Internet pioneer Bruce Judson, former general manager of Time Inc. New Media, has quietly launched an already profitable Internet news clipping service that has lined up a roster of blue-chip clients.
The New York company, All Research, was co-founded with Noah Silverman, a free-lance database developer, who is president. Mr. Judson is chairman.
All Research has a simple business model. It charges companies $100 a month for its service, called WebClipping, that searches news sites, portals and other information aggregators for all articles containing mention of a company's name or product.
Then, weekly e-mails are sent to subscribers providing a count of articles found. Users go to a secure area on the site to read summaries of the stories and link to the full articles.
WebClipping charges an upfront fee of $100. If users want daily e-mail updates, the fee is $250 a month. So far it's signed up 200 subscribers, including General Mills, Sprint Corp., Lucent Technologies and National Semiconductor Corp.
KEEPING UP WITH COMPETITORS
"It is a really valuable service," said Jeff Shafer, manager of strategic communications at Sprint. "You can't simply go to the newsstand anymore and get three or four papers and get a handle on what's going on. You have to be on the Internet in real time to identify trends and see what your competitors are doing," said Mr. Shafer, who used to search news sites such as those of CNET and PC Week daily to find references to Sprint.
With WebClipping, Sprint has much better information about the "buzz" on media sites, he added. It also uses eWatch, an Internet Usenet and discussion board monitoring service. "EWatch is doing a very good job focusing on the newsgroups, and WebClipping does a very good job focusing on the media," Mr. Shafer added.
For an Internet start-up, WebClipping can be considered a success story, since it's showing profitability in less than three months.
BREAKING THE RULES
"We broke all the rules in launching this service," said Mr. Judson, who founded Time Inc.'s new media division in 1993.
Unlike Time's highly publicized Pathfinder site, WebClipping debuted with no pre-launch hype, a substantial list of clients and virtually no marketing costs, Mr. Judson said. It used highly targeted marketing to reach prospects, though he declined to be specific.
So far, it has delivered summaries of more than 100,000 articles to its clients since launching.
Copyright April 1999, Crain Communications Inc.