviews of the business.
By - Posted May 16, 2005
In Part I of this series, Byrne looked at CMS interfaces and found that users tend to come to CMS projects with diverse expectations, so vendors often struggle to match their product out of the box to a prospective customer’s particular scenarios. In Part II, he examines CMS usability through the lens of system functionality. tony byrne
By - Posted May 04, 2005
What is most interesting about the rising tide of enterprise rich media use is how quickly companies incorporate audio and video into everyday business processes. Users are re-imagining multimedia’s functionality once it becomes as common and effortless a business tool as photo copiers and staplers.
By - Posted May 10, 2005

Columns

Maybe it’s because I have always had more stuff on my PCs than most of my peers, and as such, I have trouble finding things, that I was a very early adopter of desktop search. I really loved a $99 product called QuickFind from a small company named Softscape. I found it so useful that I wrote a review of it in 1998. QuickFind indexed and found all major files you created on your PC. In those days, “networking” meant “dial-up,” and my home PC was essentially standalone. PC viruses were almost unheard of. You found worms only in your garden and Trojan horses were the stuff of Greek mythology.
By - Posted May 09, 2005
I have always admired online dieting company eDiets.com, in part because its success underscored important principles about how content makes money online. With 200,000 paid members at any one time (1.8 million total over its history), eDiets.com demonstrates that consumers will pay for sites that make content a service. By crafting genuine “plans” for dieting and backing them up with encouragement, 24/7 support, advisors, peer forums, and a ton of editorial, eDiets.com is more of a community than simply a site. The company hits all of the right e-revenue-generating notes. So I was taken aback when eDiets launched a series of online magazines.
By - Posted Apr 06, 2005
The implementation of content management software has brought metadata to center stage, but there is not much of an audience out there. This is understandable because it takes someone with the presenting skills and wit of Gerry McGovern (a fellow expert) to make metadata not only interesting, but funny. Rarely am I able to have a sensible conversation with anyone outside of the library profession about the importance of metadata.
Posted Apr 11, 2005
I don’t know if my art is a dying one, but I do know that the way I have done business is fading like a weathered signpost. No doubt a lot of old-school publishing pros are haunted by similar specters: blogging, community journalism, news-harvesting tools, templated software that will “do the writing for you.” A multitude of new-world media methods are redirecting the flow of information, putting its navigation into hands other than our own.
By - Posted May 02, 2005
It seems like every week there’s an announcement about yet another Internet mainstreamer like Google or Amazon making a foray into the world of scholarly content. What’s going on here? Why are broad-based, general-purpose companies moving into the rarified atmosphere of academic search? Perhaps they see an opportunity to help users in an area that many of the proprietary online services have not done well with: facilitating browsing. Our friends at Google and Amazon figured out long ago that consumers don’t just search—they also love to browse.
By - Posted May 12, 2005

Faces of EContent

“Librarians: they’re smart, they’re organized, and a little subversive, which is cool.”
By - Posted May 05, 2005