Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

We live in a many-media world with new forms of media

Posted by Tom Foremski - August 29, 2007

We went through a multi-media world in the early 1990s, which meant documents that mixed text, with hypertext, with photos, with video, with sound.

We now live in a many-media world in which we have all of the above but fragmented into many unique media channels and formats we could not have imagined just a few years ago. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are some of the latest but by no means the last of the new forms of media. Technologies such as RSS will create many more.

Today's media companies have to support many-media publishing: podcasts, vidcasts, sms, blogs, social networks--in addition to print, web sites, email, etc; all the traditional forms of media. That adds to the costs of doing business because print is not enough, TV is not enough, radio is not enougth.

All media companies have to become many-media companies. And what makes these times interesting is that all companies are media companies. To a greater or lesser degree, all companies are media companies because they all publish to their communities: customers, employees, etc. And now they need to master the new media publishing, and the technologies to create the many-media formats. Video is a key one right now.

These days media comes in formats that we didn't know would exist. Toolbars are part of this many-media world. I rarely give free permission to use my quotes in a news release, however Conduit are an interesting part of this new media world. They recently announced more than 12m users for their white-label toolbar:

August 28, 2007 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Conduit Unleashes Network of 12 Million Community Toolbar Users to Publishers Worldwide

New toolbar grouping capabilities help tech bloggers unite and connect with growing network of avid blog fans

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Conduit, the leading platform for building online communities via community toolbars, today announced the Conduit Network, an online community of more than 12 million users and 120,000 publishers in 112 countries that connect with each other via a Conduit-powered community toolbar. Evolving from its beginnings as a toolbar platform for site publishers, Conduit is now the de facto standard, offering unparalleled functionality and a global network of communities accessible via one click and without any download. Conduit facilitates publisher brand awareness by alerting users surfing the web to publishers in the Conduit network. Users can subscribe to publisher communities of choice with a single click, with no download and without sacrificing browser real estate.

The Conduit Network feature set includes:

• myConduit, a breakthrough toolbar interface that allows users to search and subscribe to multiple communities while occupying the space of a single toolbar. Conduit’s extensive network search capability allows users to find new communities of interest and subscribe to them with one click. Once a user downloads myConduit there is no need for subsequent downloads for new communities. Click here to get the myConduit toolbar:
http://myconduit.com/Download.htm.

• Grouping, a feature that enables publishers to offer a community-rich experience to their users by grouping multiple community toolbars into a single download and interface. Users can download a single community toolbar to access multiple communities in the related categories and without sacrificing browser real-estate.

For example, Conduit recently launched the “Allmyblogs” toolbar for top tech bloggers that includes popular technology blogs such as
TechCrunch, VentureBeat, WebWare, SiliconValleyWatcher, Read/WriteWeb, Mashable and the GigaOmniMedia Inc. sites: GigaOM.com, NewTeeVee, WebWorkerDaily, FoundRead, Earth2Tech, GigaOM TV. Click here for myConduit for Bloggers: http://allmyblogs.ourtoolbar.com/.

“Our Conduit-powered ‘CrunchBar’ has been a big help in persistently connecting TechCrunch fans with the fresh, hot, off-the-press content on our site,” said Michael Arrington, founder and editor of TechCrunch, a weblog dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. “We are thrilled with the addition of this engaging platform and look forward to uniting with other tech blogger fans through the Conduit Network.”

“Conduit is a great tool for engaging with my readers and expanding my readership,” said Tom Foremski, founder and editor of
Silicon Valley Watcher, a leading technology weblog.

“The Conduit-powered community toolbars allow me to provide a service to my readers. I like the idea of having a little branded piece on my readers' browsers, so they can be connected with the latest
Silicon Valley Watcher content no matter where they are on the Web.”

Now, with the recently announced myConduit functionality, and additional grouping capabilities, Conduit has become a multi-community experience for users. Traditionally, users were required to download each and every toolbar that they wanted to access, thereby drastically reducing their browser space and inhibiting the number of different toolbar downloads they could accommodate. With the Conduit Network, users can now also benefit from a simple “click-to-add” interface, on participating publisher sites, that provides access to thousands of Conduit-powered communities with no download required. Publishers will increase their ranks of active users simply by creating a Conduit-powered community toolbar and joining the Conduit Network.

“The dramatic increase in users and publishers that have joined the Conduit Network is the single greatest compliment we could receive,” said Ronen Shilo, CEO of Conduit. “Conduit continues to show its strength as a powerful community network where millions of users can explore interests and join thousands of social networks and online communities via a community toolbar.”

To create a community toolbar for your website visit:
http://www.conduit.com/Wizard.

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