The e-book wars: Who is less evil, Amazon or book publishers?

As the Department of Justice pursues an antitrust case over e-book prices, publishers say they need “agency pricing” to prevent Amazon from increasing its monopoly and decimating the book industry. So who should we be rooting for, the giant retailer or the giant publishing houses?

Why do we need academic journals in the first place?

The same disruption that is occurring in the traditional media industry is starting to affect academic publishing, with many scientists boycotting publisher Elsevier because of its control over the industry — which raises the question: why do we need expensive, paywalled academic journals at all?

Media memo: Google just upped the ante on being social

With new changes that offer personalized search results — most of which are being taken from its own Google+ social network — Google has just made social connections and links the new search-engine optimization strategy, and media companies need to learn how to adapt to that.

Media companies and Twitter — still mostly doing it wrong

A new report from the Pew Research Center on mainstream media outlets and Twitter shows that the vast majority simply broadcast links to their own content. By doing so, unfortunately, they are missing out on many of the things that can make social media so powerful.

Is Facebook really the new Yahoo?

Some critics say that Facebook is the new Yahoo: a giant web entity with hundreds of millions of users, but so lacking in creativity that it is reduced to copying Google+ and Twitter, and declining in popularity. But is there any truth to those claims?

On Twitter Celebrities & Brands Still Matter

As a publishing medium, Twitter’s strength is that it is inherently democratic, but a new study looking at how information is propagated through the network shows that a relatively small group of celebrities, organizations and media influencers is still responsible for a majority of the content.

In-App Subscriptions Could Go Way Beyond Periodicals

Apple today introduced in-app subscriptions in the iOS App Store, and there’s reason to believe the new revenue model could extend beyond publishers of periodicals like magazines and digital newspapers. Here are just a few of the other possible applications of subscription pricing.

Please Twitter, Don’t Sell to Google or Facebook

Twitter has been having talks about a possible acquisition by either Google or Facebook, according to a WSJ report — and both companies could probably benefit from such a deal. But would an acquisition by either one be good for the service or its users?

Steve Jobs to Media Companies: My Way or the Highway

Apple is cracking down on apps that try to avoid doing transactions through the app store. The news caused a minor firestorm, but the lesson for media companies is clear: if you want to use Apple as your distribution platform, you have to pay the piper.

Twitter Is A Great Tool. What Happens When It’s Wrong?

Thanks to incidents like the revolution in Tunisia and the recent shooting of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, most people have come to grips with the fact that Twitter is effectively a real-time news network. But what happens when that real-time news network is spreading mis-information?

Was What Happened in Tunisia a Twitter Revolution?

Even as protesters were still cheering the downfall of the government in Tunisia on Friday, the debate had already begun over what role social media had played in the event. Was it the first real Twitter revolution? The correct answer is probably yes and no.

The Good, Bad and Ugly of Media iPad Apps

Here are some of the best and worst iPad apps from media companies and publishers, including some of the familiar names — Wired, The New Yorker, Esquire — as well as some less familiar ones, with what they are doing right and what still needs work.

Now That We Have the Web, Do We Need Associated Press?

Media analyst Clay Shirky says that the list of things that the Internet has killed — or is in the process of killing — includes media syndication of the kind that the Associated Press is built on, which he says is next in line for widespread disruption.

For Newspapers, the Future Is Now: Digital Must Be First

As newspapers struggle to stay afloat and remake themselves for a web-based world, many debate how much emphasis they should put on digital vs. their traditional print operations. John Paton, CEO of the Journal Register group of newspapers, says the time for debate is over.

Twitter Powers Teenager’s News Network During Rio Raids

A 17-year-old resident of one of Rio de Janeiro’s biggest slums has become a quasi-celebrity reporter in Brazil and elsewhere after using Twitter and a network of friends to do real-time live reporting on the drug raids by police in the city and the resulting violence.

Faulty Metrics Make for a Media Guessing Game

Despite the fact that the Internet is the most frequently measured medium in history, it’s almost impossible for publishers to get a straight answer about who’s consuming their content — and that can cause some significant problems, says a new report on digital media.

OpenFile Wants to Re-Invent Local Journalism

Former CNN foreign correspondent Wilf Dinnick started OpenFile last year because he wanted to reinvent community journalism in digital form. The beta site launched last month in Toronto, with plans to expand to several other cities soon. The site blends traditional journalism and user-generated content.

Tweetbeat Is Like Tivo for the Real-Time Firehose

Tweetbeat, a new service that launched this week from Kosmix, uses the company’s filtering algorithm and semantic-analysis engine to make sense of the Twitter firehose, and then allows viewers to zoom in on topics, pause the live-stream and even rewind to view past events.

Storify Wants to Pull Stories From the Stream

Storify is one of a number of startups focusing on “curation” of the real-time stream. Founder Burt Herman, a former Associated Press correspondent, says he wants to help bloggers, journalists and others pull content from social media and social networks and build it into coherent stories.

Eqentia Wants to Be a Super Feed-Reader for Your Biz

There are plenty of companies and services devoted to helping people manage the ocean of information that flows through the web, but there aren’t that many focusing on trying to help businesses manage the information flow in their specific industries. That’s the market Eqentia is pursuing.

You’re a Media Company Now, Twitter — Good Luck

With its redesign, Twitter seems to be reluctantly embracing its status as a media company. Why the reluctance? Because as newspapers and other media businesses have clearly shown, online media is hard to monetize, and Twitter is already under pressure to turn on the cash-flow taps.

Helping Journalists Become Hackers and Entrepreneurs

In addition to teaching traditional skills, some journalism schools are focusing on building their students’ digital chops and entrepreneurial spirit. One of the most recent such projects is Local East Village, a joint venture between the New York University’s journalism school and the New York Times.

Google Extends Peace Accord With Associated Press

After months of negotiation and brinksmanship, Google has finally renewed its content-sharing deal with the Associated Press newswire service, according to a brief post on the Google blog and a short statement from the newswire. However, there are few details about the truce between the two.

Let a Thousand Personalized Newspapers Bloom

More and more Twitter users seem to be experimenting with, a Swiss service that pulls in your Twitter stream and extracts the links, and then displays them in a newspaper-style format. Here are a selection of newspapers I’ve come across from my Twitter stream.

Truthsquad Shows Potential of Crowdsourced Fact-Checking

NewsTrust, a non-profit startup aimed at improving the credibility of the media, says its week-long “Truthsquad” experiment — in which it tried to crowdsource the fact-checking of statements made by politicians and other public figures, was successful enough that it plans to continue the project.

iPad App Faceoff: Netflix vs. Hulu Plus

There’s a movement underfoot. A movement to break free of cable provider’s high costs and poor service. A movement to time- and device-shift. A movement to watch what we want, where we want, when we want. So let’s take a look at Hulu Plus and Netflix. Create a Newspaper From Your Twitter Stream

Many Twitter users say they rely on the social network and their community of followers for links to news stories rather than a newspaper. A Swiss startup has turned that idea into a service called, which turns links shared by your network into a newspaper.

Memo to Media Cos.: Disruption? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

The media and entertainment industries have been through an unprecedented upheaval over the past several years, as consumers have moved their attention online and advertisers have followed, disrupting traditional business models. Now a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers forecasts even greater turmoil over the next five years.

Media Apps and the iPad: Surprise! Free Is Better

Will the iPad help or harm media companies? Early indications are that iPad users prefer downloading free media apps to paid ones, with a few notable exceptions. Some publishers are also reticent about the device because they are nervous about how much control it gives Apple.

Media iPad Apps: Is That the Best They Can Do?

As the launch of the Apple iPad approaches, media outlets from Conde Nast and the New York Times to Associated Press and Bloomberg have been releasing screenshots of their media apps. Unfortunately, most appear to be quite boring, and few really take advantage of the device.

Facebook Has All The News That's Fit to Share

According to statistics from Hitwise, an increasing number of visits to news and media web sites are coming from Facebook, which has been promoting itself as a place where users can share news links. Traffic from Facebook has more than doubled in the past year.

Resurgent AOL Buys StudioNow, Hires ex-Googler

AOL continues its expansion in the content-creation business with the acquisition of video-production house StudioNow for $36.5 million, and the hiring of a former Google engineer as the head of technology for its New York media center.

Journalists' Social Media Sideshow Will Prove Nothing

A group of journalists has agreed to “prove” how useless Twitter and Facebook are by reporting only news they receive through those services for five days. But this is a farce that only proves these journalists don’t understand the role social media plays in the news.

Memo to the Publishing Industry: Forget About the iSavior

Hopes are riding high that the upcoming iTablet will rescue newspapers and other traditional publishers from their digital woes, but regardless of how magical the Apple device is, there is virtually zero chance that it will be the savior of the media industry.

REDEARTH88 Takes on Lonelygirl15

As with most pop culture sensations, Lonelygirl15 spawned a spin-off, and some competition. Falling somewhere between direct offspring and competitor is REDEARTH88,…

Loaded is Kinda Light

Natali Del Conte’s new show Loaded is up and running over on CNET TV. And thank God, because if there’s one thing…

Coastal Dreams is a Nightmare

NBC launched its new, original online series Coastal Dreams today and the result, while a blonde-highlighted mess, offers lessons to budding production…