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Weekly News Digest

November 10, 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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New SemantiFind Browser Plug-In for All Major Search Engines

Semanti Corp., a web services provider offering "find" technology to enhance search engine results, announced a new version of its browser plug-in that now works with Yahoo! and Microsoft Live Search, in addition to Google. The upgrade has a new, easier-to-use, more intuitive user interface that was implemented in response to early adopters’ feedback. SemantiFind leverages a unique ontology and semantic search capability to help users find more relevant results of search inquiries faster than traditional solutions, all while using their preferred search engines and methodologies. SemantiFind is available for the Firefox browser; development of an Internet Explorer version is underway and will be available soon.

Consumers can download and install the free browser plug-in at www.semantifind.com and go to the search engine of their choice. Users simply type in their search queries as usual with one noticeable difference: SemantiFind helps users to specify the exact meaning of their search terms. As a result, users receive results that match what they mean rather than what they say, without needing to dramatically alter their typical search behavior. Additionally, SemantiFind results are displayed alongside native search engine results, offering customers an array of well-organized and easy-to-peruse options.

SemantiFind offers a semantic approach to finding information as it understands the meaning and relationship of words. It further builds a repository of webpages people find useful. As users begin typing into the search bar, they can predefine exactly what information they want to retrieve through SemantiFind’s drop-down list, which contains more than 8 million terms and their definitions. Once people find pages they like, they can indicate quality results with a simple click of the "Semantify" button. People can further choose to automatically Semantify their most popular webpages, like a virtual bookmark. 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 relevant pages from the inappropriate.

Source: Semanti Corp.

Demand Media Launches Pluck On Demand

Demand Media (www.demandmedia.com) announced the launch of Pluck On Demand (http://ondemand.pluck.com), a free, self-service, widget-based product designed to benefit medium and long tail publishers, content creators, and distribution networks by enabling the efficient delivery of relevant content coupled with social media tools to drive growth across traffic and revenue.

The Pluck On Demand widget can be added in minutes using an easy step-by-step implementation wizard. Once in place, Pluck On Demand automatically reads content on a page and provides links to related articles and videos sourced from various high-quality content providers. The full article or video content is viewed within the publisher’s site, driving traffic and engagement. Pluck On Demand also comes with social media features such as comments, ratings, recommendations, and user profiles, making it possible for publishers to instantly build vibrant community on their sites. Pluck On Demand content is prepackaged with ads, generating incremental revenue for publishers and content providers.

Pluck On Demand provides a unique opportunity for content owners to syndicate their content across the web and realize new monetization opportunities. Pluck On Demand’s extensive library of articles and videos covers virtually all categories including autos, business, entertainment, finance, food, health, sports, and travel. The content is sourced from a selection of leading websites, blogs, editorial content, and premium brands.

Source: Demand Media, Inc.

Quintura Site Search Upgraded

Quintura (www.affiliates.quintura.com) announced the debut of several new features of Quintura Site Search that are designed to maximize user experience and performance and to enhance back-end analytics for publishing affiliates. Quintura Site Search, which officially launched in the U.S. market in October, offers web publishers a patented site search platform with visual search and navigation based on neural networks for users and, coming soon, a "unique monetization model for digital publishers." Quintura Site Search is free for web publishers through an advertising revenue sharing agreement; it is also available on a subscription basis.

Quintura features a Search Cloud, a dynamic cloud of related search terms or tags to easily refine or narrow down a search query. The Quintura’s Site Search solution has been enhanced with new tools to better serve online web publishers. The new features include the following: 

  • Search Cloud in Adobe Flash—The Quintura search cloud has been enhanced with the Flash technology to create a more dynamic user interaction. 
  • Search Cloud Customization—Web publishers can now customize the Quintura search cloud on their sites, utilizing new layout options and the ability to prepopulate the search cloud with desired search terms or content.
  • Improved Analytics—Quintura is the only site search platform that offers real-time analytics for online editors, including queries, volume of results, term rankings, and clickthroughs. This data can now be further sorted using a term or date filter and can also be displayed graphically.

Founded in 2005, Quintura offers a proprietary, visual-based search technology based on more than a decade of research in the area of neural networks. Funded by Mangrove Capital Partners, Quintura works with web publishers and online content owners to provide an easier and more relevant in-site search experience. Quintura is a U.S. company with R&D in Russia.

Source: Quintura, Inc.

Palgrave Macmillan to Launch New Ebook Platform

Palgrave Macmillan (www.palgrave.com) will launch its own ebook platform, Palgrave Connect (www.palgraveconnect.com), in January 2009. Developed in association with its sister company, Nature Publishing Group (NPG; www.nature.com/npg), Palgrave Connect will offer libraries a flexible approach to building an ebook collection in the humanities, business, and social sciences.

Beginning in January, more than 4,000 ebooks will be available in collections organized by year of publication and by discipline. The 2009 collections will be updated quarterly with newly published titles. Both 2009 and backlist collections are available to purchase on a one-time fee, perpetual access basis.

Palgrave Connect is powered by NPG’s online platform, nature.com, alongside the Palgrave Macmillan journals content. The choice of NPG as partner means that librarians can control their institution’s subscriptions to journal and ebook products from both publishers via one administration system and with a single point of contact for customer service. Palgrave Connect incorporates NPG’s full range of library services, including institutional usage reports and promotional tools. MARC records will be available for all collections. Hosting both ebooks and journals on the same platform is an important first step toward offering integrated collections of content in the future.

Palgrave Connect will be sold by the Palgrave Macmillan Online Sales Team headed by Becky Hartnup in the U.K. and Michael Schluter in the U.S. Librarians seeking a trial or more information should contact onlinesales@palgrave.com.

Source: Palgrave Macmillan

ISYS Upgrades Search Solution, Appoints New CEO

ISYS Search Software (www.isys-search.com) announced the arrival of ISYS:web 9, the company’s next-generation enterprise search solution for intranets, websites, Microsoft SharePoint, and custom web applications. The company also appointed Scott Coles as its new CEO. Coles joins ISYS with a background in the commercialization of innovation for multinational corporations, holding senior executive roles with companies such as EDS, Lucent Technologies, and Avaya. ISYS founder Ian Davies remains as chairman of the board.

ISYS:web 9 offers customers several major enhancements, all designed to deliver the speed, efficiency, and accuracy required to find information fast. More importantly, ISYS has expanded its content mining capabilities using predictive and reliable methods that help customers better understand their content. Through its Intelligent Content Analysis, ISYS notes key characteristics about a content collection, such as metadata patterns and entities, and leverages these facets in the interface to provide a more fluid search and discovery process.

ISYS’ Intelligent Content Analysis manifests itself in the form of several parametric search and refinement options. At index time, ISYS notes aspects such as entities in the full text (e.g., names, locations); commonly recurring metadata values in semistructured and database formats; location of files; dates and numbers; and position of words. These characteristics are then exploited, either as a front-end interface for parametric search or as refinement options within search results. ISYS:web 9’s capabilities also include the following: 

  • Intelligent query expansion 
  • ContextCogs—Snippets of relevant and contextual information pulled from third-party sources and displayed alongside standard ISYS results 
  • Intelligence Clouds to enable rapid navigation of key information 
  • Improved performance and scalability 
  • Search form customization—Provides automatic and designable search forms 
  • Index Biasing—Gives administrators the ability to adjust the weighting on entire collections of documents 
  • De-Duplication 
  • ISYS:web Federator—Allows customers to federate their searches across both ISYS and non-ISYS content sources 
  • Exchange Indexing—ISYS:web enables administrators to centrally create and manage individual indexes for each user’s email account

ISYS has sustained significant momentum in recent weeks thanks to several key wins and announcements. In addition to recently appointing Coles as its new CEO, ISYS has also secured three major competitive customer wins within the last 30 days and launched a new website to support its new direction and focus.

Source: ISYS Search Software

TLC Announces New ILS Platform and First Module

TLC (The Library Corp.; www.tlcdelivers.com) simultaneously announced plans for a new ILS platform called LS2 and the release of its first module, the LS2 PAC. LS2, known as "Indigo" during its project phase, is a new development platform for TLC and a new unified ILS that will include web, client, and mobile interfaces.

The development platform combines powerful and flexible open source technologies into a single unified toolset that allows TLC to bring high-quality products to market quickly at a lower cost to libraries. The first module to be released, LS2 PAC, is designed to work with either of TLC’s current integrated library systems, Library•Solution or CARL•X. Development on additional LS2 modules has begun, including plans for an LS2 Kids interface and LS2 Circ, a web-based circulation module.

LS2 PAC offers experiences similar to those found in the best Web 2.0 applications. Popular features include the following: 

  • Tagging 
  • List sharing 
  • User reviews 
  • RSS result feeds 
  • RSS indexing from popular or local websites 
  • Predictive results, which completes search terms as you type 
  • Faceted results 
  • Integrated searching of subscription databases 
  • Item mapping, which shows the item location on a map of your library 
  • Genre browsing 
  • Book River, an eye-catching representation of book jackets in the library’s collection

Source: The Library Corp.



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