Archives: February 2009

Twitter: A “Gateway Drug to Full-Blown Media Narcissism”?

TwitterNets_2.28.jpgThe NYTimes’ Alessandra Stanley writes about the recent explosion of Twitter users among TV news correspondents and anchors. (And it includes an awesome illustration with Norah O’Donnell in big fuzzy slippers; footwear we’re sure she’s never donned). “It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter fever as a passing fad,” Stanley writes, “the Pokemon of the blogosphere. But it’s beginning to look more like yet another gateway drug to full-blown media narcissism.”

Stanley, who has not joined narcissist class herself, concludes the Twitter “tic” is most noticeable “in television personalities, especially cable news stars who are already on the screen and the Web around the clock. The camera forces vanity on even the most modest correspondents, and vanity, once fueled, is almost impossible to extinguish.”

Among those cited, Rick Sanchez (59,7000 followers), David Gregory (103,067) and Norah O’Donnell (2,296 followers).

Then there are the holdouts, like Brian Williams who told Jon Stewart the other night, “It’s just not my game.” And CNBC’s Rick Santelli whose call for a Chicago Tea Party made him an instant cult hero. No worries. Fans created an account (163 followers) for Santelli. It’s ready when he is:

“Just to let everyone know. This is NOT Rick’s account, but it is a place holder for him as soon as WE can convince him to join Twitter. :)

(Illustration by Stephen Kroninger)

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Rocky Mountain News 1859-2009


The front page of includes a 22 minute video chronicling the final two months of the Scripps-owned publication. It is a compelling story told by the residents of Denver, the city’s mayor and for the most part, the employees of the paper, including husband and wife reporting team of Jeff Legwold and Laura Frank. The final three minutes of the video includes a scrolling list of the paper’s employees, and one final thought from Laura Frank.

The paper’s final edition came out today.

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

Miles O’Brien Explains his “Freelance Virtual Newspaper” Idea on the “Menu”

mmm_2-3.gifFormer CNN correspondent (and host of an upcoming PBS documentary) Miles O’Brien was a guest this morning on the Morning Media Menu podcast.

He talked about the reaction to his much read blog post about the Buffalo plane crash — writing what he normally would have been talking about on CNN. “I was pretty bowled over by the response…People are thirsty for information from sources they feel they can trust,” he said. “And they will seek you out. And in the blog world you do get linked and re-linked and bounced around that echo chamber in ways that are extremely effective.”

He also gives his take on an effective money-making play by the print world — what he dubs a “freelance virtual newspaper.” “The truth is when you take away the overhead that’s associated with newspapers and for that matter running an organization like CNN, you can run a pretty lean operation online,” he said.

You can listen to the podcast live every morning at 9amET on and call in at 646-929-0321. Coming up next week we have guests from CBS, Current TV and more. Stay tuned…

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Interview with Caresquare: Redesign and Expansion

Caresquare launched last year as a social site that connects child care professionals with parents. The site’s differentiating factor is it’s social approach to its system, connecting professionals and parents directly. Though Caresquare launched in the midst of several other established sites that offer similar services, Caresquare has made several changes to its site in order to become more competitive. Below is an interview with Caresquare’s Ariel Ford, who speaks on some of these changes:
Read more

RotorBlog Weekly Highlights

There are two big items that made waves this week – the great Gmail outage of 2009 and the continuing discussion about the Facebook TOS issue. All these news items generate too much buzz around the tech blogging community, so much so that their Techmeme contextual entries stayed on the front page of the tech news aggregator for several days. Read more

Godiva Launches iPhone App, Mobile Site. Yum.

What better way to start the weekend than with some nice, rich chocolate. That familiar gold box holding Godiva’s Belgian truffles and other luscious treats is now available with just a few taps on your touch screen.

chocolate.jpgYes, Godiva Chocolatier, which launched a mobile storefront for the BlackBerry last year, now has a free Godiva Mobile app for the iPhone and a new Web site optimized for mobile devices.

Developed in partnership with m-commerce platform provider Digby, which hosts the BlackBerry app, Godiva Mobile for iPhone installs a mobile storefront on the iPhone or iPod touch. It has some nifty features as well, including integration with the phone’s contact list and a secure mobile wallet.

Land Rover, Jaguar to Spend $1.6m on Mobile Ads in ’09

All those market research reports that forecast a happy future for mobile advertising may be on to something. is reporting that luxury carmakers Jaguar and Land Rover set their combined mobile ad budget for 2009 at $1.6 million. This accounts for some 10%-20% of their total ad spend for the year. The two are expected to split the $1.6 million evenly.

The figures come from AdMob, whose mobile ad network is the lucky recipient of all Jaguar and Land Rover mobile campaigns.

Jaguar and Land Rover have been advertising on mobile since 2007. Both have been part of AdMob’s iPhone-specific ad marketplace since its launch last summer.

Ko Replaces Boerries as Yahoo Mobile Chief

david ko yahoo.jpgOn the heels of the news that Marco Boerries has resigned as EVP of Connected Life at Yahoo, the company has named David Ko as his replacement. Ko is no stranger to all things Yahoo; he’s been with the company for nine years, most recently serving as SVP of Yahoo Mobile, Fierce Mobile Content reports.

In his new position at the helm of Yahoo’s worldwide mobile business, Ko will oversee the unit’s “business, strategy and monetization teams,” the article says.

Now we just have to wait and see how the corporate streamlining planned by CEO Carol Bartz plays out.

With A Newspaper on the Brink, Hearst Ready to Unveil E-Reader

Hearst_2.27.gifHearst Corporation, which publishes magazines ranging from Cosmopolitan to Esquire and newspapers including the endangered San Francisco Chronicle, has developed a wireless e-reader with a large-format screen suited to the reading and advertising requirements of newspapers and magazines.

The device would have a larger screen than the Kindle and the technology could be adapted by other publishers.

Fortune’s senior writer, Michael Copeland reports the device is likely to debut this year.

Copeland writes, “Hearst executives declined to provide specifics about the forthcoming e-reader, but Kenneth Bronfin, who heads up the interactive media group for Hearst, told FORTUNE in an interview for a forthcoming magazine story that the publishing company has a deep expertise in the technology. ‘I can’t tell you the details of what we are doing, but I can say we are keenly interested in this, and expect these devices will be a big part of our future’.”

Customize Your Weather on the iPhone

myweather_wind speed.jpgThe top paid weather application for the iPhone has gone and made itself even better. MyWeather Mobile, which earned its title as part of the iTunes App Store’s “Top 100 Apps of 2008,” has added a number of new features in its version 1.3 release.

These updates include the ability to customize maps and use the heads-up display to control terrain settings, overlay, opacity and the play/pause loop as well as the ability to view the time-stamp of the radar and satellite loop in the heads-up display. There’s also a new animated view of satellite with radar.

Additionally, MyWeather Mobile 1.3 features data caching so users can view previously cached weather conditions when not connected to a network and receive an alert when they lose network connection, either cellular or Wi-Fi.

The $9.99 app also added animated radar combined with Microsoft Visual Earth technology, which lets users view weather conditions anywhere in the US. With the phone turned horizontally, users can pinch, flick, zoom and double-tap to take the map down to street level.