Post by: Russell Perkins, ICG
There was news this week about the formation of Bloomberg Beta, a new venture capital fund sponsored by data company Bloomberg LP. One of Bloomberg Beta’s early investments is a company called Newsle, that will alert you whenever someone you specify (a friend or colleague) is in the news.
This is a tough nut to crack. Searching thousands of news sources and trying to determine if the John Smith mentioned in an article is the same John Smith of interest to you is a complex undertaking. But what really intrigued me is that those who have written about Newsle see another major problem that the company faces: lack of activity. Think about it. If you import your list of Facebook friends (something Newsle encourages you to do), the chances of any of them appearing in news stories is pretty low. That means most people will sign up for Newsle and nothing will happen, not because Newsle isn’t working, but because there is no news to report.
But what if Newsle flipped its model? Instead of serving individuals who for the most part have small lists of mostly boring contacts, why not hook up with commercial data publishers, many of whom have tens and even hundreds of thousands of contacts in their databases?
Learn more about Data and Content through the following activities and upcoming events:
- Profiting from Public Domain Data– June 11
- Content Crossroads: Product Opportunities with Big Data and Semantics– September 5
- Models for Exellence: Here are the Best Data Products of the Year!– September 12
- DataContent 2013 – October 15-17