Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Online Collaboration News: Where Do You Go To Get The Best News?

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If you have been looking to find quality news, reviews and articles on online collaboration tools and web, video and audio conferencing technologies, you may have realized how hard it is becoming to be able to get all the news about a certain topic, without having to go and visit multiple sites.

But how can you stay up-to-date on all the conferencing and online collaboration news without having to go out to check a bunch of different web sites or being bombarded with industry news and press releases that provide little or no real valuable information?

Photo credit: Serguei Kovalev

Of course the technical answer to this is to start learning and using RSS. With it, you can effectively go to one place only (your RSS reader) and read all of the updated news from the sites you are interested into. The Google Reader, Bloglines and Microsoft Live are all good starting points in which you can start getting familiar with aggregating news content from different sources into one place.

While RSS readers save you time in keeping all of your news of interest under one roof, they can do normally very little to scale or improve the quality and comprehensiveness of the news you receive.

That is why, it is becoming increasingly important for information sites to become more comprehensive clearinghouses for thematic news, whether theirs or not, as individuals seek to find the information they need from one, trusted source, rather than by having to go through multiple sites or hundreds of feeds.

And this is exactly what I am trying myself to do, by starting to finally put to use some of my vision related to newsmastering and newsradars to realize some of the above on a set of topic areas that is indeed very dear to me: online collaboration, web conferencing, video conferencing, web presentations and virtual teams.

But before I show you some of the early results of my work in this direction by introducing to you the new thematic newsradars, let me share with you the results of my own marketing research, targeted at assessing the number and quality of existing news sites out there that provide comprehensive news on online collaboration, video and web conferencing and related topics.

eWeek - Messaging and Collaboration


eWeek seems to be doing an excellent job of bringing together lots of high-quality reviews, analysis, opinion pieces and essays aggregated into an effective news clearinghouse for mostly corporate focused messaging and collaboration topics.

In the home page of its Messaging and Collaboration section, you can find a treasure trove of news, content, recent reviews and industry analysis on relevant topics.

This is one of the best and most professional destinations to find quality information and breaking news on the world of online collaboration. The only limitation is in the messaging focus which generally excludes ore collaboration and more conferencing oriented topics.

Email subscription to the news and RSS feeds are both available.




ConferencingNews is a industry news aggregator for the web conferencing, audio and video conferencing business sectors. ConferencingNews has a rich daily round-up of industry news which is updated 5-days a week, and which can be received also via email on a daily basis.

The news headlines presented are not originated by ConferencingNews. They are selected among the hundreds of daily news announcements and press releases sent out every day. ConferencingNews very professionally displays both clear dates as well as sources for each news headline republished.

On the negative side ConferencingNews attempts to lock readers into having to log onto its site to remain there as long as possible. News headlines when clicked lead to the original news site framed within a ConferencingNews bar that prevents you from bookmarking that specific page or taking off for other destinations without the ConferencingNews top frame remaining there on top of every page you visit.

Inside the daily email distribution digest there are only headline news titles. They do not provide any description for the news story, nor the source. None of the news headline is directly clickable and if you want to read anyone of those news you need to click through to the ConferencingNews home page, find again the news item you were interested in and then click through to a framed-page to read it. Discomforting. (There are certainly better, more ethical and effective ways to monetize those news, and emails but it is evident that given the amount of advertisers CN displays, these concerns must not be relevant to CN readers).

CN seems to be an industry news daily focusing on the industry itself and not on the actual technologies, tools and applications that those industries create. Its focus, if you look at the news it publishes is most exclusively focusing on industry moves, acquisitions, new executive appointments, press release announcements, market data. Little or no coverage is dedicated to actual technology reviews, thought leaders reports and essays and other more valuable content issues.

I bet CN gets lots of readership from those very people who work in this industry, as CN provides them with a daily comprehensive radar of what everyone else is "officially" announcing. Corporate gossip made into news.

No official RSS feed is available. (Please note that over two years ago, I proactively helped ConferencingNews lack of RSS feed and took personal permission to create such feed myself. While ConferencingNews editor John Rourke complained about this he never followed up to this day to reply to my invitation for an open and public clarification. The invitation is still open.)



CollaborationLoop is a one-year old blog covering collaborative technologies in the enterprise, web conferencing and related themes. CollaborationLoop publishes originally written quality articles from a group of very qualified technologists, vendors and online collaboration professionals.

The editorial style reflects a strong focus on the corporate enterprise market and for topics and technologies that strongly related to it. CollaborationLoop was born to support the conversations and news stories emerging around the Collaborative Technologies Conference and other events managed by CMP Media.

CollaborationLoop provides both email distribution of its content (weekly digest) as well as a RSS-based news feed that allows its readers to stay up-to-date with new stories without needing to come back to the site each day.

CollaborationLoop also provides a well edited breaking news section that reports daily on major news stories and events that relate to online collaboration. The short news stories (about one to three paragraphs in average) are all originally written by the CollaborationLoop editorial staff, and cover new tools and technologies, collaboration issues and vendor announcements.

Unfortunately no dedicated RSS feed is available for this news section on CollaborationLoop. The RSS feed link provided on the news page contains the daily posts from the main CollaborationLoop blog and not the industry news short stories.



As a news source Conferzone unfortunately falls flat of its claims and promises appearing on its News page, where you can read: "Listed below are the major stories from the e-conferencing industry for the last 60 days. We hand pick our articles daily from a database of over 2,800 news sources. Check back regularly for breaking news about the e-conferencing industry."

But reality appears to be a bit different. News items on Conferzone do not seem to be either fresh nor of very high quality. Give a look yourself.

The latest news item published in the news is dated May 25th. Just about a week old. Note also that the news items Conferzone publishes do not show a date/time stamp, nor a source, nonetheless all of them do come from outside sources.

An RSS feed is available for the "daily hand-picks" from Conferzone but here too the latest news item is dated Friday May 26th and focus is only on republishing industry press releases. Check for yourself. Here is the Conferzone RSS feed URL.

News coverage is mostly limited to prepackaged industry news only. There is little or no coverage for blogs covering these industries or for other sources that do not simply republish company press releases but which offer independent in-depth reviews, issue and trend analysis or discuss new methods and approaches to collaborate more effectively online.



David Woolley's Thinkofit is one of the most popular and older web destinations for everything about web conferencing, online collaboration and both real-time and asynchronous communication technologies.

Over the years David has pulled together an impressive number of references to nearly all of the tools and services that have been springing up on the Internet, while neatly categorizing them under appropriate categories.

Thinkofit though doesn't offer daily news, reviews or breaking stories on new collaboration technologies and hot issues. It simply lists in one-line-long micro posts, new tools becoming available with their reference URL and a short description. From this point of view Thinkofit does offer a unique service, and can definitely be a reference place to check out anytime you may be seeking lists of new online collaboration/conferencing tools. (Quite valuable is also his list of products that have gone out of market or have been integrated into other tools - no-one else does this and if it had an RSS feed it would be absolutely a must-read for me).

No RSS feeds available.

Wainhouse Research


Wainhouse Research is a highly familiar name when it comes to quality business analysis and research done for enterprise customers interested in collaboration and conferencing technologies. Wainhouse analyzes market trends, technologies, products, vendors, applications, and related services in the rich media conferencing and online collaboration marketplaces and organize and sell seminars and enterprise targeted analyst reports.

Among others, The Wainhouse Research Bulletin or WRB, is an RSS and email-based news bulletin covering the enterprise market for collaboration and conferencing technologies. (Wainhouse WRB RSS feed URL)

The links in the bulletin link to PDF issues of Wainhouse Research publication. The last one published in the feed today is seven days old.

Of interest is the Wainhouse Industry News, a valuable page on the WR Platinum website, providing selected news in the industry which covers tools, technologies and industry stories.

WR Platinum is an information portal for valuable news and information on the conferencing, collaboration, A/V, and network industries.



Kolabora is my own news site fully devoted to the coverage of video and web conferencing, live presentation tools and all other relevant real-time and asynchronous technologies allowing effective collaboration online.

A characterizing trait of is the availability of an online collaboration newsradar on the very front page of A newsradar is nothing else but a highly focused news stream on a very specific topic. In this case the topic-theme is "online collaboration tools, research, application and methodologies that can support and facilitate individuals and small groups to collaborate more effectively online".

I personally filter, check and select each and every news story that appears in each one of these news radars. On my side I in fact receive an ocean of news, stories and reviews coming from over a hundred different sources that cover topics related to online collaboration, web and video conferencing, live web presentations and more.

And the unique value of Kolabora news is built right into this high quality selection of news that is always up-to-date. 24/7/365.

First, my focus is strongly centered on the tools and new technologies that become available on a weekly basis and which allow new and effective ways to collaborate online.

Second, I like to follow, small, entrepreneuring, ambitious new companies rather than big name, corporate-only web conferencing services, which have little or no interest in serving the rapidly growing individual and small group online collaboration marketplace.

Third, my viewpoint is firmly seated in the user interests, desires and expectations.

As a heavy user of online collaboration tools myself, I am rather little interested if a company changes its CEO or if it sells itself to a larger group. The only things that count me for me as a user are whether the company is able to deliver on its promises, whether it has the ability to communicate openly and effectively with its customers, whether it truly strives to innovate and improve its products in the ways that customers and users like me indicate, whether it listens to the requests, comments and posts from its own users.

In other words, at Kolabora, I test, review and write about online collaboration tools and technologies that can make a difference for those who don't have a million dollar budget, but strongly believe that the ir desire to leverage the opportunities a virtual office provides are now a true necessity.

Kolabora now provides five topic-specific news radars covering:

Each one of these high-quality news channels can be accessed via RSS subscription, and for those of you who don't yet use RSS soon also by direct email as well.

One key feature that is not immediately visible is that all of the news published through these channels are archived and stored for future access. In the coming weeks additional interface components will allow Kolabora readers to easily access all of the past news archives and to search in depth with advanced tools. Users themselves will be able to create topic searches on Kolabora and to generate themselves RSS feeds (similarly to what they can already do in this prototype system developed last year - check under the search tab for the option to create advanced persistent searches that generate also RSS feeds).


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Readers' Comments    
2006-06-02 09:58:00

rufo guerreschi

this is interesting. Are you opensourcing your business by giving out your sources?
Kudos. rg

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, June 1 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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