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Newsletter No.362

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FreePint Newsletter
FreePint Newsletter No.362
1st November 2012


My Favourite Tipples

FreePint Features

  • InfoMonitor: Turnkey Competitive Intelligence Newsletters
  • Pinterest: Not Just for Academic and Public Libraries?

FreePint Subscription

  • FreePint Report: Private Company Research
  • FreePint Report: Product Review of BvD Mint


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FreePint supports the value of information in the enterprise. We do this by publishing practical articles and reports on information practice, content and strategy.

Ask us how FreePint can help your organisation »

Robin NeidorfI tend think of categories of information as firm and fixed, when the reality is that there's a lot of fluidity in the definitions. Take the concepts of "free" and "fee", which are a centrepiece of FreePint's annual Survey on News Needs and Preferences. Are these types of content "free" or "fee" from a user's perspective? From the content buyer's? From the publisher's?:

  • Web versions of print products
  • Ad-supported web sites or newsletters
  • Social media content - unprocessed
  • Social media content - filtered through a premium tool
  • Content requiring registration but not financial exchange to access

The continuum from "free" to "fee" includes all these models and more, and speaks to the many ways we pay for information. A recent Feature story examines more closely the tension between free and fee in news content.

Participate in this survey, to add your perspective on how your organisation addresses the need for business news, and you'll get a copy of the final report (yet another way to "pay" for useful information). Complete the survey now »

Information along a continuum shows up in other ways, in this issue of the FreePint Newsletter. Interactions and content generated through social media are highlighted through commentary on the impact of "likes" and endorsements as well as a discussion of professional uses of current darling Pinterest. Are these "hard" information or "soft" information?

Recent product reviews include a full review of BvD's Mint and a mini-review of InfoMonitor from InfoDesk -- both clearly premium, for-fee products that pull together otherwise hard (or impossible) to get information and make it quickly actionable. But Barbara Fullerton, in her editorial for the FreePint Report: Private Company Information, notes that lots of valid information may be hidden in plain sight, through no-cost resources that take more ingenuity than money to mine.

Lots to think about and continue to learn. Make FreePint part of your learning (even at a distance).

By Robin Neidorf
Director of Research, FreePint

 My Favourite Tipples

Debbie BardonBy Debbie Bardon

As a primary research specialist, my favourite tipples might be a little different from most researchers. Most of my projects involve conducting in-depth telephone interviews with industry experts. The projects do include some online research as well, but I don't consider myself an expert online searcher. I use my online searching to find sources or learn about the business or industry of the people that I am interviewing.

  • Google Alerts: Google Alerts are very helpful when tracking a specific company, person or locale over time by notifying me when that name shows up anywhere on the Internet - including web pages, news articles, job listings, blogs and webcasts that match my search term.

  • Jigsaw: This has been a great resource for finding email addresses and direct phone lines to potential sources. Because I contribute to Jigsaw with contacts I develop in my research projects, I can search for many potential sources for free.

  • LinkedIn: I have used LinkedIn for many years to identify potential sources, as well as to learn about their background prior to conducting an interview. I recently upgraded to LinkedIn Premium. I can use this to search for potential sources by company and/or title. The Premium account also allows me to contact these potential sources through LinkedIn "InMail."

There are two listservs that I monitor on a regular basis to find information on a variety of topics that may come into play in my research projects:

  • BUSLib-L is the Business Librarians listserv and it is open to anyone. It's an electronic forum that addresses all issues relating to the collection, storage and dissemination of business information. I get this listserv in digest form so I can quickly scan to see if there are any discussions of relevance to my projects.

  • AIIP: As a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) since 1999, I find the AIIP member listserv to be the best ongoing source of topical information on websites, search techniques, gadgets, apps - you name it. The collective knowledge of the membership is very helpful whenever a question involves something outside of my expertise. Because this is a members-only listserv, I recommend joining AIIP for this among the many other benefits offered by the association.

Debbie Bardon is an independent research consultant and president of Bardon On Call, which she founded in 1997. Prior to opening her own business, she honed her telephone skills for more than twenty years as a broadcast sales and marketing executive. She has branded herself as the information "Call Girl" and has written articles on the subject of conducting primary research including "Confessions of a Call Girl: How to Give Good Phone" and "More Confessions of a Call Girl: Overcoming Call Reluctance". Both articles were included in the 2010 Anthology of Competitive Intelligence. Ms. Bardon can be reached at

Would you like to submit your Favourite Tipples suggestions to the FreePint Newsletter? Find out more »

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Buyer Seller Project: Evaluating (and Presenting) Content Products for Excellence

How Do You Test for Product Excellence?

Buyers: If you have a short trial period in which to understand a product's strengths, how do you use that period effectively? What if you have colleagues participating in the trial? What do you look for, and how do you gather feedback?

Sellers: When you know you only have a short period in which to impress a prospective user of your products, how do you put your best foot forward? How do you get what you hope will be a long-term relationship off to a good start?

The Buyer-Seller Project brings buyers and sellers of information products together for discussion and discovery on topics of mutual interest like this one. Join the upcoming free webinar, "Evaluating (and Presenting) Content Products for Excellence", to support our mutual understanding of what we mean by "excellence"... and how to spot it when we see it.

The session is free, but registration is required. More information and registration »

Acquire Media

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 FreePint Features

FreePint FeaturesFreePint Features offers the latest commentary on trends, issues and opportunities in the information world, as well as examples of how organisations use FreePint resources to raise the value of information.

Selection of the latest FreePint Features articles:

  • Linex Systems: Current Awareness Monitoring Simplified
    By Jan Knight on Tuesday, 30th October 2012
    If your role includes seeking, reviewing and culling information to be shared with others, this Current Awareness Management tool from Linex Systems may be worth a look.

  • The Latest News on News Content
    By Robin Neidorf on Tuesday, 30th October 2012
    With data collection for the 2012 iteration of the FreePint Survey: News Needs and Preferences well underway, trends regarding corporate use of free and fee resources demonstrate unresolved tension for information professionals. Respondents to date indicate their strong and growing appreciation for premium features like reporting and targeted searching; at the same time, they remain convinced that usage of free resources will grow in the coming year. Read more and participate in the survey.

  • BvD's Mint: A Fresh Approach to Business Intelligence
    By Dale Moore on Monday, 29th October 2012
    'Business intelligence' is usually used as a collective term for a diverse group of technologies, tools and processes which help organisations make more informed strategic business decisions. Bureau van Dijk's Mint, a fresh approach to business intelligence, is one such tool. If you need access to high quality company information backed up by industry reports and news - no matter what your role in the organisation - Mint could be just what you need.

  • Endorsements and "Networked individualism"
    By Scott Brown on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Blog posts and tweets are one thing to use and manage as information sources. How do we begin to make sense of and integrate "content" - and it IS content - such as number of endorsements for a particular skill, or star ratings? And how is an increasingly networked world shift expectations for managing information?

  • The Private Company Challenge
    By Barbara Fullerton on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Librarians and information professionals are continuously up for the challenge of finding pertinent information. However there seems to be that one request that tests one's research expertise - locating private company information.

  • InfoMonitor: Turnkey Competitive Intelligence Newsletters
    By Aileen Marshall on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Aileen Marshall reviews InfoMonitor, a turnkey service that creates custom competitive intelligence newsletters. The unique thing about InfoMonitor is that the software and search interface are not visible to the customer. Instead, based on the needs of the client, InfoDesk staff, comprised of experienced information professionals, creates and edits daily or weekly newsletters, summarising the latest news on any given topic for the organisation.

  • Distance Learning Has Arrived
    By Robin Neidorf on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Many organisations of all sizes and types are considering distance learning to support their workers, members and stakeholders. Developments in technology and user behaviour in the past several years have made distance learning more effective and accepted. Organisations can take advantage of the benefits offered by distance learning to create a resilient workforce of perpetual learners.... but there are of course pitfalls to avoid.

  • Improving Communities of Practice through Distance Learning Principles
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 22nd October 2012
    Communities of practice are one of the highest-value, lowest-cost components of knowledge management, as well as sources of deep professional satisfaction for participants. As and where they already exist, they can become even more effective through thoughtful application of distance learning principles.

  • Learning Interactions: The Missing Key to KM Success
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 22nd October 2012
    The value of knowledge within an organisation is directly linked to how effectively workers interact with and share that knowledge. Despite years of development, knowledge management tools have yet to fully deliver seamless and effective transfer of knowledge. Could better understanding and integration of the principles of distance learning be the missing factor that can improve KM satisfaction and results?

  • Pinterest: Not Just for Academic and Public Libraries?
    By Valerie Kittell on Thursday, 18th October 2012
    Information professionals might consider how they could use Pinterest in their organisations to reach internal or external audiences, drawing on examples from special libraries, museums, and even public libraries. Could a high-tech company, for example, use Pinterest effectively to post pictures of the company's products?

  • Action Through Clarity
    By Robin Neidorf on Thursday, 18th October 2012
    Competitive intelligence is one of the most-covered topics in the FreePint Article database. Perhaps one reason for this coverage is the relative clarity of CI as a domain of practice. This clarity seems to be reflected in results from FreePint's Benchmarking on Information Services project. As clear as CI can be, it's also constantly changing, due to the introduction of new tools and ways that businesses share information.

  • As If We Need More Evidence... Mobile News Now
    By Robin Neidorf on Wednesday, 17th October 2012
    Initial results of the 2012 iteration of FreePint's Survey on News Needs and Preferences demonstrates movement towards integrating mobile delivery into how organisations deliver news to users. Comparisons to previous years' results are dramatic. Read more, then take a few minutes to participate in the survey to get your own copy of the full report when published.

  • ... More ...

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FreePint WebinarsThere's More Valid Information than You Might Think on Private Companies

If your target company has European partners, suppliers, customers, or owners, you can access valid information about financials, personnel and more. And you might be surprised to learn how many European connections even the most unassuming US private company may have.

Join this free webinar to learn about valid and useful data available to you to support research on private companies. We'll work through a number of real-world examples, as well as discuss the regulatory, legal and economic context in which information is gathered and made available in Europe.

Learn more and register »

Participate in the annual Survey on News Needs and PreferencesParticipate in the annual Survey on News Needs and Preferences

FreePint's annual survey collects and reports on developments around corporate demand for and usage of free and fee-based news resources. Now entering our 5th year of data collection, the project provides invaluable insight on:

  • Shifting priorities around news content for premium and no-cost resources

  • New features in demand

  • Changing attitudes about different types of sources, and how those attitudes affect purchase decisions and usage

  • Customer satisfaction with major vendors.

If you participate, you get a free copy of the results, to thank you for your time.
Complete the survey now

 FreePint Subscription

FreePint SubscriptionArticles and reports included in a FreePint Subscription provide customer organisations with practical insight to support information practice, content purchasing and usage, and strategic planning.

Subscribers can click any link to login and view the full item. If you have not yet purchased a FreePint Subscription, learn more about the benefits now.

Selection of FreePint Subscription articles and reports:

  • Linex Systems: Introduction and FreePint's View
    By Jan Knight on Tuesday, 30th October 2012
    Linex Systems offers three products to support information monitoring and discovery. The Smart Alerts product is a fully customisable Software as a Service offering that enables customers to automatically monitor diverse information streams including premium databases, web searches and internal information to maintain awareness about projects. The product was originally developed for law firms and professional services firms. It can take some attention to get it set up to maximise the power of the tools -- a challenge for getting started but also a strength of a fully-flexible tool. Reviewer Jan Knight offers her introductory comments on a full review.

  • From Gatekeeper to Story Teller?
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Monday, 29th October 2012
    We are facing threats to professional journalism from the growth of information sharing, the hazardous lure of free news from myriad sources and the possible fragmentation of peer-reviewed research publication. Where might all this leave the information manager or researcher tasked with sourcing, selecting and - critically - presenting the intelligence they provide?

  • Web 2.0 and Its Impact on the Information Industry
    By Penny Crossland on Monday, 29th October 2012
    The digital revolution has radically changed how we access information, interact with each other and create content. We are all now capable of adding to the collective knowledge, changing the role of the traditional gatekeepers of information - librarians and other information professionals. Web 2.0 has also spurred the technology industry into producing devices that enable us to access information wherever we are. These are themes which are addressed by Martin de Saulles in his book 'Information 2.0: New models of information production, distribution and consumption. This article attempts to delve into some of the issues raised in the book, with the help of FreePint and other information industry observers.

  • Getting Over the Barriers to Adoption
    By James Mullan on Wednesday, 24th October 2012
    If you're involved in the implementation of any social tool within an organisation, one of the biggest challenges you're likely to face is around adoption of the tool. James Mullen discusses a blog post that looks at some of the issues around the adoption of wikis. He examines two major barriers to the adoption of social media tools - cultural and technical. The question is, what can information managers do to overcome these and other barriers to adoption?

  • Hootsuite Launches a New Type of Conversation
    By James Mullan on Wednesday, 24th October 2012
    If you're a regular user of Twitter, you might use tools like Tweetdeck, Seesmic or Hootsuite to manage the content generated by Twitter. However only two of these tools, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, allow you to manage multiple social media accounts. Whilst Hootsuite isn't the most well known, it's growing in popularity and has recently rolled out Hootsuite Conversations. Whilst Hootsuite Conversations have only been available for a short time, it looks like they could have the potential to significantly alter the way teams within organisations manage Twitter and other social media content.

  • FreePint Report: Private Company ResearchFreePint Report: Private Company Research
    Published on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Librarians and information professionals are continuously up for the challenge of finding pertinent information. However there seems to be that one request that tests one's research expertise - locating private company information. This request usually begins with "Can you find me some information on Company XYZ? I believe it is a local company. I know there's something out there somewhere."

  • Product Review of BvD Mint: Executive Summary
    By Dale Moore on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Mint from Bureau van Dijk (BvD) is a database of business information which provides data on companies, directors, news stories and industry research. This is essentially a modular approach, which means that each of the four components can be queried independently, though the data is drawn from across the entire database.

  • Mini Review: InfoDesk's InfoMonitor Service
    By Aileen Marshall on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    This mini-review focuses on InfoMonitor, a turnkey service that creates custom competitive intelligence newsletters. The unique thing about InfoMonitor is that the software and search interface are not visible to the customer. Instead, based on the needs of the client, InfoDesk staff, comprised of experienced information professionals, creates and edits daily or weekly newsletters, summarising the latest news on any given topic for the organisation. Aileen Marshall reviews the service.

  • FreePint Report: Product Review of BvD MintFreePint Report: Product Review of BvD Mint
    Published on Tuesday, 23rd October 2012
    Mint from Bureau van Dijk (BvD) is a powerful and flexible database of company information. Business intelligence profiles can quickly and easily be put together by combining company financials, directorships, news articles and industry research profiles. Marketing and prospecting lists can be created and due diligence performed. The product can be integrated into line of business applications, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, for data cleansing and data merging. This all comes in an easy to use format with user customisation and flexible download and output options.

  • Giving Kudos with One Click
    By James Mullan on Monday, 22nd October 2012
    If you're a LinkedIn user, you might occasionally be asked to provide a "recommendation" for a connection. Whilst this is a worthwhile undertaking, it can be frustrating trying to think of an appropriate comment, knowing that it could be read by anyone who visits that connections profile, including potential employers. To make the process simpler, and to some degree more intuitive, LinkedIn has launched "endorsements" to allow users to endorse skills that are listed on an individual's profile. Tim Buckley Owen recently gave his views on endorsement facilities - here, James Mullan gives his perspective.

  • BvD Mint: Introduction and FreePint's View
    By Dale Moore on Monday, 22nd October 2012
    Mint, from Bureau van Dijk (BvD), is a database of business information which provides data on companies, directors, news stories and industry research. BvD has clearly invested a great deal into creating Mint, and it shows. Reviewer Dale Moore discusses his view of BvD Mint.

  • How Information-Related Organisations Can Use Pinterest to Meet Their Goals
    By Valerie Kittell on Thursday, 18th October 2012
    Valerie Kittell looks at the use of Pinterest by special libraries, museums, academic and public libraries. While these settings may have different audiences and goals, information professionals might consider how they could use Pinterest in their organisations to reach internal or external audiences. Could a high-tech company, for example, use Pinterest to post pictures of the company's products?

  • ... More ...

Latest FreePint Subscription content »

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FreePint Subscription

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Complete our online form, "How Can FreePint Help?" to get the process started »

Teach Beyond Your Reach, Second EditionTeach Beyond Your Reach

If you provide training, coaching, professional development or teaching at a distance, turn your topic expertise into teaching expertise.

Teach Beyond Your Reach, 2nd edition, provides step-by-step guidance to support your development of successful distance learning experiences, in formal and informal settings.

"A terrific resource not only for those new to distance learning but as a reference for those of us already in the field."

By FreePint Director of Research, Robin Neidorf

Learn more and purchase »


JinfoJinfo is the central location for supporting your information career.

The Jinfo Jobs database lists vacancies, and the Jinfo Events database lists workshops, conferences, training, webinars and other professional development opportunities.

Latest featured vacancies in Jinfo Jobs:

  • Information Services Specialist
    Manage procurement and subscription process for online databases; provide technical and operational support. | Recruiter: Clifford Chance | Country: United Kingdom. Full listing »

  • Service Manager
    The Service Manager will support the management team to ensure that effective service management... | Recruiter: TFPL | Country: United Kingdom. Full listing »

  • Senior Researcher/ Librarian - Legal / Financial
    Senior Researcher with excellent financial research skills to work at senior level for new role within team for prestigious City Law Practice. | Recruiter: Glen Recruitment | Country: United Kingdom. Full listing »

  • Client Services Supervisor
    Info pro needed to lead a small client support team. Proven exp in financial reporting & managing internal info systems & key stakeholders. | Recruiter: Sue Hill Recruitment and Services Limited | Country: United Kingdom. Full listing »

Browse all Jinfo Jobs »

Latest featured events in Jinfo Events:

  • Knowledge transfer - making knowledge sharing real
    This workshop will enable you to understand your organisation's knowledge perspective and make knowledge work better within it. | Organiser: TFPL | Date: 30 Nov 2012 | Country: United Kingdom

  • How to Succeed with Systems
    This course will equip you work effectively with your IT systems providers. | Organiser: TFPL | Date: 5 Dec 2012 | Country: United Kingdom

Browse all Jinfo Events »

Next steps:

  • Jinfo Update - Receive the weekly email Jinfo Update, with a complete list of the latest vacancies and events.

  • Recruiting - Advertise a vacancy for just £195. 10% discount for agencies. 50% discount for registered charities.

  • Running An Event - List it on Jinfo to reach a targeted audience seeking professional development opportunities.

Visit Jinfo »

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 About FreePint

FreePint supports the value of information in the enterprise. We do this by publishing practical articles and reports about information practice, content and strategy.

A FreePint Subscription provides exclusive access to all premium articles, reports and packages. FreePint Features highlights latest content and comment on the information industry.

The FreePint Newsletter serves as a guide to the latest articles and reports, and highlights the value organisations get from a FreePint Subscription. View the FP Newsletter Archive and sign up for free.

To find out more about how your organisation can benefit from a FreePint Subscription, complete our online form, "How can FreePint help?"

Contribute: If you have a suggestion for an article topic, or would like to write, then find out more about contributing »

Sponsorship: Read about the range of offerings through FreePint Vendor Services »

Please note:

  • The opinions, advice, products and services offered herein are the sole responsibility of the contributors. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions.

  • This publication may be freely copied and/or distributed in its entirety. However, individual sections MAY NOT be copied and/or distributed without the prior written agreement of the publishers. Contact FreePint Support for more details.

  • Product names used in FreePint are for identification purposes only, and may be trademarks of their respective owners. FreePint disclaims any and all rights in those marks. All rights reserved.

The FreePint Newsletter (ISSN 1460-7239) is published by Free Pint Limited. FreePint is a registered trademark of Free Pint Limited, registered in England and Wales. Registered Number: 3754481. Registered Office: Delaport Coach House, Lamer Lane, Wheathampstead, Herts, AL4 8RQ.

Copyright Free Pint Limited 1997-2012

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