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A contingent of Newstex representatives participated in the SIIA Information Industry Summit in New York this week. The two day event was held in the dramatic setting of Gotham Hall, which was originally built as a bank in the 1920's. We found the choice of venue terrific, particularly because news and information is so critical a component to the banking and finance industries.

Throughout the event, A-list speakers including author Michael Wolff; Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive, WPP Group; JamesFallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic; TedLeonsis. Vice Chairman, America Online, Inc.; and Deborah Platt Majoras, Chairman,Federal Trade Commission provided a strategic vision for information's role in society and business. Industry luminaries including Gordon Crovitz, President, Electronic Publishing, Dow Jones;Don Hawk, Co-Founder and President, TechTarget; Thomas J. Clarke, Jr., Chairmanand CEO,; and Larry Kramer, Chairman & CEO, MarketWatch, Inc. discussed business models for delivering news and information to millions of eager readers.

We were particularly impressed with keynoter Halsey Minor, CEO and Founder ofGrandCentral Communications (and founder of CNET), who said: "I'm living on the fault lines of media and technology."We  agree and we're excited about the role Newstex is playing in the evolution of media and technology while straddling the fault lines.

For detailed accounts of the sessions presented at the conference, check out blogs and commentary posted by Rafat Ali in his Paid  "Live from New York at the SIIA" John Blossom's Shore Communications Commentary "SIIA Information Industry Summit 2005: Walking the TightRope: Balancing Publishing Revenue Channels in the Online Circus" and Outsell's analysis "there aren't a lot of Earth-shattering concepts or business models being bandied about this year."

While we didn't hear about any new companies or business model developments to  equal the drama of Gotham Hall, we were struck by the critical importance of news and commentary to the billions and billions of dollars in revenue represented by the collective organizations attending the event.

Sure there are different ways to monetize news, but nobody disagreed about its importance.

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