13.0534 Questia; Calling the Question

From: Humanist Discussion Group (willard@lists.village.virginia.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 08 2000 - 17:05:30 CUT

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                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 534.
          Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

      [1] From: Ann Okerson <ann.okerson@yale.edu> (159)
            From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org> (10)
            Subject: Fwd: Questia Press Release

      [2] From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org> (12)
            Subject: Fwd: Calling the Question Series

            Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 17:42:50 -0400 (EDT)
            From: Ann Okerson <ann.okerson@yale.edu>
            Subject: Questia Press Release

    More on the e-books front: a large new vendor positions self to license
    academic books. Limited contact with this vendor suggests a different
    approach: targeting content. Will be worth following their progres. Ann

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    4 April 2000



    Questia Reveals Development of Revolutionary Online Research Service
    Will deliver on the true promise of the Internet by providing access to
    the wealth of human knowledge.

    Houston TX (April 4, 2000) - Questia Media, Inc., a new media venture
    driven by an extraordinary team of experienced leaders and visionaries,
    today revealed the development of a revolutionary online research service
    that will deliver on the true promise of the Internet by providing access
    to the wealth of human knowledge. Through ongoing funding projected to
    total $210 million during this year and next, Questia is building the
    first online service to provide unlimited access to the full text of
    hundreds of thousands of books, journals and periodicals, as well as tools
    to easily use this information. For millions of college students, the
    Questia service will enable them to research and compose their papers at
    any time, from every connected corner of the world.

    "Throughout history, many people have struggled with inadequate access to
    knowledge," noted Questia founder and CEO Troy Williams. "Important
    events such as Gutenberg's printing press and the emergence of the public
    library have made books accessible to larger audiences. Yet still today,
    many people struggle with inadequate access. Even those with access to
    the world's largest libraries cannot avoid the fact that books are finite
    resources that are available to only one person at a time - an access
    limitation that Questia overcomes."

    "Questia is different from most eBusinesses," Williams continued. "Most
    have been merely translating today's brick-and-mortar activities to the
    Internet, converting brochures into websites or setting up eCommerce to
    sell goods and services online. But none of this activity really delivers
    on the promise of the Internet -- to provide access to the wealth of human
    knowledge. By digitizing the books most needed by college students, by
    making them accessible to all students at any time, and by hyperlinking
    footnotes and references to the precise page cited, Questia is creating a
    revolutionary research tool that enables users to instantaneously follow a
    complete train of thought from one book to another. This has never before
    been accomplished in the history of human learning, and it offers the
    possibility to truly change how people learn," Williams concluded. Similar
    to a traditional library model, emerging Internet-based library and
    electronic book services are limited by the actual number of copyrighted
    books they purchase - one copy of a book can only be accessed by one
    person at a time. In contrast, Questia will offer a complete research
    service with rights secured directly from publishers so that an unlimited
    number of people may access a given book at a given time. Questia expects
    to have a robust 50,000 volumes digitized by early 2001 and is projected
    to have over 250,000 within three years - that's greater than the number
    of volumes in over 80 percent of all academic libraries in the United

    Substantial investment in people and dollars

    Questia has quietly amassed over $45 million dollars in venture funding
    from the venture capital firm TA Associates of Boston and individuals, and
    has grown in just a few months to over 200 employees in Houston and New

    "The Questia vision is so compelling that we have been able to attract the
    very best talent to our team," said Williams. "Compaq co-founder Rod
    Canion, Enron chairman and chief executive officer Ken Lay - both
    extraordinary visionaries in their own right - are on our board of
    directors and actively participating in our mission. With the recent
    funding from TA Associates, senior managing director Andy McLane also
    joins the board. Moreover, we have built an experienced senior management
    team from the publishing, Internet, and computer industries that is
    absolutely first-rate. Finally, we have enrolled important academic and
    publishing partners," Williams said.

    Williams founded Questia Media, Inc. in 1998 after completing Harvard Law
    School. He formulated the vision, enrolled others, built a prototype of
    the service and secured venture funding - much of this from a small
    Houston apartment furnished with nothing but a folding table, a PC, and a
    five-dollar plastic chair.

    Experienced business leaders on the management team include: Tim Harris,
    former vice president for Compaq (NYSE: CPQ), as VP of finance, chief
    financial officer and chief operating officer; Linda Raglan Cunningham,
    former senior vice president for HarperCollins Publishers, as VP of
    publishing; Randy Dragon, former vice president of technical operations
    for Disney Online (NYSE: DIS), as VP and chief technology officer; Todd
    Papke, former vice president of Internet technology for ShopAtHome.com, as
    VP of engineering; Kathleen Harrington Clark, former director of
    advertising for Compaq, as VP of marketing; David Cabello, former senior
    vice president, general counsel and secretary for Compaq, as VP, general
    counsel and secretary; Mary Ryder, former vice president of operations for
    First Data Corporation/TeleCheck (NYSE; FDC), as VP of customer support;
    and Charles Winder, former vice president of operations for Compaq, as VP
    of operations. A roster of brilliant young Internet visionaries with
    diverse backgrounds and experiences rounds out the senior management team.
    Compelling benefits to students

    The Questia service will be live at www.questia.com in early 2001 (near
    start of the second semester of the 2000-2001 academic year) with at least
    50,000 of the most valued volumes in the liberal arts from the 20th and
    21st centuries (not including textbooks). This initial online collection
    will offer access to a range of titles that are today -- for all practical
    purposes -- out of reach of many students. With a monthly subscription
    fee and an existing Internet connection, students will be able to search
    the online collection, research related references, view the actual pages
    of individual titles, and compose and save their papers online. For
    college students doing research papers, the Questia service will become
    the indispensable tool for researching and writing. "Today, it is
    unthinkable for a student to compose a paper on a typewriter; the PC-based
    word processor is the tool of choice. Very soon, it will be unthinkable
    for a student to research and write a paper without using the Questia
    service," Williams declared.

    Compelling benefits to publishers

    For publishers, Questia represents a tremendous opportunity to increase

    Questia has developed a way for publishers to receive revenue each time a
    student accesses even a single page of a title. This has never been
    possible before. Thus, older titles and out-of-print books that have been
    read and studied thousands of times over the years in libraries (yet have
    not generated new income) will now produce new revenues and become more
    valuable assets to publishers. Moreover, current industry trends show
    that traditional individual copy sales of titles benefit from exposure on
    the web because consumers are more inclined to buy books they can browse
    online. Questia will make it easier and more convenient for subscribers
    to locate, search, and browse an entire library of books, vastly
    increasing awareness of previously hard-to-find titles.

    In sum, Questia offers publishers a new opportunity to revitalize older
    titles and to broaden the audience and gain exposure for newer titles.
    Through this, they can gain additional revenues for all titles that would
    otherwise have been unrealized.

    Compelling benefits to librarians and professors

    For librarians and professors, Questia offers a new valuable tool that
    facilitates their goal of helping students to find the right information
    effectively and efficiently. The Questia search function alone - to be
    offered to all at no charge - allows librarians or professors to find the
    exact volumes and pages that can answer a student's question. Because the
    research process is more efficient and less cumbersome, it will mean fewer
    dead-end trips to the stacks, thus allowing for more time for the
    mentoring and thoughtful interaction that actually foster a love of
    discovery and learning.

    About Questia

    Founded in 1998, Questia Media, Inc. is building the first online service
    to provide unlimited access to the full text of hundreds of thousands of
    books, journals and periodicals, as well as tools to easily use this
    information. For millions of college students and researchers, the
    Questia service will enable them to efficiently research and compose
    papers at any time, from every connected corner of the world. Based in
    Houston, TX with over 200 employees, Questia is delivering on the true
    promise of the Internet by providing access to the wealth of human
    knowledge. Information can be found at www.questia.com.

    # # #
    Questia is a service mark of Questia Media, Inc.

    John Sweney
    Brookwoods Media Group

    Tim Harris
    Questia Media, Inc.

    David Green 202-296-5346 phone
    david@ninch.org 202-872-0886 fax

            Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2000 07:09:52 -0700
            From: "David L. Green" <david@ninch.org>
            Subject: Fwd: Calling the Question Series

                          Calling the Question: "E-Culture?"
                           The Center for Arts and Culture:
          Tues April 11 (3:30-5:00pm:National Building Museum, Washington DC

    From: User1 <user1@CULTURAL01.CenterforArts&Culture.com>
    To: Joy Austin <jaustin@culturalpolicy.org>
    Subject: Calling the Question Series

    The Center for Arts and Culture, America's first independent think tank for
    arts and culture, announces it's Calling the Question program: "E-Culture?".
    Free and open to the public, the program will be on Tuesday, April 11, 2000
    from 3:30 to 5:00pm in the National Building Museum auditorium, 401 F Street
    NW, Washington, DC 20001. A reception following the program will also have
    available for sale copies of the Center's new book, The Politics of Culture:
    Policy Perspecitves for Individuals, Institutions and Communities. Please
    call (202) 783-5277 to reserve, seating is limited.

    Should culture play by the same rules as commerce in the on-line world? The
    commercial promise of the new information technology is now commonplace.
    What are the implications for culture, in both for-profit and non-profit
    sectors? In an on-line environment dominated by market forces, are different rates, rules, and responsibilities necessary when culture is involved?

    To discuss these questions, join:
    Moderator Michael Shapiro, General Counsel, International Intellectual
    Property Institute;
    Donald Druker, Program Officer, Technology Opportunities Program, National
    Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S.Department of
    David Eisner, Vice President, America Online Foundation;
    William Gilcher, Director of Media Projects, U.S. and Canada,
    Goethe-Institut, Washington, D.C.;
    David Green, Executive Director, National Initiative for a Networked
    Cultural Heritage.

    In the Washington Post on February 29, 2000, Richard Morin and Claudia Deane
    noted that the Center's new book "will get Washington to think as seriously
    about the nation's cultural life as it does about Bosnia or tax policy."
    Available from The New Press, The Politics of Culture features fresh
    research and thought-provoking commentary, providing a compelling outline
    for the future of American public policy as it intersects with arts and

    For more information please contact Joy Austin at (202) 783-5277 or by email
    at jaustin@culturalpolicy.org. Visit the Center's website at
    http://www.culturalpolicy.org .
    David Green 202-296-5346 phone
    david@ninch.org 202-872-0886 fax

                           Humanist Discussion Group
           Information at <http://www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/humanist/>

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