First, I’ll put forth my obligatory “this thing needs to be $99” argument. Until it actually is $99, I’ll continue to make that point. The $139 price point for Wi-Fi only is a good start, but it’s still just a little too high for a device that only does one thing.
Second, I was struck by this revelation:
The dual nature of Amazon’s Kindle brand, both e-book reader and e-bookstore, is underscored by the way Amazon runs those businesses, with separate teams focused on each. “Internally, we view them as two stand-alone businesses that have to succeed on their own merits,” said Mr. Bezos.
I guess that makes sense — one team focuses on hardware, the other on digital book sales — but it’s still a little jarring to learn there are two Kindle groups. (Incidentally, the digital book team is doing a fantastic job … making the Kindle platform available across devices is exactly what Amazon should be doing.)
This article from CNN does a nice job explaining the various issues and approaches around comments, but there’s a piece missing:
Can the time and effort spent on comments be justified?
If a staffer (or staffers) has to spend an hour-plus each day weeding through hateful nonsense — or just nonsensy nonsense — is that an effective use of time and resources? Could that effort be put to use developing a robust Twitter account? Could that person be developing a great newsletter?
I used to be as pro-comment as they come, but the idiocy on most newspaper sites (and YouTube … my God … YouTube is the worst) have changed my mind. Unless a news site is going to commit, full-on, to a comment policy, I don’t see the point. You can’t half-ass this stuff anymore.
The run-and-gun style of the videos is certainly notable, but let’s not forget that these clips are also entertaining as hell. The guy’s delivery is fantastic (so much so, he landed a talent deal with NBC).
How is that relevant to the news business? It all comes down to value: Was I informed? Was I entertained? Did this content justify its existence in my world? Had these clips employed the same production value without the humor, no one would be talking about them.
Mechanical Turk is certainly a good option for transcriptions, but I wouldn’t use it as my go-to service. For important stuff, I’d either turn to a trusted transcriptionist (I’m lucky to know one!), or I’d suck it up and transcribe the thing myself using Express Scribe and some good headphones.
“My numbers are different than your numbers, and these numbers don’t look like the ones that guy uses.” The vast discrepancies between analytics firms is borderline criminal. This is why page views and visits are crap measurements, and probably always will be.
The embed feature on YouTube (and countless other sites) is one of the most important innovations in the history of the web. It unlocks content and allows it to gather attention in an organic and powerful way.
This FastCompany Q&A with Iain Tait, creative director for the ad firm behind the Old Spice campaign, is a great read. I found this segment to be particularly telling:
Q: Why did you choose to respond to Twitter tweets using video and why employ YouTube versus a dedicated Old Spice site?
By locking the campaign into any proprietary place would have just severely limited the exposure it would get and diminish it. This whole idea of responding to people and being very smart about who we decided to respond to, and in what manner, that wouldn’t have worked if we hadn’t done it in a format like YouTube where we are able to embed it. People are very familiar with the ways of sharing it, liking it, and favoring it, and just the fact that it can go everywhere very quickly was a huge positive. [Emphasis added.]
I wrote a piece a few months ago that was critical of Wired’s lock-in approach to its iPad offerings. And while I understand how an immersive experience can be a benefit, I still believe digital content — all digital content — needs to work with the web, not against it. Apparently, Hearst is of a similar mind (or a variation on it):