Stories Making Headlines in Digital and Social Media News This week

3I pulled the social and digital media headlines from across the interwebs so you wouldn’t have to. Here’s what you need to know to get up to date this week..

Fast Company: How Periscope, Meerkat, and Snapchat Will Change How TV Covers News, Sports, and Weather – The $70-billion-a-year television business (in the U.S.) has been under attack from all sides—Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and other services are all stealing attention (and revenue). But amid the shift to on-demand entertainment, traditional TV has doubled down on what only it can offer: live events, particularly news, sports, and weather. Easy-to-use, mobile live-streaming services could upend what has been the last sacrosanct aspect of the TV industry. This doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom for TV networks; in fact, it creates a universe of fascinating possibilities for them to reimagine their businesses. [ED NOTE: Just last week my media partner and I did a Periscope, Meerkat and LiveStream event for a Baltimore Reporters Roundtable. These easy to use platforms made the programming accessible and allowed my Digital Media Mavens partners and I to share our content across platforms in ways that would have been impossible just a few short months ago. You can watch an archive of the live stream here.

CopyBlogger: The Disgustingly Simple Rule for Web Writing That’s Often Hard to Swallow – Web users are mission-minded. Cramped for attention. Bent on standards. And uninterested in learning new navigation methods. What you have to remember is that people don’t go to the web to window shop. They go there to drive 60 miles per hour — and look at billboards. Thus, there’s only one good reason why you should learn how to write clear, concise and compelling copy for the web… [ED NOTE: If you need some tips who writing for your blog, you can check out my blog post, I BLOGGED FOR 21 DAYS STRAIGHT. HERE’S WHAT I LEARNED]

Mashable: Facebook Messenger now gives context about the people contacting you. – To make new connections less jarring, Facebook Messenger is introducing a new feature on Thursday that gives you bits of information about someone messaging you for the first time, whether the person is one of your Facebook friends or not. The Messenger team is rolling it out to iOS and Android users in the U.S., UK, France and India over the next few weeks. [ED NOTE: That’s not creepy. Not creepy at all. You know I’m kidding… right]

More of Facebook, because, well, it’s FACEBOOK!

Re/code: Microsoft, Facebook, Google And The Future Of Voice Communications – All of a sudden, it seems like Facebook, Google and Apple are climbing all over each other to own the voice interaction, and specifically, the phone conversation. They’re in a race to compete in the most valuable part of “social” — as if they’ve forgotten, until now, just how much humans ultimately value one-on-one conversation.

Microsoft’s Golden Globes ads celebrate underdog status

Microsoft’s ads ask us to stand out from the crowd and “Be What’s Next.” OK, but I’m still not using Bing OR your phone.

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I confess to having a soft spot for much of Microsoft’s recent advertising. Mainly because it bothers to appeal to my soft spot.

The company decided to use the glamour of the Golden Globes ceremony to remind people of their innate love for the underdog. In this case, the struggling, table-waiting, eating-out-of-a-tin actor.

In new ads, we see what appears to be an audition. Actors express their love of their craft, their commitment to it. They end with a different Microsoft brand “precongratulating” the Golden Globes stars of tomorrow and offering the tagline “Be What’s Next.”

The most moving line is offered by an actor who says, “I’d rather fail at this than succeed at doing anything else.”

In showing such vulnerable emotions, Microsoft is, perhaps, trying to help you change your perception that it is this big, nasty monolith with all the warm feelings of a Nordic Genghis Khan.

Perhaps it is reminding you that Windows Phone and Bing are charming underdogs who, one day, with your undying support, could win the Golden Globes of mobile and search.

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Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Sues Apple, AOL, Google, Facebook and… forget it… I’m running out of room!

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. “This isn’t a tiny company harassing a few big ones in hope of shaking loose some easy settlement cash,” ZDNet’s Ed Bott noted. “These patents were filed when the commercial web was still in its infancy.”

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Goliath is going after a whole gang of Goliaths.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is suing web giants Apple, Google, AOL, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo, YouTube and three of the nation’s biggest office supply stores (Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples) alleging they infringed on web search-related patents his company, Interval Licensing, holds.

Allen filed the lawsuit in Seattle on Friday. He’s seeking unspecified damages.

Interval says that it holds patents on web-search technologies it developed in the early 1990s, and that the 11 companies named in the lawsuit violated those patents while developing their search and e-commerce businesses.

(Read the whole lawsuit.)

Facebook is vowing to fight the suit. “We believe this suit is completely without merit and we will fight it vigorously,”  spokesman Andrew Noyes said in a statement Friday afternoon. In another statement, Google added that the suit “reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace.” (Representatives at the other companies named did not immediately respond or were unable to be reached.)

It’s hard to see how Allen would own the “technologies” claimed the patents, as they are more or less fundamental to how the internet works.

One patent is for an “invention” entitled “Browser for Use in Navigating a Body of Information, With Particular Application to Browsing Information Represented by Audiovisual Data”; another is called “Alerting Users to Items of Current Interest.”



News Corp. Weighs an Exclusive Alliance With Bing –

I read the story in the New York Times this morning and I was left with my mouth hanging open.  Not only because I can’t imagine any company would seriously go up against the search engine power of Google but because of the major move that is being proposed impacting content online.  I like to joke that Google is all about world domination.  But, to be honest, it’s hard to play the in digital space and NOT deal with Google let alone their monster of a search engine.  I know Microsoft is a major player but I’d bet good money Bing is NOT going win going up against  Google.  Still, you have to give them credit for attempting to make this move and in their attempts to change the way content is provided on the Internet.  Here’s the story….
Published: November 23, 2009

Microsoft has been in early discussions with the News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, about a pact to pay the News Corporation to remove links to its news content from Google’s search engine and display them exclusively on Bing, from Microsoft, according to a person briefed on the matter who spoke anonymously because of the confidential negotiations.

If such an arrangement came to pass, it would be a watershed moment in the history of the Internet, and set off a fierce debate over the future of content online.

The Web’s explosive growth has been driven, in part, by the open playing field it represents for consumers and businesses. These discussions could encourage major technology and media companies to start picking sides — essentially applying the cable TV model to the Web.

A deal on a large scale would create a new set of barriers for users to navigate and would represent an enormous risk for the News Corporation or any news site. More than 65 percent of all search inquiries in the United States are made on Google, and removing links from there would lead to a big drop in traffic. Bing handles 9.9 percent of domestic searches, according to comScore.

Steven A. Ballmer, the chief executive of Microsoft, said in a recent interview that Google handled about six times as many search queries as Microsoft, and that Google’s search ads generated more revenue per click. But Microsoft executives have been clear about their intentions to pursue bold measures to disrupt Google’s dominant position in the search market.

A broad deal with media companies would be Microsoft’s most drastic measure to date — one in which it would be running a high-stakes experiment against Google, which also has deep pockets.

The development, first reported by The Financial Times, comes as many content providers, including newspapers and other news media companies, are re-evaluating their Web strategy. The expected riches from online advertising have not materialized, and many outlets are considering charging for access to their online content, as some sites, including The Wall Street Journal, owned by the News Corporation, already do.

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