Bloggers will interpret news - for a fee - East Valley Tribune: Business

Bloggers will interpret news - for a fee

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Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2005 12:31 pm

NEW YORK - Bloggers live or die by their wits - and that especially includes those who try to make a business of it.

No one is as acutely aware of that as Mike Masnick, chief executive of Techdirt Inc., a 12-person corporate intelligence service best known for its no-holds-barred public Web journal, or blog, that comments continuously on tech industry developments.

Masnick's 5-year-old enterprise, which grew out of an idea he developed while a student at Cornell in the 1990s, distills and interprets tech news for such corporate customers as Volkswagen AG and VeriSign Inc.

Now, the Belmont, Calif., company has a new customized service that Masnick dubbed InfoAdvisor because it delivers tailored Web feeds from news outlets and blogs pertinent to a customer's interest.

The key: Masnick's corral of geeks - journalists, analysts and engineers - edit those feeds and provide their expert commentary, telling you who and what to trust. Traditional media mostly had a lock on that market before the Internet let loose an information flood.

"There's so much information out there that a lot of you are spending too much time keeping up with things and not doing important things - like your job," Masnick told participants in the Blog On social networking conference this week.

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