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Archives: March 2010

New Twitter Homepage: Leaving Us Behind?

Now that I’ve had 24 hours to live with the new Twitter homepage, I’ve come to the following conclusion: it’s still all about Justin Bieber.

With over 20 million unique visitors a month, it’s amazing it took the site this long to move away from a static homepage that told users absolutely nothing about the service or what was waiting for them once the logged in.

The revamped homepage is dominated by Top Tweets, showing you what celebs and other “important” Twitter uses are saying. I don’t like the fact that the focus is being taken away from the Average Joe user. I’d like more info on how these “Top Tweets” are being selected. Quite frankly, I don’t care that you just ate a tuna sandwich and I definitely don’t care what some spoiled celeb is up to. I also have noticed that the majority of these tweets are several hours old, which in the rapid-fire world of 140-characters, seems like yesterday. Read more

Enhanced Editions and Canongate Ponder eBooks and the iPad

pc23.jpgWith multimedia eBook apps for book Hilary Mantel, Philip Pullman, and Nick Cave, one company is betting that the iPad and iBookstore will enhance the publishing industry.

Today’s guests on the Morning Media Menu were Enhanced Editions co-founder Peter Collingridge (pictured, via) and Canongate digital editor Dan Franklin–talking about what digital reading will be like in a post-iPad world. Earlier this week the pair helped launch an eBook app for novelist Philip Pullman‘s new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. The digital edition contains an audiobook, ebook, and video footage in a single package for the iPhone.

Press play on the player embedded below to listen.

Around the 9:00-minute mark, conversation turned to eBook pricing. Collingridge explained: “There is an attachment to the physical object–people think the physical object is worth more. So a cheap physical object compared to a digital object they couldn’t hold in their hands … [We are asking] what value can we add back into the eBook? All of the feedback we’ve received about pricing–you can go look at it on iTunes now–is that the prices we’ve been charging seem like a really great value. Because you get three products in one.”

Read more

Vook Teams Up with Deepak Chopra

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Vook and the Trident Media agency announced a partnership today to release two Vooks by Deepak Chopra. The first is his novel Budda: A Story of Enlightenment; the second is a collection of interviews with academics sponsored by the Chopra Foundation, called Sages and Scientists.

Chopra is excited about the project, as he says in a statement: “I am delighted to be working with Vook and am grateful that Trident Media brought me this opportunity…We are entering a new era of multimedia expression that brings information and knowledge into the human nervous system through a variety of sensory inputs. For the last 25 years, I have written about consciousness and the ramifications of understanding our spirit through the window of science. Today I believe this is possible because of the new technologies.”

Scientists and Sages seems like an especially good use of the Vook platform, offering Chopra the ability to introduces readers to the various scholars in a way a print book truly couldn’t.

Report: Corporate Fan Pages Increase Purchase Intent More Than Banners And Widgets

Psychster Logo

Psychster LogoA recent study found that among the seven most common ad formats, sponsored content ads were the most engaging yet produced the least purchase intent. The report also found that corporate profile pages (like Facebook Fan pages) produced the most purchase intent, especially when users were able to add themselves as a fan. The report is shown after the jump.
Read more

The New York Times Adds Embed Codes to Videos on Article Pages

The New York Times continues to fine-tune NYTimes.com, following up the addition of a “Most Viewed” tab to the Most Popular section with allowing users to embed videos onto other sites, including social-media pages and blogs, according to Beet.TV.

Beet.TV reported that embed codes are now available on videos inserted into article pages, but not on the site’s video section.

UPDATE at 3:05 p.m. ET: After this item was posted, a tipster posed an interesting question: If NYTimes.com allows free embedding of even a limited number of videos, won’t that anger customers of the Times‘ wire service that pay for the privilege of running those videos on their sites? Comments are welcome.

TweetDeck: TwitVid In, 12seconds Out

TwitVidLogo.jpgTwitter client TweetDeck is changing default video providers, replacing 12seconds with TwitVid across both existing products and new releases during 2010, TechCrunch reported.

TwidVid — which allows users to upload, view, and share standard-definition and HD videos — will be integrated into the next version of TweetDeck’s desktop app, slated to launch in April, as well as its apps for the iPhone and Android platforms (the latter coming soon, as well), according to TechCrunch.

Beet.TV Crosses the Pond, Speaks with BBC News On-Demand Editor Mark Barlex

BBC News on-demand editor Mark Barlex spoke with Beet.TV executive editor Andy Plesser in the newsroom at the British Broadcasting Corp.’s television center in West London.

On selecting BBC video content to put on the Web, Barlex said:

We’ve got a lot of content that’s ready to go. We have a great resource of materials already available. Our philosophy, I guess, is to maximize that, but also to be aware that the online world is a very different medium than the TV world. While a lot of TV content can make the transition from one world to the other, there is a good proportion of content that doesn’t quite work online.

University to Give iPads and Macs to All Incoming Students

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Seton Hill University, a private Catholic school in Pennsylvania, has promised to give all incoming freshmen a 13″ Macbook and an iPad starting Fall 2010. The school plans to integrate these two devices deeply into the curriculum, training faculty in how to use them and building course materials around them.

Here’s what Seton Hill’s Web site says about the initiative: “You will have complete access to these mobile technologies for classes as well as at all times for personal use. After two years, Seton Hill will replace your laptop with a new one – one that you can take with you when you graduate! With this technology at your fingertips, you can create a just-in-time learning environment, stay in touch with professors, advisors, and classmates, research any topic at any time, engage in hybrid and fully on-line courses, and access a whole host of Seton Hill technology services. In doing so, you will be learning the technological skills you’ll need in the twenty-first century workforce.”

If only your boss would come up with the same idea for your company…

iTunes Now Accepting eBooks!

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Yesterday Apple sent its newest version of iTunes through the software update pipeline. It’s iTunes 9.1, and it’s iPad ready. If you’re looking for more iPad crack to keep you going till iPadurday, you can now drag and drop EPub eBooks into iTunes!

iTunes only accepts EPub, and once you’ve got your eBook in your library, all that happens is iTunes creates a “Books” category in the upper left, and you can’t open your eBooks or do anything with them at all. But you can put them in there!

So start building your iBooks library now while you’re twiddling your thumbs, waiting for the UPS guy.