ArchiveSeptember 2013

Two must-read pieces on social media


This month, two articles explored real-life examples of some of the unintended consequences of popular social media services and the kinds of behaviors they engender. What does it mean for the presentation of self in everyday life if the technology ensures the public audience is getting larger, and everyone is tuned in? First, in Vanity Fair, Nancy Jo Sales reports on how pervasive social media...

Friday 5 — 9.27.2013


Kudos to the Boston GlobeLab team on the beta launch of 61 Fresh, which features the most popular local stories shared on Twitter. Great to see the Harvard Gazette make the top-tweeted, and I’m buying a drink for the genius who added the “mute sports” feature. Maintaining a website requires constantly updating rapidly deprecating software, keeping up with new end-user hardware...

Try it: News visualized with Topicly


As Flipboard collects another $50M on a $800M valuation, traditional news publishers are experimenting with more visual displays of the news. The Washington Post’s Topicly is largely algorithm-driven, full-bleed display of news stories by volume. Editors plan to incorporate more social media from the web as well as from the Post’s own journalists. A few observations: This is a good...

Friday 5 — 9.20.2013


Upworthy, a curated service providing a “steady stream of important and irresistibly shareable stuff” received another $8M. Here’s the post. Irresistible stuff of a more tangible nature remains wildly popular at Pinterest, which now claims 70M users. Unsurprisingly, Pinterest announced ads are coming in the form of promoted pins. Measurement is beginning to catch up with the way...

Mobile mandate


In case the persistent drumbeat of blog posts, newsletters, and conferences underscoring the mobile mandate were not enough, here’s some compelling new data from Pew: 63% of cell owners are what Pew calls “cell internet users,” people who access the internet via phone. The number has doubled from 31% since 2009. See also that email and internet use were equal in 2009, and by...

Five Mistakes to Avoid When Managing Digital Teams


What’s the best way to tackle management of digital teams to keep engagement and output high? I’ve been through two Internet booms and busts in corporations, nonprofits, and startups — so I’ve made plenty of management mistakes by commission and by proxy. Posted over at Harvard Business Review, five common mistakes I’ve seen or made myself.

Friday 5 — 09.13.2013


So, the iPhone 5C/5S launched and turned out to be more evolutionary than revolutionary. Is Apple more about fashion than electronics these days? Infographics are everywhere, and their stepchildren “snackables” are likely clogging your social media stream. “Get me an infographic” has replaced “Make me a viral video” as the new top-down, digital/social mandate...

The best news email knows mobile, adds voice


What do effective news headlines emails have in common? First of all, they’re mobile in design and content. Here’s a daily email received yesterday from the New York Times: This email arrived at 4:43 a.m., when I’m still about four hours from a laptop encounter. How could this headlines email perform better for mobile? Start with the subject line — this version teases only one...

How to solicit smart comments


Articles about the complex issues affecting women in the workplace are lightning rods for impassioned conversation. This New York Times article on gender equity at Harvard Business School was bound to elicit strong opinions, just like the original 2003 Opt Out Revolution piece and its 2013 sequel (spoiler alert: damned if you do, damned if you don’t). [tweetable...

Friday 5 — 09.06.2013


We know almost everything about the iPhone 5C except the most critical one: price. Mobile pro Benedict Evans breaks it down. Price point for the new iPhone is highly correlated to its global #2 performance in the face of Android’s dominance. Market share stakes are high with an estimated total of 1.8B mobile phones shipping this year, and 2.3B units predicted by 2017. Does it seem like you...

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