In today’s Signal, we begin with an article written by our own John Battelle, who explains why it’s time to rethink “standard display,” leverage those who are leveraging us, and create some new models along the way (all while employing copious Dr. Seuss references). Also: A number of stories about the control levied by large walled gardens (Apple and Facebook), NBC Sports bets on digital viewing; and, because we love road shows … When is an IPO presentation not an IPO presentation? When there are lines to get in, naturally.
To the links…
On Thneeds and the “Death of Display” (BattelleMedia) Online display isn’t dead. It just needs to be rethought, re-engineered, and reborn. The hundreds of people working here at FM, at Lijit, and at a burgeoning ecosystem of companies are coming to realize it’s time to wake up from our “standard display” dream and create some new models, ones that honor and reward good content. It’s not the big platforms’ job to create that model – but it will be their job to not stand in the way of it.
NBC Plans Olympic-Size Test of Digital Limits (AdAge) NBC Sports is positioning itself to carry the torch, so to speak, for the promise of digital viewing. Ad Age notes that digital ad sales for the London Olympics have passed $55 million (more than double the digital revenue for Beijing). Plus, NBCS has struck a deal with YouTube and, as part of their agreement, YouTube is building a video player for NBCOlympics.com.
Dropbox Ran Afoul of Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines: So What? (Future of the Internet) Dropbox and others are discovering that iOS developers are entirely dependent on Apple’s whims. But Apple should be careful. If it breaks the Web for too long, the Web will route around it.
Agencies Ditch Blogs for Social Media (Digiday) Agencies tend to maintain blogs to highlight things like awards, hires and news, but some are casting their blogs aside in favor of social media platforms, feeding the misguided notion blogging does little to enhance their brands. Hey, agencies (and everyone else): Put Your Taproot Into the Independent Web!
Zuckerberg Kicks Off Facebook’s IPO Road Show in New York (Reuters) Investors waited in long lines on Monday to hear Mark Zuckerberg talk IPO at the Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan. He took (very few) questions about FB’s slowing revenue growth and its $1 billion Instagram purchase, but he did say that FB moved quickly to strike a deal when it became clear that Instagram was open to being acquired.
Facebook News Reader Apps Decline Amid Tests (TechCrunch) Facebook is in firm control of what apps and content types receive traffic from its news feed. It can dial up and down the presence of anything. In other words, what FB gives, it can take away. Sound familiar? If you were around in 2004, you’d have thought we’d be talking about Google.
Why Publishers Don’t Like Apps (Technology Review) Sure, apps are often pretty, but outsourcing their development is expensive and, most important, they don’t do what readers want and need them to do. This is an critical read, folks. Apple’s approach to the market doesn’t help independent voices.
Mozilla’s Mitchell Baker on Being the Alternative to Microsoft, Google and Apple (Wired) Mozilla chair Mitchell Baker explains why she thinks Mozilla’s new push to create a mobile operating system to rival Apple’s and Google’s matters just as much as Firefox did. The mobile implications of this bear watching, so we’ll be following up on developments.
Twitter ‘will be more valuable than Facebook’ (The Telegraph) Rory Sutherland, the vice-chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, finds Twitter’s 140-character “haiku element” so appealing that he “wouldn’t bet against it being more valuable [than Facebook] in the long term.” Is Twitter ‘intelligent’ enough to prove Sutherland right, or is it, as one commenter noted on the page, just a “useful headline feed”? We’ve got a sense it depends on which way the wind blows in those gardens we’ve been talking about…
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