ANNOTATING THE WEB

By: Staff reports

New Use Developed For Publishers’ Content



New York-based startup Annotate.net has signed USAToday.com and USNews.com
(the online site of U.S. News & World Report ) as content partners for its
Web annotation process.



As first reported yesterday in the E&P e-letter, the service allows Annotate’s
partners to repurpose their content across the Web. After users download a free
400K browser tool at http://www.annotate.net , they subscribe to their favorite
content providers (currently 15 choices including BusinessWeek , Cnet, Standard
& Poors, and RollingStone.com).



A floating Annotate toolbar on the desktop informs the user whenever one of his
selected Annotate publishers has written about a site being visited. That material
is instantly accessible on demand.



For example, if a user is shopping for a Palm Pilot and visits palmpilot.com, his
Annotate toolbar might tell him that Cnet, Business Week , and USA Today have
all reviewed Palm products in the past. If the user wants to see those articles,
the Annotate toolbar will retrieve them from the relevant Web site. The articles
are displayed in a new window right alongside the Palm Pilot site, so the user
never has to leave or go searching for product reviews from different places all
over the Net.



Each time Annotate visits the content provider’s site to pull a relevant article,
that publisher gets page views. Annotate’s service is free to consumers, and the
company will be paid by content partners for driving traffic to their sites.



‘It brings publishers’ old content, like product reviews from months ago, back to
life,’ says CEO Brian Flynn. USAToday.com will provide its technology and product
reviews, and lifestyle coverage like movie and travel reviews. ‘Their content is
extremely rich, and we will have it viewed in context as appropriate,’ Flynn says.



Beyond breathing new life into old content, Annotate also carries publishers’ brands
across the Web. ‘It’s really a customer-retention tool,’ says Vincent Trantolo, a
partner in the venture.



The company was incubated by Edwin Schlossberg, president of his own interactive design
firm in New York and husband of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. Funding has been provided
by Merrill Lynch & Co. and PS Capital Ventures.



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Staff reports









(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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