Factiva just published their 2002 White Paper on the state of the B2B corporate information marketplace. You can download the précis free at the link below. The 13-page paper is based on research by Outsell Inc who specialize in helping biz publishers sell databases and newsfeeds to corporate librarians and competitive intelligence pros (aka "knowledge
workers") so it's probably not bad. I'll read, digest and report on highlights shortly. (No, I'm not going to depend on the press release for the summary!)
Later: Ok some factoids about this report:
-> 6,000 "knowledge workers" were interviewed in late 2000-early 2001. So these findings are not exactly hot news, nor do they reflect the profound (I think) changes in attitudes towards paid content since then.
-> Marketplace numbers also appear to be a bit muddled. The study precis notes that American companies "spend $107 billion a year paying their employees to search for external information" but then it never pins down precisely what "external information" means. Offline vs. on? Paid vs. free? Reading time vs. cash cost of information?
-> The study brings up some very valid perception vs. reality points that haunt us all still a year after the research was conducted. These are the perception on people's parts that they can find anything "for free" online if they just look hard enough, vs. the reality that well, looking is hard, time consuming, and expensive. Naturally Factiva concludes that that's why you need a Factiva feed into your intranet.
On the other hand, feeds such as Factiva only provide the big publishers' content to corporate users. I'm not ragging on that, it's a service that's honestly needed and valuably provided. But the Web's initial promise, back in the old days when we gray hairs remember, was that for the first time the smaller niche experts would be heard. Would have a platform to speak from.
People and publishers could grow online who it would be cost ineffective for content distributors such as Factiva to integrate into their systems and hence into the intranets of the Global 2000.
Yeah, you can get Bizwire releases, and major newspapers, and trade publishers with a certain massive amount of stories all gathered and coded in clever ways in an intranet feed. Factivia still hasn't solved the problem to their business model; which is online the tiny niche guys win. And as small pubs get smarter about search engine marketing, they'll win even more.
Study précis at: