Excerpts from the blog Cozi, a Seattle producer of family-management software and services, is announcing today that it received a major...

Share story

Excerpts from the blog

Cozi, a Seattle producer of family-management software and services, is announcing today that it received a major strategic investor.

Gannett, the McLean, Va.-based media giant and publisher of USA Today and The Olympian, bought a minority stake in the privately held Pioneer Square startup.

The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed, but Cozi Chief Executive Robbie Cape said it’s “significant.” For context, he said the company has raised $15 million, and Gannett will be its largest single investor.

Cape and Jan Miksovsky, both veterans of the Microsoft Money team, launched Cozi in 2006.

Although it’s building software, Cozi has always been in the media business, selling sponsorships and ads on its PC software that can serve as a sort of household-management console. The company has also made previous deals with publishers such as Meredith’s Parents magazine, under which they promote the site and also resell some of Cozi’s ad space.

Gannett and Cozi “will collaborate on product innovations that tap into Gannett’s deep local content, information and calendar data,” the release said.

So it sounds like Cozi’s going to incorporate local event listings from Gannett papers to power the new calendar features it’s planning to release later this year. Cozi must be taking advice from board member Jeremy Jaech, whose previous venture — the Trumba calendar and event-listings service — made some of its biggest gains through deals with newspapers.

Gannett will also take a seat on Cozi’s board and promote the brand and product across its media outlets, which include 85 daily newspapers, 23 television stations and Web sites reaching about 16 percent of the U.S. Internet audience.

But the big question is whether Gannett will encourage Cozi to use more colorful infographics.

Best of the Web

Making Time’s list of the 50 best Web sites in 2008 is nice exposure for Penny Arcade, the cult game comic site, and Picnik, which offers free online photo-editing tools.

But even more impressive may be their showing in Time’s follow-on reader poll, where the public ranks the best of the best Web sites.

At last check, Penny Arcade was the first choice by a mile, with a 3-to-1 lead over the next most popular site, the GasBuddy fuel prices site. Picnik was holding onto a top 20 spot at 19th.

Video smackdown

Now that Delve Networks has its new business model and technology sorted out, the Pioneer Square company’s not wasting time going after Brightcove, the big incumbent in the next-generation video-publishing platform market.

Maybe it’s just blogzine guerrilla marketing to keep Delve’s relaunch momentum going, but it’s fun to see startup feistiness like the blog post Tuesday by Chief Executive Alex Castro, Delve’s strategy and communications vice president: “After reading the various articles and blog posts, I came to the conclusion that there wasn’t much substance to this release and even less forward innovation for publishers to take advantage.”

Then he lays out what looks like Delve’s selling points against Brightcove.

Alben was responding to TechCrunch’s coverage of Cambridge, Mass.-based Brightcove’s beta release of a new version with a revamped interface. TC suggested that the move was in response to its story last week praising Delve’s interface and nipping at Brightcove’s.

I wonder if Delve and its peers are making that same pitch to Google, now that Eric Schmidt’s searching for ways to monetize YouTube. Maybe he’ll start buying flashy new publisher and video indexing tools?

This material has been edited for print publication.

Brier Dudley’s blog appears Thursdays. Reach him at bdudley@seattletimes.com.