Magazine article Information Today

IIA Panel Discussion on the Web and Electronic Publishing Moderated by Comtex President

Magazine article Information Today

IIA Panel Discussion on the Web and Electronic Publishing Moderated by Comtex President

Article excerpt

In a recent press announcement, Comtex Scientific Corporation reported on an Information Industry Association (IIA) Marketing and Business Development Council members-only meeting held in January to discuss the effects of the Web on publishing and content aggregation. Charles W. Terry, president and CEO of Comtex, served as moderator for the discussion.

Representatives from three companies successfully doing business on the Web formed the panel: Jimmy Becker, vice president of product and content development, OneSource Information Services, Inc.; Jeff Cutler, vice president of sales and marketing, Win Star Telebase, Inc.; and Ray Kingman, president of Thomson Consumer Products Group.

Terry opened with a presentation on the current online business environment, and commented that 1997 might not have been the widely anticipated "Year of the Web," but 1998 could be, as electronic commerce and content-based services mature. He pointed out that content can benefit greatly from the enhancements technology can provide. Although many individual publishers venturing onto the Web found 1997 to be a tough year, and some were thought to have met their match with content-rich aggregation and navigational hubs like Yahoo!, Terry stated that there is still room for healthy profit on the Web. However, the key is to take a reasoned approach. Companies must take the time to fully define and believe in their business models, then they must effectively execute those models while adapting tactically to the changing online environment.

WinStar Telebase, OneSource, and Thomson Consumer Products are three such companies that have turned the Web's challenges into successes. These companies observed the changing world of online information, factored in end users' needs, then used the strengths of their core businesses to make their marketing and development plans work. WinStar Telebase, a longtime provider of business research services for the proprietary commercial online services, both extended its distribution model and expanded its product offerings to include Web-based, value-added services for both navigational hubs and standalone destination sites. …

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