Donya Blaze

Social Media Newsfeed: Replacing Google Reader | Blackberry’s Back | Sony Smart Watch

Google Reader

The Race to Replace Google Reader (ReadWrite)
For a service that Google felt was too much of a bother to keep running for its users, building the next great RSS newsreader tool seems to be the summer’s big event in the technology world. The “race” metaphor seem particularly apt, with competitors employing terms like countdown clocks and finish line — all tied around that fateful July 1 date.

Read more

Social Media Newsfeed: Instagram Video a Hit | Facebook News Reader | Hulu’s Future

InstagramVideo

Instagram Users Upload 5M Clips in Vid-Sharing Feature’s First Day (CNet)
Instagram users have embraced the application’s just-released video feature by uploading 5 million videos in the first 24 hours of the feature’s availability, a company representative told CNET. At peak, Instagram users uploaded 40 hours of video per minute. AllFacebook Facebook’s introduction of Video on Instagram and its potential impact on Twitter-owned video-sharing application Vine drew mixed reactions from the social media industry and media. Mashable A number of celebrities ranging from Justin Bieber to Jimmy Fallon, and even more brands, are already using Instagram video. Huge brands such as Cisco, GE and Gap have started posting videos on the service, as have many major league sports teams, including the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and 49ers. AllTwitter This infographic from Matt Nazario provides a quick checklist comparison between Instagram video and Vine, helping you decide which platform is right for you.

Read more

LeVar Burton on How Star Trek Influenced Technology

mediabistroTV banner

When the iPad debuted in 2010, Star Trek The Next Generation‘s LeVar Burton wasn’t as surprised by the device as others. After all, characters on his show and the original series were beaming each other up, video chatting and using touch devices way before Apple.

“I believe there was some kid who watched those original episodes of Star Trek… That kid grew up, became an engineer, a designer of product, and is responsible for a piece of technology in the flip cell phone that’s more prevalent now than toasters,” Burton said in our final Media Beat interview. ”You look at Bluetooth ear devices, Star Trek. You look at Flip cell phones, Star Trek. Devices, seeing devices for the blind inspired by Geordi‘s visor? Science fiction literature and pop culture really is a main conduit for how we invent our future reality.”

Yeah, Google Glass does look a little like this.

Part 1: LeVar Burton on Bringing the ‘Reading Rainbow’ App to Silicon Valley [Video]
Part 2: Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton on How to Reach the Digital Generation

Why LeVar Burton’s ‘Reading Rainbow’ App Is Not Free

After Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2009, the show’s host, LeVar Burton knew he had to do something to save the brand. So, he and his business partner, Mark Wolfe, bought the rights to the name, launched a new company, RRKidz, and created the Reading Rainbow app featuring over 150 books, video field trips and classic clips from the TV show.

And Burton says that, at $9.99 for a month or $29.99 for six months, their app is a real steal.

“Now, when you look at that, that breaks down to $5 a month. You can spend more than $5 on a single children’s app. We were looking for a solution for families that made economic sense. It’s the wild west, you know? We are all making it up as we go along,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “We have value, a product that is of value for families, that is economic and full of the kind of enriching content that the brand, Reading Rainbow, has always been known for.”

Part 1: LeVar Burton: ‘Cutting down trees to make books is not sustainable’
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.

LeVar Burton on Bringing the ‘Reading Rainbow’ App to Silicon Valley [Video]

mediabistroTV banner

When Reading Rainbow was cancelled in 2009, host LeVar Burton and his business partner, Mark Wolfe, decided they had to do something to save the brand. So, they bought the rights to the name, launched a new company, RRKidz, and created the Reading Rainbow app to make literacy fun for a whole new generation.

And the experience was far from easy, says Burton.

“We really had to learn the business of starting a technology business and figure our way through that — raising money, hiring a team, talking to technologists,” he said in our Media Beat interview. “We’re showbiz guys — my business partner is a film producer and studio executive. And even though we’ve been doing this a long time — we have a combined 65 years of experience in this business — it’s in a different business. We had to put on big boy pants and go to Silicon Valley and talk to those cats and learn their game.”

Part 1: Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton on How to Reach the Digital Generation
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.

Reading Rainbow‘s LeVar Burton on How to Reach the Digital Generation

Media Beat banner

One need only head to YouTube for proof of the impact Reading Rainbow had on countless children. The iconic 80s TV show has inspired homages, singalongs and tributes galore. But trying to reach anyone under 30 through TV today? Bad idea, says LeVar Burton.

“Television was the medium and the technology of its time in the 80s and 90s, but you know better than I do that this is the digital-native generation,” the former Reading Rainbow host explained in Mediabistro’s latest Media Beat interview. “And they consume most of their screen time on mobile devices. That’s where we wanna be. If you want to be where they are, you’ve gotta be on a mobile device.”

Watch the video for the full interview to find out how Burton got his Reading Rainbow gig and why he thinks printed books will soon be obsolete.

Part 2: LeVar Burton on Bringing the ‘Reading Rainbow’ App to Silicon Valley [Video]
Part 3: Wednesday, we discuss Burton’s role in Roots and how he achieved longevity in Hollywood.