January/February 2006 Issue


News Features

A report from the Cutter Consortium, an IT advisory firm, says that the U.S. Patent Office should carefully re-examine its rules and regulations regarding software patents. Cutter believes the U.S. software patent scheme is “badly broken” and that, in light of the European Union’s ruling not to grant patents on software, it is time for the U.S. to give serious thought to revamping its patent system.
By - Posted Jan 20, 2006
At the local level, a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina can either stress libraries and schools or destroy them. While communities always seem to come together at trying times like these and find a way to go on, digital content now provides many organizations with a way to prepare for and contend with devastating events like these.
By - Posted Jan 13, 2006
Twenty-first century business is transacted online—even the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has trouble getting people to read paper versions of corporate proxy statements in the econtent age. In a move to regain investors’ attention, a recently proposed SEC rule change would allow them to read and post proxy communications via the Web.
By - Posted Jan 17, 2006
The question facing digital entertainment companies seems to have changed from Can we implement effective DRM? to Should we even try? The shift seemed inevitable to some as one digital or audio DRM scheme after the next was swiftly circumvented. However, while some software distributors began to view pass-along as an inevitable fact of the digital distribution universe—developing DRM models to enable and monetize file sharing—the entertainment industry has been slow to follow.
By - Posted Jan 11, 2006

Featured Stories

Consider for a moment how many visual cues you rely on when accessing a Web site. Without even thinking, your eyes quickly scan navigation menus, examine main headings, spy the search box, and skim over other links. Now imagine, if you can, what it would be like if you couldn’t use a mouse and needed to use only your keyboard to move around a Web site. It would be, as one Web accessibility expert put it, like looking at a Web site through a soda straw.
By - Posted Jan 16, 2006
Think you are giving customers what they want? Not if they have to navigate through multiple menus and sift through search results to find it. And what if the customer isn’t entirely sure what she needs in the first place? If companies want to connect users with content, then they need to remove the pain from the discovery process and provide users with what they want—perhaps even before they know they need it.
By - Posted Jan 20, 2006
Ask fans of the dearly departed free file-swapping software Grokster—if digital content sounds too good to be true, or too cheap to be legal, it probably is. While building a free digital library might not seem like an audacious move at first glance, when three major Internet companies each aspire to create the biggest, most widely accessible library ever, copyright watchers the world over take notice.
By - Posted Jan 13, 2006

Columns

In essence, we can create, access, and share what we want, when and how we want it. Increasingly, we are taking charge of our content experiences. The content creation and distribution landscape will never be the same. While this newfound freedom of self-expression is both liberating and invigorating, we’re only beginning to understand what we can achieve when we use technology to create a network of ourselves.
By - Posted Jan 17, 2006
Want to try for yourself a new information retrieval method that is powerful yet very simple to understand and implement? One that will affect everything from enterprise search to your own desktop search? Follow these simple steps . . .
By - Posted Jan 20, 2006
Two words: video podcasting. Go ahead and snicker, because a couple of months ago I would have smirked right along with you. Then I got me a video iPod. From a revenue perspective, what is most interesting about portable video is that, unlike other trendy forms of recent years (audio podcasting, blogs, RSS feeds), it arrives with a built-in revenue model. The advertising is already here.
By - Posted Jan 20, 2006
In the early 1990s, Freenets were making Internet accessible to the masses. We could finally tap into bulletin boards, Usenet newsgroups, and even some rather primitive Web sites. I remember feeling very butch that I could configure my Trumpet Winsock and figure out how to establish a dial-up PPP connection. Everything was plain ASCII, and downloading text-only email took ten minutes, but it felt pretty exciting--not earth-shattering, though. Yes, it was nice to be able to connect to a remote BBS without paying long-distance toll charges, but the Internet was still mostly populated by us geeks. What a difference a decade makes.
By - Posted Jan 24, 2006
Stereotypes simplify social situations. Old person wise, young person foolhardy; tall person better basketball player, guy with pocket-protector better with computers; and policeman good, robber bad (or vice versa, depending on your perspective). Imagine all the hard work you’d have to do if you sincerely evaluated every individual you encountered, well, individually. So stereotypes serve as shortcuts for the socially lazy. But as my grandma used to say, “Anything worth doing is hard.”
By - Posted Jan 11, 2006
With the number of blogs now in the tens of millions and the availability of niche blogs on virtually any topic, attention has shifted to the hot space of blog search. The simple truth is that it isn’t easy to find a blog post on subjects of interest. Some nifty new tagging features are beginning to make a big difference for users, but the dark side of marketing may hamper the growth of tags.
By - Posted Jan 13, 2006

Faces of EContent

“Many customers are under deadline and they need to have access to the information as quickly as possible.”
By - Posted Jan 20, 2006

Case Studies

The Red Cross' Manatee County Chapter worked with E Solutions to build a site that supports its humanitarian efforts--from providing essential information to volunteer recruiting and training.
By - Posted Jan 16, 2006