August 20, 2008

Alas, EDGAR R.I.P.

As Dave gave us the heads up yesterday in this blog, the SEC held a press conference yesterday to announce that EDGAR will be succeeded by a new filing platform called “IDEA,” which is short for “Interactive Data Electronic Applications.” As noted in this press release, this new platform is based on the SEC’s XBRL initiative and IDEA will at first supplement and then replace EDGAR.

In his “IR Web Report,” Dominic Jones reports that SEC Chairman Cox said that IDEA won’t be fully mature for five years – and he noted that the press conference didn’t reveal anything all that newsworthy. The thing that struck me when I read Dominic’s blog is he notes the likely motivation for the SEC to hold a press conference with nothing really new to report: an attempt to wake up companies to the fact that XBRL is coming. Dominic notes: “I guess I’m just not attuned to the idea of regulators as marketers.”

The big news out of the press conference is that the SEC intends to kill off its most valuable brand by choosing to rename EDGAR. In my opinion, it’s a horrible marketing move for the SEC even if the underlying architecture is being completely replaced. If there is one thing that all investors – large and small – know about the SEC, it’s that they can find information about public companies on “EDGAR.” Everyone knows what the term means; it has a twenty-year plus history and the term is unique. “IDEA” will need to be branded anew and my guess is that this term is so common in our language that folks will come up with a nickname for it (or simply continue to call it “EDGAR”) to distinguish it from the common use of the term “idea.”

Note that I’m not being critical because Dave and I were once again left out of the group of bloggers invited to the SEC’s press conference. We already had another party to go to. Besides I would have moaned that I’m really getting sick of the incredibly poor animation and voice-over at the top of the SEC’s home page – and it’s only been one day! I’m surprised that there isn’t an IDEA mascot, maybe a duck or a bear – something preferably with an extra large head

Our “3rd Annual Proxy Disclosure” Conference: Hotel Nearly Full

All of our Conferences – “Tackling Your 2009 Compensation Disclosures: The 3rd Annual Proxy Disclosure Conference“; “5th Annual Executive Compensation Conference” and “16th Annual NASPP Conference” – will be held during the week of October 20-24th at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside.

Note that the Hilton New Orleans Riverside is almost sold out – so act today by registering for the hotel online or call them at 504.561.0500. If you are unable to secure a room at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, we have secured additional rooms at the Loews New Orleans Hotel (which is two blocks away from the Hilton), which you can obtain by calling 866.211.6411. We also have secured rooms at the Embassy Suites New Orleans – Convention Center, where you can register online or by calling 800.362.2779.

At any of these hotels, be sure to mention the “NASPP Annual/Executive Compensation Conference” to obtain the special Conference rate. If you have difficulty securing a room, please contact our HQ at or 925.685.9271.

FindLaw: Not Playing By Google’s Rules? And Law Firms Pay…

Some pretty interesting stuff from Kevin O’Keefe’s LexBlog in this blog – FindLaw appears to have been caught gaming Google by selling links to lawyer websites and, in the words of one blogger, possibly scamming their lawyer customers. Here is Kevin’s follow-up blog expressing disbelief that FindLaw and its parent, Thomson Reuters, has not done anything in the way of damage control with its law firm clients.

– Broc Romanek