Thursday, 8th November 2007
LookSmart Sells FindArticles to CNET Networks for $20.5 Million in Cash
LookSmart Sells FindArticles to CNET Networks
LookSmart has sold one of its assets, FindArticles, to CNET Networks (the people who publish News.com amongst many other ventures) for approximately $20.5 million dollars in cash. Here's the news release and a direct link with more details to the SEC 8-K form.
In recent months we've posted a couple of times about other changes changes at LookSmart (see references at bottom of the post). One might wonder if another well-known LookSmart asset, FURL, is also be on the shopping block.
Find Articles provides full text, archived, articles (more than 10 million articles total) from over 3000 sources. Some articles are available at no charge while others are provided for a fee (aka Premium articles) using the HighBeam database service. A one week free trial is available.
An advanced interface is also online that allows the searcher to limit by date, source, and sort results various ways. Users can also limit to only free, only fee, or both. Also, all queries can be turned into RSS feeds. Note the RSS button at the bottom of a results page.
A search for "airport lounge" limited to the free collection. You'll also spot video content via Blinkx. Here's an actual result, a press release from M2, also note the Gale copyright at the bottom of the article. Here's another free article. This time, Reuters content via eWeek.
Some content in FindArticles comes via LookSmart partnership with Gale.
Searching LookSmart is always free. However, some articles are fee-based to access the full text. Here's a search for the phrase "Rockland County" searching both the free and fee-based (premium) database. Articles available for a fee are accessible via HighBeam. Here's an example. The user sees a small amount of the text and is then asked to register for a Free Seven Day Trial with HighBeam. While the trial is free it does require a credit card and makes clear that you must cancel during the trial to avoid being charged HighBeam's $29.95 monthly fee or $199.95/year
From the news release:
"CNET Networks understands that access to premium content is critical for our users' online media experience," said Neil Ashe, CEO of CNET Networks. "The addition of this high-quality content from leading independent publishers allows us to further improve the experience for our users."
What some in the library world might consider sad is that many public libraries in the U.S. and elsewhere most likely offer remote access (24x7x365) to some/most/all and more of this content (for personal use) at no charge (aka free) All you need is a library card and increasingly you don't even need that. Some states allow you to use your driver's license number or even automatically recognize an IP address from the area. Since many libraries offer different databases, it's also possible to get cards from the libraries you want. To give you an idea, here's what a few libraries offer. Btw, more and more libraries are also offering remotely accessible (download from any web computer) audio book, text books, and videos. At the same time, more and more libraries are offering an option to search multiple databases with one search (meta or federated searching).
Here are a few, just a few, examples of what's available for free with a library card from a local public library:
+ Arlington County, VA Public Library
+ Brooklyn Public Library
+ Edmonton, AB, Canada Public Library
+ Hennepin Country, MN, Public Library
+ Michigan Electronic Library (statewide)
+ Pennsylvania Power Library (Statewide; PDF)
+ San Francisco Public Library
See Also: A Brief Overview of the AccessMyLibrary Service From Gale
See Also: It’s Official: WiseNut is No More
See Also: LookSmart CEO Resigns, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Appointed (August/2007)
See Also: LookSmart Launches Five New Verticals that Include FindArticles Content (March/2005)
Note: The verticals mentioned in the post above all redirect to new domains:
++ Teenja (For Teens) is Now LookSmart High School
++ GradeWinner (For Tweens) is Now LookSmart Jr. High
++ 24Hourscholar (For the College Student) is Now LookSmart College
++ ParentSurf (For Parents) is Now LookSmart Parents+
++ GoBelle.com (For Moms on the Go) is Now LookSmart Mom
See Also: Steal This Book, Don't Bother (via News.com)