Cool New Site - The Alacra Store

I was reading this post on Fred Wilson's "A VC" site. One of the companies he's invested in, Alacra, has opened an online store. I've never heard of Alacra before, but apparently they allow access to premium web content for a fee. From browsing around their site, it almost seems similar to LexisNexis. I like Alacra better though, from my initial look at the site.

I haven't bought any data access yet, but I like the searching capabilities of Alacra. I wouldn't really call it an "online store" - it's more of a search engine site, it just so happens that the links returned are commercial access and cost money to look at. The example query Fred uses on his mention of the site is the size of the mobile gaming market. Sure enough, you type that in and you are presented with a pleathora of studies and research on gaming markets in various countries and by various groups around the world.

For those of you who are using the web heavily for online research, this is a site that needs to be on your short-list of places to look. If any of my gentle readers do end up using the site, I'd love to hear what kind of applications and uses you're finding.

There are some good comments to Fred's post about the pricing and alternative availability of the data. I think these comments are spot-on for the most part. Publishers of various information databases need to realize that pricing that works for institutional clients like libraries, law firms, and NGOs will not work for individual researchs in the "web age". It's not a bad thing for publishers though. If you take a $250 piece of data and instead charge $10 for it (or even $2.50 for it) on the web, you may end up making a lot more than you would have with the $250 pricing, simply due to the number of interested parties who are price sensitive.

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