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A couple of months ago, Tanya Cordrey, the director of digital development for the Guardian, made a statement that raised some eyebrows. "It’s only a matter of time until social overtakes search for the Guardian," she told attendees at the Guardian Changing Media Submit.
The impetus for that comment was the Guardian's Facebook app, which enables Facebook users to share the articles they read on guardian.co.uk with their Facebook friends.
If you’ve ever seen a presentation by a Facebook exec, you’ll know that they hold up The Guardian as the poster child for building an audience using a timeline app.
After launching its social reader last September The Guardian reported 4m installs in just two months, and in March it predicted that social traffic would soon become more important than search.
Then last month Facebook director of platform partnerships Christian Hernandez said that the app has 5.7m active monthly users and had been essential for allowing the newspaper to “close the viral loop”.
Yesterday, we attended the Amazon Web Services Summit in New York where Dr Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, gave the keynote speech highlighting how cloud services will transform how we do business.
Though some critics think cloud services may have unforeseen challenges, Vogals somewhat salesy keynote also had representatives of companies using Amazon cloud services come to the stage to say why the cloud is enabling their businesses to do things they could never do before.
As these (and most) businesses are discovering, a data revolution is taking place. The amount of information we need to process, map and store is growing at exponential rates. So in comes cloud services.
Last week, the Washington Post’s Managing Editor Raju Narisetti sent out a memo to all of the paper’s employees entitled "responding to readers via social media" in which he effectively bans reporters, editors and assorted hangers-on from engaging directly with the Post’s considerable Twitter following.
The memo came after a controversial article implying a link between homosexuality and mental illness was published in the Post and rightly lambasted by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). In the ensuing kerfuffle, a Post editor responded to critics via the company Twitter account, claiming that the paper was “trying to represent both sides of the story”.
Whether or not there actually are two sides to this story is not for me to comment on here, but the reaction by Narisetti highlights the continuing misunderstanding and misapplication of social media policy by many large companies.
The carnage in the print world continues. The latest big-name publication to go up for sale: 77 year-old Newsweek.
The magazine, which covers U.S. and global news on a weekly basis, has, like many print publications, seen its subscriber base erode over the years. That has made it hard to run as a sustainable business. Newsweek lost nearly $30m last year, and just over $16m in 2008.
The Washington Post's Twitter crackdown has created a lot of debate. At the heart of it: whether it's okay for journalists to express their opinions publicly through social media outlets.
It's an interesting debate and there are a lot of ways to approach it. A central issue -- whether or not expressing an opinion jeopardizes a news organization's journalistic credibility -- is a fascinating subject. After all, most news organizations like to present themselves as objective sources who deliver truth and fact. But the debate over online postings that show their journalists and employees to (gasp) have opinions raises interesting questions: do news organizations even sell 'objectivity'? Should they?
It's familiar by now to hear mocking sounds come from new media champions and writers when old media takes a stand against Twitter or Facebook or some other new tech tool. But new Twitter guidelines issued by the Washington Post on Friday came from inside old media.
Why? Because beyond helping a publication gain traction and authority on news items in real time, social media can be a journalists best tool for job stability. And the new rules threaten them more than anyone else.
This weekend, the Washington Post's Ian Shapira detailed in a piece entitled "The Death of Journalism (Gawker Edition)" how the triumph he felt when Gawker blogged about a story he wrote turned into anger after his boss asked him why he wasn't angry that his story had been stolen.
After reviewing Gawker's eight-paragraph post, Shapira came to the same conclusion as his boss: he'd been ripped off.