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January 14 2011

23:13

4 Minute Roundup: All Hail the Verizon iPhone!

The iPhone is coming, the iPhone is coming, the iPhone is coming... to Verizon. After an endless string of complaints from users about dropped calls on the AT&T iPhone, Verizon finally is offering relief with its own iPhone, due out next month. The downsides of the new Verizon iPhone include that it's on the CDMA network, and not a new 4G network, and doesn't do global voice roaming. I talked with CNET's Nicole Lee about the pluses and minuses of the new Verizon iPhone.

Check it out!

4mrbareaudio11411.mp3

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>>> Subscribe to 4MR via iTunes <<<

Background music is "The iPhone Blues," an adaptation by Mark Glaser of "Phone Booth" by the Robert Cray Band. Performed by The Temps.

Here are some links to related sites and stories for the podcast:

Consumer Reports offers scathing critique on Verizon iPhone 4 at Consumer Reports

With Verizon's iPhone, a rare example of customers getting what they crave at the Washington Post

Verizon iPhone is 'Ultimate Threat' to Android, Report Says at PC Mag

Is Verizon IPhone Too Late For Apple? at MediaPost

A Few Points to Think About Before You Grab a Verizon iPhone at Huffington Post

Amazon Says No Plans to Carry Verizon iPhone at PC Mag

The Verizon iPhone 4: Promising, but likely to be short-lived at Consumer Reports blog

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about the Verizon iPhone:




What do you think about the iPhone on Verizon?survey software

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

July 27 2010

10:19

Cooliris brings Wikipedia to the iPad with new magazine-style layout

Wikipedia will soon be available on the iPad with the launch of new app, ‘Discover’, according to a report by cnet.com.

Discover is the first app from software company Cooliris, which already produces an iPhone app that enables its users to turn photo collections into “interactive 3D wall” art.

The new app uses content from Wikipedia and organises the data into sections which can be browsed in a magazine format instead of having to scroll down a long browser window.

The end result is a Wikipedia with larger text that can be read like an e-book and photos that can be thumbed through and scaled up to the iPad’s full resolution. The app also takes advantage of orientation to reposition, expand or consolidate the data it’s showing. Along the way, Cooliris serves up advertisements, which is where it can make some of its money given the app’s free price tag.

Discover has been submitted to the App Store and users are invited to sign up here to be notified of its availability.

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June 11 2010

23:23

4 Minute Roundup: iPhone 4 vs. Android Phones

In this week's 4MR podcast I consider the new iPhone 4 announced by Apple, with a sleeker design, longer battery life, "retina display" and a front-facing camera for video calls. How will the iPhone stack up against popular Android phones such as the new 4G HTC Evo and the Motorola Droid? I talked with CNET associate editor Nicole Lee to discuss the pros and cons of the new iPhone.

Check it out:

4mrbareaudio61110.mp3

>>> Subscribe to 4MR <<<

>>> Subscribe to 4MR via iTunes <<<

Listen to my entire interview with CNET's Nicole Lee:

nicole lee final.mp3

Background music is "What the World Needs" by the The Ukelele Hipster Kings via PodSafe Music Network.

Here are some links to related sites and stories mentioned in the podcast:

iPhone 4 vs. HTC Evo vs. Droid Incredible at Mashable

Sprint CFO - HTC EVO can take on iPhone 4 at News.com

Dialed In - iPhone 4 versus HTC Evo 4G at News.com

4 carriers and 4 super smartphones - which is your favorite? at ZDNet

HTC EVO 4G for Sprint Review at MobileCrunch

iPhone 4's 'Retina' Display Claims Are False Marketing at Wired News

iPhone 4 multitasking will disappoint at Computerworld

Apple previews iPhone OS 4, adds multitasking at Computerworld

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about choosing iPhone or Android:




iPhone or Android?survey software

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

February 24 2010

16:11

Techmeme's New Editor Rich DeMuro on the Power of the Site and How it Works

Techmeme, the influential aggregator of technology news, has added another "human" element to its engine with Rich DeMuro, a veteran CNET editor who joined Techmeme earlier this year. 

Rich joins editor Megan McCarthy, the "first human editor" who started early last year. 

I caught up with Rich last Friday at the paidContent 2010 event in Manhattan.  In this interview, he talks about the influence of Techmeme and provides insight on how stories surface on the site.

Rich is based in Los Angeles.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

February 02 2010

17:00

CNET and Gizmodo are sharing content, and they don’t seem worried about a “duplicate penalty”

CNET and Gizmodo have been sharing content for the last couple months. I confirmed that a partnership exists, but requests for additional information from either party were not fruitful.

Frankly, the most intriguing aspect of this partnership is already in plain view: The sites are posting the same articles. Take a look at this Gizmodo story then click over to the CNET version. Headlines change and there are subtle formatting differences, but the body copy is essentially the same.

Why is this relevant? If you’ve spent any time in the SEO world, you’ve probably heard of the semi-mythical duplication rule. As far as I can tell, CNET and Gizmodo are in duplication’s gray area.

The duplication penalty, or lack thereof

The cautionary tale of duplication generally goes like this: Google wants its search results to give precedence to the most popular/legitimate/relevant pages, and it’s tough to pull that off if the same articles appear on different domains. So Google uses filters to push copycats to the margins. Some people call this the “duplicate penalty,” but that’s a misnomer. Google isn’t slapping hands.

Here’s how Google describes its policy on cross-site duplication:

If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.

The noindex meta tag doesn’t appear in the source code of these sample stories from Gizmodo and CNET. However, CNET’s version does link back to Gizmodo’s original. Gizmodo returns the favor when it’s hosting CNET content. (Both show up in a Google search for one of the article’s sentences: Gizmodo’s version is No. 1, CNET’s No. 4.)

Since the noindex tag represents the outer limits of my search engine understanding, I dropped a line to Brent Payne, the Tribune Co.’s head of SEO, to get his take on this type of content share.

Payne said variation between two similar articles could help both pieces rank well in search engines. But achieving this variation requires each story to have its own inbound links, as well as feature different title tags, different headlines, and altered HTML and body text. CNET and Gizmodo customize titles and headlines. The body copy doesn’t really change.

Payne noted that Google supports a “canonical” feature that signals the original version of a story (or the version that’s supposed to get the most attention). The canonical tool doesn’t appear to be in use by CNET or Gizmodo.

Payne also brought up an interesting point about Google News, which doesn’t share its big brother’s hang-ups about duplicate content. He said a duplicate article that cites the original — something CNET and Gizmodo both do — could give the original “extra weight” in Google News.

Why are they sharing?

All of this inside-SEO stuff is interesting, but it doesn’t really answer the big question: What’s the upside to duplication?

I’ve got a couple guesses:

Marketing: It used to be you’d visit a publisher’s site to see their latest content, but readers now discover material in a variety of ways — Twitter, Facebook, Digg, RSS, etc. One analytics firm estimates on-site engagement dropped 50 percent between 2007-2009. Smart publishers are already addressing this by pushing content beyond their own sites. Toward that end, Gawker Media (owner of Gizmodo) could be using the CNET partnership to “find the next million people.”

Money (obviously): An influx of content can theoretically generate page views, unique visitors, and better user-session times. Good metrics lead to better ad rates and more revenue.

Again, these are just guesses. I’m sure we’ve got SEO and marketing wizards in the audience, so please post a comment if you see clearer explanations.

November 30 2009

13:03

Real-time Twitter trouble

In keeping with the Twitter mishap theme, an unfortunate TV station billboard in the US, via Cnet News:

“The enterprising folks at WPMI TV in Mobile, Ala., decided that they should reach out on a real-time basis to their viewers. They erected a billboard, adorned it with an image of three of its most photogenic anchors, and added a live Twitter feed. The whole thing ran very smoothly, until a passing human took this photograph and sent it in to The Palmetto Scoop.”

A slightly unfortunate Twitter billboard’ at this link…

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