Sunday, June 21, 2015

News Websites and Blogs Under Fire by Mobile


Google has announced that for the first time ever more people are using mobile as a way to read the news and services such as Facebook and Twitter. This is putting dedicated blogs and news websites in a very difficult position as they are unable to properly monetize their platforms.

Online advertising revenues are falling as smartphone users, who spend half of the time on their devices reading news, become increasingly frustrated by advertisements and so-called sponsored content. Gigaom was a victim of this, as their Google Adsense revenue fell so dramatically they begun to write more sponsored content on a daily basis, which wasn’t enough to stem the loses. The company went out of business and fired their entire writing staff.

Four in 10 smartphone customers use Facebook to find, read, watch, share and comment on the news each week – more than twice the usage of its nearest rival, Youtube, and almost four times that of Twitter. Speaking of Twitter, the company  announced Project Lightning, a news platform that would allow users to follow events instead of people.

Good e-Reader has seen their traffic decrease by 30% in the last year as less people read the publication on their PC or the mobile edition.  Instead people have gravitated towards news aggregators such as Buzzfeed, Flipboard, Digg or Linkedin Pulse. In other cases they follow the social media accounts, such as Facebook or Twitter, only clicking on stories that specifically interest them.

The big tech news sites are also not immune to readers shifting their consumption habits. All Things D spun their company into a new one called RE/CODE. They were unable to make it financially work and had to sell their company to Vox Media, the same guys who own The Verge.

Indie news agencies and dedicated blogs are finding it hard to monetize their sites now that smartphone usage is so pronounced. Additionally it does not help the fact that many users are employing Ad Blocker software which further decreases revenue.

Penguin Random House Now Selling Books on Twitter


Penguin Random House is a launch partner for a new initiative by Twitter to turn the social media platform into a shopping experience.

When you click on book related branding by Penguin Random House, such as a Tweet about a latest bestseller it will take you to a dedicated product page within Twitter. You can then check out tweets by other others talking about the book and view the description of the title. If you like what you see there is a buy button and Twitter handles the payment processing. The shipping cost of the book is factored into the cost and the pricing is very respectable.

If you visit the Penguin Random House Twitter profile, you will see a new entry below their photos called Browse Collection.  There are nine books available to preview that were all added on June 18th 2015.  Clicking on the image will bring up the dedicated product page for that particular title

I think product pages for e-books is certainly more initiative than past shopping experiences Twitter has experimented with.  Last year the company partnered with Amazon that allowed users to use the hashtag #amazoncart and that product would automatically be added to your shopping cart.

How to Take Apart the Kindle Voyage to Root It (Video)

The other day I came across a YouTube video that shows how to easily disassemble the Kindle Voyage. It only takes a couple of minutes and is surprisingly easy compared to some other devices out there. Of course taking apart your Kindle Voyage is going to void the warranty, but it’s currently the only way […]