Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Peace on earth, and all that good stuff! Happy Holidays from iMiners, Inc. We had an exciting 2008 with the launch of 2 new products, the signing of a major reseller agreement, and a lot of buzz and interest from the industry. We look forward to what 2009 will bring!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Activity on OXBO's eShareholderForum

OXBO's eShareholderForum has been live on their website for about 2 weeks now, and it was only announced 10 days ago (via press release). But already the e-forum is getting quite a bit of activity. There are already 27 verified shareholders who have registered (and been approved by OXBO) to participate (post) in the e-forum, and another 17 pending approval (anyone can read posts in the e-forum, but in order to post OXBO is requiring that you verify you are a current shareholder). The message boards are getting a ton of page views, and quite a few comments/input from the 27 shareholders approved to post. Also, check out the Q&A section: it looks like it's been a very successful start. Shareholders have been submitting questions to OXBO management, and OXBO management is posting answers. Also, CEO Chris Stern posted to his blog on 11/20, to communicate his vision of the e-forum to shareholders. And he will continue to blog. The only feature that hasn't been utilized (yet) is the polling.

So in summary already OXBO is an excellent example of how a company can utilize an electronic shareholder forum to drive traffic from third party message boards to their IR site, enable shareholders to engage in a dialogue with each other on the IR site, and enable management and IR to engage in a dialogue directly with shareholders.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oxygen Biotherapeutics Goes Live with eShareholderForum

Today marked another milestone for iMiners: the launch of our very first (and the industry's first) electronic shareholder forum. Oxygen Biotherapeutics is traded on the OTC (ticker OXBO) and signed up for the service in July. They utilize Thomson Reuters to host their IR site, so their Shareholder Forum is seamlessly integrated. This is a soft launch; they'll be issuing a press release shortly to announce it to the public, but it is now live. We feel very strongly that these e-forums will soon become commonplace on many, many company IR sites. Now that OXBO has blazed the trail, others will be less shy about following.

Check it out for yourself: (go to "Shareholder Forum"; anyone can read content, but to post in the message boards, ask a question, or participate in a poll you need to register and be approved as a verified shareholder).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CEO Blogging

Blogging is becoming more and more mainstream among C-level executives. It is slowly being adopted in Investor Relations (see the Dell IR blog called DellShares: But many forward thinking CEOs of both public and private companies blog extensively, and have been doing so for quite some time. For example, see how Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, blogs to shareholders at See also how Penny Herscher, CEO of privately-held firstRain (San Mateo, CA), blogs at At iMiners we've been blogging since the beginning of the year to provide updates on our progress, insight into market developments, and to provide additional information to our clients, partners, and investors. Based on conversations we are having with IROs at leading public companies we expect the trend of IR blogs to continue to accelerate into 2009 as companies realize the communications advantages that blogging brings......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

iMiners and PrecisionIR Extend Reseller Agreement to eShareholderForum

We're pleased to announce that we have extended our Reseller Agreement with PrecisionIR to include eShareholderForum (, the industry's first turnkey solution to help any company establish a company-sponsored electronic shareholder forum on their IR website. Effective immediately, PrecisionIR will be offering eShareholderForum to its current and future clients. By providing eShareholderForum with its standard IR website solution, PrecisionIR will be the first service provider to offer a "Web 2.0" IR website package. We'll be introducing eShareholderForum to PrecisionIR clients via a webinar with PrecisionIR in early-to-mid November. Stay tuned for more details! The world of IR websites is changing, and for the better. Companies truly interested in leveraging their IR websites to communicate and engage in a dialogue with shareholders and prospective shareholders can do it now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Communicating With Shareholders During These Challenging Times

Stocks dropped today for the 8th straight trading day, and the Dow is down 25% over that period. The up and down swings in the market are enough to make any investor queasy, and no one knows where the bottom is. Now, more than ever, IROs need to be communicating with shareholders to let them know what is going on. The institutions have an IRO's ear already, so how does an IRO communicate effectively and efficiently to a large retail shareholder base?

There is no better time for companies with large and/or active retail shareholder bases to consider implementing Web 2.0 technology to engage in a dialogue. Electronic shareholder forums, in particular, are taylor made to help a company quickly communicate to large groups of shareholders. "Democratization" of shareholder information is available today through this technology. eShareholderForum ( is a turnkey Shareholder Communications Platform that companies should strongly consider utilizing. Message boards, blogs, polling and Q&A all give retail shareholders an opportunity to find out from the company what is going on. No wonder there is so much interest!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

iMiners to Present at NIRI SF Luncheon

On October 14 I'll be on a panel at the San Francisco NIRI luncheon, with the topic being "Electronic Shareholder Forums and Blogs". Joining me will be Abe Wischnia, IR Consultant for our first eShareholderForum client, Oxygen Biotherapeutics. This is a great opportunity for us to discuss the topic of e-forums to a wide audience of IROs in the Bay Area! For more details see:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ev3, Inc. Goes Live with Press Releases By Type

ev3, Inc. is based in Plymouth, MN and uses Thomson Reuters for hosting their IR site. See iMiners' "Press Releases By Type" page seamlessly integrated into their site:

According to their IR home page: "Press Releases" are one of the most frequently visited sections of the site. So no surprise that ev3 immediately saw the value in having their news releases organized into categories.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Compliance Week Writes About eShareholderForum

On September 23 there was a feature article in Compliance Week about electronic shareholder forums, and iMiners was featured prominently with several quotes. The story talked about how companies have been slow to adopt e-forums, but our position is that it just hasn't happened, yet! eShareholderForum was just announced 90 days ago, so many companies don't even know about us. But we know they are out there, companies who are looking for new ways to communicate with shareholders, but wondering HOW they'll do it? They are thinking of how they can possibly get internal tech resources to build something for them. But once they find out about eShareholderForum they will realize that their problem has been solved. eShareholderForum can immediately provide them with a turnkey solution: message boards, blogs, Q&A, and polling. And controls from an Admin interface to control who can post, ask questions, comment etc. There's no need for any company to try to build a solution. We've got you covered. Go to for more information and to request a demonstration.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Do the Lawyers Think of Electronic Shareholder Forums?

I enjoyed reading a recent article written by Brendan J. Radigan, a Partner at the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. It's titled "Is Social Networking With Shareholders Safe", and addresses head-on concerns that companies might have regarding setting up electronic shareholder forums. We've seen the SEC encouraging companies to implement e-forums, so now it is refreshing to see a legal opinion also promoting the benefits for companies and shareholders (while at the same time, advising companies of where they need to be cautious).

I especially like Brendan's conclusion: "If thoughtfully structured and operated, a public company's electronic shareholder forum could provide an exciting addition to its investor relations program. Promotion of social networking by, with and among shareholders could well provide a public company, particularly one operating in a fast-moving technology field, with an innovative and cutting-edge way of distinguishing itself from its peers and competitors."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

iMiners Continues Strong Momentum!

eShareholderForum continues to generate a tremendous amount of interest: Next month Abe Wischnia (IR Consultant for our first client, Oxygen Biotherapeutics) and I will be organizing a panel discussion for the San Francisco NIRI luncheon (topic will be "Electronic Shareholder Forums and Blogs"). We'll also have a feature story in an upcoming issue of IR Update. And this week I was interviewed by Compliance Week for an upcoming column on e-forums. Finally, PR pundit, best-selling author, and speaker David Meerman Scott blogged about us last week:

It's been only about 90 days since the NIRI Annual conference in San Diego. It's very exciting to reflect back on the tremendous amount of progress we've made in such a short period of time: Starting to build a sales team, signing reseller agreements, getting lots of PR, enhancing our products, and finally, growing our client base! We are all looking forward to what we can accomplish in the next 90 days, and the 90 days after that!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here Come the E-Forums!

It was nice to see we got a couple of mentions from some well followed IR bloggers regarding eShareholderForum in the past couple of days. Broc Romanek of and mentioned us in his 9/4 post called "Here Come the E-Forums" here:

Also, Anil Dilawri of Hill & Knowlton in Canada has an IR blog called "Taking Investor Relations to the Next Level", and his 9/3 post called "Not Your Father's IR Department" was about iMiners and eShareholderForum:

Lastly, and most significantly, we have been asked to participate in's January webcast event titled "The SEC's New Corporate Website Guidance: Everything You Need to Know – And Do NOW". I'll be contributing to a panel discussion with other experts and pioneers in the area of e-forums and blogging, including the Dell IR team, an IRO from Cisco, and representatives from ISS and Broadridge. The session is called "The Future is Here: E-Forums and Blogs". Go here and scroll to the bottom of the page to see the panel participants.

In summary, you'll be continuing to hear about iMiners and eShareholderForum in coming weeks and months. As Anil says in his 9/3 blog post "Leaders in the IR space are already blazing trails when it comes to evolving their investor communications practices to include meaningful and innovative digital communications. The followers are bound to follow."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Building a Sales Organization

One of the most fun and rewarding parts of working for an early stage company is having the ability to build the sales organization from the ground up. I had the opportunity to do this at my previous company (most of the team is still intact and I still keep in touch), and now have the opportunity to do it again at iMiners. I am thrilled to have Leslie (Knutson) Reilly and Michael Roach joining me to help iMiners introduce our new and innovative products into the marketplace! I hired Leslie at in May 2003 and she worked with me through the launch of the company's corporate governance products, and then moved to Houston and became the Account Executive for Texas. I hired Michael in September 2005 as my Inside Sales Manager and he played a key role in helping us build a very successful Inside Sales organization. There's no better feeling than to get to work again with people who I know and trust; people I hired once before and had success with. Looking forward to continuing to build a world-class sales organization!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

IVVI and GOCH go live with iMiners' Press Releases By Type

Companies continue the rapid adoption of our services: Ivivi Technologies (Nasdaq: IVVI) and Geeks On Call Holdings (OTC: GOCH) both went live with iMiners content on their IR sites in the last 24 hours. IVVI is using Press Releases By Type and Event Chart (see and GOCH is using our Press Releases By Type page:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Electronic Shareholder Forums gaining momentum

Electronic shareholder forums, also known as e-shareholder forums (like what iMiners announced in June with our turnkey solution eShareholderForum: continue to gain momentum and visibility as a truly viable way for companies to engage in dialogue with shareholders using "Web 2.0" technology. Our own solution has already been positively received in the market, and yesterday on its earnings conference call Broadridge CEO Rich Daly announced plans to launch an "investor network" linking all "validated shareholders" with companies they are invested in (for more information visit the IR Web Report blog here

The SEC's encouragement of companies using new technologies to facilitate communications is finally starting to take off, and we think that in the not too distant future shareholder forums will become standard on many company IR websites (at least for those companies not afraid to embrace new technologies, and not afraid to have a dialogue with shareholders).

Since the late 1990s most companies have maintained content on IR websites where they deposit information for investors (and prospective investors) to read/view. What has been lacking in IR websites is a two way dialogue between the company and shareholders. But electronic shareholder forums are already beginning to change the way IR websites are viewed. No longer just a depository for information, IR websites will be a place for any shareholder, prospective shareholder, employee, supplier, etc. to come and engage in a dialogue with a company, virtually real-time, and the flow of information will be streamlined and "democratized" (in the words of Rob Williams, Sr. Director of IR at Dell, in his description of Dell's IR blog called Dell Shares).

Companies have been searching for ways to lure investors from financial portal sites to their IR sites so they can tell their own story in their own words (several studies show declining use of company IR websites over the past few years). Company sponsored electronic shareholder forums represent a new and unique "hook" for companies to drive traffic to their IR site, by promising to engage in a dialogue with investors. Who would go to Yahoo! Finance to view company financial information and a third-party message board (where anyone can post anything they want, and the company does not participate) if a company provides unique content on their own IR site PLUS a link to their electronic shareholder forum where the company engages in the message boards, posts to a blog, conducts online Q&A with shareholders, and conducts real-time polling of relevant issues to get a quick pulse of what is on shareholders' minds?

We welcome these continued developments, and look forward to introducing eShareholderForum to as many companies as are willing to engage in this type of online dialogue with shareholders!

Methode Electronics goes live with Press Releases By Type and Event Chart

Through our new partnership with PrecisionIR, today Methode Electronics (NYSE: MEI) went live on their IR website with our "Press Releases By Type" and "Event Chart" pages. See the links on the navigation bar here:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

iMiners and PrecisionIR Team Up

Today we signed a reseller agreement with PrecisionIR ( to provide our Press Releases By Type and Event Charts to all PrecisionIR's IR website clients going forward. This represents iMiners' first significant reseller channel, and we are looking forward to providing our services to enhance PrecisionIR's website offering! From the PrecisionIR website:

"PrecisionIR is a leading provider of online investor relations and web-based corporate communications solutions to companies worldwide. From annual reports to webcasting, PrecisionIR helps companies deliver the right message to the right audience. Over 3,000 corporate clients in 13 countries rely on our services to target and attract institutional and high net-worth investors. Our services include the global investor relations and investment information services which we have provided to public companies and mutual funds since 1992, and our rapidly growing webcasting and webconferencing business."

Stay tuned for more information about this reseller agreement via a joint press release in coming days.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM) goes live with iMiners "Press Releases By Type"

Today Del Monte Foods (NYSE: DLM) went live with our "Press Releases By Type" page, seamlessly integrating it into their IR site hosted by Thomson Reuters. Check it out:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iMiners signs first eShareholderForum client

This week we received a signed contract for our first eShareholderForum client. This company will also be using us on their website for "Press Releases By Type" to enhance the content they currently have hosted by Thomson Reuters. We are very excited about this as we just announced eShareholderForum as a product 6 weeks ago. Oxygen Biotherapeutics is traded on the OTC:BB exchange with the ticker OXBO. They have an IR consultant (Abe Wischnia) and a CEO (Chris Stern) who are both forward-thinking and enthusiastic about proactively communicating with shareholders. We look forward to working with Abe and Chris going forward, and look forward to the continued accelerating interest in eShareholderForum from other companies who are not afraid of using "Web 2.0" technology to engage in a dialogue with shareholders.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Keyword Search Added to PR Cycle!

Last week we added another great enhancement to PR Cycle that has been received very positively by users. In addition to querying our news release database by ticker, portfolio, industry, category, subcategory, and date range, you can now also refine your search even further using keyword search! As an example, if you search for all Products and Services releases(category) for New Product releases (subcategory), for 2007 for the Computer Communications Equipment industry the results show 247 news releases. However, if you then use the keyword "security" it refines the results down to only 14 releases.

Another great example: if you are looking for releases that use the keyword "guidance" instead of simply all Financial releases, you can easily find the 552 news releases YTD in 2008 that have to do with guidance. Or by choosing a specific industry (for example, Semiconductors and Related Devices) you can find the 21 press releases YTD in 2008 from this industry that have earnings guidance.

So what? Here's the "so what": by using typical keyword search you cast a net too wide that comes up with too many results. Our news release database allows users to find VERY relevant information, VERY quickly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

iMiners Gets Rave Reviews at the 2008 NIRI Annual Conference

The National Investor Relations Institute Annual Conference was held this week at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego from June 8-11. This was our first opportunity to exhibit to a national (actually international) audience of over 1,500 people. All our products were received very favorably, and we made significant progress towards finalizing joint marketing/reseller agreements, as well as signing new clients directly.

In just the last month iMiners has launched two new products: PR Cycle ( and eShareholderForum ( We are quickly being recognized as the new innovator in IR and PR. eShareholderForum is the industry's first turnkey solution to help companies set up a company-sponsored electronic forum to facilitate direct communications between and among shareholders and management. And PR Cycle has been universally endorsed as an innovative new product to assist people with researching and drafting press releases. Our flagship products, Press Releases By Type and our eChart solution were also received very favorably by all.

Comments from people who stopped by our booth included "Simple, yet brilliant", "This is by far the best new product we've seen at NIRI 2008", and "This is the best new technology we've seen". In summary, our database of categorized news releases is unique and compelling, and the products we have developed around our growing database are relevant. We look forward to continuing our progress in 2008 in signing new clients and partnerships, and developing our unique product line! Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

iMiners, Inc. Announces Availability of eShareholderForum; Industry's First Turnkey Electronic Shareholder Forum Solution

iMiners demonstrates again its leadership position in being an innovator and pioneer in PR and IR communications solutions. Today we announced the industry's first turnkey Electronic Shareholder Forum solution for public companies to facilitate communications among shareholders, and between the company and its shareholders. eShareholderForum ( will soon be going into beta testing; interested parties can contact us at our website. See the press release:

LIVERMORE, Calif., June 5, 2008 -- iMiners, Inc., an innovator in IR and PR communications solutions, today announced the availability of eShareholderForum, the first full-service, turnkey Electronic Shareholder Forum solution to enable public companies to facilitate communications among shareholders, and between the company and its shareholders. eShareholderForum will allow any public company to quickly and cost-effectively establish a company sponsored forum directly from the company's investor relations website. eShareholderForum will help companies take advantage of the recent rulings by the SEC encouraging the use of electronic shareholder forums to facilitate better dialogue among shareholders, and between shareholders and the company. In the final ruling, effective February 25, 2008, the SEC effectively removed the two major obstacles that had been holding companies back. First, amended Rule 14a-2 states that participation in an electronic forum will not constitute a "solicitation subject to the proxy rules" if certain conditions are satisfied. Second, a new Rule 14a-17 ensures that a company or vendor that operates an electronic forum "will not be liable under the federal securities laws for any statement or information provided by another person participating in the forum."

"The SEC and its Chairman Christopher Cox are keen and proactively encouraging Electronic Shareholder Forums for all public companies. While there are many options available, iMiners' eShareholderForum is the only one that optimally addresses the key concerns relating to controllability and ongoing costs of maintenance," said Jnyaneshwar Prabhu, founder and president.

iMiners will be demonstrating its eShareholderForum service at the National Investor Relations Institute Annual Conference Booth 713 from June 8-11 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Companies interested in learning more, including taking part in beta testing should visit

Thursday, May 29, 2008

PR Cycle Adds Email Alerts

We just added an enhancement to PR Cycle ( Now users can subscribe to email alerts for press releases issued by companies in their portfolio, by category. So if you have 10 companies in your portfolio and you want to be notified of M&A releases when any of the 10 issue an M&A release, PR Cycle will send it automatically. We also plan to add in email alerts by subcategory, and by industry. For your 30 day free trial of PR Cycle simply go to and on the upper right click on "New User? Sign Up".

Monday, May 19, 2008

iMiners, Inc. Launches PR Cycle..........

LIVERMORE, Calif., May 19, 2008 -- iMiners, Inc. announced today the availability of PR Cycle, the industry's first-and-only Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for PR and IR professionals to quickly research and draft quality press releases. PR Cycle subscribers will save significant time doing research by having access to an iMiners proprietary reference library of nearly half-a-million categorized press releases issued by over 6,500 companies and growing at about 750 releases daily. Each press release is categorized and indexed for search into one of 10 major categories and 69 subcategories including Awards and Recognition, Corporate, Conference Call and Meetings, Customer and Partnerships, Financial, Industry Events, Legal, Management Changes, M&A, and Products & Services. The reference library can be searched By Category, By Subcategory, By Company, By Portfolio, By Industry, and By Date Range. Relevant, high-impact press releases can be found within seconds, eliminating the need to visit multiple websites or search engines during research. PR Cycle has a built-in word processing editor that enables the author to draft a press release securely online, save an encrypted release, export to Word or PDF, and then distribute to others for review, edit or compliance.

"It is not uncommon for a PR or IR professional to be tasked with quickly drafting a sensitive press release announcing a management change, legal issue or an M&A. Using PR Cycle, with one click you can now search for all management changes, legal, or M&A related press releases issued by peers in your industry, or all 6,500+ companies. You can do very specific searches, such as for all press releases issued in 2007 by all companies that are new product announcements, FDA Approvals, SEC investigations, charity and educational giving, or class action lawsuits. PR Cycle is an innovative new solution that saves a significant amount of research time, and allows PR and IR professionals to write high quality first drafts quickly," stated iMiners, Inc. President and Founder Jnyaneshwar Prabhu.

PR Cycle is available free of charge for one month to all first-time users. Please visit for more information and to take advantage of this risk-free offer.

About iMiners, Inc.
iMiners, Inc. is a technology company that maintains an index of categorized press releases issued by over 6,500 companies into 10 major categories and 69 subcategories. Since 2005 iMiners has been providing innovative solutions for public relations, investor relations, and the investment community, all powered by iMiners' proprietary database of nearly half-a-million categorized press releases growing at a rate of about 750 every day. iMiners' products include PR Cycle, a SaaS solution that helps PR and IR professionals quickly draft high quality press releases; PR Interactive, an innovative module that powers content on Fortune 1000 IR websites; and iMiners Data Feeds, an XML solution providing categorized news feeds for financial portals.

CONTACT: iMiners, Inc.
Michael C. O'Brien

Friday, May 16, 2008

BETA release of PR Cycle

You are hearing it here first: On Monday we plan to announce the release of beta for PR Cycle (, the industry's first-and-only Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for PR and IR professionals to quickly research and draft press releases. We've gotten tremendously positive feedback so far from a select group of PR experts we've showed it to, all telling us this product is unique and provides real value. Please visit for more information, and to register for a free trial during beta click on the link in the top right that says "New User? Sign Up".

Stay tuned for more on Monday....

Friday, May 9, 2008

PR Cycle: How to Leverage a Press Release Database to Research and Draft Press Releases

Here at iMiners we're getting pretty excited about the pending BETA launch of our new product PR Cycle ( We've gotten enough positive feedback now from people in PR and IR to know we are onto something. Everyone agrees this product is absolutely unique in the marketplace. In the words of one influential PR person we reached out to, and who got back to us immediately to learn more: "I responded to you because I immediately recognized this product solves a problem".

So what is PR Cycle? In summary, it is the industry’s first-and-only secure, password protected, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for PR and IR professionals to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to research and draft high visibility press releases. PR Cycle subscribers will have access to an iMiners proprietary reference library of nearly half-a-million categorized press releases issued by over 6,500 companies and growing at about 750 releases daily. The reference library can be searched By Ticker, By Portfolio (custom by user), By Industry (444 SIC codes), By ALL (6,500+ tickers), By Category (10 major categories), By Subcategory (69 subcategories) or By Date Range (2 year plus archive). Relevant press releases can be found within seconds, eliminating the need to visit multiple websites or search engines during research. PR Cycle has a built-in word processing tool that enables the author to draft a press release online, save the draft release, export to Word or PDF, and then distribute to others for review, edit or compliance. The service fills a need not currently being addressed in the market, the critical steps of researching and writing releases BEFORE they send their release to their wire provider. Stay tuned for more.....

Friday, May 2, 2008

Nasdaq OMX Group and Moody's Corp. Subscribe to iMiners "Press Releases By Type"

iMiners continues to make progress in the corporate market with our "Press Releases By Type" service, a ready-to-install module that enhances the user-friendliness of any press release page on a corporate website. Recently Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) and Moody's Corp (MCO) subscribed to iMiners to enhance their newly launched Investor Relations pages. We're proud to have both companies as distinguished clients. Nasdaq OMX Group is the world's largest exchange company with over 3,900 listed companies around the globe. Moody's is the world's most widely utilized source for credit ratings, research, and risk analysis. Moody's is also iMiners' first NYSE-listed client. See our work on their sites:

Nasdaq OMX Group: (Press Releases By Type)
Moody's: (Press Releases By Type) and (iMiners eChart)

Stay week will mark the launch of beta testing of our innovative new solution called PR Cycle (http://www.prcycle), the industry’s first-and-only highly secure, password protected, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for PR and IR professionals to significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to research and draft high visibility press releases. Our development team has been working hard on PR Cycle for months and we are eagerly anticipating its launch!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Spike in Food Prices Taking a Toll on Restaurant Industry

The cost of eggs, cheese, wheat, and (most recently in the news) rice is going up and up. The effect is taking a toll on the restaurant industry, where profits are being squeezed at a time when middle-class America is cutting back on dining out. The fast food eateries are holding up better, since many people who had been frequenting mid-priced chains are now going to fast food. But for mid and high price restaurants, the hurt is on.

Looking in iMiners press release database we can see the recent news being put out by companies in the Retail-Eating Places industry. Companies like Yum Brands and CEC Entertainment (Chuck E. Cheese) are holding up well. Mid-priced eateries like Ruby Tuesday are not (see stock chart for CEC: vs. stock chart for Ruth's Chris:
Even Starbucks is getting hammered as more people make their coffee at home rather than paying $3.50 for a latte. See Starbucks 90 day chart:

Where will it take us? Follow the news and find out...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Airline Industry Continues to Get Pummeled

This is not shaping up to be a good year to fly OR to own airline stocks. Recent articles in the WSJ are forecasting this summer's travel season to be worse than ever in terms of crowded planes and cancelled flights. As for owning shares of an airline? The cost of jet fuel is making it harder and harder for airlines to turn a profit. All one needs to look at is the recent bankruptcy announcements by ATA, Aloha, Frontier and Skybus. iMiners' press release database allows any user to search press releases by date range and industry (and other criteria as well), so I just did a query for the airline industry to review recent releases. We have a useful application which shows the percentage change of a company's share price on the day of a release (or the next day if the release was issued after the market closed). As I scroll through releases from recent days it does not look pretty. United shares were down 36% yesterday, and AirTran shares were down 21%. JetBlue was down 6% and Alaska Air down 7%. American Airlines was down 14%. Not a good earnings season thus far.

The only interesting press release that looks like had a positive impact on an airline's stock was Frontier's announcement on April 17 "Two Industry Veterans Join Frontier Management Team". The company's stock price went up nearly 19%. Other than that the database is just showing lots of red.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thomson Reuters Deal Complete

It took nearly a year, but yesterday marked the closing of the merger of Thomson and Reuters, forming a new entity called Thomson Reuters. See the press release here:

It should be interesting to see in coming months how the new company merges their operations, products and sales teams. I know lots of people at both organizations and everyone is anxiously waiting to see how it plays out, and how it affects their jobs.

As for how this affects iMiners, there has never been a better time for innovative new players to enter the market. Thomson Reuters, Nasdaq OMX, and other large service providers have enormous resources and reach, but companies like iMiners can utilize its smaller size to quickly bring innovative products to the market. In my experience, lots of IROs and PROs don't like consolidation of vendors because it leads to monopoly status and eventually, higher prices. iMiners intends to focus on bringing innovative products to market that leverage our unique database of nearly half-a-million categorized press releases from over 6,500 companies. Next up? PR Cycle, which we are about to launch as a beta product. Stay tuned.....

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Volatile Markets!

I went to a National Investor Relations Institute (SF) luncheon yesterday, where the speaker was the head of investment banking for Pacific Growth Equities. He shared a statistic on how volatile the markets are in 2008 that boggled my mind: the market went either up or down by at least 2% in 58% of the trading days so far in 2008 (or maybe it was in Q1). That compares to something like 17% for all trading days in 2007, 6% in 2006, and 4% in 2005. I am recalling this off the top of my head as I didn't have a pen and paper to write it down. But if these aren't the exact numbers he quoted they are pretty close. The point being that we are in incredibly volatile times.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Electronic Shareholder Forums: Web 2.0 Technology Is Encouraged by the SEC

In this world of blogging, My Space, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. it seems Web 2.0 technology is creeping into all facets of our lives. But in the Investor Relations world companies are communicating to constituents "same as it ever was". Dell's IR team has implemented the only noteable IR blog, but it has little participation ( so far from shareholders. Other companies have been slow to embrace new technologies to communicate with shareholders. That may be about to change.

In November the SEC voted to adopt amendments to the federal proxy rules to facilitate the use of electronic shareholder forums: And in January they released the 35 page final rule release for shareholder forums. Noteable in the final ruling is that 1) Amended Rule 14a-2 provides that participation in an electronic forum will not constitute a "solicitation subject to the proxy rules" and 2) Amended Rule 14a-17 provides that a shareholder or company (including 3rd party provider) that operates an electronic forum "will not be liable under the federal securities laws for any statement or information provided by another person participating in the forum". The effective date was February 25, 2008.

What does this all mean? It means that the Securities and Exchange Commission is encouraging (but not mandating) companies to embrace Web 2.0 technology (specifically Electronic Shareholder Forums) as a means of better communicating with shareholders, analysts, and other constituents.

What is an Electronic Shareholder Forum? First, it is NOT a message board or chat room. An effective Electronic Shareholder Forum should be a site where investors can come to interact with other shareholders, company management, and directors to ask questions and engage in dialogue. Company management can get a pulse on what investors are thinking, and by doing it in a company sponsored forum it will have much more credibility than any chat room or message board (especially if the Electronic Shareholder Forum is the only place where management and directors respond to shareholder inquiries). But much like a conference call, not everyone can necessarily ask questions, and not every question/comment will get addressed. This is necessary to ensure the forum does not deteriorate into a message board where anything goes.

"Today's action is intended to tap the potential of technology to help shareholders communicate with one another and express their concerns to companies in ways that could be more effective and less expensive," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. "The rule amendments are intended to remove legal concerns, such as the risk that discussion in an online forum might be viewed as a proxy solicitation, that might deter shareholders and companies from using this new technology."

At this point in time the SEC has not mandated how these forums should be used, so as to encourage experimentation by issuers and vendors. It'll be interesting to see who the early adopters are, and how quickly other companies jump on the Electronic Shareholder Forum bandwagon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

WSJ subscription: This Makes No Sense?

My annual subscription to the WSJ print edition just expired at the end of March. When I went online last month to renew my subscription I noticed it was being offered for current subscribers at a price of $161.29 for 12 months of print only, or $333.41 for print and online. However, once my subscription expired I could start a new subscription (instead of renewing my old one) at an introductory price of $79.00 for 12 months (print only) or $99 for print and online.

Does this make any sense?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

iMiners First Exhibition

This past Thursday iMiners Founder/President Jnyaneshwar Prabhu and VP of Sales Mike O'Brien attended and exhibited at the NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar. Other IR service providers exhibiting included, Thomson Financial, Business Wire, Marketwire, Ipreo, and PrecisionIR. It was a great event, capped off by the keynote address by Oakland As GM Billy Beane. We are looking forward to our next event: the NIRI National show in San Diego from June 8-11.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Startups and Baseball

Today is a great day already, and as I type this it is only 8:30AM here on the West Coast. That's because my beloved Boston Red Sox (that would be the 2007 World Series champion Red Sox!) already opened up their 2008 season, and are already 1-0! The Sox opened up in Japan at 3AM PT vs. the Oakland As. I woke up at 4AM, couldn't go back to sleep, so wandered downstairs to see the game. After tying the score in the 9th inning, the Sox scored 2 runs in the 10th, and after a shaky bottom of the 10th hung on for a 6-5 victory.

Baseball is a great game, and there are many parallels between baseball and a startup company. For one thing, you never know when something exciting is going to happen. Next, there are numerous ups and downs over the course of the season: winning streaks, losing streaks, big wins, and crushing defeats. The good teams are resilient and bounce back. A baseball season is a marathon, not a sprint. Even the best teams lose almost 40% of their games, and the best hitters fail in 65-70% of their at bats. To succeed in baseball, and in a startup, you need to have a solid gameplan, get the right personnel in the right positions, and then keep focused on the end goal in spite of the ups and downs. You have to understand that the ball will not always bounce your way, but if you stay focused and persistent you have a good chance to win. Here's to a successful 2008 for the Red Sox AND for iMiners!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Press Release Database

Are you a journalist looking to do research on a company/industry? Do you run a hedge fund, and are researching companies? Or in a competitive intelligence division of a company? If so, you may be interested in what iMiners can provide with our rich reference library press release database. iMiners has nearly 350,000 press releases (and growing by 750-1,000 every day) from over 6,500 companies listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq OMX, and Amex exchanges, categorized into one of 10 major categories and 69 subcategories. By using iMiners you can query our database for all news releases by ticker, by portfolio, by industry (444 SIC codes), and by category. So if you are doing research on Bear Stearns and the recent offer by JP Morgan Chase to acquire them, you can do a search in iMiners of all M&A press releases issued by companies in the National Commercial Banks industry. With the click of a button you have immediate access to dozens of recent M&A releases from companies such as Omega Financial (merger with F.N.B. Corporation), PNC Financial (acquisition of Sterling Financial), Wells Fargo (acquisition of St. Louis-based Insurance Brokers of America), and First Charter Corporation (merger with Fifth Third). Every M&A release is available going back to April 1, 2006. Manual research that used to take hours can now be done within seconds.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Enron revisited: Looking back at Bear Stearns

Kinda' feels like Enron all over again, doesn't it? What has happened in recent days at Bear Stearns is nothing short of shocking. I cannot imagine the pain and anger being felt by employees who are seeing their 401k plans reduced to almost nothing (if they had a big chunk of their plans in Bear Stearns stock). Hard-working people who thought they were well on the road to a comfortable retirement will now have to start all over again. This is a company whose stock price traded at nearly $90/share in the last 30 days and over $150/share in the past 12 months. See their stock chart (iMiners) over the past 30 days: Note on the chart the news releases that BSC issued. iMiners charting plots every company issued news release on the chart so investors can gain deeper context and insight into how company events may impact the stock price. Very interesting that on March 10th they issued a press release titled "Bear Stearns Denies Liquidity Rumors": Alan Schwartz, President and CEO of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc., said, "Bear Stearns' balance sheet, liquidity and capital remain strong." Here is a view of their 12 month stock chart (by iMiners): On this chart you can put your mouse over any time period to see how many news releases BSC issued, and then click on a timeframe to zoom in and see that specific 30 day window and all the news issued during that timeframe.

So the media, employees, and shareholders DID have reason to believe there were problems, but the company issued a press release with a quote from the CEO reassuring there were no liquidity issues, and several days later the company stock tanks 50% and the company is sold at a firesale price over the weekend.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In Silicon Valley, a Flight to Safety

The Wall Street Journal did a page one story today about how some people in Silicon Valley are leaving startups for the relative safety of larger, more mature tech companies such as HP and RIM ("flight to safety"). This is similar to what happened during the dot-com bust earlier in the decade, except all tech companies were hurting back then and there was a mass exodus of 108,000 workers from 2000-2003 (according to the WSJ article, referencing the CA Department of Finance). Another sign of the tough economic climate we are facing in early 2008. The bad news seems to be coming out on a daily basis: home foreclosures rising, weak job reports, higher prices on gas and at the supermarket, and people with good credit being denied approval to refinance their mortgages. The problem is excaberated in Northern California where everything seems to be more expensive (especially housing, and I can relate having just moved here!). So I guess it is no surprise that some would seek the safety of an established company with good benefits and a guaranteed paycheck. Even so, entrepreneurs will continue to flourish, but perhaps now only the true diehards will gut it out. Is the economic downturn (recession?) really hurting startups in Silicon Valley? Or do startups simply need to figure out a way to monetize what they are doing vs. developing cool technology that nobody is willing to pay for? I'm looking to hear from other startup founders and early stage employees for your thoughts on how your businesses are developing, and how you see the economic downturn affecting your startup (or not) whether it be through raising money, generating revenues, hiring good employees, etc.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

iMiners to Exhibit at NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar

March 27th is the NIRI Silicon Valley Spring Seminar, where over 100 Bay Area Investor Relations Officers will gather to hear presentations on a wide variety of topics affecting investor relations. For iMiners, this will be our first public exhibition opportunity; we will have a table along with 15 or so other vendors to show our services. Other exhibitiors include giants such as Thomson Financial, Nasdaq, Business Wire, and Mellon. We should generate quite a bit of attention and curiosity; there haven't been too many new players in the IR technology services market in recent years as consolidation has swept the industry.

The agenda includes: a CFO panel discussion led by the CFOs of Cypress Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, and Varian, Inc.; SEC hot topics; breakout sessions on Competitive Intelligence and Best Practices in Small Cap IR; and a session on Crisis Communications. Finally, the keynote speaker is Billy Beane, GM of the Oakland Athletics. For more information visit, and please do stop by to visit iMiners and say "hi" to me and Prabhu.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

iMiners, Inc. Launches Data Feeds for Portals That Will Increase Traffic, Stickiness, and Return Visitors

Today is an exciting day for us at iMiners! This morning we announced the launch of our iMiners Data Feeds service to enable any portal site or public company IR site to display news releases in our categorized format via an XML feed. This represents a major new enhancement to the way the typical portal site displays news (only chronologically) for visitors. Same holds true for public company IR sites; the typical IR site displays news releases chronologically, thus making it difficult and time consuming for visitors to find specific information. Now, with an iMiners feed any site can display their news releases in one of our 10 major categories (Awards & Recognition, Conference Call & Meetings, Corporate, Customer & Partnerships, Financial, Industry Events, Legal, M&A, Management Changes, Products & Services), thus making relevant information MUCH easier to find. We fully expect that numerous portal sites and public company IR sites will subscribe to this feed to enhance the end user experience. See the press release here:

Friday, February 15, 2008

In Silicon Valley, Start-Ups Begin Hitting the Brakes

There is an interesting article in today's WSJ, page B1 titled "In Silicon Valley, Start-Ups Hitting the Brakes". As I just moved to the Bay Area in August, specifically to join a startup, this article caught my eye immediately. The article starts off by talking about several small companies that have recently raised additional funds to build a financial cushion in case business turns south. It talks about another company that is carefully watching its spending and "only making critical new hires". I worked at a startup before iMiners that was angel-funded, and we were always careful about how we spent money. Hiring always came after revenues were generated, and that discipline from our Founder enabled the company to survive and thrive through the dot-com bust and 9/11. It wasn't always easy, but it was what we needed to do to ensure our survival against much larger, much better funded competitors. iMiners is no different; all of us have been through the dot-com bust and understand how to be fiscally responsible. We are growing our business, but always careful about spending.

My question is: When DOES it make sense to not watch spending, and to make non-essential hires? My startup experience is only with angel funded companies, so perhaps one needs to be more fiscally responsible when you only have angel money to tap. VC-backed companies (from what I've heard) tend to burn through money at a faster clip because they feel the need to put the money to use or the VCs will ask why they are not using the funding for product development, marketing and sales. Which model is better? An angel funded company where the founders maintain complete autonomy, there is less dilution of the company, but you have less funding (usually), thus making it more difficult to grow quickly? Or a VC model where you dilute the company, risk losing control of decision making, but have the funding to spend on marketing outreach and to hire a large sales team? What do you think? I'd like to get comments and experiences from people who have worked for both angel-funded startups AND VC-backed startups.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Financial portal sites fighting for traffic

I read an interesting post over the weekend on the IR Web Report blog ( The post is titled "Yahoo! Finance has lost its way" (can be found here: I found it intriguing because it discusses a topic that iMiners is currently addressing through our Data Feeds application: useability and usefulness of financial portal sites. Yahoo! Finance, AOL Money and Finance, and MSN Money have been duking it out in recent months for top spot re: total unique visitors per month. Google Finance lags far behind. Each site has a plethora of information, catering to individual and institutional investors. But how easy is it to find information at each of these sites? How can they each be improved to make the user experience better? I'm sure the teams of people who work on these sites think about this 24/7, but our little team at iMiners thinks about it as well. We think what we are doing relative to company issued news releases is relevant to an investor's evaluation of a company. Categorizing a company's news releases makes it faster for investors to find what they are looking for, but if you go to any of these portal sites what you will find is simply a long chronological listing of a company's news. Google Finance is the only portal site of the four mentioned above that plots news on the stock chart to give context into what might be impacting a company's stock price, but they rarely plot company issued news releases (more often than not it is only articles from Forbes, Business Week, CNN Money, etc, etc). iMiners Data Feeds can enhance any financial portal site, and in coming weeks/months we intend to bring our applications to sites that are interested in making the end user experience a more productive, and ultimately, profitable one.

Monday, February 4, 2008

How to deal with adversity, in life and at a startup

I am a huge Boston sports fan, and since I moved to the Bay Area this past August I've continued to religiously follow the Boston teams. In fact, when I couldn't find a local Patriots fan club here in the East Bay I decided to organize one! The East Bay New England Patriots Meetup group was launched on September 9th, the eve of the first game vs. the NY Jets, and has now grown to about 45 members. See our group here: It's been a great way to meet other people who are as passionate about the Patriots as I am. And it was real fun for 18 games and about 59 minutes of the 19th game. But alas, the NY Giants did to the Patriots what we've gotten used to the Patriots doing to everyone else in recent years: pulling out a last second win in the Super Bowl. I also coach my daughter's 5th/6th grade basketball team. We won our first 3 games (all by double digits), but on Saturday after taking a sizeable lead we were outscored 14-2 in the last few minutes and lost. So not a great weekend for the O'Brien family (and it rained all weekend, too!).

My children (ages 11 and 9) were extremely upset after the Super Bowl loss last night (and my daughter was majorly ticked off after her basketball game loss), but it was a good opportunity to teach them about how to deal with loss. The lesson is that whether it's sports, or school, or business, or whatever else you might try in life, sometimes things don't go exactly as planned. So you can sit and dwell on it, or you can pick yourself up and move forward. Winners bounce back by using the experience to improve. Winners face adversity head on. Losing makes you tougher, and after you've experienced a loss it makes winning feel that much sweeter! I moved to the Bay Area last August from Massachusetts because I wanted to join an early stage startup to experience the satisfaction of growing a company from almost no revenues to something extremely successful. We've made great progress, but every day I have to tell myself the same lessons I am teaching my children about how to pick yourself up after you've been knocked down. Life at a startup is not easy. But you have to approach every day as a new challenge, and believe that if you persevere you will eventually be a winner.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Joining a Bay Area startup

This is the inaugural post of my blog about moving my family to the Bay Area, joining a company called iMiners, and the lessons learned working at a startup. In August, 2007 I moved my family from Massachusetts to the East Bay, CA town of Danville. We moved 3,000 miles to get away from the snow, ice, and cold of New England winters, and for the challenge and opportunity for me to work at an early stage company in the most dynamic, exciting place in the world for entrepreneurship. I joined iMiners, Inc. ( as VP of Sales and Marketing at the end of August, and when I joined we had two paying clients, Nvidia and Sigma Designs. Now we have four clients, but in the last week announced a new joint marketing agreement, launched a new product line (iMiners Data Feeds), and are planning to launch another major new product in March. This blog will focus on the ups and downs, and lessons learned of working for a Bay Area early stage startup. What does iMiners do, you might ask? Here's an introduction to the business problem(s) we have identified, and how we plan to make an impact:

How many times have you gone to a financial website like Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, or any brokerage site, to do research on a company and come away frustrated at the time it took to find relevant information? For example, go to any popular financial portal and type in a company ticker and attempt to review the company’s most recent news releases relating to management changes, M&A, legal issues, product announcements, and/or customer partnerships. What you will most often find is simply a chronological listing of the company’s news releases, interspaced with blogs, magazine articles, and other non-company issued information. The problem gets worse if the news you are looking for was released 6 months ago! iMiners, Inc. ( a technology startup based in Livermore, CA, is changing the rules in search for how investors access relevant information, quickly.

iMiners was founded in June 2005 by Jnyaneshwar Prabhu & Sandesh Prabhu, specifically to help investors find relevant information quickly when researching a company. iMiners has categorized every press release issued since April 1, 2006, by every US public company trading on the NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX, into one of ten major categories (Awards & Recognition, Conference Call & Meetings, Corporate, Customer & Partnerships, Financial, Legal, Management Changes, M&A, Industry Events, and Products & Services) and 69 subcategories. iMiners’ proprietary database currently contains over 325,000 fully categorized releases issued by over 6,500 public companies and is growing by about 1,000 releases each day. iMiners provides a set of easy to use, visual tools including news by type, interactive charting, and a targeted search engine, in an attempt to provide deeper context and insight into how news may impact stock price. Investors can find relevant information they are looking for quickly within seconds vs. scrolling through volumes of data.

In early 2007, iMiners launched a free portal at, and made available all its tools, and access to its proprietary database. Today, any visitor can type in a stock symbol and research a company either through news by category, its stock chart, custom search, and even set email alerts when that company announces news in a certain category of interest. Then in mid-2007, iMiners began providing hosted interactive press rooms, productized as "PR Interactive", on a subscription basis to public companies that want to improve the user friendliness and productivity of their stakeholders. Today, cutting-edge companies such as Nvidia and Silicon Image have deployed iMiners services on their IR sites. Most recently, on January 30, 2008 iMiners and Comtex, a leading provider of economically useful electronic real-time news, announced a joint marketing agreement to provide categorized news via XML data feeds to all of Comtex’s clients. The service, called iMiners Data Feeds, is available to Comtex clients, or any site that wants to drive more traffic, keep visitors longer, and keep them coming back because of a positive user experience. iMiners Data Feeds can be fully customized based on the specific needs of a portal including full market, industry specific, or company specific. Data Feeds are a natural step towards standardizing the categorization of releases for investors. For more information, or to subscribe to a data feed visit:

Later in 2008, iMiners will launch products that will continue to leverage its growing proprietary database of categorized releases. These plans include launching a comprehensive institutional investor portal that will provide access to unique tools, and proprietary algorithms for event impact, correlation, and prediction. Information is power, especially on Wall Street, and iMiners will continue to revolutionize the search process for relevant actionable information akin to finding the proverbial "needle in the haystack." We look forward to having you along with us for the ride!