Monday, March 16, 2009

Newspapers going kaboom

Hearst newspapers in San Fran and Seattle are poised to make make huge shifts to online-only. I am curious about how this will pan out. Read the article

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google Wants to Help Web Sites Make New Friends

From The New York Times - If you run a Web site, you may have a lot of new friends.

Last week, site owners learned they could add information about their users from MySpace and Facebook.

On Monday, Google introduced its take on the same phenomenon, Google Friend Connect.

Google puts two spins on this concept. First, its program is designed to allow very small Web sites to add some social networking features without sophisticated programming. All they have to do is copy a little code onto their Web pages. | Read full article

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Growing Backlash Against PR Spam, And The Rationale For MicroPR

From /Message: - Gina Trapani, of Lifehacker, has created a prspammers wiki where she and others can publicly out PR firms that are spamming bloggers at their personal email addresses, or using other unsavory spammish practices. She announced the blacklist in a twitter message, here, inviting others to add to it.

Various practitioners (Todd Defren, Brian Solis, and so on) have written what I think are heartfelt apologies for the missteps that their firms and the industry as a whole has made. These are being collated at PR Openmic.

Personally, I feel that it is the whole system that is wrong, and piecemeal solutions like blacklists and filtering, and one:one agreements about how I, some specific blogger, should be approached by some specific firm won't work in the long run -- these are all stop gaps and band-aids.

The root cause here is the delusion on the part of the clients that this sort of PR carpet bombing works, that mass media messages embedded in a press release or press release-ish email work, and that we, the bloggers, actually react positively to this junk.

We, the bloggers and journalists, need to stand up and shout, 'Stop! This doesn't work! Shut up! Stop shouting! Stop screaming your bilge! Stop screaming and listen!' We need to shout them down, because they aren't taking our subtle little hints, like deleting the email and not responding. They aren't paying attention. There is no feedback loop, just a messianic faith in the power of PR blitz. | Read full article

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friends May Be the Best Guide Through the Noise

From The New York Times - CATHY BROOKS is a typically unapologetic Silicon Valley Web addict. Last week alone, she produced more than 40 pithy updates on the text messaging service Twitter, uploaded two dozen videos to various video sharing sites, posted seven photographs on the Yahoo image service Flickr and one item to the online community calendar Upcoming.

Her friends, similarly peripatetic in their Web journeys, also liberally sprinkled photos, videos, blog items and news-article links across the Internet.

But they all followed one another’s activities in one place: a buzzy, online water cooler called FriendFeed that lets people funnel all their online activities into a single information broadcast, and then blast that broadcast to anyone who wants to listen in.

“It’s a great catch-all way for me to have all my stuff in one place, and it lets me see a more comprehensive view of the ecosystem of my friends,” said Ms. Brooks, 39, a business development director at an online video start-up company in San Francisco.

Companies like FriendFeed — and there seem to be a growing number of them these days — are trying to solve a problem that the Internet itself created. The proliferating number of blogs, user-generated content services and online news sources has created a dense information jungle that no human could machete his or her way through in a lifetime, let alone in an afternoon of surreptitious procrastination at work. | Read full article

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rossellini Unsure if Films Can Make Money Online

From The New York Times - While Isabella Rossellini enjoyed her foray into new media with her short films about insect sex, she is not sure they could turn a profit, given that so much content is available on the Internet for free.

While a strike by screenwriters recently brought television and movie production to a halt over the issue of Internet royalties, actors and directors are also concerned about what they should earn for work distributed online, Rossellini told a panel discussion at New York's Tribeca Film Festival.

"It is unclear how the money comes back," said Rossellini, 55, who wrote, directed and featured in a series of short films about the sex life of insects called "Green Porno" that were made for the screens of cell phones, iPods and laptops.

Rossellini, who after years of acting and modeling is one of the world's most recognizable faces, said it was easy for her to be experimental with the backing of Robert Redford and the Sundance Channel, but added she was still trying to work out how to make money in new media. | Read full article

Monday, April 14, 2008

Seattle radio station expands to NYC

From Lost Remote - Radio is having a tough time these days. More people are plugging their iPods into their cars (or playing mix CDs), and the radio audience is shrinking. But public radio station KEXP in Seattle is a great study on how to jump the curve. Beginning today, it’s simulcasting in New York, and KEXP’s morning show host will split his time between the two cities. So how did a local station in Seattle suddenly move into the nation’s largest market? First, KEXP is a “discovery engine” for new music. They scour MySpace, music blogs, just about everywhere for new original bands. (Like Vampire Weekend, which KEXP played first, and now the band is blowing up.) Their playlists rarely repeat. In short, you listen to KEXP to find new music to buy, right from (or elsewhere, if you prefer). Second, has simulcast the radio station for years, building up a massive national audience online (bigger than its local audience). It gave away free music podcasts before anyone was doing it. This is how KEXP got noticed in NYC and why WNYE-FM did the deal. Third, KEXP is listener supported. No ads (well, there are sponsor messages that run :05). But during their sponsor drives, people donate money from all over the country. | Read full article

Virgin Media CEO Says Net Neutrality is “A Load of Bollocks”

I don't pay for high-speed to get my ISP's preferred feeds. This is tantamount to a cash grab. A consumer revolt is in order.


From Torrent Freak - The new CEO of Virgin Media is putting his cards on the table early, branding net neutrality “a load of bollocks” and claiming he’s already doing deals to deliver some people’s content faster than others. If you aren’t prepared to cough up the extra cash, he says he’ll put you in the Internet “bus lane”. | Read full article

Thursday, April 10, 2008 Launches Daily Online TV Show

We are curious to see what it looks like in terms of content and production values...


From Media Post - SHEKNOWS.COM, AN ONLINE DESTINATION for women, announced the kick off of "Daily Dish" (, an originally produced daily TV show focused on women's interest topics related to entertainment, sex, style, food, home, parenting, pregnancy and health.

SheKnows is currently one of the top 10 properties for women online and joins a select few as one of the only women's sites (such as iVillage, with an online daily TV show. Each daily video segment is 3-5 minutes in length and coincides with full-length editorial coverage within the site.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rumor: Has Vudu raised more than $40M?

From Venture Beat - We’ve heard a rumor that Vudu, a startup seeking to bring internet video to your television, has raised more than $40 million of funding. Our source says hedge funds are the likely backers.

I emailed the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company a few minutes ago, and I’ll update if they get back to us.

We haven’t heard of too many other fundings in this area, mainly because the market seems dominated by big players like Apple and Comcast. Vudu already raised $21 million back in 2005, so if the rumors are true, the company will have a pretty big war chest.

We’ve heard good things about the company — whose big selling point appears to be the speed of its peer-to-peer technology, and whose service launched last September — but it will definitely need all the money it can get to take on challengers such as Apple TV and Netflix (which later this summer is releasing a living room box in conjunction with LG). Earlier this year, Vudu dropped the price of its set-top box from $399 to $295 in a pre-emptive move to take on the newcomers.

The company may also be looking to expand its offerings soon: Recently, chief executive Mark Jung said he’s willing to “experiment with everything, save just two core things: the user interface and the ability to transmit high-quality video on the turn of a dime,” and that Vudu will be trying out ad-supported content soon, according to NewTeeVee.

Online Sales to Grow 17 Percent in '08

Nine years ago, companies like invested heavily in the idea that people would do a huge amount of shopping online. Unfortunately, the time for e-commerce going mainstream had yet to come. This study, however, indicates that not only are consumers comfortable making purchases online, they are increasingly changing their purchasing behaviors in unprecedented ways.


From The New York Times - Online spending is expected to rise a robust 17 percent this year, despite a sluggish economy that has bruised many brick-based retailers, according to an annual survey to be released Tuesday.

Retail sales online, excluding travel purchases, are set to grow to $204 billion in 2008 from $174.5 billion last year, fueled by sales of apparel, computers and autos, according to a survey conducted by Internet analysis firm Forrester Research for, the online arm of the National Retail Federation trade group. That projection is below the 21 percent increase seen in the prior year, but industry officials attribute it to the maturing of the business, not the sluggish economy.

E-commerce ''is clearly the bright spot in retailing,'' said Scott Silverman, executive director of

The upbeat report contrasts with the outlook for many traditional retailers, which have been paring down store growth and closing shops as they struggle with consumers who don't feel like spending amid higher gas and food costs, a housing slump and a weaker job market. The exceptions are discounters and wholesale clubs, as shoppers turn to less expensive stores. | Read full article