Five Digital Media Updates Making Headlines

3Here are five digital media news stories ripped from the headlines. I’m most interested in Amazon’s entry into the Internet of Things, one of my tech obsessions and Periscope’s new On Air Button. I’ll be using Periscope to do a live broadcast of my “Social Media For Nonprofits” talk at The Daily Good Conference and to broadcast the breakaway sessions. I’ll report back on my user experience with the web page interface after the conference. In the meantime, here are my picks for the top five digital media news stories making headlines.

Variety: Snapchat Shutters Original Content Channel

Snapchat is laying off members of a team assigned to a channel on its Discover platform devoted to original programming, dubbed Snap Channel.

The closure has prompted the exit of Marcus Wiley, a former executive with broadcast network Fox who was brought on to figure out how Snapchat would build up its programming lineup. Since his hire in May, Wiley led a group of 15 that has been disbanded, with some being pink-slipped and others being reassigned elsewhere in the company.

Until its removal from Discover a few weeks ago, Snap was the home of short-form content produced internally at Snapchat since launching in January. The channel was once home to ‘Literally Can’t Even,’ a split-screen comedy series starring and written by Sasha Spielberg, daughter of Steven Spielberg, and Emily Goldwyn, daughter of John Goldwyn”

TNW: Periscope now has an embeddable ‘On Air’ button for broadcasts

“Periscope now has an On Air button for websites that tell everyone when a broadcast is live.

It’s a useful little tweak that anyone can use. All you have to do is enter your Periscope username (typically your Twitter handle without the ‘@‘) into Periscope’s button generator, and it creates a code so you can embed a button into a webpage. Your username takes the place of the ‘broadcaster’ text, seen below.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 1.40.32 PM

Periscope’s On Air button also comes in two sizes, and automatically toggles when a broadcast goes live.”

Re/code: Twitter Unveils New Video Advertising Strategy

“The company is taking a different approach to video ads. More precisely: Twitter is adopting YouTube’s video advertising approach. What that means is that publishers and video makers can upload their video to Twitter, and Twitter will attach short ‘pre-roll’ ads in front of those clips and split the ad revenue with the video owners. Which is how YouTube, the world’s biggest video site, does it, too.”

TechCrunch: Amazon Launches AWS IoT — A Platform For Building, Managing And Analyzing The Internet Of Things

“Make way for another big player entering the Internet of Things space. Amazon today is announcing its long-awaited IoT platform for AWS at its re:Invent developer conference in Las Vegas. As Amazon describes it, it is a managed cloud platform ‘that lets connected devices easily and securely interact with cloud applications and other devices.’ The platform, which is launching in beta, will be able to support billions of devices and trillions of messages, ‘and can process and route those messages to AWS endpoints and to other devices reliably and securely.’ AWS IoT will integrate with Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, and Amazon DynamoDB to build IoT applications, manage infrastructure and analyze data.”

Advertising Age: Reuters Is the Latest to Try Reinventing News With Digital TV Service

“Early next year, the company plans to introduce Reuters.TV, an ad-supported digital service that allows subscribers to receive personalized video content created solely for the platform. Reuters.TV will cost a monthly fee, but the company declined to say how much it will be. The service will initially be available on iPhones and iPads.”

Five Apps I’m In Love With

If you are anything like me you have lots, and lots, and lots of apps on your smartphone.  Some of them you use all the time and there are others you’ve totally forgotten about.  I have the ones I use daily, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, but there are some apps that have been revolutionary for me.  Yes, I said “revolutionary” as in “bringing about a major fundamental change”.  Here are five of my favorite apps that I didn’t know until recently I couldn’t live without.

  1. KeyRing has allowed me to get rid of all those annoying loyalty cards that were dangling on my key chain or were never available in my wallet when I needed them.  Using KeyRing, I scan and store my existing loyalty cards.  Then, when I go to use the card, the barcode gets scanned from my phone.  The other cool thing, once you’ve entered a card, you’ll also have access to exclusive coupons and discounts.

    King_ring

  2. iMapMy is a fitness tracking application that enables you to use the built-in GPS on your mobile device to track all of your fitness activities.  That’s all fine and dandy but what I like is this is the first app I’ve found that let’s me track my biking activity.  Sure, the Nike Plus + iPod tracks my running but I’m not really a runner.  I bike… a lot.  So, now I can keep a log of my workouts or normal rides around the city. I can also share my activities with my social network with friends who will surely be impressed by my skills.  But that’s just an added advantage.
    Imap_my_ride
  3. Like so many people, I’ve found that it’s difficult to find time to workout.  With the 200 Situps app I can use my smartphone to easily work up to 200 sit-ups with timed rest periods that adjust to my level of fitness.  In less than three weeks and in under 15 minutes I’m up to 182 sit-ups.  Go ahead, be impressed, I am.  The added advantage of this app, you can share your progress with your social networks and they can cheer you on… and keep you accountable!  I got this in my Facebook inbox this morning, “so, Danielle, haven’t seen you check in with your sit-ups.  Did you give up”?  Needless to say I’ll be back at it this evening.  

    200_situps

  4. The Whole Food app is another great one.  I’m not the world’s best cook but I do OK in the kitchen.  However, I do much better with the Whole Food App.  I can find great organic meals or design some of my own and the app will tell me what to purchase and now to prepare the meal.  I can also get simple, practical advice on nutrition and green living.  Look, grocery shopping and eating healthy is hard enough.  I’ll take all the help I can get!
    Whole_foods
  5. Finally, I’m kinda obsessed with Frenzapp.  This app allows you to share your apps with friends.  You can pick which apps you actually share and it’s very slow to identify all your apps loaded on your mobile devise, but it’s a cool way to share the ones you like and find new ones that your friends are using.  If you’re on Frenzapp, friend me and let’s start sharing apps.  If not, check back next month for more apps I’m in love with and in the mealtime, share some of you’re own!
    Friendzap

Want to find out where the ladies are… there’s an app for that

Fellas, if you’re looking for a date this Valentine’s Day and you can’t find them, just point your geolocation app in any direction and you’ll find a women in the closest proximity to where you are.

Wheretheladies.at has taken dating (AKA stalking) to a whole other level. Of course, the app is only available in San Francisco (no comment) but I’m going to need one of these apps in Washington, DC so I can find out where the men are! In a city where women outnumber men 13-1 I need all the help I can get!

Amplify’d from techcrunch.com

Geo-location has come to this: After three weeks in review, Wheretheladies.at, a web app that aggregates Foursquare checkins by the female gender, is now available on the iPhone. The concept OF A BIG COMPASS POINTING YOU IN THE DIRECTION OF LADIES is so unprecedented that Apple actually called co-founder Jeff Hodsdon on his cellphone to ask about the app during the review process.

Co-founded by Path’s Danny Trinh and Hodsdon, Wheretheladies.at the iPhone app ranks nearby locations by the number of females who have checked in (using a dictionary crawl and permutation logic when gender isn’t available) as well as helpfully points you in the direction of the critical mass of ladies in your vicinity.

We previously called this service “evolutionary advantage,” as it is essentially nerds using technology to circumvent Darwinism. The fittest now includes those who have smarts, or at least smartphones.

Hodsdon says that the difference between Wheretheladies.at and apps like Assisted Serendipity is temporal. Wheretheladies.at only counts check-ins within the past 30 minutes to ensure that ladies will be there when you arrive, “When it says 10 ladies are at Elbo Room that means in the last ~30min.  I think that is key.  It’s about where to head to right now.”

Right now the app only works in San Francisco, but the team is working on getting it to other cities. When I asked if they would ever build  Wheretheguys.at, Hodsdon quickly replied, “I’ll start on that now.”

Read more at techcrunch.com

Apps Made into Books, Webisodes and Google Ventures

In an interesting twist, Rodale, the publisher of Men’s Health magazine, is reversing the trend from turning books into apps and is taking one of my favorite apps, Lose It! and turning it into a book.  Get it, taking an iPhone app… and turning it into a book.  That’s madness, madness I tell you!

According to Minonline.comMen’s Health announced late last week that it was acquiring the book publishing rights to the iPhone app, Lose It!.  It is one of my favorite apps because it allows you to track every calorie you consume and counter that with the calories you burned from your days exercise (assuming you did do some physical activity that day).  Then it calculates what your daily caloric intake should be for the day and let’s you know if you can have that extra cookie or if you need to skip your next meal altogether.  The best part is you get to see how much physical activity can really impact your daily calorie consumption and it makes me want to work out more so I can eat more.  I’m not one of those diet girls.  I like my food.  You can also invite friends to join you and share in the fun (she says with sarcasm dripping off her lips) to either keep you honest, share in your pain or encourage you on.  I have to admit I’m not doing very well with sharing my information, maybe because I’m also not doing very well watching my calories.  But that’s a whole other story, what’s news here is an app is going to be made into a book.   I sure hope it’s an eBook or I’m probably not going to read it!  Here’s the story:

Minonline.com reports that The Lose It! calorie counter and dieting companion from publisher  FitNow has been the top free health app in the iTunes App Store for over a year, Rodale claims, and is used by more than 175,000 people a day. Rodale is purchasing North American rights to bring the title to book form. The book will be written by Charles Teague, co-founder and CEO of FitNow, along with New York Times science columnist Anahad O’Conner and will demonstrate that calorie control, activity and a support system are the keys to weight loss.

The app itself lets people track both their caloric intake and exercise, and the book will explore both dimensions of weight loss and research showing how important support systems are in the battle of the bulge.

In other news, in a press release issued by 7-Eleven, come Monday, the convenience store chain is launching a web-based reality show in partnership with portal TV giant. blip.tv.  The series,  being produced by blip.tv, will allow the audience to follow along at their computers as two teams travel across the country surviving only on what they can find at… wait for it… 7-Eleven stores nationwide.  They will have challenges and gain points along the way and the first to cross the finish line at the Indy 500 wins.   Call me skeptical but why am I watching this?  Someone with a better mind for online viewing habits than I thinks it’s a great idea because they have distribution with AOL Video, iTunes, Yahoo and others.  The webisodes will stream on  711roadtrip.com, and Tweets and Facebook posts will track the daily activities of the competing teams.  They also have some  heavy hitter sponsors with Miller Lite, Oscar Myers, and Nabisco, just to name a few.  On your mark, set, got get a slurpee from 7-Eleven and don’t come back until you have a purple straw!

Last but not least, there’s some Google news.  The technology powerhouse of a company that’s all about World Domination (my term… not a part of their marketing material),  recently revamped their website, where you can find out more about the people that make up the growing Google Ventures team as well as information on the 10 currently announced portfolio companies.  From investments teams to a handful of start-ups, Google Ventures in now unveiled.