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Newsletter No.365

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FreePint Newsletter
FreePint Newsletter No.365
20th December 2012


My Favourite Tipples

FreePint Features

  • What Shall We Do About ... or With ... Social Media?
  • Digital Signatures: Ensure They Stand Up to Scrutiny

FreePint Subscription

  • FreePint Report: Comparative Report on News Products
  • FreePint Report: Product Review of


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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.

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Robin NeidorfFreePint Subscribers now have access to some of our most popular reports of the year – our annual review of, and our annual comparison of news products reviewed in the past 12 months. Also coming before the end of the year: our fifth annual survey on news needs and preferences (as soon as the Director of Research can complete the analysis...)

I've been preoccupied with the publication of these important reports, so I missed taking a good look at some of our recent articles. Don't make the same mistake I did. There's some good stuff to investigate on Islamic finance, the importance of digital signatures on your communications, and the legal wrangling of HP and Autonomy, to name only a few.

This year has involved a lot of product development, and the resulting FreePint Subscription is a consolidated, simplified offering. If your organisation has a FreePint Subscription, you have access to all our premium articles and reports.

As we've made these changes, we're now able to take advantage of new partnership opportunities. I'm very pleased to announce that our reports – product reviews, original research and topic reports – are now available for individual purchase through our partner, Research & Markets. Reports will appear on Research & Markets around 30 days after their original publication on FreePint.

We're also working on other distribution and sales partnerships, so watch for more announcements in early 2013.

Winding Up the Year

I'm already getting more "out of office" responses to email and "gone until January" messages on voice mail. However you celebrate the end of one year and beginning of the next, I hope it involves some relaxation, and then coming back in January ready for another exciting year.

FreePint will be taking a brief break from publishing our newsletters until January. We're using this period to make some adjustments in response to reader feedback to improve the newsletters.

Do you have any comments you'd like us to consider during this design and development work? Please contact us and let us know.

By Robin Neidorf
Director of Research, FreePint

 My Favourite Tipples

Cindy ShamelBy Cindy Shamel

My clients typically require business information, competitive intelligence, and a large measure of anonymity in the work I do for them. Occasionally the business need includes up-to-the-minute insight on a topic or product. The sites listed here fill the bill at varying levels, so I use them as necessary to support informed decision-making.

  • Ixquick enables privacy in internet searches. Ixquick does not collect or share any personal information or record your IP address.  It offers star ratings for each hit, with one star for every search engine that chooses it as one of the ten best results. It’s easy to “search within results” and narrow a search. Just add new terms and tick the box below the search bar.

  • Harvard Business Review Store delivers references to case studies from the Harvard Business School. Just enter your terms in the search box at the top and click Search. The results include all kinds of Harvard Business School content distinguished by content type. Chose Cases, and you’ve got your list.

  • BizNar provides a federated search approach and logically organized results from selected business sources. A search on Windows 8 produced 3815 hits organized by topic, author, publication, publisher, and date. Drop down menus let you sort by rank, date, title or author and limit to specific sources.

  • Competitive Intelligence: A Selective Resource Guide offers hundreds of resources selected and maintained by Sabrina Pacifici. I use it to find inspiration (what am I missing?) and sources (where can if find it?) when searching for competitive intelligence. Categories of resources include blogs, transcripts, legislation, RSS feeds, directories, portals, and more.

  • Social Mention gives real time results from social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed, YouTube, and about 100 more sources. SocialMention offers bar graphs that show the top keywords, top users, top hashtags, and sources. The results are also sliced and diced into “buckets” that critique the messages for strength, sentiment, passion, and reach. For the Windows 8 sentiment was assessed at 6:1. That reflects the ratio of mentions that are generally positive to those that are generally negative.

Cindy Shamel, entrepreneur and small business owner, founded Shamel Information Services in 1998, offering competitive intelligence, business research, and information audits to clients ranging from sole proprietors to multinational corporations.

She has written on these topics as well as edited the book Introduction to Online Market and Industry Research. Cindy is a member of SLA and past president of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP). She has most recently served AIIP by Chairing the Webinar Committee. Cindy can be contacted from her website at or via email at

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

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FreePint Reports now available on Research & Markets

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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:

  • The Latest News on News
    By Robin Neidorf on Tuesday, 18th December 2012
    With the recent publication of our review of, the number of in-depth reports on news products published in 2012 comes to six. Director of Research Robin Neidorf reflects on the continuing importance of this competitive and dynamic content category and asks for suggestions for improving FreePint's coverage of this category in 2013.

  • Comparative Report on News Products
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 17th December 2012
    FreePint regularly reviews news content products and news aggregators. We then conduct an analysis of those reviews on an annual basis, to demonstrate how the different providers line up with one another across such criteria as source coverage, search capabilities, reporting and outputs and special features.

  • Can Follow the Major Steps it Made in 2011?
    By Andrew Grave on Wednesday, 12th December 2012
    2011 saw a significant step forward in the evolution of including the launch of an iPad application and the addition of 19 million company profiles. Andrew Grave investigates whether Factiva has been able to maintain the momentum in 2012.

  • What Are We Doing?
    By Scott Brown on Tuesday, 11th December 2012
    The framing question of this Information Practice Newsletter editorial seems to be: what are we doing? The tone of that question seems fraught with existential angst, but this issue provides some practical guidance.

  • What Shall We Do About ... or With ... Social Media?
    By Ulla de Stricker on Monday, 10th December 2012
    Reviewing a smorgasbord of articles on the subject of PR and communications, Ulla de Stricker highlights how the pieces demonstrate the wealth of ways that social media can reach current and new fans but also how this can present potential headaches.

  • Digital Signatures: Ensure They Stand Up to Scrutiny
    By Deb Hunt on Monday, 10th December 2012
    When everything (it seems) is going digital, why aren't digital signatures more commonly used? Deb Hunt explores what constitutes a digital signature that will stand up to possible court challenges.

  • Spotlight on Publishers: How They Use FreePint
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 10th December 2012
    Vendors of content products and services prove to be active users of their FreePint Subscriptions for competitive intelligence, product strategy and industry insight. Recent account reviews of several vendors show what articles and reports their members of staff are interested in and how FreePint may be contributing to their approach to the market.

  • Human Factor Engineering
    By Robin Neidorf on Thursday, 6th December 2012
    Does it seem we spend at least as much time addressing the human side of information work as the technology side? Robin Neidorf guesses that FreePint coverage might well be divided in half between these two sides of the profession. A recent FreePint Report collects an even dozen articles to support changes in habit. Product reviews, as always, offer a quick view into the latest (and sometimes greatest) combinations of content and technology.

  • ... More ...

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Teach Beyond Your Reach

Perpetual Learners Create Resilient Organisations

Smart organisations make learning part of their personnel development strategies. As quickly as the world changes, workers ready and able to learn new skills, ideas and approaches will create resilient organisations.

FreePint supports your learning and your organisation's resilience through increased focus on where knowledge management and distance learning come together. Read more about our approach.

Ready to develop your own strategy for creating a learner-focused environment? Start with Director of Research Robin Neidorf's recently released book, "Teach Beyond Your Reach" and trade topic-focused teaching with learner-focused interactions.

Acquire Media

Nothing Fits Quite Like A NewsEdge Solution!

We specialise in crafting a custom fit of our NewsEdge services into your workflow. The end result is a powerful real-time news management solution tailored for how your end users need their information.

Whether you need to deliver current news to an intranet, alerts to a mobile device or custom newsletter to your executive staff, NewsEdge will make you look good. We are not a "one size fits all" solution. It's our tailoring that makes all the difference!

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 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:

  • FreePint Report: Comparative Report on News ProductsFreePint Report: Comparative Report on News Products
    Published on Tuesday, 18th December 2012
    FreePint regularly reviews news content products and news aggregators. We then conduct an analysis of those reviews on an annual basis, to demonstrate how the different providers line up with one another across such criteria as source coverage, search capabilities, reporting and outputs and special features.

  • Islamic Finance - How Transparent Will it Be?
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Tuesday, 18th December 2012
    As Thomson Reuters announces further initiatives in the rapidly expanding field of Islamic finance, Gartner predicts continuing growth in enterprise information technology spending in the Middle East and North Africa region. But transparency concerns persist – all the more so if a movement in the region for tighter regulation of the internet gathers momentum.

  • Comparing News Providers: FreePint's View: Key Strengths and Weaknesses of News Products
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 17th December 2012
    Researchers writing product reports for FreePint summarise the highlights of their favourite and least-favourite elements of the product in a "FreePint's View". Comparing these highlights across the different reports published in 2012 on news content providers shows what researchers are consistently looking for and praising in products under the microscope.

  • Collaboration in Companies? Who's Feeling Antisocial?
    By James Mullan on Friday, 14th December 2012
    Social media has changed the way individuals communicate with their friends and family. Slowly but surely social media is also having a significant impact on the way we communicate and collaborate with our colleagues and managers. Email, once viewed as the only way to work and to communicate with colleagues, is now viewed as ineffective and outdated, but are all companies really on the social media bandwagon?

  • Social Media - the Revenge of the 99%
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Thursday, 13th December 2012
    Social media use continues to ratchet up exponentially and not always with the players you might expect. Yet many companies still wrestle with the organisational and cultural challenges posed by the new ways of working that social networking encourages, and some may find themselves severely challenged by a new business model: social capitalism. Recent studies by Nielsen, IBM and Gartner point to the potentially apocalyptic way ahead.

  • Enterprise Search under the Microscope
    By James Mullan on Wednesday, 12th December 2012
    I've written a number of articles about enterprise search so it was no surprise to read a research note discussing "The Business of Search". In it Martin White looks in some detail at how the enterprise search market is going through a period of substantial change caused by factors such as open source, SharePoint 2013 and big data. Changes will continue throughout 2013. So what does the business of search look like?

  • Email: Here Today; Here Tomorrow
    By Dale Moore on Wednesday, 12th December 2012
    Email. It's not dead, just changing. Love it or hate it, we must manage it. Surveys show that email is as 'here' as it's ever been and isn't going away any time soon. But it's not email itself that's the problem, it's the way we fail to manage it.

  • FreePint Report: Product Review of Factiva.comFreePint Report: Product Review of
    Published on Wednesday, 12th December 2012
    Ten years ago was one of only two go-to tools for news; now there are many more competitors in the marketplace. Andrew Grave puts through its paces and finds out whether the investment in content and functionality, in the face of competition from a myriad of free and premium sources, has paid off.

  • Product Review of Executive Summary
    By Andrew Grave on Wednesday, 12th December 2012
    Factiva is a business intelligence tool with a traditional strength in news. In this executive summary Andrew Grave explores the many changes Factiva has made in 2012.

  • HP and Autonomy - How Damaging Will a High Profile Dispute Be?
    By Tim Buckley Owen on Monday, 10th December 2012
    In continuing coverage of the dispute with Hewlett Packard, Autonomy's founder Mike Lynch has rejected all the accusations that his management deliberately inflated the company's pre-acquisition value, and has launched a website to bring the affair out into the open. But, with the Securities & Exchange Commission expected to require substantiation of HP's allegations by year-end, one legal expert warns of the dangers of conducting such disputes in the glare of publicity.

  • FreePint Report: PR and External CommunicationsFreePint Report: PR and External Communications
    Published on Monday, 10th December 2012
    Reviewing a smorgasbord of articles on the subject of PR and communications, Ulla de Stricker highlights how the pieces demonstrate the wealth of ways that social media can reach current and new fans but also how this can present potential headaches.

  • Digital Signatures: Workflow Efficiency, ROI and Security
    By Deb Hunt on Monday, 10th December 2012
    Automated business processes can be slowed down by the need for signatures. Digital signatures enable paper-free, expedited and secure business processes. With digital signatures, organisations can eliminate their reliance on paper for obtaining signature approvals while maintaining the security and integrity of their signed documents. In addition to eliminating the time-consuming and expensive reliance on paper, digital signatures enhance collaboration, improve efficiency, and satisfy a crucial component to any automation effort.

  • Legal: An Industry Unto Itself
    By Robin Neidorf on Monday, 10th December 2012
    Law firms demonstrate unique characteristics around content budgets and staffing compared with other professional services like finance and consulting. Distinctions highlighted through FreePint benchmarking research indicate that law firms work within highly circumscribed budgets and with relatively low ratios of librarians to fee earners, compared with their counterparts in comparable industries.

  • Source Update December 2012: What's Happening with Nexis?
    By Anne Jordan on Friday, 7th December 2012
    This month's additions and takedowns in Nexis, researched and compiled by Anne Jordan.

  • Improving Enterprise Search by Becoming More Social
    By James Mullan on Thursday, 6th December 2012
    With many organisations recognising the value of being able to collect, index and display information across a number of different repositories, enterprise search has never been more important. Whilst the tools and functionality within enterprise search tools have continued to develop, organisations need to take account of another, perhaps even more important element: the impact of social media tools.

  • ... More ...

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

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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.

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