December 2010 Issue


Featured Stories

The EContent team suggests some sites, projects, and resources that, while outside the scope of the EContent 100 list, are well-worth a closer look.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Welcome to the tenth annual EContent 100—our list of companies that matter most in the digital content industry.
Posted Nov 22, 2010
Our list of the 100 companies that matter most in the digital content industry.
Posted Nov 22, 2010
Learn more about the 2010-2011 EContent 100 Judging Team.
Posted Nov 22, 2010

Columns

Who you know has pretty much always been as important as what you know in business. Today it is not only important; it is essential and highly visible. Your network will help you get a job, advance within your profession, and solve day-to-day dilemmas. In fact, on a personal level, your social network may make or break you in any of these situations. However, the social network is no longer something that affects us only on a personal scale. Today, organizations that do not grasp the importance of social interaction risk their viability.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
As confidence builds in the economy generally (we hope) and a relentless move toward a digital media economy charges forward, here's where publishers should be looking for new opportunity in the coming year.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
The app economy has officially arrived. The hard truth: It's not a single market, and one-size-fits-all app schemes won't deliver. Will app stores be on-deck (operator-managed) or off-deck (direct-2-consumer)? Or will the prevailing model be paid apps or ad-supported apps? So many open questions and the answers are "all of the above" and everything in between.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Search is all about the meaning of words, and we need to take this into account in developing search technology.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
As we head into the homestretch of 2010, we've seen a lot of activity in the journalism world—many experiments and attempts to find a working, profitable content creation and delivery model. Maybe we've finally gotten past the blame game and gotten to the point where we are actually looking for answers. The problem, however, remains a stubborn adherence to the idea of maintaining control over the content. With few exceptions, publishers seemed focused on finding new ways to lock down content.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
I was part of a conversation the other day with the CEO of a niche animation company. He explained the company's digital strategy, which was to drive audiences solely to its website because, as he boasted, once your living room television talks to the internet, people will navigate to his company's site and it'll have "twice as much value." This presented me with the opportunity to hypothesize on what actually might happen when your TV does merge with the web.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
I am a big fan of collaboration. Teamwork, actually. It's a common sense approach to solving many business efficiency challenges. And yet, despite the obvious benefits, it's not standard procedure. Most organizations simply have no idea what is possible when they improve the way their workers work. Take content production, for instance. The traditional process used to create, manage, and deliver all the stuff that powers business is a poorly orchestrated mess, riddled with inefficiencies, many of which can be drastically reduced—or totally eliminated—when workers work toward a common goal and collaborate together as a team using the right tools for the job.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
In many end-user organizations, software maintenance fees make up the bulk of the yearly IT budget. This is hardly surprising when vendors typically like to calculate maintenance contracts on the basis of 20% of list pricing per annum, in perpetuity. So for example, on a $1 million software deal (list price), you will pay $200,000 per year in ongoing fees. Even if you negotiate the initial licensing costs down to $500,000, you will still pay $200,000 per year in maintenance fees. This adds up to a lot of money. And just as these fees often make up the bulk of most firms' yearly IT expenditure, so too do they make up the bulk of many software vendors revenues.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
In August, The Wall Street Journal covered Seth Godin's decision that, going forward, he would solely self-publish. Godin, a best-selling author of marketing books such as Tribes and Permission Marketing, felt he no longer needed his traditional publisher. Notably, Godin defined "publishing" far more broadly than did Penguin Group. He plans on distributing his content in a number of media—audio books, apps, podcasts, print on demand, etc. This may be the beginning of a disintermediation between the content creator and the content user, similar to the old one between library users and high-end digital information.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
It is a worthwhile exercise to review what I thought were trends in the technologies and tools that I follow and to examine my predictions over the past year. It improves my assessment of important technologies and can refine my forecasting approach. This past year I emphasized three trends: the potential benefits of XML as expressed in the eXtended Business Reporting Language (XBRL); a legal issue combining digital documents (Microsoft Word) and XML—i4i's suit against Microsoft's alleged patent infringement in Microsoft Office Word; and the importance of a new product category, e-readers.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Casual Fridays started as a parallel to the dot-com boom on both American coasts in the mid-1990s,partly led by Dockers, a clothing company. The casual trend very quickly became casual everyday, and it spread to the rest of the U.S. as well. These days, except for bankers and a few other professions, it's business casual all the time. I've noticed in the past 5 years or so that econtent has been going through a similar trend toward the casual.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
News publishers pine for the good old days, those days positioned prominently in the sun, the center of the media world, standing tall on two legs. Their business model has long been a strong, two-legged one, built on the seemingly permanent business model of the 80/20 rule: about 20% of revenue coming in from circulation, subscriptions, and single copy sales, and about 80% derived from advertising.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Adobe's recent acquisitions, such as Adobe Connect (web conferencing), Omniture (web analytics) and Day Software (website design), make it clear that it understands the increasing importance of the web. Most of its acquisitions are web-based enterprise solutions that augment one of its primary applications-Adobe Acrobat.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
It sounds simple enough: We'll architect our content to maximize its value to the business. Everyone can get behind that. Of course, it's not quite as simple as it sounds. This would explain why very few organizations actually walk the talk and direct consistent attention, and investment, toward architecting their content with a view to maximizing its value. It's not that most organizations don't see the need or that they don't want to do it. It's just that it has proven remarkably difficult.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Earthquake in Haiti. Michael Jackson died. Social media the new buzz for business. Have you heard about these? Or do you currently reside under a rock? Okay, these things don't share the same importance, but there was no avoiding these news items in the past year or so. Given my better known name, Social Steve, I guess it is pretty obvious which one of these headlines I'll be looking at here.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010
Blow up everything you know about content. Today, it's different. Looking back at the last decade and ahead to the next, there are three game-changing opportunities and challenges that, from our perspective at Common Sense Advisory, product planners and marketing managers must engage.
By - Posted Nov 22, 2010