User-Created Content: The Next Big Thing That's Already Here - InformationWeek

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12:18 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner

User-Created Content: The Next Big Thing That's Already Here

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: User-Created Content: The Next Big Thing That's Already Here
2. Today's Top Story
    - Next-Gen Xeons Could Boost Performance By 3.5 Times
    - AMD To Ship Next-Gen Mobile Chip In Early '06
    - AMD Issues Dual-Core Chip Challenge To Intel
    - Intel Hastens Xeon Development Pace
    - Intel To Use Forum To Fight Off AMD's Advances
3. Breaking News
    - Gates Tops Poll Of IT's Most Influential People
    - Moto To Expand R&D, Cell-Phone Thrust In India
    - Debate Over Cell-Phone Towers Growing
    - Partners With Photo-Services Provider
    - Offers Book Lovers 'Digital Shorts'
    - New Oracle Collaboration Suite Takes Aim At Microsoft SharePoint
    - N.J. Cops Install Gunshot-Detection System
    - DVD Vendors Push Competing High-Def Formats
    - Display Projects Video Images Into Thin Air
4. In Depth: Security
5. Voice Of Authority: Video-Game Violence
6. White Papers: Storage
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create. Management cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesman." -- David M. Ogilvy

1. Editor's Note: User-Created Content: The Next Big Thing That's Already Here

You want to know where the big money is coming from on the Internet nowadays? Look in the mirror. Online businesses are increasingly finding revenue in capturing content from users like you. Companies are making money by providing tools and services that let you write stuff, take pictures, organize your information, and publish it to the Web.

Blogs are, of course, the biggest example. Even though the overwhelming majority of blogs aren't business, providing the technology to run the blogs sure is. MSN Spaces is, of course, run by Microsoft. Blogger has been owned by Google since February 2003. Six Apart, which runs the BlogSpot and LiveJournal blog-hosting communities and provides Moveable Type blogging software, has 80 employees, offices on three continents, and funding from Neoteny and August Capital.

Other examples of businesses getting money from user-created content:

Photo sharing: Flickr is optimized for sharing photos online; its Web site is easier and more fun to use than the competition among photo-sharing sites. Flickr was bought by Yahoo in March.

Getting organized: is an online bookmarking service that's getting popular in the geek community. It lets you post your bookmarks to a Web site, so they'll be accessible from any computer, and share those bookmarks with other users. is not only a bookmarking service, it's a research tool. Yahoo recently introduced My Web 2, a service that incorporates many of the features of Backpack is an online service with a devoted cult, allowing users to gather to-do lists, calendars, photographs, and research materials for projects all in one place. 43Things allows users to write down their goals, share them with other users, find other users with common goals, and provide mutual assistance. is an investor in 43Things.

What it all means for businesses: The businesses that get into capturing user-created content are weird hybrids. They're like software vendors, in that they need to provide powerful, usable tools. They're like E-retailers, in that they make their money off consumers on the Internet. They're like publishers, in that they display writing, images, audio, and video.

They need to combine all those skills with good customer service.

And something that goes beyond customer service: Community service. The successful user-content site will find that its customers take a proprietary interest in the business. The customers feel, rightly so, that the business was built on their work, and therefore the customers own the sites as much as the investors, management, and employees do.

For more of my thoughts about the business of capturing user-created comment, see my blog entry, and leave a comment there or send me an E-mail if you want to respond.

Mitch Wagner
[email protected]

2. Today's Top Story

Next-Gen Xeons Could Boost Performance By 3.5 Times
Intel's new architecture for server processors will boost performance per watt and combine the best of features found in two of the company's existing microarchitectures.

Related Stories:
AMD To Ship Next-Gen Mobile Chip In Early '06

The company plans to launch its low-power, dual-core Turion 64 processor early next year, which would push its release date closer to that of rival Intel's next-generation mobile offering, Yonah.

AMD Issues Dual-Core Chip Challenge To Intel
Advanced Micro Devices issued a challenge to Intel to conduct a head-to-head competition of dual-core server microprocessors.

Intel Hastens Xeon Development Pace
The company is moving engineers from other projects to Xeon, one analyst says, in a bid to move the 64-bit chip out the door more quickly because of fears it's losing ground to rival AMD in the server market.

Intel To Use Forum To Fight Off AMD's Advances
Intel will use its Developer Forum this week in San Francisco to demonstrate advances in its microprocessors, including a "next generation multicore architecture."

3. Breaking News

Gates Tops Poll Of IT's Most Influential People
In a poll, attendees of an IBM user-group conference named Bill Gates as having "the greatest impact on business computing in the past half century." Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee came in fourth.

Moto To Expand R&D, Cell-Phone Thrust In India
Motorola plans to add 1,000 more employees to its R&D efforts in India and vowed to become a more aggressive player in the cellular-phone market in that nation.

Debate Over Cell-Phone Towers Growing
To keep up with demand, service providers are turning to residential areas to construct towers, but that often causes arguments among neighbors. Partners With Photo-Services Provider
Shutterfly services now provided by Amazon include making copies of photos, online photo sharing, and related gifts. Offers Book Lovers 'Digital Shorts'
Amazon will sell short stories and other short literature for 49 cents a pop.

New Oracle Collaboration Suite Takes Aim At Microsoft SharePoint
The software includes content management for beginning and advanced users, as well as instant messaging, and is designed to be enterprise-scalable. SharePoint is designed for workgroups and has scalability problems.

N.J. Cops Install Gunshot-Detection System
Police are deploying technology that uses acoustic sensors, radio frequencies, and triangulation to pinpoint the location of gunfire.

DVD Vendors Push Competing High-Def Formats
As backers of the competing next-generation DVD formats, Blu-ray and HD-DVD, ratchet up their marketing campaigns over their copy-protection formats, they're forgetting about consumers.

Display Projects Video Images Into Thin Air
The Heliodisplay went on the market last week. It displays any video source in full high-resolution color in free space, without the need for a screen. Demand for the product crashed vendor IO2 Technology's Web site.

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

A Week's Worth Of Dailies--All In One Place
Have you missed an issue or two of the InformationWeek Daily? Or want to check out some recent quotes of the day? Check out our all-new Daily newsletter archive page and get caught up quickly.

Consultative Insight
Most companies bring consultants in to provide some sort of knowledge transfer to their employees. Compare your company's consulting initiatives and achievements to the practices and successes of 360 of its peers in Consultant Conundrum, an Optimize magazine executive research report.


4. In Depth: Security

Fighting For Your Digital Rights
Sun Microsystems is making some software available to the open-source community to launch an effort to create standardized software for digital-rights management.

Cisco Patches IDS Software, Sensors Against Spoofing
A vulnerability in Cisco's security monitors could let attackers spoof the network giant's intrusion-detection software and sensors, the company reveals in multiple security advisories.

Banks Abandoning SSL On Home Page Log-Ins
Some of the biggest banks have abandoned the practice of posting their online account login screens on SSL-protected pages in an effort to boost page response time.

Air Force Personnel Info May Have Been Hacked
A database containing Social Security numbers and other information about 33,000 people was accessed, an Air Force spokesman said.

Securing Handhelds: Familiar Problems, New Challenges
The proliferation of mobile and handheld devices today requires IT to take charge of securing data and network access, and putting polices and processes in place to thwart malicious activity and unintended user malice.

More Than 90% Of Companies Regularly Expose Employee And Customer Data
Some 91% of companies exposed credit-card numbers, and 82% exposed employee Social Security numbers, according to a recent study.

Microsoft Downplays Significance Of IE Bug
Microsoft says only a few applications use the component vulnerable to a bug exposed last week.

Despite Disappointing Financial Performance, Online Fraud Gives RSA Hope
As RSA announces lukewarm quarterly results and its stock flirts with a 52-week low, the company pins its hopes on the need for more secure, traceable financial transactions in a world beset by online fraud and identity theft.

5. Voice Of Authority: Video-Game Violence

Crime And Self-Punishment In The Video Game World
Tony Kontzer says: What in the name of Grand Theft Auto is going on? Every time I look up, there's another ominous sign of the growing impact of video games. The latest mind-bender? A Chinese man was arrested in Japan last week for using bot-controlled characters to mug other characters in the online game Lineage II and then selling his ill-gotten booty for cash on a Japanese auction site. What's next--virtual bankruptcies?

6. White Papers: Storage

Storage Savvy--What IT Organizations Need To Know
Storage management keeps CIOs awake at night. Database storage, E-mail record management and archiving, security requirements, and multiple storage system requirements create a continuing IT nightmare. Find out how to fix the problems.

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