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Computerworld to oversee parent’s ITworld acquisition

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On July 16, IDG Communications acquired ITworld.com and a network of related domains for an undisclosed price from Accela Communications, an interactive marketing services company that produces, delivers and manages Web communications across a variety of platforms, including on-demand rich media. Among the domains included in the deal were smallbusiness.ITworld.com, security.ITworld.com and wireless.ITworld.com.

Matt Sweeney, president-CEO and publisher of Computerworld Inc., is in charge of developing the ITworld.com brand within IDG. “We will invest in ITworld and the other domains we’ve inherited,” he said, adding that the specifics will be ironed out over the next several weeks as part of the planning and budgeting process for fiscal 2008, which for IDG starts Oct. 1.

As part of Accela, ITworld.com had an agreement with IDG to pick up IT news and feature stories from IDG News Service. Going forward, though, “ITworld.com will have more content than it has now,” Sweeney said.

He also said the number of ITworld.com domains might be extended with such URLs as, for example, whitepapers.ITworld.com or webcasts.ITworld.com.

“We can get very specific with the domains so that it’s very clear what the users will find on those sites,” he said, adding that ITworld.com and its network of sites will be maintained as stand-alone brands distinct from Computerworld.com.

As a publishing company, Computerworld has media-specific resources to put against the ITworld network that Accela didn’t, Sweeney said. “We’re planning to leverage functions we have, such as audience development, where it makes sense for ITworld.com,” he said.

In addition to a few staff members who have already joined IDG through the acquisition, ITworld.com will get additional, dedicated staff, particularly in sales.

“We inherited some advertising revenue with ITworld, which is nice,” Sweeney said, “but we’re definitely looking to grow that.”

Another asset IDG acquired with ITworld is its database of IT professionals, which numbers “several hundred thousand,” according to a news release.

IDG President Bob Carrigan called the database “a wealth of qualified prospects who will be added to IDG Connect.” IDG Connect is a lead-generation service comprised of high-quality IT professionals who use IDG publications, research, events and Web sites.

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