Snippets From A Fast-Changing World

An independent observer looks at things differently to someone who is right in the middle.

The New York Times’ R&D Lab has built a tool that explores the life stories take in the social space

By Megan Garber

Some of the most exciting work taking place in The New York Times building is being done on the 28th floor, in the paper’s Research and Development Lab. The group serves essentially as a skunkworks project for a news institution that stands to benefit, financially and otherwise, from creative thinking; as Michael Zimbalist, the Times’ vice president of R&D, puts it, the team is “investigating the ideas at the edges of today and thinking about how they’re going to impact business decisions tomorrow.” (For more on the group’s doings, check out the series of videos that we shot there a couple of years ago.)...more

Hulu Plus to Exceed One Million Subscribers in 2011

By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO

Hulu LLC’s subscription video service will surpass one million subscribers in 2011, chief executive Jason Kilar said in a blog post Monday.

Mr. Kilar also reiterated that the company is on track to approach $500 million in revenue in 2011, up from $263 million in 2010. Its first-quarter revenue grew 90% from 2010...more

Millennials Still Prefer Newspapers for Political News

By Jim O’Sullivan Thursday, March 31, 2011

Reports of the demise of newspapers may be greatly exaggerated.

According to a new Harvard study, the denizens of the digital age — 18-to-29-year-olds — would prefer to get most of their political news about the next presidential campaign from — believe it or not — major national newspapers....more

Backlist E-Books Find an Audience

By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

Last October, suspense writer Jonathon King launched “Midnight Guardians,” the sixth novel in his Max Freeman crime series. Unlike the previous five titles, this one didn’t have a major publisher or a cash advance.

Instead, “Midnight Guardians,” available at Amazon.com for $14.99 as a digital text and $23.08 as a print-on-demand paperback, was issued by Open Road Integrated Media LLC, a digital upstart that has also reissued Mr. King’s entire backlist...more

NYT Posts Articles on Twitter; Asks Others Not to Notice

by Erik Sass

Huh?  The New York Times is clearly struggling with the whole social media angle of its new online pay-wall — or rather, trying to have its online cake and eat it too.

On one hand, the NYT wants heavy users to pay for access to online content, shelling out $15 per month for continued access after reading the maximum allowed 20 articles for free; the pay wall is supposed to take effect on March 28 (it’s already up in Canada)...more

Hyperlocal News Source EveryBlock Relaunches As Community Site

EveryBlock, a hyperlocal news site acquired by msnbc.com in August 2009, unveiled a new version Monday designed to encourage conversation and collaboration among neighbors.

“We’re shifting from a one-way newsfeed to more of a community-empowered website,” says EveryBlock founder Adrian Holovaty. “Instead of going to the site to passively consume information, we’re going to offer a platform for posting messages to your neighbors, to discover who lives near you.”...more

News Corp aims to build own social gaming business

(Reuters) – Media giant News Corp aims to build its own social-gaming business as valuations of games companies, such as FarmVille maker Zynga skyrocket, its head of digital media said on Wednesday.

Jonathan Miller also said News Corp’s The Daily, a newspaper designed for Apple’s iPad, had had hundreds of millions of downloads since its launch in the United States last month. It will begin charging readers for subscriptions next week...more

Dentsu and Facebook Announce Agreement to Support Advertisers in Japan

TOKYO – Dentsu Inc. and Facebook, Inc. announced an agreement under which Dentsu will become the official representative of Facebook’s sales and marketing support to companies in Japan.

Under this agreement, Dentsu, as Facebook’s official ad sales representative in the Japanese market, will provide consultation on effective Facebook Page (see Note 1) development, exclusively market Facebook Premium Ads, and offer new marketing strategies utilizing Facebook that are tied into ad placements in the mass media to advertisers in Japan...more

Facebook plans discount deals programme

Facebook said it was entering the fast-growing “deal of the day” market, posing a challenge to online discount marketing pioneers Groupon and LivingSocial.

The social network’s large audience and detailed database of user preferences positions it to be a fierce competitor in this market, which is expected to generate nearly $4bn by 2015, according to consulting firm BIA/Kelsey. Facebook’s move could boost its revenue stream as itconsiders a public offering – and potentially compromises Groupon’s impending IPO...more

Facebook Is Now Leading Source of Evidence in Divorce Case

by Erik Sass

Here’s one of those stats that makes you sit up and take notice: Facebook was identified as “the ‘primary source’” of evidence in divorce cases by fully two-thirds of divorce lawyers surveyed by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This figure is especially incredible when you consider that Facebook didn’t even exist ten years ago — a testament to how quickly technology and social change can advance in our mad, modern world...more

You’ve still got mail

By Chris Nuttall in San Francisco Published: March 10 2011

I rediscovered my old AOL e-mail account this week and was taken down e-memory lane as the famous “You’ve Got Mail!” message boomed from the PC speaker as I signed in. After years of neglect and only spam in my inbox, it was like a voice from beyond the grave – and with the same old US accent they never localised for the UK with a British voice proclaiming: “Post Is Here!”

I had logged in because I was taking the pulse of e-mail in general. Its obituary has been written repeatedly by the media over the past 10 years – strangled by spam in 2003, smothered by social networks in 2007 and razed by real-time communication such as Google Wave in 2009, before predictions of being finished off by Facebook Messagesthis year...more

No fanfare as Spotify celebrates 1m users

By Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is this week celebrating signing up its millionth subscriber – but only quietly. Staff at the digital music service’s offices in London have not been treated to a big party, slap-up feast or cracked open the champagne. Spotify says there will be a few pats on backs, then it’s just “onwards and upwards”...more

Warner Bros. to Offer Movies Through Facebook

By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER And STEVEN RUSSOLILLO

Warner Bros. will begin offering select movies through Facebook, a move that will enable the social-networking giant to compete in the online movie-rental market.

The new offering—which was made by Warner Brothers without explicit assistance from Facebook—puts Facebook Inc. in greater competition with Netflix Inc. and other tech companies vying for position in the ever-expanding online-video-services market. It also comes as movie studios are increasingly testing new methods of distribution for their movies...more

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