Why apps should be the LAST part of your mobile news strategy

Right now I’m on the BART train to SF, heading to the 2011 Web Conference of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. There, at 1:30 I’m speaking on a panel that, by its title, is about developing mobile apps.

Follow #aanweb on Twitter to see the conference chatter.

My job there is to explain to these general-audience, primarily local and print-centrist venues, why a native smartphone/tablet app should be the LAST part of their mobile strategy.

My main points… Continue reading

I’m blogging mobile tech for CNN: First post now live!

I’ve been hired to write a thrice-weekly blog on mobile stuff for the newly revamped CNNtech site. My first post went live today: Can cell networks handle the World Cup?

And here’s what the top of the story looks like. Awwww…. I get to be “Special” :-) Cool!

…I’m really excited about this gig.

What newsy/trendy/important mobile topics do you think I should cover here? Remember, this site is for a general audience, not for media- or techno-geeks. Please comment below.

Washington Post: Go Gawker Yourself

Amid the furor over Ira Shapira’s Aug. 2 Washington Post column bemoaning how Gawker excerpted his July 9 article, thus spelling the “death of journalism” — here’s a constructive albeit unconventional idea from Doug Fisher’s Common Sense Journalism blog.

Fisher wrote:

“The fact that close to 10,000 people viewed [Gawker's summary of Shapira's article] instead of reading [the original] 1,500-word tome [on WashingtonPost.com] ought to raise the question of why the WaPo doesn’t have its own Gawker-type site excerpting its material. Maybe consumers are telling us something — namely that a lot of them don’t want to read a river of text on something like Shapira’s story on a millennial generation consultant because they have other things to do with their lives. Gawker et al. wouldn’t survive if they didn’t meet a need.”

I think Fisher makes a good point. While many journos are profoundly attached to long-form stories delivered in a traditionally detached, serious tone, that just doesn’t work well for how more and more people actually consume media and news.

This may not be the kind of world that professional journalists would prefer, but it’s the one we have.

So why not offer both approaches on a news site?…

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On Twitter and Vulnerability

UPDATE Aug 7: Thanks to John Sutter for mentioning and linking to me in his CNN story today rounding up perspectives on the Twitter outage.

Earlier this morning, Twitter went down for a couple of hours. I must admit: Twitter-fiend that I am, I missed it. I slept in a bit, and didn’t get online right away when I did awake. Happens sometimes (rarely).

Once I did check in with Twitter, folks were abuzz about the outage — which Twitter founder Biz Stone wrote was due to a “single, massively coordinated denial of service attack.” Ouch.

Yes, folks, Twitter is vulnerable to attack. And technical failure. Or at some point it may just become unbearable or unusable. But many people (myself included) have come to rely on this service not just for communication, but for a sense of community and connection. What happens when you can’t tweet anymore?

I’ve got some ideas…
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