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LOK, LOOKSMART LIMITED
LookingConfident
post Posted: May 2 2006, 05:20 PM
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QUOTE (LookingConfident @ Monday 01/05/06 09:35am)

re; < Bambi - And .......... "The future of search"..... >

It was most pleasing to recieve a reply from Bambi Francisco and I was wrapped when she invited me to place my notes to her, on her own blog. After-all, Bambi is a celebrated internet columnist of Marketwatch.com. (see first paragraph of E Mail, below). Lot's of today's internet "experts" have blogs including a Rupert Murdoch adviser and the "doyen of the Internet", John Battele. They do have their "finger on the pulse" and a readership in the millions!

It was this column, that prompted my contact to her. She wanted "to be pinged", she said.

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Stor...teid=mktw&dist=

From: "Francisco, Bambi" <BFrancisco@marketwatch.com>

Subject: RE: re; "What other areas in search should I explore"?
Date: Mon, 1 May 2006 14:12:57 -0700
Show Full Headers Back To [INBOX]

This is tooo good. Why not post this on my blog? Don't you think this is worth the attention of others? Please feel free to put this on there.

____________________________________________________________________

And I WILL do so. Problem now is, Yahoo have deleted all those posts that were "linked" from my research, for whatever reason. I would bet "London to a brick" that they were "too close to the bone", but that's just my opinion. Dave Hills of Looksmart had recieved a copy earlier.
smile.gif

LC

PS; And due respect to racing long departed, Ken Howard. ("London to a brick")

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: May 2 2006, 02:50 PM
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Looking Smarter

Under the guidance of new CEO David Hills, LookSmart redefines its mission from one to hundreds
By Lauri Giesen

Dave Hills’ history in the television broadcast industry becomes apparent when he describes the direction he sees for Internet search company LookSmart.com. “I see Google, Yahoo and AOL being like the three major networks in television, while we’re like the Turner Broadcast Network,” says Hills, who took the helm of the faltering LookSmart.com 18 months ago. “They offer broad content to the broadest consumer range possible while we’re vertical in nature and are trying to appeal to specific niches.”

If the 21 years Hills spent with Cox Enterprises taught him anything, it’s that the trend among the cable television networks today is to appeal to niches rather than trying to be all things to all people—as evidenced by the number of channels dedicated solely to topics like entertainment news, cartoons, shopping, old movies and travel. And that is the same strategy Hills is applying at LookSmart, a once high-flying Internet search company that was nearly destroyed in 2004 when Microsoft took in-house the job it had been outsourcing to LookSmart.

Complete makeover

Until 2004, LookSmart produced the results that consumers saw when they searched the Internet from MSN.com. In addition, LookSmart sold the advertising that consumers viewed on the MSN search results page. But when Microsoft decided it could search the web on its own—and sell the ads as well—LookSmart lost 70% of its revenue.

The remaining 30% was the result of LookSmart syndicating its search results to other web sites. In the meantime, Yahoo, Google and AOL had come to dominate the Internet search business. Attempting to compete with those three from its newly reduced base was too daunting a challenge.

And so, few disputed that LookSmart needed a complete makeover when Hills accepted the CEO job in October 2004. For starters, LookSmart had to come up with its own look and feel. And it had to attract the eyeballs of consumers who may have used LookSmart’s search engine before, say, at MSN.com, but didn’t even know it because the search engine had someone else’s brand on it.

Because of its former strategy, LookSmart had no customer loyalty or even any consumer recognition. And while LookSmart had controlled the advertising relationships under the old MSN arrangement, without any unique content to offer, those contact lists became simply names and phone numbers, not advertising customers loyal to LookSmart or its product. LookSmart had to find new reasons for those advertisers to stick around.

At that point, rather than try to be everything to everyone, Hills decided LookSmart wasn’t going to even try to take on the big three search engines. Instead, he took a year to come up with an entirely new strategy that utilized the search technology already in house and that would retain as many of the old advertising relationships as possible, but with a fresh approach.

Attack the specialty market

His plan? Attack the specialty markets. Hills and his staff spent a year creating a new concept that they introduced last October—a new LookSmart that consisted of 13 niches or “clusters,” as Hills calls them (see box, p. 65). Each cluster appeals to a specific niche market—such as students, personal investors, fashion etc. Then within each cluster, there are nine to 18 additional web sites with more specific information.

Hills recognizes that even within a given niche, there are smaller more specific niches. “Take our education site for students. We know that the homework needs of a 12-year-old are going to be different from those of a college student so we can’t have just one site that tries to appeal to both. Instead of having one education site, we have three, one for junior high students, one for high school students and one for college students,” Hills explains.

Actually, a check of the education site shows the range is even more extensive—and finely honed—than that, with a section for graduate students and a section for parents looking to help their children study. Even then, users who click on the high school section find selections broken down further into science and math, writing and literature, social studies, lifestyles, educational publications and other topics. The advertising links in this group refer to companies that offer career training, student loans, asset management, concert tickets and computer peripherals, among other things.

Indeed, LookSmart’s advertising strategy is similar to its approach to search. “Take Kaplan, the provider of SAT preparation and other educational services. They run ads on our high school site about preparing for the SATs and run ads on our college site about preparing for the GMATs and run nothing on the junior high site. Our strategy lets advertisers focus on the specific niches they want to appeal to,” Hills says.

Similarly with the personal investor site, LookSmart breaks the market into beginning savers or younger adults, baby boomers who are planning for retirement, and retirees.

Not just stuff to wear

And the style section is not just for researching fashion items such as accessories, clothing, jewelry, makeup and watches, which of course are included. But there are also sections on spas, hair styles and weddings.

The idea is to give individuals “essential” information that helps them in their everyday lives, Hills says, but not “exhaustive” information that is more likely to confuse them.

That strategy of pursuing niches just might work, says Eric Matinuzzi, senior research analyst with Craig Hallum Capital Group, a Minneapolis-based investment company that follows LookSmart. “About 90% of the general search market is controlled by four companies—Yahoo, MSN, AOL and Google. If you want to play in that market, you have to look at the development money those companies are spending. LookSmart did not have the horsepower to play in that league.”

An alternative strategy would be to compete in the “mega search” market, where companies aggregate relevant information from the major search engines. “That would have been a possibility, but there are companies, such as Infospace.com, that have already gained strength in that space and it would have been difficult to take them on,” Matinuzzi says. “Plan C would be to specialize, and given LookSmart’s size, that approach made the most sense.”

In choosing LookSmart’s niches, Hills maintains that he and his team took a mathematical approach to determining what consumers were looking for when they went online. “We looked at the findings of all the major rating services to break out not only which sites consumers are using, but what they are looking for when they go to those sites,” Hills says. “We needed a mathematical underpinning to what we were doing so we could justify our decisions based on scientific evidence.”

Hills and his staff also looked at LookSmart’s existing advertising sources to find areas of concentration.

Flexibility

While LookSmart is pretty much wedded to the 13 original clusters, Hills admits the company is willing to make changes if needed. “Part of any good turnaround requires that you be flexible,” he says. “If we find some of these areas are not working out, we need the flexibility to change our orientation.”

And as part of being a provider of search services to niche audiences, LookSmart knows it needs to offer customers extra features. One such special feature is that when a user finds valuable information, the user can download that information to the LookSmart server and retrieve it as needed. “We realize with so many documents available, it gets to be unwieldy for individuals to save all the pertinent information on their own. We want to help them by keeping valuable information for them,” Hills says.

The strategy Hills devised was in keeping with the direction that had previously been set out by its board. “We knew we wanted to develop a set of vertical web sites with the LookSmart brand that could build upon the advertising base that we had,” says Ted West, chairman of the LookSmart board. “But as a board, we only had a fuzzy idea of what we wanted. It took Dave, who had built web sites in the past, to crystallize the ideas that we had.”

Analyst Matinuzzi agrees that Hills may just be the person to lead LookSmart back into profitability. “I think highly of Dave Hills and he is an Internet industry veteran,” Matinuzzi says. “If anyone can bring this company around, I think he is the one.”

While it is still early, Hills’ strategy seems to be paying off, at least in site visitors. When the new site debuted in October, LookSmart had an aggregate audience of 4 million visitors, including visitors to affiliate sites. By December, that number had more than doubled to 9 million.

Another year of development

And while Hills won’t divulge information about advertising revenue, he notes that the site just began selling advertising in the fourth quarter and “there has been good feedback from the advertising community.”

According to the company’s latest quarterly report released in February, LookSmart’s revenue was $10 million in the fourth quarter of 2005, up 9% from the previous quarter. The report shows the company is anticipating 3% to 5% sequential growth for the first quarter of 2006. [REPORTS PRE-MARKET OPEN - Friday morning on the ASX]

Still, Hills knows it will be a long road back to where the company once was. “We know it will take all of this year to develop a base of regular users, but we’re seeing progress and think we’re going in the right direction,” he says.

Those are somber words for a company whose stock soared for a brief period after it went public in 1999. “We were a high flying dot-com-er for about 25 minutes until reality set in,” Hills laughs. Indeed, LookSmart shares were trading at over $350 a share in early 2000; today, they’re at about $5 a share.

Because of its relationship with Microsoft and as a result of guaranteed income, LookSmart didn’t face the same disastrous scenarios that the other Internet companies faced in the early part of this decade—but only because its day of reckoning was delayed. “What other dot-com companies went through in 2001 and 2002, we face now,” Hills says. For example, in 2002, at its peak, LookSmart had 500 employees. Today it is pared down to about 130.

And in coming to LookSmart, Hills had to do more than just develop a successful strategy, he had to deal with a demoralized company. “After Microsoft was out of the picture, the company lost not only most of its revenue, but much of its energy,” says board chairman West. “Dave Hills breathed new life into the company and took an aggressive posture that we needed.”

On the way back

West has seen the good times and the bad at LookSmart, having become acquainted with the company when it started in the mid 1990s. He himself has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and advisor to emerging companies. He currently is a managing director of Sage Partners, a strategic advisory company.

Today, Hills spends much of his day talking to Wall Street analysts and investors and persuading them to be patient. “We’ve been clean with Wall Street for the past year. We don’t put up any false hopes or projections. They know it will be a while before we can break even, but they understand we have a new plan and we’re on our way back to profitability,” Hills says.

LookSmart had a net loss of $17.8 million on revenue of $41.4 million for fiscal year 2005. That compares to a net loss of $9.6 million on revenues of $77 million in 2004. Still, to get back to profitability, analyst Matinuzzi estimates the company’s quarterly revenue of $10 million need to get to get closer to $18 million.

Hills has been around the media business long enough to know there are ups and downs in the business. He spent 21 years with Cox Enterprises, mostly in advertising and sales. In 1994, he moved over to the Internet side of the business working on Cox’s online subsidiary as vice president of sales for interactive media. That latter experience was enough for him to become excited about the Internet world.

From Cox, he moved over to About.com as COO and president of sales. That was where he became part of a team that created 500-plus web sites—a valuable experience for what he would encounter at LookSmart. “It was at About.com where I became enamored with this business and I patterned much of the LookSmart strategy on what I learned at About.com,” Hills says.

Getting the word out

From About.com, Hills moved to marketing company 24/7 Real Media in August 2003 where he was president of media solutions before joining LookSmart in the fall of 2004.

Now one of his biggest challenges is to get the word out to a consumer audience about a site most have never have heard of. To do that, LookSmart is taking a multi-pronged approach. First it is paying the general engines, such as Google and Yahoo, to refer niche users to LookSmart. Then, it is identifying specialists who are considered leaders in their fields and trying to get them to make referrals.

“We have a good site on Italian cooking and we need to get the word out to people who like to cook Italian food,” Hills says. “The first thing we did was to identify some of the top Italian chefs and make them aware of our site so that they can refer people to us who need tips on this topic.”

The question now is whether LookSmart can indeed get consumers to use its search capabilities and as a result bring the eyeballs demanded by the advertisers. “It’s hard to say yet if Hills can pull this off,” says Matinuzzi. “So far, they’ve only made baby steps, but they have made progress. Every quarter, revenues are up, so at least they’re moving in the right direction.” l

Lauri Giesen is a Libertyville, Ill.-based freelance business writer.

The clusters

LookSmart breaks its site into:

Auto

Cities

Education

Food

Health

Home Living

Money

Music

Recreation

Sports

Style

Technology & Games

TravelEnd of Content

http://www.internetretailer.com/article.asp?id=18413

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LC

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: May 1 2006, 04:48 PM
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Looksmart are "hiring"!! - Some interesting positions, too!! Check this one, here ....

Compliance and Reporting Manager

LookSmart is currently seeking a Compliance and Reporting Manager to join our Finance team based in San Francisco. Reporting directly to the VP-Finance, you will manage SOX compliance, SEC reporting and audit activities. SOX compliance already achieved, but modification, improvement, remediation and testing efforts continue. Will interface with the Audit Committee, executive staff, Disclosure Committee and the other finance and accounting staff. The ideal candidate will be a CPA with SOX testing and implementation experience, with an aptitude for technical accounting issues and standards.

Required Skills:

* SEC Reporting: Will manage process for preparation and filing of Forms 10-Q, 10-K, 8-K (earnings press release) and Proxy. Participates in the writing of all report sections along with shepherding reviews by internal and external counsel and auditors.
* Research, document and present to executive staff and Audit Committee recently issued accounting standards and new disclosure requirements applicable to the company.
* Assist in M&A activity, as necessary
* Interact with the audit process, internally and with the auditors
* Participate actively in Disclosure Committee meetings
* Work with FP&A and other accounting functions
* Internal accounting and finance policy development Work on special projects as required

Qualifications:

* BA/BS required, MBA a plus
* CPA required
* Minimum of 3 years' of Big 4 public accounting and auditing experience required
* Minimum of 6 years' overall experience, with 3 + years in a supervisory role
* Internal audit experience a plus
* SOX Section 404 testing experience required
* SOX implementation experience preferred
* SEC reporting experience strongly desired

FULL List, here .... http://aboutus.looksmart.com/p/aboutus/jobs/search/

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LC

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: May 1 2006, 02:46 PM
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A "STRONG SELL" poster, noted elsewhere ......

< Interestingly.....The CEO and or senior management do NOT own one single share. >

I strongly challenged this statement, with my reply:

"What's interesting is, the "fact" and a question to you, of" .....

Why would Directors be buying (at market) in this reporting quarter, if they did not feel, things were going ok?

Date Insider Shares Type Transaction Value*
28-Feb-06 WETSEL, GARY A
Director 5,000 Direct Purchase at $4.60 - $4.63 per share. $23,0002
23-Feb-06 HILLS, DAVID B.
Chief Executive Officer 5,000 Direct Purchase at $4.59 - $4.69 per share. $23,0002

I then added: "Now you show me a notice to the market, as to where they have sold these above shares, they bought "at market" ..... Ok"? (No reply, as yet)

I added: "But you haven't "trotted out" the fact, that "short" activity has increased, yet"? "Why"?

Elsewhere he had said:

< 246k this month over 191k last month someone is expecting the price to fall.>

I then replied to this, in that (in fact), the SP value had reached it's 12 month "high", of $5.75c, during this reporting period.

I then challenged his poor comprehension "skills", to which he then replied .......

< LC.....i know you are too bright....BUT!!!! LOOK hit $5.75 in MARCH!!!!!! NOT April!!!! - i remind you,........the short sellers have increased in APRIL. >

I then "stuck it up him" (tough scene, is Yahoo) once more, with:

You said ....... < LOOK hit $5.75 in MARCH!!!!!! NOT April!!!! >

"Yes, it was the 29th of march, actually ..... Righ in the middle of the reporting period!! If only you could read & comprehend"!!!

And ......

< i remind you,........the short sellers have increased in APRIL. > (is what he then said)

Exactly!! So, in spite of the increase in "shorts" by some 53,200 shares, (between 15/3 & 13/4 - the reporting period) the shareprice was STILL able to move up to that "12 month high figure", and on 13/4 it closed at, $5.08c ...... since then, I'd venture to say, that the "shorts" figure may have increased even more!! Yet, the SP is down ONLY, .13cps, since 13/04/2006.

Apr. 13, 2006 245,065 134,914 1.82
Mar. 15, 2006 191,864 84,245 2.28

Fact............, AN INCREASE IN SHORT ACTIVITY (in fact) IS DESIGNED TO RETARD THE GROWTH OF THE SP VALUE. To "drive it down", in fact. (Now, I do hope that he would then realise that? - I told him)

And, that as shares are sold, someone is buying them!

They, (those who are buying), are effectively getting a "bargain" from those who are 'shorting' .... "Surely you wouldn't dispute that"? (I asked him)

Now, as to WHO will have made the correct decision, remains to be seen following market close, on this coming thursday afternoon, 04/04/2006. (Pre-market, this friday morning, our "time")

But, I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER ONE MORE THING ....

If, the shorts hadn't increased by 28% during this period, what price do you feel LOOK would be at, by now? With the reality of, more that 53,000 more shares bought, than 'genuine' shares sold, during this period???

And, guess what, (as I have said earlier), I'd say it is ONLY shorts, that have kept LOOK's SP value, down at it's current closing levels!!

If you think this is an indication of shareholders SELLING, you have "rocks in your head" ..... But you already do, don't you?? - I replied. No reply from him, as expected.

LOL!!

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LC

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: May 1 2006, 09:35 AM
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Bambi - And .......... "The future of search".....

When Bambi said:

"Sound-off: What other areas in search should I explore? Ping me at Bambi.francisco@dowjones.com"

http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Stor...d=mktw&dist=nbc

I took the opportunity, gladly ....And replied:

Bambi, From within your article, you asked:

“What about social search and other search engines”? And you go on to comment, (in relation to the growing membership of social networks), and then you asked the question, “how can advertisers get in front of this crowd, and would it marginalize the general search engines”?

Further discussion was had on Verticals. Today it's fashionable to even ‘align” your site with the ‘tag’ and you also point out, (John) “Battelle said his FM operation, is a vertical search engine as well”. Interesting. But the question remains, how can advertisers get in front of this crowd? And I am really surprised that the “experts” have somewhat failed with not even one mention of (any) a publisher & media Co “possible” involvement, as they discussed “The future of search”, with you.

Yet, they did in fact give a “wrap” for Barry Dillar’s (IACI’s) ask.com and rightly so I feel, as surely there would be some possible future plans, (for ask.com) in the IACI, “bigger” picture?

Over the past 12 months or, so there has been plenty of discussion relating to a ‘fight back’ or, at least, certainly a more involved presence on the net, by publisher & media companies. The “old world” print media.

< The panellists agreed that most people would still buy from the major search engines to get to the verticals. And, at the end of the day, most people will still be going to the major search engines, Todd predicted. That's because people are "inherently lazy." >

And some would say, even “sheepishly” lazy, too. Newspapers and Magazines and Media Co’s have the existing resources (it’s their ‘core’ business) to allow them to very easily promote (whatever their moves may be), any effort in improving their position or, relating to any future attempt made by them to help recover some of those many “lost” dollars (loss of their advertisers), to the BIG Portals of search.

And I thought you may have even been “probing” in that direction Bambi, when you posed the question: “How can this generation -- with such high lofty expectations -- get sufficiently personalized answers from a general search engine”?

It has often been said, that content is “king” and newspapers & magazines have a history of articles, reports & special interest type content (within their archives), & they currently offer this to their own (their existing) daily ‘visitors’, to their sites. Most have “site search” as part of their offering. Some “pay for view” is also available and there are archive Co’s who have existed for some time now, from the very indexing of many, (a collective of) various publisher’s content, etc. They too have been offering Libraries, Schools, Uni’s, etc, that same type of “pay for view” access for research, accordingly. That they (Publisher & Media Co’s) all need to get more traffic to each of their sites is an obvious requirement they would all agree on. If successful in achieving this aim, their existing advertisers then become a little more comfortable and they also have a reasonable case then, to help them all win back any advertisers that they may have lost to the Big Portals, over past years.

The suggestion has been, (that), if they were to “share” both their content and users, (by allowing access to all content to/from each other’s site) then the ‘traffic’ count to each of their sites would then probably rise, and in many multiples, no doubt. (As a result of their “sharing” of each other’s users). The potential of a future “pooling of content” or, a network of publisher & media Co’s becoming a reality has certainly been discussed in recent times and this possibility should never ever be discounted whenever discussions are had, on “The future of search”.

http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=...9351&mid=158123

http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=...9351&mid=158136

http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=...9351&mid=158138

http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=...9351&mid=158140

http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bbs?.mm=...9351&mid=158142

And the (above) “concept” is universal in appeal for both “users” and advertisers. The likes of Google would do well to support any such move, to not only retain any of their existing “search the web” facility (that they may have), but “world wide” contextualisation of pages & pages of content (and with “Local” advertisers) is the extra bonus reward, for doing so. And MSN, Ask.com etc, can also participate under the same conditions.

And, from your article:

< My question was how can advertisers get in front of this crowd, and would it marginalize the general search engines? >

< How can this generation -- with such high lofty expectations -- get sufficiently personalized answers from a general search engine? >

Most (or, a lot) who frequent these “social” sites, (myspace.com etc) also study full time. They “can” get the opportunity to mix some leisure/pleasure and get to prepare a report (or, an assignment), at the same time ….. Just a thought!

Bambi …. Guess what?

Looksmart have, both the expertise and “tools” to ensure a long lasting success of any “venture” of this type and a Licensed Furl on each publisher/media Co’s individual site, then allows “users” to “save & share” what is relevant to that site’s own “group culture” and at the same time, they share their ‘finds’ with users all over the world.

smile.gif

LC

ps; < But Marckini brought up an interesting point regarding paid inclusion: "Yahoo is the only search engine that is currently monetizing [its] 'natural' search results," he said. "They do this by selling their 'paid inclusion' product that charges advertisers for inclusion into the Yahoo index but does not impact their position in search results. ... I consider paid inclusion an underleveraged asset that more marketers need to test." >

A fellow shareholder commented that ….”It's ironic that Yahoo's revenue gains are from paid inclusion, the very same program Looksmart was so heavily criticized for, by the SEO crowd back in 2002”.



 
LookingConfident
post Posted: Apr 29 2006, 07:45 PM
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< Singleton suggested that newspapers should team up to offer some sort of collective national Internet search engine to compete with Google, Yahoo Inc., and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN. Either that or land revenue-sharing partnerships with the online search leaders. >

Oh, that's not "new" news .... It's been discussed for some time now ..... I have previously posted, here ....

A "Content Consortium" with millions of quality articles on many topics could be made available and ads could be sold around it and in effect, all network "partners" could even be "sharing" those (their own) important "users", (being the daily visitors to each of their individual sites), with each other. Afterall, additional "eyeballs" would ensure more advertisers and any search for (it), this, their (now) "shared" content could provide that much needed (additional) ADS revenues resulting from all ensuing 'click throughs'.

And it was this further comment, (Link below) that got me thinking a while back:

< "FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T IMAGINE why they haven't done it," says Tom Curley, CEO of Associated Press. Here's one reason: Doing it would require spinal implants for intimidated media barons. But the notion that some pushback is pending is not far-fetched. Curley says he is talking with potential partners about setting up subject-specific Web packages -- say, for travel or basketball -- that will include content from multiple media. Once partners are on board and packages are finalized, search engines will be invited to bid for that traffic. >

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...04/b3968031.htm

And, it's no surprise for me to see that Tom Curley's Associated Press is now suplying late "news" content to one of Looksmart's Top Tier partners, in The NY Times ..... Topix.net were the previous provider, it had been noted. Topix.net has 'gone off the boil' for reasons unknown?

http://www.nytimes.com/

Yes .... MMmm?

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LookingConfident
post Posted: Apr 29 2006, 01:36 PM
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Hopefully the proven relevance of Looksmart's Verticals was demonstrated well enough in my previous story of The "Humble" TOMATO & Looksmart ....

It's easy to understand really ...... You only have to read the story slowly, absorb it & do some TEST exercises .... Hope you have found it interesting!

And overnight comes a story on an ever growing panic from publisher/media companies ... Well, (at least) they give the impression, that they are in a panic!!

< "There is no bigger problem today than the fact that we're not getting paid for online news," said William Dean Singleton, vice chairman and CEO of MediaNews Group Inc., >

< The American Press Institute is part way through a yearlong project to help the newspaper industry embrace a more diversified business model, one that relies on a broader mix of products targeting a wider array of readers. >

< Singleton suggested that newspapers should team up to offer some sort of collective national Internet search engine to compete with Google, Yahoo Inc., and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN. Either that or land revenue-sharing partnerships with the online search leaders. >

< "All of us are scrambling to try to serve the Internet audience," said Marilyn Thompson, editor and vice president of the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky,... >

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/business/3825819.html

And, some excerps from a previous post advised:

< NEWSPAPERS have no future without online and digital services, media executives heard at a World Association of Newspapers meeting in Madrid. >

< "We are getting the whole organisation ready for a digital future," said Simon Waldman, director of digital publishing at Guardian Newspapers, whose Guardian Unlimited site is by far the most popular British newspaper online site, ahead of The Sun, The Times and The Telegraph. >

< Within "six to seven years", the group planned to dedicate 80 per cent of its time to digital activities, compared to 20 per cent at present, Mr Waldman told the conference, entitled Beyond the Printed Word. >

Looksmart's ....."Calling all Publishers" .. "Hear ye!! - Hear ye!! - Hear ye"!!

So, Looksmart's CEO David Hills then sat down with these, (by now), panicking publishers & media Co's and explained to them a plan, (being), that by using Looksmart Verticals, & by sharing content within those Verticals, effectively, "users" to ALL their own sites could not only be "shared", they would then stay longer within his suggested (a total) "network", thereby bouncing from one "partner's" site, and off onto another partner's site!!

We understand that the print/media world do have an existing massive audience both on & off the net and that as a "collective" & through their articles "content" (with both print & online interactivity), they can "drive" ongoing "repeat visitors" to each other's many websites, by using David Hill's ( or, Looksmart's) suggested, network type solution.

Now, of course, I am only assuming that this is what he has put to them. He hasn't exactly spelt it out to the market as such ..... He hasn't said, "This is what I am going to sell to them ..."

Just as I am assuming that these newspaper/publisher content providers will go ahead and place a "FindArticles in/on ...." search 'Box & Button', on each (& all) of their sites. But it does make sense.

Just a further insight and an opinion, that's all ......

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LC

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: Apr 29 2006, 10:37 AM
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The battle of which search engine is the most relevant has been going on for years. At a recent SES Toronto, the following question was posed for discussion ...... (Report)

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060426-122653

"Is Google Search More Relevant Or Is There a Brand Factor"?

Gord Hotchkiss, president and CEO of search research firm Enquiro, points out:

That ........"At first glance one thing should stand out, which is the expansion of the scanning area on MSN and Yahoo!, " Hotchkiss told the standing room only crowd. "People had to go deeper on the page and look around more to find what they were looking for."

He then went on to say ...... "The ideal user experience, (according to Hotchkiss), would be if users would always find what they're looking for in the most prominent place at the top of the results listing".

Few have noticed that Looksmart are doing great things with Verticals lately and as CEO David Hills has pointed out, (for articles content for students, or, general 'research' needs), 'users' should take one more step and find the Vertical that best suits their enquiry. And, yes, Google appears to provide the best results, to assist in doing so......

By using a "FindArticles in/on ....." search term, Google results can quickly direct a user to that Looksmart Vertical, that may then go on to provide all/many of the answers sough after & simply put, "in a nutshell'. Read on.

The "Humble" TOMATO & Looksmart ....

When a friend said to me ..."I just searched Google on "Tomato" and got 31,000,000 results".

I replied that, Those 31,000,000 results were provided to you by the No1 search Engine, Google. And it's quite remarkable that it has so much information indexed on, the humble "Tomato" .......

I immediately wondered how many of those 31M results needed a further 'going through' to eventually find the required information sought,to fully satisfy a searcher's needs Looksmart feel that would prove both a "time consuming" effort and even sometimes, well, truly "exhaustive" type search.

No, Looksmart hasn't a "Tomato" Vertical, as yet (but again thanks to Google),they have articles on this topic highly listed in results that may present even more defined/refined results within some of these Verticals, thereby allowing "users" to "drill down" or, narrow their search enquiry, so much quicker.

Looksmart call it, "essential" type search. It's easy & can be much quicker. And it may very well be where search is heading, some feel.

Now check this out here:

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=Fi...tnG=Search&meta

We have now narrowed our search down to just 446,000 results in Google and you will note how Looksmart's Verticals "segment" this topic into what may now be considered by some, as a more practical and relevant 'set' of search results.

Do your own 'exercise' on Google using the "FindArticles in/on......" Search term as a prefix to your own topics of interest. Readers may be pleasantly surprise.

Cheers !!

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LookingConfident

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: Apr 28 2006, 08:35 AM
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Strange day on the Nasdaq (overnight), I feel. Volume was 20k over average and the SP was, 'well kept', IMO.

To me, accumulation was again, the order of the day ......

Those (possibly) "in the know", being those, who (may) understand where Looksmart are heading, are 'having a picnic' with unsuspecting shareholders, IMHO.

A reasonable, (but cautious) open @ $4.99c, then wait to see if any 'buyers' turn up, when they don't, then take it down to $4.87c & 'collect' a few "stop losses"..... A "shake the tree" a little, some more fall off ..... Then go up and "grab" those selling @ the higher $5.00pps level, say "thanks" and then take it down once more, before grabbing those few, near the end of the day!!

It's tough work, but someone has to do it!! - (Inett trades, within las half hourof the day).

Time B/S Shares Price
15:59:35.831 S 26 4.9600
15:59:31.768 S 700 4.9600
15:59:30.051 S 574 4.9600

15:59:16.632 B 400 4.9400
15:59:16.632 B 400 4.9400
15:59:16.288 B 400 4.9200
15:59:15.873 B 400 4.9000

15:58:56.292 S 100 4.8900
15:58:55.848 S 100 4.8900
15:51:17.196 S 200 4.8900

15:45:54.999 B 100 4.9000
15:45:30.255 S 200 4.8900
15:38:55.848 S 100 4.9200
15:37:57.266 S 100 4.9200
15:37:56.659 S 500 4.9200

15:31:36.722 B 100 4.9200
15:26:29.542 S 300 4.9200
15:26:29.370 S 900 4.9200
15:26:29.370 S 300 4.9300

15:25:58.312 B 300 5.0000
15:25:58.151 B 800 5.0000
15:25:58.151 B 200 5.0000
15:25:58.100 B 800 5.0000
15:25:58.100 B 200 4.9900
15:25:56.721 B 1,000 5.0000
15:25:56.528 B 600 5.0000
15:25:56.528 B 400 5.0000
15:25:54.754 B 400 4.9900
15:25:45.624 B 600 5.0000
15:25:45.227 B 1,000 5.0000
15:25:40.949 B 600 4.9900
15:25:40.949 B 400 4.9800
15:25:37.054 B 400 4.9900
15:25:35.032 B 319 5.0000
15:25:35.032 B 481 5.0000
15:25:35.032 B 200 4.9900
15:25:34.587 B 100 4.9900
15:25:31.698 B 519 5.0000
15:25:30.763 B 400 4.9700
15:25:30.763 B 400 4.9600
15:25:30.763 B 200 4.9500
15:25:29.126 B 25 4.9600
15:25:27.375 S 100 4.8800
15:25:27.375 S 100 4.8900

LOOKSMART LTD (NasdaqNM:LOOK)
Last Trade: $4.96c
Trade Time: 3:59PM ET
Change: Up +0.01c (+0.20%)
Prev Close: 4.95
Open: 4.99
Bid: 4.75 x 1200
Ask: 5.00 x 700
1y Target Est: 6.63

Day's Range: 4.87 - 5.00
52wk Range: 2.75 - 5.75
Volume: 133,644
Avg Vol (3m): 114,629
Market Cap: 113.07M

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LC

 
LookingConfident
post Posted: Apr 27 2006, 02:33 PM
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Posts: 1,797
Thanks: 3


QUOTE (LookingConfident @ Tuesday 11/04/06 07:55am)

And from that post, back on 11/04/2006 .....

A "Content Consortium" with millions of quality articles on many topics could be made available and ads could be sold around it and in effect, all network "partners" could even be "sharing" those (their own) important "users", (being the daily visitors to each of their individual sites), with each other. Afterall, additional "eyeballs" would ensure more advertisers and any search for (it), this, their (now) "shared" content could provide that much needed (additional) ADS revenues resulting from all ensuing 'click throughs'.

And it was this further comment, (within this article - Link below) that got me thinking:

< "FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CAN'T IMAGINE why they haven't done it," says Tom Curley, CEO of Associated Press. Here's one reason: Doing it would require spinal implants for intimidated media barons. But the notion that some pushback is pending is not far-fetched. Curley says he is talking with potential partners about setting up subject-specific Web packages -- say, for travel or basketball -- that will include content from multiple media. Once partners are on board and packages are finalized, search engines will be invited to bid for that traffic. >

SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!!

Tom Curley, CEO of Associated Press has "bobbed up" again and this time with the loverly Marissa Mayer, VP-search products, of Google and must be one of the cutest multi millionaire, on the planet!!!

http://www.paidcontent.org/nab-aps-curley-...-ap-google-deal

< So where do things stand with Google? "We're under a non-disclosure."

Is it a non-disclosure for discussions or a non-disclosure because there's actually an agreement? - Ans: "Non-disclosure." >

I have noticed lots of articles indexted in Looksmart's FindArticles.com in recent times from Associated Press, yet, fewer from Topix.net, for some unknown reason??? They diminished somewhat around the same time as the disappearance of that NEWS Toolbar, that was at the top of each Vertical results page...??

UMMmm? Maintenance?? A Beta test period, during when it was noticed?

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=Fi...nG=Search&meta=

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=FindArti...en&lr=&filter=0

And, Topix.net .....?

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=Fi...nG=Search&meta=

2nd, & 3rd results pages show listings within the Looksmart Verticals ...... And .......

Marrissa ??? - I want to "SIT NEXT TO HER" on the bus!!! ..... LOL!!!

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LC

 
 


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