Stockbroking firm Durlacher is further removing itself from owning websites by selling its ShareCast (www.sharecast.com) site to Digital Look (www.digitallook.com). Digital Look already supplies a number of websites with its content services – including Yahoo and MSN – and Andrew Yates, formerly of the Investors Chronicle, The Independent and the BBC, will be heading the news wire service, while the ShareCast service will be edited by Philip Whiterow, formerly of Investors Week. The selling of ShareCast brings to an end nearly all Durlacher’s interests in content sites. These included The 451, which focused on analysis of technology and media, Net Imperative, a new media news and features site, and WOWGO, a website for teenage girls.
If you have always wanted to create a feature-rich website but have been put off by the complexities and cost of content management systems, take a look at Article Manager (www.interactivetools.com). For $299 (£192), the software allows you to create a site that will compete with the best, but at a fraction of the cost. Creator Interactive Tools has thought long and hard about how to make sites that can compete with offerings costing tens of thousands of pounds. What amazes me about Article Manager is that all you need to do is buy the software, create your own design and then host it. Of course, you need to start adding content, which is very easy to do. You can choose who you want to have permission to update the site. For example, a sports reporter can only have permission to access the sports section. Once that person has written a story, it can then either go live (if you have given permission) or can be held in the system to await approval by an editor. The great thing about Article Manager is that it takes less than an hour to get used to the system.
Who says websites can’t go from being online to other media and work? With Popbitch still rumoured to be looking at taking its celebrity brand of gossip to frontiers beyond the web, BBC’s Celebdaq (www.bbc.co.uk/celebdaq) site is being made into a TV series. The site, which allows players to buy and sell virtual shares in celebrities, has become such a major hit online that a TV show will be going out in the new year. The BBC has shown that if the idea works well on the web and builds up appeal, then why not try it for TV? It is certainly cheaper than producing a pilot that only a handful of people can see.