The Data Conversation Starts to Get Real: Monday Signal

So long, weblog? Nah.

In today’s Signal: More from Digiday’s series on anti-predictions; the weblog’s last breath?; personal data in a “surveillance economy”; the future of television content; Silicon Valley, Beavis and Butt-head-style; and more.

To the links ….

Trends Publishers Will Pass Up In 2013 (Digiday) Digiday continues its series of anti-predictions by asking publishers what hot trend they plan on passing up in 2013. Six answered, including Janet Balis of Huffington Post Media Group, who says the Huff Post will stay away from paid content next year, and Erin Pettigrew, director of business development at Gawker, who reveals that the company bypasses most near-term fads (from apps to location to the ad technology industrial complex) that so many shorter-tenure, venture-backed companies are compelled to chase.

Dead Media Beat: Weblogs (Wired) Is the weblog taking its last breath? Author, journalist and critic Bruce Sterling thinks so. “As people get more comfortable with the metamedium of software which underlies all digital media, they get less and less concerned with whatever ‘new media’ may call themselves,” he writes. “When weblogs are finally gone, people will say that there was never really such a thing as a ‘weblog’ in the first place.” We of course, do not agree.

You for Sale: Company Envisions ‘Vaults’ for Personal Data (NYT) We’re living in a surveillance economy. Data brokers have collected hundreds to thousands of details on almost every American adult; other companies use computer algorithms to covertly score Internet users, identifying some as “high-value” consumers; and ad-trading platform companies profile Internet users to auction off online access to them to marketers. All of that results in a lot of data — data that Michael Fertik, the chief executive of, believes we should control.

And …

They Know What You’re Shopping For (WSJ) Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Jeremy Singer-Vine take a look at companies that are tying people to their online surfing habits. “The widening ability to associate people’s real-life identities with their browsing habits marks a privacy milestone, further blurring the already unclear border between our public and private lives,” they write. “In pursuit of ever more precise and valuable information about potential customers, tracking companies are redefining what it means to be anonymous.”

The Future of TV Content Delivery is the Internet (Digital Trends) The prospect of large media providers partnering on an Internet TV service that bundles networks into smaller, lower cost packages that are designed to cater to the interests of different demographics is seen by many as the presumptive favorite for the “future of TV” mantle. But networks are blocking the way. Will they read the writing on the digital wall?

Silicon Valley Finally Gets the TV Treatment It Deserves, From the Dude Who Wrote ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ (BetaBeat) HBO has just greenlit a new pilot called “Silicon Valley,” which will be produced by Mike Judge, the man responsible for such iconic works as “Office Space,” “Idiocracy” and “Beavis and Butt-head.”

Google’s Lost Social Network (Buzzfeed) Last year, against the better judgement of Reader fanatics, Google went ahead with the redesign of the RSS news aggregator it launched in 2005. It was a disaster, leaving many users wondering why Google deep-sixed superlative features that were years in the making for Google+, an upstart social network that’s basically a Facebook clone.

Facebook’s Dan Levy Touts Small Business Growth: Advertisers Have Nearly Doubled Since January, Promoted 2.5M Posts (TechCrunch) Writer Anthony Ha speaks to Dan Levy, who leads the small business team at Facebook, about the results small businesses —13 million of them — have seen from promoting themselves on the social network. “What we tell small businesses is what we would tell any business,” Levy said. “We want you to write engaging content that your users want to see. In the same way that you want [your customers] to have a great experience when they walk through the door, we want our users to have a great experience when they visit Facebook.”

Relevant Content Is Key to Getting Digital News Readers Interested in Mobile Ads (ClickZ)  Mobile ad network Mojiva surveyed 1,000 U.S. and 1,000 U.K. mobile users to find out what sort of trends are coming out of the digital news market. According to the study, consumers are now getting their news fix from a variety of sources. Mojiva also found that when it comes to mobile ads on news sites it’s all about relevance: 67 percent of U.S. consumers will pay more attention to an ad if it’s relevant to the news item they are reading.


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