October 2005 Issue

News Features

Techno-geeks and futurists like George Lucas say that digital video-based “Digital Cinema” is superior to today’s standard film-based cinema. Many beg to differ, especially when it comes to image quality. Regardless of videophiles’ varying opinions on the appearance of Digital Cinema, the bottom line is the bottom line. If the distribution of feature movies to the world’s cinemaplexes (now done by shipping individual film prints to each theater) could transition to digital video file transfers, the cost savings for Hollywood and the rest of the world’s motion picture industry would be enormous—estimates vary from $900 million to $2.28 billion annually.
- Posted Oct 10, 2005
The peer-review process is part of the foundation on which academic publishing was built, and while Open Source publishing models are emerging along with alternative outlets for scholarly publication, it remains the most respected method for assessing the quality of published works. Venerable publisher Elsevier is no stranger to the traditions of scientific, medical, and technical publishing, but has not shied away from leveraging digital delivery options for its works. In November of last year, the company launched its Scopus project, which is a multidisciplinary navigation tool that contains records dating back to the mid 1960s.
- Posted Oct 04, 2005
Cyberspace doesn’t give its travelers much room for reflection. Every day, millions of Web sites are updated, and older versions are erased from existence with the click of a button. Remember when Amazon.com sold only books? Or when WebCrawler ruled the search universe? The Wayback Machine does.
- Posted Sep 26, 2005
If your cell phone knew what you were going to do at two o’clock, would that change how you planned your day? If your cell phone “predicted” correctly where you would be at a particular time of the week, how would you feel? No longer hypothetical situations, the Reality Mining experiment answers these questions.
- Posted Sep 28, 2005

Featured Stories

Why bother with all the issues of installation and upgrades, server maintenance and security, when for a fee, you could let the vendor take care of it all? However, hosted CMS is certainly not for everyone as—right or wrong—concerns about hosting linger.
- Posted Oct 10, 2005
After a decade of digital information overload—email, multimedia, and endless Web surfing—podcasting is starting to engage the enterprise because of its sheer simplicity. This is new technology that revives our appreciation of the oldest medium. Podcasting offers brief, regularly scheduled, and automated distribution of media that pokes through the digital noise with the most basic and compelling content delivery device of all, the human voice.
- Posted Sep 27, 2005
The new wave of marketing professionals manages by the numbers, and technology companies have emerged to serve their needs. While the market is mostly fragmented into products that serve specific marketing niches, savvy marketers are increasingly leveraging content management tools to help them work more efficiently and effectively.
- Posted Oct 04, 2005


I’m not humming a tune about Google, but that company rocks, and its engine is very popular. On the content side, Adobe can claim universal acceptance of Acrobat and its built-in search. Most large firms have made long-term commitments to a single enterprise CMS from the likes of Documentum or FileNet, or to a single database vendor like Oracle. Each such commitment is also an indirect commitment to that vendor’s search system.
- Posted Sep 28, 2005
Admit it, you’re jealous. The massive bounce-back in online ad revenues in the past two years has been driven—nay, commandeered—by search. For all of the talk about the branding value of the Web, the fact is that highly targeted, performance-oriented, direct marketing at Google and Overture/Yahoo! has been at the heart of the boom. To be sure, contextual ad partnerships with the major engines offer content providers a sip from this revenue gusher, but it’s not the same thing as drinking directly from the new fountain of high-priced cost-per-click advertising. Pay-per-click search ad pricing is so high because the major engines are so close to the consumer’s purchase decision. From what I am seeing in the online ad market lately, fear and envy breed creativity.
- Posted Oct 10, 2005
Awhile back, I wrote about personas and their value in developing information architectures. I am now finding that social network analysis is a way of helping organizations understand just how members of their staff collaborate (or don’t, as the case may be) so they can then develop applications that support these networks.
- Posted Oct 17, 2005
Each of us can look back on our lives and pinpoint individuals whose influence shifted our course for the better. It might have been the teacher who gave you a book of MC Escher drawings and talked to you about the interconnectedness of things and ways of seeing. Maybe it was a workplace mentor who taught you that tenacity is as important as a well-turned phrase. I have been lucky to have many such forces in my life, not the least of which was my grandmother, who showed me the power one woman had to make her life what she dreamed, that it is never too late to reinvent yourself, and that hard work will take you where you want to go. As she aptly explained, “Nobody ever told me life would be easy, so I don’t mind hard work.” She valued knowledge gleaned in the classroom but placed experiential learning on an equal plane.
- Posted Sep 26, 2005
Analysis of free versus fee content invariably focuses on content that must be paid for by consumers in its original form (such as newspaper and magazine articles) but that is often offered for free at an advertising- and sponsorship-supported Web site. Many pundits believe that if content is offered for free in one medium, it will cannibalize another, and that’s all they obsess about. Yet despite all the debate about free and paid content business models, market observers have largely missed the flip side of free content: valuable information that individuals are eager to give away for no charge and that smart companies then aggregate for profit.
- Posted Oct 04, 2005

Faces of EContent

"The Internet has so changed the role of information for large global brands."
- Posted Oct 12, 2005

Case Studies

Vivisimo helps University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System patrons effectively search more than 300 health and biomedical titles in ebook form.
- Posted Oct 14, 2005