Business & Finance
Commentary
12/2/2005
10:31 AM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Disintermediation 2.0

Listen to a podcast version of this newsletter


In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Disintermediation 2.0
2. Today's Top Story: Skype
    - Skype Version 2.0 Debuts
    - Skype Partners With Logitech, Creative For Webcam Sales
3. Breaking News
    - Microsoft May Patch IE Earlier Than Planned
    - Sober Attack Biggest Virus Outbreak Ever
    - Mozilla's Firefox Garners Quick 2 Million+ Downloads
    - IM Threats Skyrocket In November
    - Intel Faces More Chipset Shortages
    - Blinkx Enters Search Toolbar Distribution Deal
    - Almost 300 Million Cameraphones Sold In 2005: Gartner
    - New Mobile Games Help Fight Against AIDS
    - IBM Weighs In On Office
    - Format Battle In Massachusetts
    - AOL Services Go Mobile
    - Microsoft Readies Online Classifieds Service
    - Scientists Take Small Leap Toward Quantum Computing
4. Grab Bag: Dell On Costco Shelves
5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech
6. Voice Of Authority: VoIP
7. White Papers: Code Review Basics
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." -- Mark Twain


1. Editor's Note: Disintermediation 2.0

In the dot-com bubble, a term that cropped up frequently was disintermediation, the notion of leveraging the power of the Internet to eliminate middlemen that added little value and decreased the efficiency of a business. If you were on the receiving end of it, your business was toast. The concept is worth revisiting today in the context of the classified advertising business of daily newspapers and recent moves by tech companies. The big question: Are the dailies being disintermediated in one of their bread-and-butter businesses?

Putting aside the well-documented decline in some key aspects of the daily newspaper business -- most notably paid circulation -- it must be daunting for newspaper execs to consider Microsoft and Google encroaching on their classified-ad business.

In Microsoft's case, the company is testing an online classifieds service that would let people sell personal items over its instant messaging, social networking, or local search services. The software vendor plans to let users offer goods or services to contacts on MSN Messenger or to groups within its blogging service. At the same time, prospective purchasers would be able to set up RSS feeds and get updates on new items being listed.

Microsoft's disclosure follows an apparent -- or widely interpreted -- move by Google that could result in a big classified ad push. Combine that with competition from the likes of classifieds on Yahoo, and the dominance of eBay.

Making things even more scary for the dailies:

  • The technological savvy and speed at which these companies can pump out new products and features, making dailies -- not known as a group for their speed or innovation -- look ossified by comparison.
  • The increasing comfort level Americans have selling personal goods online in a self-service fashion that's easier, cheaper, and gives more exposure than an ad in a single newspaper.
  • Last year alone, help-wanted ads worth some $60 million were lost from newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area to the Web, one consulting firm estimates.

    For anyone who still enjoys reading their print daily newspaper, as I do, we can only hope the big dailies adapt and find a way to compete, leveraging their loyal subscriber bases and their hometown connection with readers to branch out with new services. There are some encouraging signs, including the success of paid online sites such as the recently launched TimesSelect from the New York Times.

    But it remains to be seen whether the dailies can adapt quickly enough to stem the migration of classified-advertising dollars to the Web. You can read a more complete analysis in my blog entry, and I encourage you to write in to let fellow readers know whether you would still sell personal items through newspaper classifieds, or instead go right to the Internet?

    Tom Smith
    tsmith@cmp.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story: Skype

    Skype Version 2.0 Debuts
    Still in beta test, the new VoIP software has video calling and an Outlook toolbar to find and dial contacts, among other features.

    Related Story:
    Skype Partners With Logitech, Creative For Webcam Sales

    Creative's Skype-certified Webcams will be available at retailers in Europe, while Logitech's can be purchased through the Skype online store.


    3. Breaking News

    Microsoft May Patch IE Earlier Than Planned
    This month's scheduled day is Dec. 13, but an anti-spyware vendor says Microsoft may go earlier with a fix for the newest vulnerability in Internet Explorer.

    Sober Attack Biggest Virus Outbreak Ever
    E-mail security provider Postini said that it has quarantined more than 218 million Sober-infected messages in the last seven days, more than four times the 50 million-message average that it blocks in most months.

    Mozilla's Firefox Garners Quick 2 Million+ Downloads
    Last year, Mozilla didn't fare nearly as well. Within hours of the release of Firefox 1.0, the Mozilla site had massive availability problems, apparently a non-issue this time around.

    IM Threats Skyrocket In November
    Not only did the number of threats grow, but the IM attacks no longer singled out just one vendor or network, Akonix reported.

    Intel Faces More Chipset Shortages
    On Wednesday, Intel acknowledged that the short supplies for its notebook-based chipsets will continue at least until the first half of 2006.

    Blinkx Enters Search Toolbar Distribution Deal
    For The Times and The Sunday Times, the partnership with Blinkx will strengthen the newspapers' online offerings through the added value of passive contextual searches.

    Almost 300 Million Cameraphones Sold In 2005: Gartner
    This year, almost 40% of all phones sold also will include cameras, Gartner says, as compared with 14% of the total just a year ago.

    New Mobile Games Help Fight Against AIDS
    Several developers roll out games to help raise money for HIV and AIDS research and prevention.

    IBM Weighs In On Office-Format Battle In Massachusetts
    Robert Suter, IBM's VP of standards and open source, urged support for the OpenDocument format in a letter to the state's Secretary of Executive Agency Finance and Administration.

    AOL Services Go Mobile
    Included in the new offerings are broad search capabilities as well as shopping information and local Yellow Pages information, AOL said.

    Microsoft Readies Online Classifieds Service
    The service, being tested internally, would help people sell personal items over Microsoft's instant messaging, social networking, or local search services.

    Scientists Take Small Leap Toward Quantum Computing
    By getting atoms to spin simultaneously in opposite directions, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology make advancements toward creating applications that could help computers solve problems much faster.

    All our latest news:
    http://www.informationweek.com/news

    Watch More News
    http://www.thenewsshow.tv/

    John Soat with "Crimes and I.T. Misdemeanors" in the current episode of The News Show.

    Also in the current episode:

    Stephanie Stahl with "China Stories, Part 4"

    John Soat with "What Makes Robots So Angry"

    Tony Kontzer is the "IT Rapper"


    4. Grab Bag: News You Need From The Web

    Dell To Offer PCs Through Costco Stories (Rocky Mountain News)

    BlackBerry Maker's Stock Is Ripe For Picking After Judge Rules Against Company (MSN Money)

    Oil Prices Rise On Approaching Snowstorm (BusinessWeek)


    ----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

    Unstructured Content
    With the surge of blogs, E-mail, and other unstructured company content, many companies are evaluating enterprise content-management strategies in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Enterprise Content Management.

    The BI Challenge
    Training, compatibility, and data quality problems are curbing the effectiveness of BI tools. Find out what 300 companies are doing to overcome these issues in InformationWeek Research Business Intelligence 2005 report.

    -----------------------------------------


    5. In Depth: Reviews And Personal Tech

    Linksys WRT54G: An Upgrade That's A Downgrade
    Reviewer finds the wireless router's newer version is less reliable than the older version.

    Roundup: Five Web-Conferencing Packages
    With travel budgets tight and costs rising, applications by Citrix, Convoq, Elluminate, Microsoft, and WebEx can keep you in touch.

    First Look: Microsoft Office 12 Beta 1
    Microsoft's radical redesign of its applications suite has some neat features, but also could have users up in arms.

    Review: ThinkPad Z60m
    Lenovo's wide-screen ThinkPad may be a bit big, but its gorgeous 15.4-inch display and other impressive features could put it at the top of your list.

    OpenOffice.Org 2.0 Office Suite for Windows Takes Suites To A New Level
    With a new interface and improved Office compatibility, the pioneering free office-productivity suite proves that "free" doesn't mean "limited."


    6. Voice Of Authority: VoIP

    Message To FCC: Stop Hurting VoIP
    When the FCC mandated enhanced 911 capabilities for VoIP providers, it opened a potentially anti-innovative can of worms. VoIP E911 is a complex problem with no simple answers, but if the FCC wants to keep the burgeoning industry growing quickly, it should stimulate discussion and aid compliance instead of fixing itself into a scolding pattern.


    7. White Papers: Code Review Basics

    Why The Code-Review Process Is Important For Development Organizations This white paper describes why the code-review process is important for development organizations. It provides tools and methodologies to implement and manage the code-review process. The paper provides examples and data from customers who employ code-review methods and tools.


    8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

    Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

    Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

    Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
    Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.


    9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

    To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

    Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

    Keep Getting This Newsletter
    Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
    InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

    If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

    We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

    InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
    A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
    Copyright (c) 2005 CMP Media LLC
    600 Community Drive
    Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
    IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
    IT's Reputation: What the Data Says
    InformationWeek's IT Perception Survey seeks to quantify how IT thinks it's doing versus how the business really views IT's performance in delivering services - and, more important, powering innovation. Our results suggest IT leaders should worry less about whether they're getting enough resources and more about the relationships they have with business unit peers.
    Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    InformationWeek Tech Digest September 24, 2014
    Start improving branch office support by tapping public and private cloud resources to boost performance, increase worker productivity, and cut costs.
    Video
    Slideshows
    Twitter Feed
    InformationWeek Radio
    Sponsored Live Streaming Video
    Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
    Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.