Advantage to sell or shut down FindGuru

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Advantage Business Media, which acquired the parametric search product formerly known as ReedLink with its July 2006 purchase of Reed Business Information's Rockaway, N.J.-based New Products Division, has decided to shut it down or sell it before the end of the year.

ReedLink was an ambitious vertical search project based on a vast product database?including 15,000 product categories and 50,000 different manufacturers?designed so that a potential buyer could research and compare individual items on a like-to-like basis according to detailed specifications. Manufacturing was the first industry sector for ReedLink, launched in early 2005, followed at the end of last year by life sciences and construction.

In September, Advantage relaunched ReedLink with the name FindGuru and unveiled new features, such as blogs, and additional functionality, including a new structured taxonomy that enables users to browse through categories and drill down to find the specific product or content they want.

At the same time, the new owner was evaluating FindGuru in relation to its strategies for the new freestanding b-to-b media company. "We looked at it carefully, and it doesn't fit our vision," said Advantage CEO Rich Reiff. "Search remains a critical component of our strategy, though, and we will continue to invest in it."

Although the FindGuru site will remain live for a period of time, Advantage will cease all new investment in it while it explores its options, Reiff said. "We are preparing an offering to sell it, complete with a summary business plan that details the investment required," he said.

Reiff said that If a buyer is not found, FindGuru will be shut down.

?Marie Griffin

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