It pays to stay on the cutting edge

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Media companies-no matter how large or small-that have implemented cutting-edge Internet products such as RSS feeds and contextual advertising are getting much more attention from would-be buyers than those that have not, according to Jeffrey Dearth, partner at media investment bank DeSilva & Phillips.

"Serving your market with components beyond print such as Web, events and information databases not only sets you up to be a market leader but also optimizes your business value," Dearth said. "Publishers might think that it's still too early to get into something like RSS, that it doesn't provide any immediate return. But offering your customers high value-added products like RSS sets you apart from your competitors, shows you understand their need for real-time, just-in-time information and dynamically enhances the perception of your brand."

Industry search capabilities paired with contextual and keyword advertising models, meanwhile, present great opportunities for publishers to leverage their roles as intermediaries between advertisers and readers. "You don't want your readers to go to Google to look for a product or other information," Dearth said. "You can set up your site to do the same things Google does, perhaps even better within your own niche. If you do this, you can further demonstrate your expertise and make your sites the first destination for industry searches." -Roger Slavens

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