December 26, 2000, 8:40 AM — Online news delivery is getting better...but CIOs might not notice. Reuters, the British news service, recently adopted an entire programming language devoted to the delivery of online news. NewsML, a derivative of extensible markup language (XML) brings to websites a single news package that can include stories, photos and video clips in a variety of languages and tailored to a variety of different platforms.
However, advances in online news delivery still cannot give CIOs the time they need to read news online. A recent survey by RHI Consulting revealed that only 33 percent of CIOs surveyed ranked the Internet as their favorite medium for reading tech-industry news. In a development that should cause paper producers to breathe a sigh of relief, old-fashioned industry magazines topped the survey, with 39 percent of the CIOs in the sample tagging publications as their primary source for tech news.
One of the barriers to online news in the technology industry is the proliferation of sources. CIOs say they simply do not have time to sort through source after source looking for a news tidbit or reading the same stories over and over. Amber Niven, vice president of IT at Arch Wireless in Jackson, Miss., says she uses e-mail newsletters to filter and deliver news for her. Niven says she clicks links to stories she finds interesting but generally stays away from hitting tech news sites one by one.
Carolyn Knight agrees. The director of IT at Implant Innovations, a dental-products company in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., says she saves most of her tech-news surfing for days in which a big story breaks. On the average day, however, she usually combs e-mail newsletters for "whichever [story] has the catchiest headline." Knight says she is more likely to type in a link from a print magazine than she is to surf online. However, she says the next news revolution might be the one to attract her attention.
"If [tech news] gets to wireless, it might be different," she says. But, for now, paper still rules in the CIO's office.