Have you ever seen "The War of the Roses"? This was a movie in which a husband and wife participate in a considerable amount of divorce drama.
Somehow, this movie comes to mind when I hear that police have now dropped the charges in a case I wrote about yesterday involving a wife, a husband, and a fake Facebook profile.
Should you not like to click on links, let me give you the short version: estranged wife creates a fake Facebook profile for a teenage girl called Jessica Studebaker. Husband befriends fake teenage girl on Facebook. He allegedly … Read more
Thanks to digital technologies, we have more media sources than ever to get our news from, but when it comes to covering town halls, school boards, courts, and other local news, they mostly suck.
That's the takeaway message (though definitely not in those words) in a behemoth of a report (PDF) released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission.
The 460-plus page report, titled "The Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age," is two years in the making and was led by Beliefnet co-founder and former U.S. News and World Report National Editor Steve Waldman.
If forced to sum up the entire report in a single tweet, it would probably be "The Internet has revolutionized how we gather and consume information, but meanwhile local news has been damn near suffocated." Or, as Waldman and company put it on page 262:
There were about 13,400 fewer newspaper newsroom jobs in 2010 than there were in 2006, dropping from 55,000 positions to about 41,600. Over the years, newsmagazines, local commercial radio, and local TV have reduced their newsgathering staffs, as well. At the same time, Internet sites, cable news, and public radio have created new journalism jobs.
So, the Net picked up the slack for the shrinking old media then, right? Not so, says the report. It goes on to estimate that there are roughly 5,000 less reporters covering local "accountability" beats today than there were in 2000, and even back then there weren't nearly enough to cover everything. All told, the report estimates that the number of local beat reporters would need to be more than doubled to do the job right, at a total cost of about $1.6 billion--or $265 million if we just wanted to get back to 2000 levels.… Read more
Google's full employment program for antitrust regulators continues: the search giant is in the final stages of a deal to purchase ad tech company AdMeld. Like other recent Google purchases, this deal will automatically generate scrutiny from Washington before it can formally close.
That's both because of the size of the deal--around $400 million--and because the purchase deals with a sector that Google already dominates--display ad sales.
AdMeld is one of a handful of big ad optimization platforms that work on behalf of publishers by trying to get the best prices for their inventory from a variety of … Read more
The cost of advertising on Twitter has increased roughly five-fold since the social-microblog-whatchamacallit service started offering "promoted trends" a little over a year ago.
In an interview with the marketing site Clickz published this week, Twitter director of revenue Adam Bain says the cost of a promoted trend is now $120,000 per day, up from $25,000-$30,000 when Twitter launched the service in April 2010. Bain says over that time, Twitter has worked with more than 600 advertisers on more than 6,000 campaigns. That's decent growth for an ad service that launched with just 6 clients.
Big-name clients include the likes of Virgin, HBO, Samsung, JetBlue, and others. In addition to promoted trend slots, which appear on the right side of any Twitter user's home page, Twitter also offers promoted accounts and promoted tweets, but those are sold through an auction system, and--in the past at least--use a pay-per-click or pay-per-follow system. Recently, Bain says, Twitter has started asking for advertisers to spend a minimum of $15,000 over a three-month period.
If Twitter managed to get at least that $15,000 for each of its 6,000 campaigns (and to be clear, no one says they have, but humor me), that's a cool $90 million, or enough to buy at least two more Tweetdecks. Add in revenue from promoted trends and take into account some of Twitter's deep-pocketed, top-tier advertisers, and there's probably plenty more where that's coming from, and maybe even enough to buy stock in Facebook when it finally goes public.… Read more
Google is making more changes to its search algorithm, the company reportedly confirmed at the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle this week.
According to Search Engine Land, which puts on the event, Google's Matt Cutts said that his company plans to launch Panda version 2.2 at some point in the near future. The update will reportedly tackle the issue of sites that republish content being placed higher in search results than the original source.
Google launched a Panda update earlier this year. At the time, the company's goal was to improve results on queries that had previously … Read more
Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer currency floating around the Web, is now being targeted by two prominent senators.
Democratic Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia have written a letter to both Attorney General Eric Holder and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) chief Michele Leonhart expressing their desire for the organizations to take down an online marketplace known as "Silk Road," which allows customers to buy illegal drugs, including cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and marijuana.
The senators said this about Bitcoin in their letter to the government agencies:
The only method of payment for these illegal purchases … Read more
In a surprising move, Apple apparently has decided to change its policy on in-app subscriptions.
"Apps can read or play approved content (specifically magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music, and video) that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app, as long as there is no button or external link in the app to purchase the approved content," Apple's new rule reads, according to MacRumors, which first reported on the change. "Apple will not receive any portion of the revenues for approved content that is subscribed to or purchased outside of the app."
And interestingly, these customers aren't app developers, they're large companies like Best Buy and Adidas.
Filed in Chicago federal district court by online customer satisfaction survey outfit ForeSee Results, the document accuses Lodsys of sending infringement claim letters to certain of its clients in an attempt to muscle them into licensing deals. From … Read more
LONDON--In the future, somebody walking into a hotel room or a museum will get the opportunity to install an app for that location, Adobe Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch predicted.
The idea, which Lynch demonstrated at the Open Mobile Summit here to show just how feasible it is, stems from the ever-tighter links between the physical and virtual worlds we inhabit. And it shows that there's still plenty of room for mobile devices to become even more important in people's lives, as if there were any doubt.
"There's a strong future for us with this social- … Read more