July/August 2005 Issue


News Features

We hear in the news about famine-stricken areas of Africa, but due to connectivity problems, much of Africa is also information-starved. And, like a shortage of food, a shortage of information can be a disaster. Founded in 2000 to mitigate the third world’s dire digital communications problems, the WiderNet Project is a largely volunteer, nonprofit organization based at the University of Iowa.
By - Posted Jul 22, 2005
Despite the steady move to econtent by publishers, printers, academia, and corporations, there are still plenty of people who want paper and turn to digital content only reluctantly, according to Jean Bedord, consultant and senior analyst with Shore Communications, Inc. The need for better tracking of print advertising finally has been infused with new possibility, courtesy of a digital content technology.
By - Posted Aug 15, 2005
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) may be really simple for publishers in terms of providing a quick alternate content delivery stream and it may be a relatively simple way to help avoid inbox info-glut, but it isn’t always so simple to integrate into an information-gathering routine. For the most part, RSS readers provide only the most basic functionality to do just that: read feeds. However, a few RSS readers out there are trying to do more—like help info-seekers find appropriate feeds, manage the incoming information for future use, and access it in different ways that suit a variety of needs. Pluck is one such feisty RSS reader.
By - Posted Aug 01, 2005
In mid-May, Audible, a provider of digital spoken audio content, and Pearson Education, an educational publisher, announced a partnership to develop and distribute audio-only study guides to college students as a supplement to Pearson’s textbook product line.
By - Posted Aug 08, 2005

Featured Stories

Web Services and XML technologies are catching on in traditional and digital publishing as well as in a variety of other industries. Consultants and vendors agree that there’s no single event that’s led to the increased popularity of these technologies but say the applications are now more proven and are gaining critical mass among users.
By - Posted Aug 15, 2005
Back in 2000 when it looked as though the entire world’s content would soon be digitized, a myth developed that in the not-too-distant future, paper books would be supplanted by ebooks. While this hasn't come to pass, ebooks have wormed their way into the reference market and may have found a home.
By - Posted Aug 10, 2005
Handheld devices are becoming increasingly useful at freeing business users from the constraints of the desktop to view documents. Unfortunately, mobile handheld devices share common limitations, not the least of which are small screens and slow network speeds. Here’s a look at some mobile document delivery hurdles, and the efforts being made to overcome them.
By - Posted Jul 27, 2005

Columns

If you are old enough to recall the crashes and burns of TheDen and Pseudo.com, then you must join me in smirking at the current mania for Web video. A perfect storm has formed around the platform; media companies point to a “critical mass” in broadband penetration and anecdotes of massive video stream numbers, while advertisers desperately chase eyeballs as they flee primetime TV. But have we learned anything meaningful about Web video as a media platform or thought through the revenue models enough since that first disastrous run at Internet TV?
By - Posted Aug 10, 2005
From the start, Adobe fine-tuned Acrobat with releases every 18 months or so. Most releases offered stunning new features, often with a modified interface, and an increasingly heavier client footprint that took correspondingly larger amounts of storage and time to load. Some versions seemed perfunctory; others offered significant new capabilities. Acrobat 7 falls into the latter camp. After letting the new 7.0 release settle down with the inevitable service upgrade, what is really new about Acrobat 7.01? More important, given Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia, is it time to fundamentally reconsider your use of Adobe and Acrobat?
By - Posted Aug 17, 2005
If people bought cars the same way they bought a CMS application, they would go to a lot toting a thick pile of papers and ask for a car that has a V6 engine, an alternator on the left-hand side of the cylinder block, a speedometer that has a black needle on a white background, and a trunk capable of holding two sets of golf clubs. Of course that set of requirements cannot be met, but the salesperson might just have a nice little Peugeot with just such a speedometer, and the buyer would drive off a happy person . . . until they tried to pack for golf the following day. Other approaches might include buying a Pontiac because your neighbor told you last week how wonderful his is, or driving aimlessly around until a ride catches your eye.
By - Posted Aug 10, 2005
Cut and paste culture might be all the rage on the creative side of the entertainment business but is often an anathema to the business side. While the latter will gladly pocket Gorillaz’ green, a team of lawyers probably frets over every echo of another artist’s work. At this year’s Entertainment Technology Alliance conference, I moderated a session called “Can Content Remain King?” in which—as usual—DRM surfaced as the highest hurdle for widespread entertainment digital content delivery.
By - Posted Jul 25, 2005
I’m sick and tired of the media elite bitching and moaning about their diminishing role in society. There’s lots of blame and finger-pointing going on at big media these days: people don’t watch network TV news “because they work long hours”; newspaper and magazine revenues are down, which is “the advertiser’s fault”; and everyone’s favorite scapegoat—blogging—is “not real journalism.” That’s the world according to traditional media. I disagree. The news cycle has changed, and with it, so must many of the rules of the game.
By - Posted Aug 05, 2005

Faces of EContent

“We help publishers by identifying problems and solutions.”
By - Posted Jul 29, 2005

Case Studies

Thomas Technology Solutions helps Northstar Travel Media streamline its production process and unify its systems.
By - Posted Jul 26, 2005