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Weekly News Digest

September 18, 2008 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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Time, Inc. Subsidiary Launches New Magazine Membership Service

MAGHOUND Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Time, Inc., announced the beta launch of MAGHOUND, a new online-based magazine membership service designed to improve the way consumers purchase their magazines by incorporating flexibility, choice, and control. The company hopes the introduction of MAGHOUND will modernize the traditional circulation model by relieving the constraints of standard subscription contracts and empowering the consumer. On the MAGHOUND website (www.maghound.com), members can select up to 15 magazines from a broad range of titles represented by dozens of major publishers for one set monthly fee, with the ability to switch titles at any time.

At the time of the beta launch, the MAGHOUND service will feature more than 240 titles, with plans to increase the roster of available magazines on an ongoing basis. In addition to all major Time, Inc. brands, the list will include other popular titles, such as Men’s Health, Martha Stewart Living, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parents, Better Homes and Gardens, Popular Science, Prevention, Runner’s World, Car and Driver, and PC Magazine.

The membership pricing is tiered: three titles for $4.95 a month, five titles for $7.95, seven titles for $9.95, and $1 per title for eight titles or more. Unlike traditional subscription programs, MAGHOUND is a monthly membership service that offers greater flexibility without long-term, annual contracts. All monthly fees will be conveniently billed to a credit/debit card, eliminating the need for invoices and renewal notices.

Memberships can be entirely managed online, as well as by email and phone. From an ad sales and circulation tracking standpoint, all titles sold on MAGHOUND will be classified as single-copy sales. From a revenue-sharing perspective, MAGHOUND will pay the publishers a fixed fee for every copy of each title that is sold.

Source: MAGHOUND Enterprises, Inc.

Yammer.com Launches Microblogging for the Enterprise

Yammer (www.yammer.com), a microblogging tool for enterprises, officially launched at the recent TechCrunch50 conference. Selected from among thousands of applicants, this "Enterprise 2.0" startup allows companies and organizations to take advantage of a technology that has exploded in popularity among consumers on sites such as Twitter.

On Yammer, co-workers exchange short frequent answers to one simple question: "What are you working on?" As employees answer this question, a company feed is created in one central location, enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. The company feed can be accessed in real time via the web, instant messaging, SMS text messaging, an iPhone application, a BlackBerry application, a desktop application, or email.

Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledgebase where past conversations are archived and easily searched. Unlike traditional enterprise tools, which must be installed by a company’s IT department, anyone in a company can start a Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. This means that Yammer can spread virally through a company like a consumer social network. At the same time, Yammer ensures the privacy of each network by limiting access to those with a valid company email address.

The basic Yammer service is free, but companies can pay to claim and administer their networks. The cost is $1 per employee per month, after a free 3-month trial period. Companies that claim their network can configure their own security requirements by setting stricter password policies or restricting use to their office or virtual private network (VPN). These settings are also used on sites such as Salesforce.com.

Yammer was originally developed at internet company Geni.com (www.geni.com) as an internal productivity tool. Over time, the product evolved into a full-fledged company intranet/social network, adding features not available on consumer microblogging sites.

Source: Yammer

Courtport.com Portal Launches as Successor to LegalDockets.com

Courtport, LLC announced the launch of its LegalDockets.com successor site, Courtport.com (www.courtport.com). Courtport is a public record portal designed for law librarians, paralegals, attorneys, investigators, and other professional researchers to complete due diligence on individuals and businesses. Courtport’s comprehensive service connects researchers directly to all federal, state, and local court case information, court rules and forms, property, recordings, liens, criminal, business, licensing/disciplinary, and other records.

The service is designed to be much more than just a nationwide public record link directory. Courtport has been created with additional features and customization options for the optimal user experience. Legaldockets.com is now more than 7 years old, and the company said it was time to update the technology and implement new features gathered from extensive user feedback.

Customers can locate public records through the browse and search functions, save their own links, and share links with others. Additionally, Courtport gives users the ability to have a dashboard, designate a start page, create shortcuts, and receive various email alerts from the portal, blog, and discussion forums. This enables greater personalization and a sense of community.

Courtport, LLC is a privately owned New York-based company, focused on providing public record research and retrieval tools and services for professional researchers across the U.S.

Source: Courtport, LLC

BurrellesLuce Portal Offers Access to TV News Coverage

BurrellesLuce (www.burrellesluce.com) has enhanced its 2.0 web portal by offering easy access to television news stories that contain keywords clients have asked BurrellesLuce to track for them. This makes it possible for public relations practitioners to receive streaming video of TV coverage from all 210 designated market areas (DMAs) in the U.S.

As with internet and print coverage, the television segments are edited before being posted to a client’s secure website. This helps ensure that only stories matching a client’s monitoring instructions will appear in the portal. Each television, internet, and print story posted in the portal is identified by its lead-in or headline. A client merely clicks on the title to view the TV clip, the internet or print image, or text. TV content is captured for BurrellesLuce by either VMS or Critical Mention, depending on a client’s preference.

BurrellesLuce helps communication professionals maximize their media relations results through a full range of planning, monitoring, and measurement services. Besides delivering content, the company’s online platform enables clients to target and connect with journalists and bloggers, monitor the media for coverage, and measure and understand the impact of their outreach efforts. Founded in 1888 and headquartered in Livingston, N.J., BurrellesLuce has offices throughout the U.S.

Source: BurrellesLuce

The New York Times Knowledge Network Expands Online Offerings

The New York Times Knowledge Network (www.nytimes.com/knownow) announced the launch of its second year of online programs, with 47 programs at 15 educational institutions and organizations across the country. The greatly expanded roster of fall programs covers a wide range of topics, including business, writing, history, health, and politics. The programs use The Times and its journalists as teaching resources for personal enrichment, professional development, certification programs, and some credit-bearing programs. In addition, many programs feature live webcasts that allow students to interact with and ask questions of participating Times reporters and editors.

Last fall, the Knowledge Network hosted eight programs at four institutions and garnered strong engagement from the course participants, who enjoyed the ease of access to New York Times content and other participants, as well as the opportunity to connect with Times editors and journalists. Seven of this semester’s participating institutions are returning from last year.

The Knowledge Network offers online access from anywhere in the world to learning opportunities from world-class institutions, combined with exclusive interactive content from The Times’ extensive archive. Times editors and journalists are collaborators and participants in shaping the curriculum, with 20 participating in this semester’s programs.

The Knowledge Network, which uses the EpsilenTM platform, was launched in September 2007 to deliver lifelong learning programs on timely subjects. The New York Times Co. is the majority owner of BehNeem, LLC, a company that has secured a license to the EpsilenTM Environment. A full list of programs can be found at www.nytimes.com/knownow.

Source: The New York Times Co. (www.nytco.com)

New SemantiFind Enhances Search Engine Experience

Semanti Corp., a web services provider offering "find" technology to enhance the results of search engines, announced its flagship product, SemantiFind (www.semantifind.com), at the recent DEMOfall08 conference in San Diego. SemantiFind is a web service that enhances the search engine experience by letting users indicate the precise meaning of their search queries.

The service works within preferred search engines, and it offers a drop-down list of specific terms and definitions that help people select what they mean, such as "Visa" the travel document instead of "Visa" the credit card. By understanding a user’s meaning, SemantiFind is designed to return more meaningful and relevant information and save people the hassle of sifting through unwanted pages or reformulating their queries to find results that might be buried.

As users begin typing in the search bar, they can predefine exactly what information they want to retrieve through SemantiFind’s drop-down list, which contains millions of terms and their definitions. Once users find pages they like, they can indicate quality results with a simple click of the "Symantify" button. "Semantified" pages are included as part of the user’s future searches, making it easy to find valuable information again. Each Semantified page also becomes available to the SemantiFind community, enriching everyone’s search experience. SemantiFind prioritizes pages that were Semantified by a user’s invited friends above those of the rest of the community because they are likely to be more relevant. This approach uses the "wisdom of the crowds" to sort out the good pages from the bad.

SemantiFind is available now for download at www.semantifind.com. It is a free service to consumers. The product is currently available for use with Google, but additional search engine support is expected to become available within the next 30 days. Semanti Corp. is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Source: Semanti Corp.



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