Cyberview 23-08-02

The Press Association has produced a web-based version of its UK and international sports wire in a bid to attract more customers to its range of services. The new PA Sportsfile (www.pasportsfile.com) offers breaking sports-related news and information. According to PA, around 1,000 stories a day are reported and users will have full access to all of them. PA is looking to expand its range of customers to include those who would not traditionally need to have full access to all its wires and believes it would appeal to magazine publishers as well as PR and marketing agencies. "We developed PA Sportsfile to extend the same breaking sports service to commercial customers as our traditional media customers," said Chris Buckley, managing director of PA Sport. "This can give them a crucial time advantage in planning and monitoring news which affects their business." As well as daily news, an archive for the previous 21 days is offered. To tempt people into subscribing, a week’s free trial is being offered.


The number of people worldwide who have the internet at home is 553 million, according to new research by Nielsen//NetRatings. The country where most people access the internet either through high-speed phone lines or cable is Hong Kong, where 66 per cent of net users gain access this way, compared with just 14 per cent in the UK.


As widely predicted, Vodafone is close to buying out its partner, Vivendi, in the mobile portal Vizzavi. Just recently, Vizzavi announced it would stop being an internet provider and migrate users to Virgin.net. Vizzavi was launched in a blaze of publicity a few years ago, when everyone thought all aspects of life could be conducted via a mobile phone and website. The plan was to leverage Vodafone’s mobile expertise with Vivendi’s content. Despite spending millions of pounds, Vizzavi has never captured the imagination of the public and, when it came to mobile websites, rival O2 has always been in the lead.


Is there a good reason why if you go to a corporate website and click on press releases, many will give you what the release says but will not provide any contact details for more information? I’m interested to hear your views on which sites fail to supply what is needed. Even worse are those that require you to have a user name and password in order to access the press section. If it is a one-off visit, why the hassle involved in trying to get information? Are they afraid the public may wish to gain access as well?

Leslie Bunder

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