July/August 2006 Issue

News Features

With the Google Print initiative on one side and the familiar comfort of traditional publishing models on the other, STM publisher Springer has announced plans to launch an aggressive new ebook initiative this summer. Anchored by its online publishing service, SpringerLink, Springer will add ebooks to the database of electronic journal content the company has offered for nearly ten years, and may just breathe new life into the ebook market.
- Posted Jul 01, 2006
Can’t wait for the kettle to boil? Frantically pushing elevator buttons in a futile attempt to make it come a bit faster? Well, Amazon’s Upgrade was made for you. In May, Amazon announced Upgrade, which gives users immediate online access to the entire text of a purchased book at a fee of an additional 10%–20% above a book’s list price. It also enables customers to search, annotate, bookmark, and print individual pages, leveraging digital functionality to enhance the book buyer’s experience. Amazon Upgrade is built on the same technology as its “Search Inside the Book” program launched three years ago.
- Posted Jul 07, 2006
Look closely at your cell phone. Watch out! It might be looking right back at you, sending information about your location to a map, where you will join other people in your town as dynamic parts of a real-time geophysical landscape. Cell phones like these are drawing the map of the future, according to the research team behind the SENSEable City Lab.
- Posted Jul 11, 2006
While Government regulation of communication may seem like a crystal-clear area of the law, the internet has kicked up a whole lot of static. The demand for anytime, anywhere internet access has gone sky-high. In June, the FCC auctioned off frequencies for in-flight wireless internet access on all domestic flights.
- Posted Jun 22, 2006
Copyright is not user-friendly. In fact, copyright issues are so complex it is hardly friendly to publishers or lawyers either. The complexity of copyright presents such a high hurdle that most users don’t even try to decipher its vagaries and just hit the Send button and hope for the best. Even those who personally want to adhere to copyright or whose organizations mandate it often find the process of clearing rights so daunting that it hardly seems worth it, thus inhibiting their ability to share valuable resources. In an effor to clarify the process, CCC has introduced Rightsphere, which provides “an instant, unambiguous answer to the user’s question, ‘What am I allowed to do with this content?’”
- Posted Jun 23, 2006

Featured Stories

Whether by acquisition, merger, or the expanding global marketplace, more and more companies find themselves handling content in multiple languages. Managing multilingual content adds (at least) a layer of complexity to the overall content management process. Fortunately, there are systems available that involve both CMS vendors and translation service providers to bring the process under control.
- Posted Jul 25, 2006
Content creators and users alike leverage tracking tools to help determine how content is being used. Accurate tracking allows content to be delivered in more meaningful contexts for users and advertisers, and can make a significant impact on the bottom line.
- Posted Jul 11, 2006
Though the term portal remains a broadly misused word, enterprise IT leaders consistently rank portal technology near the top of their investment plans. So it’s no surprise that open source portal projects are trying to claim their share of the buzz.
- Posted Jul 18, 2006


All due respect to Wired editor Chris Sherman, but the currently hot topic of the internet’s “long tail” has been with us at least since I started writing about digital in 1995. To be sure, Sherman deserves the credit for bringing into focus for the post-bubble world the notion that the web makes viable niche markets and remnant inventories that could never find buyers in “real world” distribution and marketing systems, but this model has been part of the web equation since day one.
- Posted Jul 11, 2006
A subtle shift is occurring in the way we value and manage our office content—those files that constitute 80% of the investments we all make in our mainstream office work: text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Today there are tremendous legal pressures to ensure that we abide by various mandated schedules to keep documents as long as the law requires (but no longer). On the flip side, practices are emerging to selectively destroy many of our documents that we need not keep at all. Destruction provides a measure of protection from widely cast subpoena nets.
- Posted Jul 31, 2006
Merrill Lynch may well have released the only investment analyst report that created an entire industry, in November 1998. Over the next few years, the number of portal vendors rose quite dramatically, and by 2001 there were perhaps more than 100 vendors in the market, none of them making any revenues worth counting. Which is why eight years later there are no more than around a dozen major players, and most of those are IT-industry giants like IBM and Oracle.
- Posted Jul 25, 2006
The big takeaway for me is the perception that our industry faces a new content cannibalization scare. The old scare, “free information will cannibalize fee,” which was intense for much of the early 2000s, is still simmering on the back burner. The new scare, the idea that offering micro-content will cannibalize subscription sales as well as the sale of large reports, now tops many publishers’ lists of professional neuroses.
- Posted Jul 18, 2006
I have never lived in a development or suburb, but those I’ve visited seem to suffer from a confusion of quaint street-naming conventions in which Honeysuckle Lane intersects Honeysuckle Court. The fact that the houses look nearly identical is painfully exacerbated by the streets all bearing cloying and similar names, which has left me winding through speed bump-safe streets only to be frustrated by a surplus of cul-de-sacs. It leaves me with the impression that suburbs are insiders’ clubs, where only those who can detect the subtle distinctions between mass-market designs can navigate with confidence.
- Posted Jun 27, 2006

Faces of EContent

“It’s about your investment in your home and what upgrades you can make to it.”
- Posted Jul 25, 2006

Case Studies

SealedMedia helps the German Sports University Cologne develop digital coursework by enabling it to easily digitally collaborate while protecting its valuable assets in the process.
- Posted Jul 18, 2006