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Alex Schleber
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Alex Schleber

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*A good #dinomedia  dose of reality from +Jeff Jarvis, and pointers toward a new collaborative news model!?*

First, the ugly #stats  truth (my bolded highlights and [ ] inline comments):

"...One of the greatest crises facing news organizations — well, besides disrupted business models, unlimited competition, and eroding trust — is engagement. The indications are pitiful:

News accounts for only 6.7% of site visits on the internet, only 1.3% of time spent, and only 0.9% of pages viewed, according to the newspaper trade association WAN/IFRA. In 2012, the group said, digital engagement was 5% of print’s — and so is it a coincidence that digital revenues are also 5% of those in print?

At CUNY, in research on new business models for news, we found that news sites typically garnered a dozen pageviews per user per month. Facebook gets that much engagement from members every day. Consider, too, that when The New York Times put up its pay meter, it allowed 20 free page views per month but then dropped that number, reportedly to 10, to increase the number of people who would even see a demand for pay.

[I've long said that Paywalls are a terrible idea, and if this "20 free pages per month is more than average demand" thing doesn't sting, then I don't know what will...

Yep, been saying it since 2009: "How Wrong Is Rupert Murdoch To Think Old Media + Pay Wall = The Answer? Very."
Those readers — roughly 5% of the total — are considered “loyal.” Thus upwards of 95% of Times readers see fewer than 10 pages per month — and that is for the best journalism has to offer. If we in news think that we are truly engaged with our publics, we’re deluding ourselves.
But our first mistake was to see the internet as a medium and what appears there as content. No, the net is a street corner or a bar where people are just talking. That has value: to hear the public speak, to understand what people are thinking, to be open, to enable connections. And so comments are worthwhile. But comments are not the end-game of engagement.

Indeed, comments are essentially flawed. Commenting sections as a form say that we don’t want to hear from you until after we are finished with our work, and then we will deign to allow you to say something — but by then, we’ve left the office and we’re probably not listening. Comments are a lower form of interactivity and engagement. There is is a higher form, namely:

Collaboration: Working with the public to accomplish something of worth clearly has greater value than mere blather and also holds the community-as-collaborators in higher esteem. One form collaboration commonly takes is crowdsourcing, which can accomplish good things but which can itself be condescending, involving the public in the process of reporting rather late to accomplish a task we journalists have already decided upon, without the opportunity to hear the needs, desires, and ideas of our collaborators.

The goal — for a news organization or a product manufacturer — should be to move the public up the chain from purchase and consumption to design and even conceptualization. Tech companies do that when they release a product as a beta — confessing its imperfection and thus asking for users’ help."

This roughly mirrors an effort/discussion begun by +Max Huijgen  that +Alexander Becker +Sophie Wrobel, myself, and a few others were part of for the creation of a collaborative/iterative news model for Europe-centric tech news in 2012.

Part of the problem has been and still is that software tools for these kinds of collaboration efforts are still either nonexistent, or in their infancy/early stages.

/cc +John Kellden +Gideon Rosenblatt +Alexander Becker +Gregory Esau +Danny Brown +Brian Clark +Dan Durrant +Paul Simbeck-Hampson +Walter H Groth 
What now for news — Part IV
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+Sophie Wrobel well said. /cc +Gregory Esau what Sophie W. said one comment up...! :)
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*Twitter is following Facebook's lead in #mobile  app install ads... can Google be far behind...?*

1) Apps appear to be one of the key ways to monetize Mobile, and app install ads must be working for FB at least to some extent, or else Twitter would be unlikely to try them.

2) So are they one of the ways in which Social (Media) Ads can work? Are they in other words close enough to the Social Media user's mindset and context to not be perceived as either pointless or worse - rude interruptions of what the user was doing?

It would match up with my longstanding belief that you basically need a Direct Response type of ad paired with "Impulse Purchase Territory" pricing criterion that most apps meet (free or $0.99 to say $3.99).

In many ways, most Apps are consumed like a "jawbreaker" or mini-toy vending machine at the front of the convenience store: Impulse purchase, brief infatuation if any, done. The low price-point preempts pre-purchase worry, and post-purchase "buyers remorse".

But since both Apple's and Google's major App Stores are actually terrible for App Search / Discovery, these ads are one of the few ways that app developers can drive adoption (or even just test their Beta!).

In Google's just announced Q1/2014 earnings report, it became clear that while Google is still printing a lot of Search Ads money, that the value of Clicks is under pressure from the rise of mobile (somewhat ironic since Google is supplying most of the "free ammunition" via its open-source-ish Android OS):

With Cost-Per-Click down around 9% Year-over-year, Google must rely on ever increasing inventory (up 200% since early 2009) to make up the difference (BTW the above post has tons of further excellent stats/charts). That is probably what Wall Street was reacting to yesterday, driving Google's stock down about 3% in after-hours trading.

Google is in essence trading desktop dollars for mobile dimes in Search Ads, because advertisers are unwilling to spend the same amounts on Mobile Ads. This because their context (mobile, on the go usage) does not lend itself to many more in-depth purchasing decisions, asf. (other reasons include higher accidental click rates on small-ish touch-screens).

So what if App Install Ads are the perfect way to bridge this gap? After all, offering more smartphone apps to some who is using a smartphone when seeing the ad makes a lot more sense than trying to sell them a car, or  dishwasher, or a vacation flight right then. Or most other things that make little sense in the mobile context...

As I wrote here some years ago:

"...AND it meets the other requirement I am always hammering home, that of contextual relevance: Offer people MORE of what they were already doing. Don’t try to offer them something random that has nothing to do with the context."


Mid 2013 discussion of FB's app install ad unit product:

#advertising  /cc +Eli Fennell +John Blossom +Mark Traphagen +Tadeusz Szewczyk +Steve Faktor +Gunther Sonnenfeld +Dan Durrant +Danny Brown +Paul Simbeck-Hampson 
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And Microsoft... I think they already gave up when they canned Ballmer. The rest is just putting on a brave face.
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WORST of the shills... as long as this form of #Climatechange denialist propaganda is continuing, what hope do we have?

Can we have this guy's account banned for SPAM please? I thought G+ was a least mildly a S.T.E.M. place...

#facepalm   #lesigh   #fivesixfive   /cc +Gaythia Weis +Daniel Estrada +Steve Faktor +Alex Grossman +Rob Salzman +Cindy Brown +Kee Hinckley +Paul Simbeck-Hampson +EARTH: The Operators' Manual +Walter H Groth 
This Earth Day, instead of attacking those who sell fossil fuels, I will applaud them for overcoming constant environmental hysteria:
Leo McDevitt's profile photoAlex Schleber's profile photoSteve Faktor's profile photoThomas Milne's profile photo
+Thomas Milne sad that Stossel would stoop to this. Koch Brothers distributed "talking points"...?!
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*First confirmed non-state, bad actors exploits of #Heartbleed ...*

And in case you missed it, tons of Heartbleed curation all week/weekend long about both the more technical side:

As well as the less technical users / passwords / etc. side:

In other news, "Oh Canada..." :)
/cc +Eli Fennell +John Blossom +David Wood +Derek Ross +Rennie Allen +Walter H Groth +Theo Tol +Edward Morbius 
The massive Heartbleed encryption security flaw that came to light last week has been used to compromise details of users stored on the systems of the Canadian Revenue Agency and the ...
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*Fascinating insights for #online2offline business models* from the guy who did Exec ( "Uber for personal assistant tasks").

#startups #strategy via VC/founder @cdixon on Twitter.
/cc +John Blossom +Gregory Esau +Sandy Fischler +Rob Gordon +John Kellden
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+Rob Gordon sounds like it would apply to any entrepreneurial place, like Austin, Denver, SD, L.A., Portland, Seattle, Boston, etc., no?
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In their circles
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Alex Schleber

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*Nokia sale to MSFT about to close this week - just in time for "Peak Irrelevance"... :)*

Related: "...Android 53% U.S. activiations, iOS 42%,  ...Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS could only muster 1 percent market share each."

When will MSFT throw in the towel on this #windowsphone  travesty?! If Nadella has any sense of PR at all, he'll abandon this "we have no choice..." Ballmer effort and concentrate on being ahead of the curve on the next wave.

Compare (interesting read): "Here's Why Android's Design Chief Thinks The Idea [of separate] Mobile Is Dead"

/cc +Eli Fennell +John Blossom +Rennie Allen +David Wood 
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Sometimes being right isn't as satisfying as I imagine it will be.

The scary thing is not the thought that Apple or MS make bad business choices. They always did and still kicked butt. The scary thought is there may be only a handful of companies who actually conduct business like 21st Century businesses, and that only one of them is set to run-the-tables of the internet with no single competitor attacking them more than one front. Page always said the way companies are usually run sucks, and by all accounts he is more ambitious than any other tech CEO with the likely exception of Bezos. I like Google, but I figured by now there'd be a "Google's Google", or at least one of their competitors would have got themselves back into fighting shape.
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Ahahaha... Silicon Valley #ageism  taken to its inevitable conclusion... :)

#startups  /cc +Eli Fennell +Walter H Groth +John Blossom +David Wood +Gunther Sonnenfeld +Steve Faktor +Gideon Rosenblatt +Sandy Fischler +Paul Simbeck-Hampson 
The fable of the dropout prodigy is so widely-told in Silicon Valley that it even came back to bite the enfant terrible who inspired it. In a new Q&A in the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo asks 29-year-old Mark Zuckerberg if he's out of touch with teens.
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*Did #GoogleGlass  just drop support for Hangout Glass video feeds?*

Since G+ doesn't let me reshare her commentary on her reshare of the announcement directly, I am including it here verbatim. My additional comment at the bottom:

"Google Glass originally shared:
#GlassUpdates are back with KitKat for Glass, photo bundles & more"

+Sarah Hill: "Hangouts Pulled from Google Glass

Incredibly disappointing. I understand the decision but why not label video Hangouts "experimental" so the bugs can get fixed? Please don't pull the plug on the #humanmedia platform altogether? Our veterans benefitted from the video call feature. Journalists and Doctors did too. #bringbackhangouts

Noooo... that was actually one of the top #googleglass #usecases in my view, getting immediate expert input via Hangout video feed from your Glass while making e.g. buying decisions, evaluations/pricing, repairs, asf.

See my previous posts about what I've long said will likely be mostly B2B Use Cases for Glass here:

/cc +John Blossom +Rennie Allen +Eli Fennell +Paul Simbeck-Hampson +Steve Faktor +Marshall Kirkpatrick 
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+Sarah Hill Keep an eye out, some developer is sure to come up with an easy solution to enable it again.
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Interesting... #makers   #disruption   #startups  x #selfdrivingcars  ...

What if this got crowd-sourced in a major way?! (Hope that Intel doesn't own/control it somehow by way of the Contest...).

Self-driving cars really need to happen a lot sooner than 10 years from now. There was a discussion as to why? here: "...Every parking lot should look like this [with solar panel covered parking]"

"...Alex SchleberApr 11, 2014+2 
Fine, but the real issue are the cars underneath: they should get a lot lighter, smaller, and ideally self-driving to make the "lighter" part possible (cars are still in an "arms race" of sorts due to "user failure")...

John BlossomApr 11, 2014+1
+Alex Schleber Interesting- if self-driving cars are safer, I guess that they could become lighter..."

Indeed. Imagine if the West had opted for across-the-board significantly lighter cars in say 1973, with most of them staying in the 1,000 lbs to 2,000 lbs range, rather than the 2k to 4k lbs. range. We just might have used only about 1/2 or 2/3 of all of the oil used thus far?!

#fivesixfive   /cc +John Blossom +Steve Faktor +MAKE +Gideon Rosenblatt 
It's an exciting time in the automotive industry. New powertrains are in the works. Cars are learning to talk to one another. Self-driving vehicles are just around the corner. But of course, all those advances come at a price. How much will that technology add to the cost of a conventional car?...
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I'm on the train right now, +Alex Schleber (coming back up from Portland, actually - next trip down, let's try to meet up), so can't see the video on the link. Will check it out later. 

But yeah, this looks super interesting. 
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Alex Schleber

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Nope... no touch-screen support... nope...

/cc +Eli Fennell +Rennie Allen
A once-confidential Google document, introduced at the Apple-Samsung trial last week, shows what the phone operating system looked like in 2006. And it looked a lot different.
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+Steve Faktor agree completely - Windows Phone 8.1 is quite solid and polished.

If you're not deeply rooted in the Google camp, it is a good solution. If you are, it can still work with some effort but obviously Android and iOS are easier. 
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In their circles
416 people
Have them in circles
26,246 people
Mindhacker. I dive into the murky depths of the human mind to emerge with Business Mindhacks and Archetype Branding. Curation fanatic.
Mind Explorer...
UPDATE 11/2012: Currently working full-time on a software startup project (more details to come). I may be relatively sparse on here for that reason, but you can always ping/reach me if necessary.

Mindhacker. I dive into the murky depths of the human mind to emerge with Business Mindhacks (including Behavioral Economics) and Archetype Branding. 

I also curate the living daylights out of the Internets. #Curation FTW! Previously on Now mostly here on Google+.

Business Mindhacks: Business Psychology Consulting and Coaching, Archetype Branding, Behavioral Economics including Price-Point Psychology, Neuromarketing, Lifehacks, GTD, Cognitive Science, Memetics, Wordpress/blogging. Myers-Briggs: INTP.


Seriously, who's got time to write long-form posts anymore? It's tedious and often counterproductive. A luxury we often cannot afford anymore at best:

I subscribe to a modular, "info molecule" (instead of "info atom") philosophy, too bad the tools out there are still so very limited...

Will Google+ manage to bring us some useful Curation features?