RLM PUBLIC RELATIONS
RLM Public Relations was a
full-service PR firm serving
clients in a wide range of
industries using the Full
• Aggressive pursuit of PR
tactics aligned with
corporate strategy! !
• Proven methodology;
measurable and tangible
• Disciplined structure; no
frivolous activity! !
• Being constantly
responsive and nimble;
always getting our hands
• Continually providing
useful information to
journalists, turning on a
RLM created the Full Frontal PR Approach
• We’re smart, we have
extensive experience with
web site and consumer
• We know what we’re doing,
and so will you!
• We won’t waste your money!
• You can trust us; we’re
• We know how to turn
companies, products and
people into cultural
• We know all the relevant
LM was recognized for
trendSpotting, the ability to place our
clients ahead of trends. We
demonstrate daily that smart and
creative public relations is thriving.
WFMU-FM While attending South by
Southwest in Austin, on-air personality
Benjamen Walker interviewed Group
Commerce CEO Jonty Kelt.
BIZ REPORT Reporter Kristina Knight
covered the announcement that Red Aril signed
Mansueto Venture as a client.
PAIDCONTENT Writer Laura “Hazard”
Owen covered the launch of Book Country’s
Penguin Group USA creates
Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
is the U.S. affiliate of the
Penguin Group, one of the
trade book publishers in the
world. Formed in 1996 as a
result of the merger
between Penguin Books
USA and The Putnam
Berkley Group, Penguin
Group (USA), is a leading
U.S. adult and children's
trade book publisher. The
Penguin Group, with
operations in the US, UK,
Australia, Canada, India,
New Zealand, Ireland,
South Africa and China, is
led by CEO and Chairman,
John Makinson, and is
owned by Pearson plc.
Pearson is an international
media company with
in education, business
information, and consumer
Penguin Group (USA)
publishes under a wide
range of prominent imprints
and trademarks, among
them Viking, G. P.
Putnam's Sons, The
Penguin Press, Riverhead
Books, Dutton, Penguin
Books, Berkley Books,
Gotham Books, Portfolio,
New American Library,
Plume, Tarcher, Philomel,
Grosset & Dunlap, Puffin,
and Frederick Warne.
Book Country is a place where readers and writers of genre fiction come
together to read original fiction, post work or comments, and make a name
for themselves. Our free community is a creative and supportive space
where fiction writers and readers can give and receive constructive criticism,
discover new and entertaining books, discuss and share tips and
experiences, and learn about the publishing industry. Book Country aims to
be useful, egalitarian, and merit-based while fostering an atmosphere of
encouragement and creativity.! !
Book Country also offers a convenient and affordable way to self-publish
eBooks and print books. With a variety of services available, we want you to
be able to put your book on the map. As Book Country grows, we will
continue to offer additional features and services we think you will
Aspiring Authors Get Help Online
by Julie Bosman
In the old days of publishing,
getting your manuscript into the
hands of an editor often meant
mailing the unsolicited finished
product to the offices of literary
agents or editors, where it would
receive a cursory look from an
editorial assistant — or none at
A modern version of the slush
pile is the online “writing
community,” a Web site where
aspiring novelists can post their
ideas, writing samples or
manuscripts and open them to
comments and reviews from
On Tuesday Penguin Group
USA, the publisher of Tom
Clancy, Kathryn Stockett and
Nora Roberts, will unveil its own
venture, Book Country, a Web
site for writers of genre fiction.!
In its initial phase Book Country
will allow writers to post their own
work — whether it’s an opening
chapter or a full manuscript —
and receive critiques from other
users, who can comment on
points like character
development, pacing and
dialogue. Later this summer the
site will generate revenue by
allowing users to self-publish
their books for a fee by ordering
printed copies. (The books will
bear the stamp of Book Country,
not Penguin, and the site is
considered a separate operation
The site will also explain the
business of finding an agent,
marketing and promoting a book,
using social media and handling
digital and subsidiary rights.!
Penguin hopes the site will attract
agents, editors and publishers
scouting for new talent, and allow
writers to produce work with
more polish and direction than
they could otherwise.!
The project has been
spearheaded by Molly Barton,
the director of business
development for Penguin and the
president of Book Country.!
“One of the things I remember
really clearly from my early
editorial experiences was this
feeling of guilt,” Ms. Barton said
in an interview. “I would read
submissions and not be able to
help the writer because we
couldn’t find a place for them on
the list that I was acquiring for.
And I kept feeling that there was
something we could do on the
Internet to really help writers help
Book Country users are invited to
submit work in certain genres:
romance, fantasy, science fiction,
thriller and mystery. Those
categories are broken down into
subgenres like military science
fiction, steampunk, space opera
and alternate history.!
In one discussion in a test
version of the Web site, users
debated the question, “Is your
hook ‘high concept?’ ” (A sample
from a writer who signed in as K.
S. Brown: “A vampire is
kidnapped and tortured, and the
man her secret government
sends to rescue her is a
weredragon, the ancient enemy
of all vampires.”)!
To discourage plagiarism,
administrators have disabled the
copy-and-paste and print
mechanisms on the site.!
Ms. Barton said she had been
influenced by Web sites like
Ravelry, a popular site for knitters
and crocheters. It has more than
1.3 million registered users.!
Countless writers’ Web sites
have popped up in recent years,
including Writers Cafe,
Protagonize and Mibba, but
executives at Penguin said other
sites did not provide so
comprehensive an experience as
the site they wanted to create.!
“It’s connecting disparate pieces
that writers had to go to three or
four different sites to find,” Ms.
Penguin Adds Self-Publishing To Writing Community Site
By Laura Hazard Owen !
Nov 16, 2011 9:41 AM ET! !
Aspiring writers come to Book Country, Penguin Group USA’s online genre fiction
community, to post and workshop their romance, science fiction/fantasy, thriller
and mystery manuscripts in progress. Now Book Country is adding a self-publishing
option, with packages ranging from $99 to $549. While companies like
HarperCollins have launched their own writing communities, Penguin is the first
“big six” publisher to add self-publishing tools to its offerings.!
Penguin launched Book Country in April. The site is overseen by Penguin global
digital director Molly Barton and has about 4,000 members who have published
561 books. A “small number” of Book Country members have found agents,
Penguin says. The rest can now choose “a new kind of self-publishing that offers
a more professional product and provides guidance that isn’t currently available
from other players,” Penguin CEO David Shanks said in a statement.!
SEE ALSO: HarperCollins' Writing Community Site Authonomy Adds E-Book Imprint!
Book Country provides users with three self-publishing packages: $99 for a user-formatted e-book; $299 for a user-formatted
print and e-book; and $549 for a professionally formatted print and e-book. Those who select the $549 option can choose
from six styles created by Penguin’s in-house designers. Each style corresponds to a certain book genre: “The Sensation” for
sci-fi/fantasy titles, for example, or “The Riddler” for mysteries and thrillers. Users can make up to 15 free formatting changes
before the book is published.!
Users can also choose from a variety of options for distributing their book. “Wide distribution” means that the book is sold on
Book Country as well as across e-bookstore like Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN), Apple (NSDQ: AAPL), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:
BKS), Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Kobo and others. “Basic distribution” is on Book Country only, and users get a discount for
selecting that option. Books can also be kept private if users just want to sell them to a select group of people.!
There are certain pricing rules: E-books have to be at least $0.99, for example, and print books have to be priced equal to or
above the manufacturing cost (Book Country provides guidance once it knows how long the print book will be). An e-book
can’t be priced higher than its print equivalent. DRM is available for titles above $2.99; titles below $2.99 are DRM-free.!
For books sold on Book Country, users earn a 70 percent royalty if the book is priced above $2.99, and a 30 percent royalty if
the book is priced between $0.99 and $2.95. The royalty rate is the same on third-party sites, but there, since third-party sites
also charge fees, a user receives the 70 percent royalty minus the third-party fee. For example, an e-book published by Book
Country and sold on Amazon for $2.99 gets 70 percent royalty from Amazon: $2.09. The Book Country user then gets 70
percent of the $2.09: $1.47. Users are paid via PayPal every 30 days with a minimum payment of $50. If a user doesn’t reach
$50 within three months, he or she gets paid and the cycle restarts.!
Shanks told the WSJ that Penguin has invested “a substantial amount of money” in Book Country’s technology, and that
while the company may offer some of Book Country’s most successful self-published authors traditional publishing contracts,
it won’t refer authors it rejects to Book Country: That “wouldn’t be appropriate,” Barton said.!
HarperCollins’ online writing community, Authonomy, recently launched its own digital imprint, which “hand picks” the best
works on the site and publishes them as original e-books. But this appears to be the first time a traditional publisher has
launched a separate self-publishing operation. It is a smart strategy: While Penguin is unlikely to pick up almost any of the
authors publishing on Book Country and offer them traditional contracts (Authonomy has done so a few times), it is keeping
these authors close and engaged with its brand and is turning them into an additional revenue stream. And if it is in search of
new genre fiction authors, it knows where to look first.!
Welcome to Book Country!
At BEA (Book Expo America) I had the chance to learn about Book Country, a new online community for writers. I really liked
what I saw and thought Book Country had a little something special that I haven't seen in other online communities. We have
many aspiring authors and editors who follow this blog, so we thought y'all would enjoy getting to know a little bit more about
Book country. We have a Q & A with Book Country President, Molly Barton. We hope you enjoy what you see and head on over
to Book Country!! !
Molly Barton, President !
Molly Barton, the president of Book Country, has overseen the company from its
inception. She has a history of success and innovation in book publishing. Always
looking for better ways to serve writers and readers, she leads Penguin’s efforts to
publish apps, enhanced and amplified eBooks, and eSpecials, which are digital-only
essays and short stories. Molly helped launch the successful Amazon Breakthrough
Novel Award Contest for Penguin, and she continues to develop digital publishing
projects, new business models, strategies, and partnerships in her role as director of
business development at Penguin Group (USA). Molly started at Penguin in 2004 as
an editor and she still edits a select group of fiction writers for Viking and other
imprints. She previously held editorial and marketing roles at Oxford University
Press. She has worked with many well-known authors including Terry McMillan,
Melissa Bank, Nick Hornby, Meg Rosoff, Laura Dave, Ceridwen Dovey and Anya
Ulinich. Molly earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Wesleyan University, where she was also a Ford
Fellow in the Writing Program.!
What was the idea behind Book Country? What does Book Country provide that other sites don't?
The idea is to build a truly useful place for aspiring genre fiction writers to get read. We saw writers becoming frustrated with
some of the other online writing sites that overpromise while providing little real guidance to writers. At Book Country, writers who
participate in the community and share work or chapters of their work may well get noticed by editors and agents who are reading
fiction on the site. And one of Penguin’s goal as parent company of Book Country is to build a new way to discover talent.! !
But the focus of Book Country is on writers helping writers in a constructive environment that is also a fun place for readers.
When writers upload their fiction to the site, we ask them to specify the two criteria where they are most interested in getting
feedback, e.g. plot, pacing, character development, so that they get the most out of the reviews from fellow Book Country
members. ! !
Membership is free. Book Country is focused on science fiction, fantasy, romance, mystery and thriller. We are not trying to be all
things to all writers – we are building a community of like-minded writers so that they can give one another helpful feedback and
so that we can do the best job of connecting writers to appropriate readers.! ! To that end, Book Country gives writers discoverability tools like tagging, faceted search, and the Genre Map. The
groundbreaking Genre Map provides readers with a fun and visual way to browse 42 subgenres to find something they’d like to
read. Writers who upload their work answer a few questions about their book and Book Country places them on the map
according to compass points like light vs. dark, funny vs. scary, realistic vs. fantastic, sexy vs. innocent. The map also features
Landmark Titles, which are well-known books in each subgenre so readers can browse by checking out new writers who appear
near writers whose work they know and like. !
To that end, Book Country gives writers discoverability tools like tagging, faceted search, and the Genre Map. The
groundbreaking Genre Map provides readers with a fun and visual way to browse 42 subgenres to find something they’d
like to read. Writers who upload their work answer a few questions about their book and Book Country places them on the
map according to compass points like light vs. dark, funny vs. scary, realistic vs. fantastic, sexy vs. innocent. The map also
features Landmark Titles, which are well-known books in each subgenre so readers can browse by checking out new
writers who appear near writers whose work they know and like. ! !
The Genre Map
(click to view full size picture)! !
To help make sure that writers on Book Country find readers, we have a rule in place that if you post work to the site, you
must read and review three other writers’ books on the site before we’ll make your book visible to the community. We also
have a Section on the Books home page called Waiting to be Discovered, an area that features new titles that were
recently uploaded and have not yet received any Peer Reviews. ! !
Writers can hash out craft and business questions on our Discussions forum. Established authors and Book Country staff
members drop in to the Discussion Boards to answer questions and moderate the discussions about such topics as How to
Write A Sex Scene, Writing the Other and Writing Fight Scenes.! !
How do aspiring authors interact with industry professionals through Book Country?
The focus of Book Country is on writers helping writers and we take merit very seriously – the peer reviews on the site are
reviewed by the community (thumbs up or down for ‘constructive feedback’) and members gain or lose influence in the
community depending on these ratings and the level of activity. This means that writers cannot post work to the site and
invite all their friends to the site to “vote them up” – it won’t work because brand new members’ comments are not weighted
as heavily as established and well respected members of the community. ! !
All of that said, we do welcome book industry professionals as Book Country members; we have agents and editors (from
many publishing houses, not just Penguin) in our community already! They all have their own reasons for being part of the
Book Country: some are there as writers themselves; a few of them are there incognito so they can give helpful feedback
and participate in writing discussions without the whole weight of their profession there to intimidate a writer; and yes, a lot
of them are there reading for new talent. One of our early beta users found agent representation this way. ! ! If an agent or an editor wants to get in touch with one of our members, he or she can write to us and we’ll arrange an email
introduction, if the author gives us permission to do so. There is no direct messaging on the site so people can’t ‘spam’
each other with unwanted messages but we will facilitate email introductions if both parties consent.! !
What are your goals and vision for Book Country?
Ideally, I’d love to find writers on Book Country that I can bring to the Penguin editors for publication! There are some
extraordinary writers on this site already. ! !
And we want to see the community grow even bigger. We’ve only been in public beta for five weeks, but already we have
almost 2700 members and more than 400 manuscripts posted.!
In the late summer, we’ll be launching self-publishing services for those writers interested in pursuing a
non-traditional publishing path. We’re building the system in-house; there are so many self-publishing
companies offering expensive – and sometimes deceptive – services, services that were designed by
engineers and technologists rather than publishers and people who love books. I really felt we could do
What has been the most rewarding response to the opening of Book Country?
We’ve received so many emails, Tweets and links to blog posts where writers tell us how much being a
part of Book Country has helped them become better writers. It’s really gratifying to know that we’re
affecting real people in a tangible way.! !
What are some of your favorite/must read postings on Book Country right now?
I particularly like delving into the Discussions forum, where writers and readers are having smart
conversations about all kinds of things. One of my favorite threads right now is a very funny conversation
about traits in romance heroines that drive readers crazy. [link - http://www.bookcountry.com/Community/
Discussions/Default.aspx?id=112467]. Another is a thread about whether writer share their writing with
romantic partners. [link - http://www.bookcountry.com/Community/Discussions/Default.aspx?id=100108].! !
As for books, our community manager Colleen Lindsay recommends a steampunky-romance called
Shadows Over Love [link - http://www.bookcountry.com/Books/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=100037], and
Danielle Poiesz, our editorial coordinator, really likes a Regency romance called Fly Me to the Stars [link -
http://bookcountry.com/Books/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=101733]. And I’ve just finished reading a
contemporary romance called Family Ties [link - http://www.bookcountry.com/Books/BookDetails.aspx?
bookId=100118] that I really enjoyed. !
Penguin Unveils Social Network for Genre Fiction at Book
By Shel Horowitz, Editor, Down to Business/Global Arts Review
Book Country is a new social network specifically for fans and writers of genre fiction: mysteries, thrillers,
science fiction, fantasy, and romance. Owned by print publishing giant Penguin, Book Country is open to
authors from any publisher, as long as they write within one of the genres.!
I interviewed Molly Barton, President of Book Country and Director of Business Development at Penguin
Group (USA ) (when necessary for context, my questions are in italics; my comments are in square
I created Book Country because I wanted to create a real stepping stone for aspiring fiction writers to
improve their work, learn how to describe their work in the most advantageous manner, and to learn about
the various publishing paths available to them. I also saw self-publishing companies offering very expensive
services designed by technologists rather than publishers or marketers, and felt we could do better.
Why authors from all houses and not just Penguin authors?
I felt it was important to give fiction writers a holistic view. The Landmark Books [well-known titles in a
genre] are from publishers across the industry!
[The site categorizes books not only by genre, but also by their rank in several sets of statistics that provide
social proof: essentially, a curatorial function-helping readers choose books they'll like or that will be
especially helped by their feedback. The site lists books in this order:]
. At the top: Book Country favorites: highest rated by community in five genres.
. Next, Buzz Books: most activity
. Below, Waiting to Be Discovered.!
As a writer, you're free to upload work in progress or finished work, but you have to review three other
people's work before yours is visible.!
What makes the site unique?
Several things, actually. We try to focus heavily on discoverability, and to that end we created the Genre
Map, which allows writers and readers a way to focus on genres with a particular kind of granularity, using
tones (light vs. dark; funny vs. scary; sexy vs. innocent; realistic vs. fantastic) as compass points on the
We also offer a Waiting to Be Discovered area on the main book page, which bubbles up newly-posted
fiction that hasn't yet been critiqued. Other things that make us different: Authors can request feedback
on the specific criteria (i.e., plot, character development, setting, etc) where they feel they need the most
help. Recommendations can be integrated with social media [sent to Facebook and Twitter]. No Flash is
used. Our Reader was designed to emulate an e-reader experience, and as such is really a great
reading experience. Viewers can adjust the font size and style, and readers can take notes on the fly
[with a post-it-note-type feature keyed to different areas of feedback requested].!
We review the reviewers and are instituting a true meritocracy, unlike some other sites where authors
can stack reviews with their friends. Readers can vote on whether a review is constructive, and the
reviewer gains or loses karma based on that. If [top-rated reviewers] say a book is great, it matters
Why just genre categories?
People ask, why don't you have nonfiction, poetry, literary fiction? I wanted to do genre fiction because I
want readers to know this is a focused site, and it's easy for them to find something they'd like to read.
You can use the favorites, buzz books, top lists within genre, or you can go into our faceted search
[hierarchical menus including tags and peer review criteria].
I also wanted to create a visual echo of the serendipity you find in a traditional brick & mortar bookstore.
Because people always describe new books in reference to existing books, if you go to the genre map,
you can see the landmarks [well-known books as compass points along the matrix, once you've clicked
on an icon in the above screen]. Click on points nearby to get [similar] book recommendations.!
[Barton and her team also have a sense of play; at the expo, they distributed buttons that incorporated
the Book Country logo - the bright red nib of a fountain pen - into fun graphics such as the "nerd alert"
radiating beacon, and a "born to write" button in which the nib looked suspiciously like swimming sperm.!
When did you get started?
We soft-launched - what we've been calling a "public beta" - on April 26. Book Country is a free
community, but to review books or participate in a discussion, you do need to join the site. Right now,
non-members can read up to 5000 words of any manuscript; once you've joined and logged in, can read
up to 30,000 words of any manuscript. You can "Request to Connect" with another writer if you'd like to
read that writer's entire work. And we're hoping to have books by Book Country members for sale on the
Genre Map when we launch (late summer).
How will you monetize?
Several ways. In late summer, we'll be launching self-publishing services, on a system we're currently
building ourselves. We're also hoping we'll find some great new writers for our Penguin editors. The
writers on Book Country have no obligation to Penguin, but we have do have editors watching closely.
There are a number of literary agents who have joined the site, too, as well as editors from other
publishing houses. One of our beta users has already found representation this way.
What else do you offer?
Well, the coolest thing about Book Country is the Genre Map, of course, but we also have a big
discussions forum focused on genre fiction, as well as the craft and business of writing; we've gotten a
huge number of posts already. We moderate fairly heavily and like to think we offer a more writer-focused
series of discussions that some other online communities. We also have a magazine-style
blog where we're commissioning articles from writers and publishing professionals; we'll use this as
conduit for educating writers about the book business.!
How many people are involved?
Four full-time employees, plus a service agreement with Penguin, plus five developers. Colleen
Lindsay, our community manager, a former associate director of publicity for Del Rey Books, is a genre
fiction specialist with 24 years of experience in publishing and bookselling; she's also very active on
Twitter, with more than 70,000 followers. Danielle Poiesz, a former associate editor at Pocket Books, is
our editorial coordinator; in addition to acquiring romance and urban fantasy titles for Pocket, Danielle
was also the community manager for the Pocket After Dark online urban fantasy community. And my
own publishing background includes a long stint in Penguin editorial before moving into business
AND HOW MANY READERS AND WRITERS, BOTH OVERALL AND BY GENRE?
We've been in public beta for less than five weeks but already we have nearly 2700 Book Country
members, with more than 400 manuscripts posted. Right now, our most populated genres are fantasy
and romance, but the other genres are catching up fast!
How are you promoting the site?
We're attending writers' conferences, genre conventions like New York ComicCon and trade shows
like BEA to talk about Book Country. At BEA alone, we gave more than 100 Book Country demos to
media folks, publishing professionals. We're also using social media like Facebook and Twitter in
smart ways; we've contracted with a PR firm to do more traditional media outreach; and just generally
spreading the word through personal connections. It's been a very exciting time for us!
If you’re a writer, it’s time to explore Book Country
08 August 2011 03:51!
Most how-to books on the creative process tell writers to stay far away from the time-suck that is the Internet. But Book
Country, a new online platform, lets new writers get exposure, motivation and, most importantly, feedback.
Focused on the genres of romance, fantasy, science fiction, thriller and mystery, members can upload a work in
progress, explore and provide notes about work already posted, and participate in discussions about the business and
craft of writing.
“Traditionally, a writer has to have a full manuscript before reviews are possible. With Book Country, he just has to
upload a few chapters and he will be able to get feedback on his work,” says Molly Barton, president of the site. “It
makes the whole process less intimidating.”
Book Country also focuses on reciprocity.? Members are allowed to upload work only after they have provided reviews
for three other works. “All the reviews are moderated. And the reviews by more established members will weigh more
than reviews by newer members,” Barton says. “This way, a writer cannot ask his friends to join and give his own work
a raving review. This maintains the integrity of our website.”!
Book Country’s “Genre Map” arranges and organizes the many types of fiction, which can range from “paranormal
romance” to “military science fiction.”!
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By Kari Bodnarchuk !
Globe Correspondent / June 26, 2011 !
Weather Trends International makes planning and packing for trips easier, as it provides forecasts up to a
year in advance for more than 6.4 million locations in 195 countries. And it does so with more than 80
percent accuracy. The company’s new website, www.weathertrends360.com, and iPhone app provide
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July 7, 2011
Clear Forecasts All Year Long
Sometimes making plans more than a week or two in advance can be nearly
impossible. A meeting on the links, for example, can be hard to pinpoint according
to the weather. But many golf courses require bookings weeks or months in
advance and, unfortunately, most weather outlets can only make ten-day
forecasts. A rainout may not be the end of the world on most occasions, but what if
you planned your trip to Scotland specifically to tea-off on St. Andrew’s famed
Enter Weather Trends International (WTI), a company that’s been providing year-ahead weather forecasting in
195 countries with an impressive eighty percent accuracy. It has its roots in business weather guidance for
retailers, manufacturers and agricultural firms as varied as Wal-Mart, Energizer, Clorox and even Hershey’s.
“We’ve been a trusted weather information provider to more than a hundred marquee companies for almost a
decade, and now we’re proud to introduce our year-ahead weather forecasting to the consumer market,” said
Bill Kirk, chief executive officer of Weather Trends International.!
While their math-based statistical forecasting technology was previously only available to clients making billion-dollar
marketing decisions impacted by weather, WTI’s global forecasts are now available to the public
atWeatherTrends360.com. This means that small businesses owners, as well as the titans of industry, can craft
their business plans around the year’s weather patterns. It also means that leisure travelers can book a well-deserved
getaway with the sunshine they’re craving.!
As of this month, the full version WeatherTrends360 iPhone App is available in the App store for 99 cents,
although the Web site also provides full access to all information with a free membership. iPad and Android
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June 29, 2011 2:50 PM PDT
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by Amanda Kooser !! I'm really looking forward to the light rain showers that are
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May 2, 2012. Coupled with a high of 88 degrees, it should
be a lovely day. I'm marking it on my calendar to play
hooky from work.!
I'm privy to this knowledge thanks to WT360 Pro, a 99-
cent app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that gives
weather forecasts up to 360 days into the future. It's as
close to a weather crystal ball as you can get.!
WT360 Pro isn't just guessing blindly. It's tied in with the
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weather forecasts and long-range future predictions. The
company uses a super-secret formula that takes into
account weather history and statistics.!
There are plenty of practical applications for an app like
this. You could figure out if that lavish outdoor wedding
you're planning for next spring is likely to happen amid a
monsoon. You could choose your fall vacation destination
based on which beach town will have the nicest weather.! !
Really, this makes sense for anyone arranging travel plans for months down the line. Should the
NFL season actually happen, then the Super Bowl in Indianapolis could be played on a day when
the low should hit 17 degrees. Pack a down jacket.!
The WT360 app capably handles short-term forecasts as well, though it's not as slick-looking as
some of the other weather apps out there. A neat little animated weather map feature gives you a
look at temperatures in different regions around the world. !
Ultimately, WT360 doesn't need to blow you away with the visuals. The developers know that the
real draw is its 1,000-yard stare into the future.!
SEE THE FUTURE (WEATHER, THAT IS) ! !
Want to know if it will be sunny in Italy the week you've chosen to go next spring? !
Weather Trends International, recently named one of Forbes' most promising companies, has a
launched a website and iPhone app giving consumers access to global weather forecasts for a year.
WeatherTrends360.com projects high and low temperatures, as well as precipitation, in more than six
million locations, and claims to do so with 80% accuracy. Take that six o'clock news.
• • •
Group Commerce is the
for publishers who want
to succeed in e-commerce.
Our company serves the
three groups that make an
work: the consumer, the
publisher, and the
We have the platform. Our
technology has been designed
to serve the unique needs of
brands and media companies
from the ground up. It’s an
enterprise-grade platform that
serves as a true command
center for a publisher’s
eCommerce program; there’s
nothing else like it out there. ! !
We match our platform
services. We know exactly
what it takes to succeed.
Through our professional
services, we’re the only
company that provides all of
the necessary know-how to
help publishers win in
eCommerce (e.g. payment
processing, customer service,
merchandising strategy, etc).!
Founded in 2010, Group
Commerce is backed by Spark
Capital, Carmel Ventures,
Lerer Ventures, and Bob
Pittman. Our clients include
Boston.com, CBS Local,
Hearst Publications, Meredith
Corporation, the New York
Times, Thrillist, and many
by David Rosenblatt!
by Jonty Kelt!
Group Commerce Powers Buying Efforts For Web Publishers
by Gavin O'Malley, Friday, March 11, 2011 4:05 PM
At the risk of reshaping online advertising, Jonty Kelt is on a mission to turn every
Web publisher into a Groupon-like deal service.!
As CEO of Group Commerce -- which he recently co-founded with some fellow
DoubleClick and Google alums -- Kelt is out to prove that publishers hold a key
advantage over Groupon and its many clones. Simply put, publishers have
"connections with unique audiences," Kelt tells Online Media Daily.!
Sure, commercially inclined publishers with targeted audiences might be better-suited
to the deal game. But Kelt says: "Ultimately, all audiences have needs, and
no one knows those needs better than publishers."!
Off to a strong start, Group Commerce is already powering group-buying efforts for
The New York Times, Meredith Corporation, Thrillist and DailyCandy.!
Amid a crowd of white-label technology platforms, Group Commerce hopes to set itself apart. It's offering what Kelt calls
"merchandising strategy," which helps publishers plan and execute their own deal strategies.!
Presently, the company has four staffers dedicated to such merchandising efforts, along with three customer-service
representatives that can help a publishers' audience answer any questions or concerns they have regarding a deal.!
Group Commerce also has 15 sales associates that will cultivate merchant deals for publishers, if they prefer not to put
their own salespeople on the job.!
Having just raised $8 million in capital, however, Kelt says the company plans to employ about 100 salespeople by the
end of the year, and expand their presence from five cities to 20.!
For its services, Group Commerce takes a share of deal-generated revenue, which varies based on the extent to which it
helps publishers. Some publishers, including the NYT and Thrillist, use their own salespeople to sell daily deals.
According to Kelt, however, daily deals do not threaten existing media buying and planning structures.!
On the contrary, he insists, "we're opening up a new area for them -- local, in particular. That doesn't mean that national
advertisers can't participate [in daily deals], but it serves a very different purpose" than other forms of online advertising.!
Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru agrees. "It's its own separate channel," she says. "It's a different bucket."!
As such, Mulpuru believes that adding daily deal services to content and marketing mixes is a "no-brainer" for publishers.
"There's a lot of hype [around group buying], but it's a very lucrative model ... and publishers are struggling to figure out
how to make more money."!
Formerly head of DoubleClick's search technology and services businesses in Europe and Asia, Kelt co-founded Group
Commerce in 2010 along with David Rosenblatt, formerly CEO of DoubleClick and now Group Commerce Chairman, and
Andrew Glenn, credited with developing the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and now CTO of Group Commerce.!
The company's current investors include Spark Capital, Carmel Ventures, Lerer Media Ventures and Bob Pittman, who
founded MTV Networks and now serves as chairman of media and entertainment platforms at Clear Channel.!
Over the next four years, spending on domestic "deal-a-day" offers will approach $4 billion, according to recent estimates
from BIA/ Kelsey. That's up from $873 million in 2010, which would represent a 35.1% compound annual growth rate,
according to the market research firm.
Hearst's Groupon Clone Could Be A Huge Business
Noah Davis | Jul. 19, 2011, 11:50 AM | 1,599 | ! !
Hearst plans to launch a daily deals service later this summer, starting with offerings targeting the
subscribers of Road & Track and Car and Driver. By the end of the year, the company plans to be selling
group deals for all its magazine brands. !
Hearst is partnering with Group Commerce, the company that provides platforms for brands such as
Thrillist and DailyCandy. !
We spoke with Vinicius Vacanti - an expert in the space and founder of Yipit, a service that finds you
great local deals by learning your tastes - to get his thoughts on whether Hearst can turn this Groupon
clone into a viable business. His answer? In a word: yes. In four, it could be big. Vacanti, who hopes the
daily deals model succeeds since it will be good for his startup, tells us that the largest barrier to daily
deals startups is acquiring a customer base. Hearst already has this, so their difficulty will be converting
a magazine's readers into purchasers. !
"The biggest challenge is convincing the audience that this is a good deal. Groupon does that implicitly
because it's a group-buying platform," he says. "For the reader, why should they believe that the
magazine is giving them a good deal on this product? I think what's really important for these media
companies is to be very clear and explain why this is a good deal. How did this deal come about?"
"If they can convince their readers that this is a service, not an advertisement, they could do very well.
They need to say something like, 'All of you readers are buying the same set of goods. We're going to go
to those providers and convince them to give us a deal so that you're getting a deal on things you're
already buying.'" !
Hearst could face problems of location and scale, however, as Vacanti says daily deals works better on a
local level than a national one. It would be a better business model to have 800,000 readers in New York
(sort of like this?) than 800,000 scattered around the country, but it's not a dealbreaker. There are some
categories such as travel that have fared well on a nationwide scale. Hearst is betting that cars will
translate across the country. !
Group deals are a cheap business with huge upside. The expenses are minimal - sales people to secure
deals and technology costs from Group Commerce. Vacanti thinks the company will only need to sell
"in the hundreds" for the initiative to be in good shape financially. Hearst should be able to convert that
many readers into buyers without much trouble. !
In the end, of course, "it all comes down to execution." Considering the model is there, the technology
exists, and the overhead is low, it's hard not to see the magazine company finding another revenue
stream. Expect a deluge of deals in the near future. !
"If this works for Hearst, then you are going to see every magazine in the country do a daily deals,"
Vacanti says. !!
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/hearsts-groupon-clone-could-be-a-huge-business-2011-7?
Group Commerce Hooks Up Boston.com With Group-
Written on May 25, 2011 ! !
ADOTAS – Hey publishers, why let Groupon have all the group-buying fun? Especially when Group
Commerce can easily plug in its group-buying and social commerce platform to your site to let the
deals go flying. ! !
Already powering group-buying initiatives at The New York Times, Thrillist and DailyCandy, Group
Commerce has just added Boston.com to its roster of publishers. The new Boston Deals service will
allow local merchants to offer wicked discounts to 1.3 million monthly uniques around Beantown. ! !
As space leader Groupon signs deals with location-based mobile social networks like Foursquare and
Loopt, Group Commerce’s plug-and-play platform is an interesting twist to the ever-expanding group-buying
game. Local-centric sites like Boston.com offer not only a geotargeted audience, but typically an
engaged reader base — exactly who local and smaller merchants want to reach. ! !
Group Commerce was founded in 2010 and is financially backed by Spark Capital, Carmel Ventures,
Lerer Ventures and Bob Pittman. It’s executive team boasts a slew of DoubleClick veterans, including
former CEO David Rosenblatt in the position of executive chairman, former search head Jonty Kelt as
CEO and former engineering head Andrew Glenn playing CTO.
JIM SOSS Red Aril
Jim is a seasoned
executive with a passion
for building teams that
deliver a strategic
Prior to joining Red Aril,
Jim was vice president
marketing services at
where he was
responsible for uniting
global businesses that
spanned both digital and
($300M+). Jim initially
joined Acxiom as vice
president and general
manager of Acxiom
Digital (formerly Digital
Impact, Inc.) a leading
digital solution provider
and top twenty-five
Before Acxiom, Jim
spent several years with
infoGROUP as vice
president of sales,
client services, and
consultancy. Prior to the
Internet age, Jim built an
extensive background in
enterprise software and
previously served as an
executive with Starlight
Networks, Sybase, Inc.,
and Pansophic Systems.
Jim holds a B.S.E. from
Princeton University and
an M.B.A. with high
honors distinction from
the University of
Chicago, Booth School
Red Aril was founded on the basic premise that data is one of the most
valuable — and most underutilized — assets in the digital ecosystem
today. Everyone recognizes the value of that data, but no one knows how to
fully access, manage and optimize it.!
We set out to combine data analytics, online advertising and CRM veterans
with one goal in mind: to develop the first truly integrated Data Management
and Audience Optimization Platform (DMP). To do that, we collected every
type of data — public and private, structured and unstructured, online and
offline – and translated that data into something meaningful for our audience
of marketers. We then put that data to practical use within our customers'
The result is the Red Aril DMP, a unique Data Management and Audience
Optimization Platform that truly solves the data complexity problem in a
unique and compelling fashion.!
Today Red Aril is a unit of iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency that
combines talent and technology to build connected brands. So now we're not
simply a different kind of data company, but a company that provides a cross-channel
view of customers in real time, identifying high-value audiences with
greater precision than ever before to reach the most valuable customers on a
more personal level.!
BizReport: Advertising: May 25, 2011!
Two new partnerships offer advertisers control over privacy, relevant messaging
In 2011 it has become clear that brands' need to not only connect with consumers
through relevant, engaging ads, but they also need to assure consumers' privacy within
the space. Two new partnerships should help brands do both.
by Kristina Knight ! !
First up, the DoubleVerify/AudienceScience partnership. Through the partnership DoubleVerify's
BrandAssure solution will verify where ads are placed so that advertisers know they are reaching
brand appropriate, engaged audiences. It will help brands remain or become compliant with Online
Behavioral Advertising, IAB Europe's European Framework for Online Behavioural Advertising and
DAA Self-Regulatory Program (US) tenets. ! !
"Transparency and accountability are increasingly important in online advertising. Campaign tracking is
now more complex as agencies, ad networks and DSPs run ads in mass quantities. Furthermore, self-regulation
in Europe and the US is now a mandate from the industry and government regulators. Third-party
media verification and consumer disclosure through the enhanced notice icon are positive steps
toward building trust all around with the consumer and with the companies working in the ecosystem,"
sand Oren Netzer, Co-Founder and CEO, DoubleVerify. ! !
Next up, the Mansueto Ventures/Red Aril endeavor. Mansueto publishes 'Inc.' and 'Fast Company'.
Through this partnership Red Aril will help to personalize content, assuring advertisers and publishers
using Mansueto Ventures' platform of a more engaging user experience. Red Aril will help to create
'sophisticated profiles' through which content can be targeted to users tastes. ! !
"We're seeing increasing demand for this kind of full-circle, real time audience targeting from sophisticated
marketers across industries. We're excited that Masueto singled out Red Aril for its ability to support the breadth
of its data management needs," said Jim Soss, CEO, Red Aril.
The Receivables Exchange
Fast, affordable access to working capital, regardless of size.!
The Receivables Exchange is the online marketplace for selling accounts receivable. We
connect businesses seeking working capital to a global network of accredited institutional
investors. Since its inception, the Exchange has helped thousands of companies get capital on
The Receivables Exchange LLC, with offices in New Orleans and New York, is a subsidiary of
the New Orleans Exchange (NOE).!
Justin Brownhill, !
Co-Founder & CEO! !!!
Nicolas Perkins, !
Co-Founder & President
NYSE Euronext acquires minority stake in
BBR Staff Writer!
Published 14 September 2011! !
NYSE Euronext has acquired a minority stake in The Receivables Exchange (TRE), an online
marketplace for US receivables sales.!
Both the companies have launched a joint strategic initiative to market TRE's Corporate Receivables
Program (CRP) to potential sellers, including New York Stock Exchange listed companies.!
TRE's CRP is an electronic marketplace for the standardized purchase and sale of corporate accounts
CRP gives companies increased flexibility in managing working capital via receivables sales, access to
diverse funding sources without adding leverage, off-balance sheet benefits, reduced complexity and
time to market, and competitive cost of capital, said NYSE.!
The process lowers Days Sales Outstanding to as little as one day and allows companies to tap into the
$17 trillion US accounts receivable market.!
In addition, NYSE Euronext has appointed Paul DeDomenico, former CEO of GE Capital - working
capital solutions, as head of global CRPs.!
NYSE Euronext executive vice president and head of NYSE Listings Scott Cutler said their alliance with
TRE adds to their growing portfolio of issuer services and provides their listed companies affordable
and continuous access to working capital.!
TRE co-founders Justin Brownhill, CEO, and Nic Perkin, president jointly said CRP provides an efficient
and cost-effective way for NYSE listed and other companies to leverage receivables for liquidity and
balance sheet management and to improve return on assets and equity.!
Terms of the acquisition investment were not disclosed.
ECN & Exchanges