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Datamonitor Syndicates Content to Web Sites with New CommentWire Service
by
Posted On October 9, 2000
Datamonitor (http://www.datamonitor.com), a leading European market-analysis firm, has introduced a new Internet content product called CommentWire (http://www.commentwire.com), designed for the fast-growing Web content syndication arena. This Internet "wire" service provides expert opinions and analysis on key business issues and breaking news items. Aimed at business executives, small-business owners, financial professionals, and investors, the live feeds tap into the expertise of over 200 business experts on Datamonitor's staff. Webmasters will be able to license CommentWire and use XML-based software to integrate the links to their own sites.

According to Mike Danson, chairman of Datamonitor: "CommentWire is a unique resource for all Internet sites and mobile-service providers that want to increase their appeal to business users. Licensing CommentWire will help them gain a competitive advantage—cutting-edge independent viewpoints to enlighten their users."

CommentWire provides between five and 15 articles daily that focus on current news issues and cover U.S. and international business developments. The tone struck by the material differs from the "just-the-facts" style of news reporting. Instead it takes more of the analysts' advisory style—"they should, you should." This fits the description of the service provided on the Web site: "CommentWire is an expert-opinion-and-analysis service that briefs investors and professionals on the implications of business issues and events."

One minor warning for U.S. users: Dates for the articles appear in the European order (Date/Month/Year) not in the U.S. style (Month/Date/Year). Looking at an article on last week's surprising report about Priceline.com, I had a momentary shock as I thought that CommentWire had dragged up an old June 10th article. I then realized the information—as confirmed in a current Wall Street Journal item—had to come from October 6.

Datamonitor's staff, based in London and New York, has a network of over 200 business experts to provide the commentary in response to news "catalysts"—i.e., the current news that's driving general interest. The company draws on 10 years of experience in analyzing market dynamics and company strategies for specific industries: technology, e-commerce, healthcare, energy, automotive, financial services, and consumer markets (food, packaging, personal care, retailing, etc.).  All of this expert advice, however, comes with a hefty price tag—$75,000 per year.

Datamonitor has over 4,000 clients worldwide and boasts a resell rate of 92 percent. It has over 550 professional staff members based in Europe, North America, and Asia to supply research and analysis for eight industries in 57 countries.

In developing the CommentWire service, Datamonitor plans to market the service to investor sites; horizontal and vertical portals, particularly those targeted at small businesses; business media; financial information and service sites; banking sites; and business-to-business (B2B) exchanges. It also hopes to reach the mobile user—with a special emphasis on wireless and PDA operators—to whom it can offer content specifically formatted for different access devices (Internet, WAP, and SMS) designed to conserve bandwidth. Licensing sites can choose their own formats, styles, colors, etc. The server side offering includes frame-based dynamic integration, XML feeds, and other customized feed formats. The Webmaster can choose the HTML formatting of the XML files and decide what the end-user will see.


Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.


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