"Publishers resort to all different types of less-than-desirable ways to drive traffic. Buying traffic — or the dark arts of SEO — is part of many publishers’ toolkits. But often the most egregious part of the tactic is the link bait, the quirky headlines, tweets and status updates that scream 'CLICK ME.' At best, they’re alarming headlines; at worst, they’re misleading. Despite many complaints over these tactics — last week a snarky Twitter account was set up to ape Huffington Post’s penchant to troll for clicks in tweets — these tactics more often than not don’t hurt publishers where it counts: revenue."
"It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment it happened — but at some point, Twitter became a dark place." lol LOL
— Shani O. Hilton (@shani_o) January 30, 2013
One Matt K. Lewis is very angry with Twitter.
But first, I'm in love with his opening sentence. "Soren Dayton and Rob Bluey — two conservative tech geniuses — talked me into joining Twitter during a lunch Ed Morrissey organized at an Iraqi restaurant in Minneapolis during the 2008 Republican convention." I've heard of maybe two of these things, if you include "2008." WHY. WHAT? But in any event, here's the story of what happened to Matt K. [...]
The Blog Lord Giveth and the Blog Lord Taketh Away. (Well, nine hours later.)
Another day, another newspaper bankruptcy. This time it was the Journal Register national chain, home to eighteen small dailies including the New Haven Register, and now operating under the seemingly sexier-sounding name of Digital First Media. That rechristening had been trumpeted as more than mere window-dressing—Digital First Media’s senior executives publicly embraced the Internet as the future of journalism, boasting of not only their "digital DNA," but also their determination to “stop listening to newspaper people” and their stuck-in-the-past, ink-stained thinking. Don’t panic over vanishing print ad revenue, Digital First chief executive John Paton insisted last September: If you stack them high enough, “Digital dimes can replace Print [...]
I don't ever, ever want to have random people "sharing tips" with me or giving me advice about where to go (either inadvertently or directly), because most people have terrible taste, but that being said, Foursquare 5.0 is absolutely beautiful, feeling somehow even more pared down while it's got lots of new stuff. It even handles the thorny issue of recommendations quite well, mixing local, trending and personalized.
"In an e-mail to Stickybits's investors, the pair explained Turntable and gave them a choice: They could take back what money remained or stick with them. All except one kept the faith. Chasen's announcement, made the day the staff returned from the winter holiday, was abrupt: The developers, with one exception, would cease work on Stickybits immediately. The business side would wind down client relationships. Left unsaid: All except a skeleton crew would soon leave the company." —An enjoyable story about the path to date of Turntable.fm. It's also an interesting reminder that entrepreneurs may be "job creators" but also sometimes they lay off everyone along the way.
Sheryl Sandberg Leaves Work at 5:30 Every Day — And You Should Toomashable.com/2012/04/05/she…
— Caitrin O'Sullivan (@CaitrinO) April 9, 2012
"I mean honestly, people, if you don’t have a rich husband and a job that’s willing to be flexible with your hours, it’s entirely your fault." Oh sure. Though I'm pretty sure the Facebook COO is far richer by now than her husband. Anyway, I'll be leaving work today at 4:30 p.m., so you know, watch my moves, people.
Take An Internet Break To Learn This One Thing About A Popular Web Browser That Turns 20 Today [PHOTO]
"Mosaic, based on the work of Berners-Lee and the hypertext theorists before him, is generally recognized as the beginning of the web as it is now known. Mosaic, the first web browser to win over the Net masses, was released in 1993 and made freely accessible to the public. The adjective phenomenal, so often overused in this industry, is genuinely applicable to the… 'explosion' in the growth of the web after Mosaic appeared on the scene. Starting with next to nothing, the rates of the web growth (quoted in the press) hovering around tens of thousands of percent over ridiculously short periods of time were no real surprise." —Mosaic, [...]
The great menace in headlines in 2011 was that either every headline was "11 Ways to X" or that it was "Y Happens to Z [SLIDESHOW]." You know, whatever our pals at Business Insider and Huffington Post's Celebrity Sideboob's page were doing. Well, guess what, we all got used to it, and now it barely registers as tacky or grabby, except when it's over the top. Sure: promise me 11 things, I will at least read three of them. Fair's fair.
The menace before that was the "How" headline, which is so hard to avoid. "How X Became Y." "How Apple Something Something'd." "How Your Mom Became Your Dad." That [...]
This conversation pursuant to this recent piece on "Dark Social" (that is, sharing via IM or chat or email or IDK, IRC?) is interesting. It started with a look at traffic to the Atlantic, where they found that "all the social networks that you know" were really on just "about 43.5 percent of our social traffic. On the other, you have this previously unmeasured darknet that's delivering 56.5 percent of people to individual stories. This is not a niche phenomenon! It's more than 2.5x Facebook's impact on the site." What do you think? TELL US ON A SOCIAL NETWORK SOMEWHERE IN SPACE.
"Every time I scroll down to the comments section of a Deadspin article I feel like I've just tuned into an episode of Sesame Street where The Count has suffered a debilitating stroke. 'Plus one. Ha… ha… ha… Plus one. Ha… ha… ha… Plus one.'"
Today's the day that Thunderclap releases its first mass tweet into the wild. Late this morning, almost 2000 people are going to simultaneously Tweet a message from Matt Taibbi. If you don't know of it, Thunderclap is like Kickstarter for mass tweets: if enough people sign on to a message, it goes live. (This particular tweet now counts its total reach at "3,793,447 people.") I have mixed feelings about this project! It's sort of genius? And yet I also dislike shilling and intrusiveness on Twitter. (And FYI, we "signed on" to this tweet as an experiment, because we wanted to see what would happen. In other disclaimer news, [...]
What’s new, you might ask, in another tale of careless youth broken on the galley of journalism? Well, someone in power finally stood up—sort of—for the little guy. In a column on the resignation of 20-something Elizabeth Flock after charges of “a significant ethical lapse” and “serious factual errors,” the Washington Post’s Ombudsman Patrick Pexton said, you know what? The newspaper was just as culpable as the reporter: “The Post” he wrote, “failed her as much as she failed The Post.”
As stirring as it is to find a hint of post-hoc compassion in a professional culture where any mistake appears increasingly to be fatal, the question is: [...]
It's been really quiet on the Internet Bubble front, because no one likes that narrative. It's bad for everyone! (Except some people.) But here's a report from close to the startup incubators that makes it pretty obvious that nothing's changed in the last year. Or if it has changed, then for the worst: "Y Combinator had sixty-five companies present. And we saw 500 eager investors, frenzied almost, excited to invest in entrepreneurs. One investor emailed me four times, texted me three times, called me and sent me a message on LinkedIn—desperate to get a check in before the round closes. No business plans, not even pitch decks [...]
The Tumblr of Newsweek, which still exists, unlike Newsweek, and which is run by the DailyBeast "senior editor for social media," announced a new policy yesterday. "You pin, we unfollow" was the communiqué—by "pinning" they mean the Tumblr commerce initiative wherein, for a small fee, one can make a Tumblr post "adhere" to the top of each follower's dashboard until each follower "clicks" upon the post to make it disappear. (By "unfollow," they meant that they would no longer choose to receive said pinners' posts in their dashboard.) "The pins are like dashboard cockroaches. Turn on the lights every morning and unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin, unpin," the [...]
"According to soon-to-be-published research from professors at Columbia University and the University of Pittsburgh, browsing Facebook lowers our self control…. People who spent more time online and who had a high percentage of close ties in their network were more likely to engage in binge eating and to have a greater body mass index, as well as to have more credit-card debt and a lower credit score, the research found. Another study found that people who browsed Facebook for five minutes and had strong network ties were more likely to choose a chocolate-chip cookie than a granola bar as a snack." —You are also more aggressive and impatient. [...]
Go here for a bunch of gals getting gabby about the Internet.
"He ate another piece of bacon. 8:14 a.m.
He tweeted: 'Here. We. Go. Let’s. Do. This.'" —Joe Weisenthal's job at Business Insider sounds terrible! Also, don't you think a Times mag profile of a blogger who works 17-hour days is remiss to not mention his pay or equity (???) arrangements? If the marvel is that people work like this now, don't you think we should know how this life-shortening labor should be compensated?
Thank the atheist Cylon God once again for the Ninth Circuit: in US v Nosal, yesterday they ruled (PDF) that, among other things, the ridiculous user agreements that we all "sign" online aren't really something that should be crimes if we violate them. That's not crazy: up until quite recently, the court points out, minors couldn't even "legally" use any Google product. On Facebook, it would have been "illegal" for any user to give another his password. The dissent—and other courts—claim their conclusion is silly, because just because the government can prosecute something doesn't mean they will. But that's not really how America works: "The government assures [...]