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Questions for CNET's CEO

by acedtect-20196213851867054973637995818137 / February 5, 2006 1:59 PM PST

In response to our thread back in December, we've been attempting to book guests based on some of your requests. A few people requested we interview Shelby Bonnie, CEO of CNET. This Wednesday we'll be taping a special edition Buzz Out Loud interview with Shelby.

So in prep for that, we'd like to know if someo of you have particular questions you'd like him to answer. Please post 'em here. Thanks!


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by AndyInTN / February 5, 2006 2:09 PM PST

How could someone come to work for CNET and work with really cool technology like you all do?

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CNET website:
by Jasmes / February 5, 2006 2:34 PM PST
In reply to: Jobs?
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Business model questions:
by Jasmes / February 5, 2006 2:33 PM PST

- What was your original business model/intended course of action to turn CNET profitable?

- If this plan changed, how did it, and in what ways did the rapid pace of technological evolution influence your stratigies?

- How do you feel companies like CNET are intertwined with the ad-generating and search engine giants like Google and Yahoo? If you feel there is any dependency, is it a mutual dependency? (ie: CNET provides the content to be found, and the search engines find it)

- Where do you see yourself taking CNET within the next ten years? Will you expand into other markets and services, or have you found a niche market that you believe will always provide a home for CNET?

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Oh, one more question:
by Jasmes / February 5, 2006 2:37 PM PST

*** does the "C" in "CNET" stand for?

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(NT) (NT) "C" = Computer (I think)
by AndyInTN / February 5, 2006 3:13 PM PST
In reply to: Oh, one more question:
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"C" = Computer "NET" = Network
by AndyInTN / February 5, 2006 3:14 PM PST

Computer Network?

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CNET, the Computer Network Network
by mollywood-20145211451868876304931303067070 CNET staff / February 6, 2006 7:51 AM PST

Yes, CNET stands for the Computer Network. Only these days our full company name is CNET Networks, which causes no end of hilarity among some smart-alecky types. Which I'm sure everyone here can appreciate.

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you mean like... oh, silly CNET.

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by AndyInTN / February 7, 2006 8:29 AM PST

Whats in store for the future of CNET? Will there be a CNET TV show again? I really miss it. Maybe a CNET ... network of shows. That would be really cool.

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Software Manufacturers
by AndyInTN / February 7, 2006 9:27 AM PST
In reply to: Future?

I was just updating my "Got It" "Want It" list and I realized that there are no (to my knowledge) free Linux distributions (I was going to add like crazy!). I wonder if CNET would consider reviewing free Linux distributions in the future.

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by AndyInTN / February 7, 2006 9:43 AM PST

Maybe the CEO could talk about the divisions or even the different sites that CNET owns (I know there is a list at the bottom). It just seems like there is SOOOOO much stuff that CNET owns. Is CNET the next Google? lol

Ok, I'll go back to thinking of some better questions.

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Question #1
by MacHugger / February 7, 2006 12:28 PM PST

For Shelby:

Does CNET have the resources or corporate connections to get its hands on new products IMMEDIATELY for review, say, within a week of their shipping (or even sooner) and get that review to us right away?

Given the nature of most technophiles who would gravitate to your site, we are well aware of these products months in advance. We want to have an honest, preferably in-depth review from presumed experts faster than you can possibly imagine. If I knew CNET could provide that, I'd never look anywhere else, especially for comparison reviews. Can CNET deliver or become that go-to site? Corporate pride will make you think you are already but you're not quite there. Do you have the resources to become that?

-Kevin S.

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by AndyInTN / February 7, 2006 12:55 PM PST
In reply to: Question #1

I think they usually get their hands on pre-releases pretty regularly. James Kim usually talks about preview models of MP3 players.

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Preview neat but... &... Never trust customer reviews
by MacHugger / February 7, 2006 3:46 PM PST
In reply to: Usually...

The previews are kind of fun but they do little more than whet my appetite even more for a full-blown review. Previews show us little more than what the marketing bim/himbos show off at trade shows.

I want it sent straight to the lab and played with for days on end and compared to what is considered the current ''best in class'' to know whether or not I'm going to plunk down my cash. It would be great if CNET could be the one to do it the fastest.

-Kevin S.

PS I NEVER trust the customer reviews. I am always suspicious of corporate spam to boost the ratings. BMW - class act that they are supposed to be - has proven just how low companies will sink.

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Re: Questions for CNET's CEO
by arthurt / February 7, 2006 1:33 PM PST

1. What are your thoughts on sites like and the upcoming Is it likely that CNET Networks will create or acquire a site that places users at the assignment desk? If so, what impact would this have on the credibility of CNET, even if the sites are separate brands within CNET Networks?

2. I was a listener of CNET Radio AM 910 and I was disappointed to see it off air. But now I believe that Podcasting is even better, since it allows me to listen to your content on my own terms. Are there plans to offer more Podcasts or longer Podcasts, including a daily Podcast longer than 10 minutes? (15-20 minutes would be best)

3. What do you think about all of recent stories about the dangers of and other youth social networking sites?

Thank you.

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by AndyInTN / February 7, 2006 1:34 PM PST

Those are really good questions.

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by jemsbarr / February 7, 2006 1:55 PM PST

Google has grown from a search engine website to a powerful iconic tech giant by realizing they were more than the sum of their parts. With this in mind, my question would be: as consumer spending on tech-related items increases, wouldn't it make sense for CNET to broaden its user-base from the tech-savvy toward a more widely-accepted tech-review website for the masses, and wouldn't it take mainstream marketing to achieve this (visa-vis advertising during the Super Bowl)?

To summarize, are there any plans to mass market CNET's services to the general public through more traditional advertising vehicles?

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