Nick Bilton of the New York Times provides an informative summary and update on Gawker’s Kinja, a platform that intends to change the way comments work on web sites.
Writing in The New Republic Senior Editor Alec MacGillis takes an informed and critical stance against the purchase of The Washington Post by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.
…let’s not kid ourselves here: The company that made him one of the richest men in the world has had a less than benign impact on our nation. It has devastated the publishing industry, from the big presses to the small booksellers. It has exacerbated the growth of the low-wage economy, to the point where the president feels the need to celebrate an increase in warehouse jobs that will pay barely more than minimum wage. (Fun fact uncovered by the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. two years ago: Instead of paying for air-conditioning at some Pennsylvania warehouses, Amazon had just stationed paramedics outside to take the inevitably heat-stressed workers to the hospital.)
More generally, Amazon has embodied, more than any other of the giants that rule our new landscape, the faster-cheaper-further mindset that scratches away daily at our communal fabric: Why bother running down to the store around the block if you can buy it with a click? No risk of running into someone on the way and actually having to talk to them, and hey, can you beat that price? No thought given to the externalities that make that price possible…
Google will now begin to feature in-depth reporting and longform writing in their search queries.
Where the default Google search on any given topic brings up recently written news, the company will now cater to users who are looking for more thoughtful coverage on a subject. As Hamish McKenzie of PandoDaily explains, Google has enabled a kind of Twitter-style news consumption. This is where the most prominent stories Google offers are always the stories that were written up moments earlier, or stories that were extremely popular within the current news cycle.
The advantage of this style is that it provides readers with the news of the day, the word of the moment without much fuss. The downside, though, is that other kinds of journalism, the kinds that take longer to produce, or that don’t link strongly to the events that are happening THAT DAY are crowded out. This mode favors rapid-fire news over thoughtful essays, press release blog posts over careful criticism.
For example: If you searched “Boston Bomber” Google will give you a bunch of crappy, recently written articles about the Rolling Stones cover or the alleged revelations that he was into right-wing-conspiracy theories. While these links have merit, it would also be extremely useful for Google to give us some definitive accounts of the whole Boston bombing episode–not just the insignificant trickling of brand new news stories.
This novel, in-depth highlight will help readers more fully understand.
More Chromecast news from Chris Welch at The Verge:
The content providers are lining up to support Google’s Chromecast. One day after HBO said it was “actively exploring” the streaming stick, Hulu has gone a step further and confirmed a solution is already in the works. “We are actively working with Google to bring Hulu Plus to the platform,” a company representative told Variety. No specific ETA has been given, but with Hulu Plus and (presumably) HBO Go set to join Netflix, Google has already locked down three services considered essential among many viewers.
Aaron Souppouris writes at The Verge:
Announced July 24th 2013, the Google Chromecast is a tiny streaming device that lets you push content from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop straight to your TV. After Google TV failed to take off, Chromecast is the company’s second attempt to put a browser on your biggest screen, and represents a major effort to compete with Apple’s AirPlay. At $35, it’s far more of an impulse buy than other offerings, but, in typical Google fashion, there are elements of Chromecast that are very much in beta. Official app support was limited at launch to Netflix and YouTube, with additional services available through a beta feature that lets you mirror a Chrome tab to your TV.
This week Yahoo acquired the popular blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Writing for the business and investment site Minyanville, Carol Kopp discusses the likely business model for Yahoo’s newest content creator.
“Here’s a little dose of financial reality for Tumblr users who are upset that their free-to-use, nearly ad-free little corner of the Internet has been bought by big, bad corporate Yahoo: One way or another, probably sooner rather than later, you’re going to pay for your free blog,” she remarks. And that dose of financial reality will come in the form of ads.
“Advertisers are willing to pay a premium to advertise to a small but self-selected group of people with an expressed interest in golf or puppies or movies.”
It’s important to mention that in March Yahoo gobbled the start-up Summly for $30 million. That company offered readers computer generated summaries of news articles, another kind of content that helps Yahoo boost its traffic.