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Instead of a paywall around its existing content, Slate is trying to convince its biggest fans to become members of a community — membership that will bring them additional benefits, including preferential access to writers and editors at the site. But will it be enough to move the revenue needle? Read more »

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Nike has let go most of the members of its FuelBand wearables unit and will stop developing new versions of the device, according to a report by CNET. The tech news site quoted an unnamed person “familiar with the matter” as saying that the firm has laid off 70 to 80 percent of its 70-person hardware division and will not produce a new version of the FuelBand, but will continue to sell the existing version. Some industry observers believe Nike has decided to align itself with Apple, which is expected to launch an iWatch or other wearable device that might run Nike’s Fuel software. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a member of Nike’s board.

In Brief

Automattic, the San Francisco-based company that is responsible for the WordPress web-publishing and blog-hosting platform — and the associated open-source community — is raising a round of venture capital that could value the company at $1 billion or more, according to a report in Fortune magazine. The financing is said to be in the $100-million to $150-million range. WordPress recently acquired Longreads, a content-sharing community, and has said it wants to get more into content recommendation. Web-publishing competitor Squarespace just closed a financing round of its own that was worth $40 million.

Disclosure: Automattic is backed by True Ventures, a venture capital firm that is an investor in the parent company of Gigaom.

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Many people seem to believe that the idea of “clickbait” or artificially viral content was invented by the internet or social media, but it has been around for centuries and was arguably perfected by newspapers — all the web has done is make it faster and more efficient Read more »

In its annual survey of the state of the U.S. media industry, the Pew Center says that there are signs of growth and investment in new digital entities, but the bulk of the traditional industry remains weak and continues to shrink as it struggles to reinvent itself Read more »

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