iPad, PBS MediaShift and “Word of Mouth”

Sparked by my story on client @PBSMediaShift about the #iPad (”Are Magazine iPad Apps Profitable in the Long Haul?”), New Hampshire Public Media’s “Word of Mouth” program is to, on Tuesday, Nov. 30, feature Dorian for about 10 minutes talking about the latest in mag apps, technology and the like.

Links, more info and a Marie Claire iPad app video with an oddly masculine hand are here, on the Teeming Media site:

Geo-Location Services Provide New Opportunities for News

"News organizations will want to play attention and be ready to provide the content the location services need and want -- restaurant reviews, event information, real estate listings, even hard news -- relevant to the spot a user happens to be. While services like Yelp and Craigslist have already grabbed some of the review and listings share, news organizations still have a strong brand presence and ties with local businesses they can exploit in the community.

Newsrooms, meanwhile, can monitor the services to see what trends, news or events might be getting attention in specific locales, and get a new layer of information and sources in addition to what they glean from social media like Twitter and Facebook. As one example, people may check in at a local performance or other event and become eyes and ears the news desk can reach out to for content.

On the business side, news organizations can structure deals in which local advertisers' ads on a website are enhanced with information on loyal customers provided by a geo-location service, and rewards are offered online to encourage more of the same."

Are Magazine iPad Apps Profitable in the Long Haul? | PBS

My latest on PBS MediaShift begins:

"Magazine editors and publishers are excited about tablet devices like the iPad.

In them, they see a chance to give consumers the best that digital media can offer -- and to be able to charge them for the content.

But does the profit from the apps justify the expense of building and marketing them? And even when the apps are profitable on their own, can they ever bring in enough revenue to sustain a sizable portion of the business?"

HTML5 vs. Apps Is Not a Contest. Each Has Advantages

Joe Monastiero (@appmobijoe) pointed out to me at #AdTechNY today that while HTML5 adds a lot of new functionality to browsers previously handled by plugins -- things like video and flash graphics and certain kinds of interactivity -- it doesn't account for the functionality mobile devices bring to the table: GPS, the "accelerometer," motion sensors, a contacts database with ability to connect to the contacts natively, certain kinds of touch screen swiping, and so on. True, there might be software workarounds or plugins for some of this (connect your address book through the browser, or open APIs that allows sharing of your email database). But the browser today doesn't generally allow those kinds of functionality that apps do. To add the functionality to the browsers would require that they become operating systems. (And, I'd add, that the machines that carry the operating systems become considerably more sophisticated.)

Then again, on the desktop, as this Technology Review story points out, HTML5 will allow for assembly and mashups of images, including video, with databases to create, as the story notes, a personalized image of someone running through a neighborhood when you put in an address. We can imagine all kinds of database mashups and functionality done on the fly to create new application-like experiences in an HTML5-compliant browser. We can assume the same kinds of functionality will come to mobile devices.

True, there is the nascent Chrome OS, and we could see the day when Safari has the functionality of Objective C. But for now, I'd say, Joe has a point for mobile devices. Not that HTML5 won't take hold, and not that a lot of functions will be handled by browsers on mobile devices, and not that you shouldn't have a good mobile site if a lot of your user base accesses your site via mobile platforms. But don't expect to be able to give them all the functionality through the browser that you can through an app. (And, as an exec at Ad Mob pointed out, you can sometimes access HTML5 browser functions through an app, anyway.)

Internet Privacy Legislation Still in Offing

If you think that legislation to protect consumer privacy (PDF) on the Internet is dead now that its author, Rick Boucher, has been defeated in Congress, think again.

A key member of the Interactive Advertising Bureau's privacy committee noted to me at the Ad:Tech conference in New York yesterday that the desire to protect consumers is bipartisan, a sentiment the Washington post notes: "A key Republican lawmaker indicated Wednesday that Internet privacy could be a legislative priority in the next Congress, as a growing number of data breaches draw increased attention from federal regulators." Technology site Nextgov concurred that Republicans plan to deal with privacy.

The legislative language, I was told, can pretty much be copied by another lawmaker, who will put his/her name on it. It's also hard to ignore the FTC's moves to explore privacy issues such as behavioral targeting (sending ads to consumers based on their previous Web surfing) and other uses of cookies and identified databases. A salesman from Casale media today proudly told me at Ad:Tech that his ad network had just closed deals with Nielsen and MRI Research, and that they could now send ads to their database (of 65 million, I believe), targeting ads down to the household level.

At the IAB's Ad Ops conference earlier this week, the IAB’s Vice President of Public Policy, Mike Zaneis, and Chuck Curran, Executive Director of the Network Advertising Initiative, talked of how they industry was working to regulate itself. (Here are their proposed principles for behavioral advertising.) But as I've written before, and any scholar of Corporate Social Responsibility knows, to get ahead of a curve once the legislative process has begun requires an industry to take bold steps that leapfrog the efforts underway to place limits.

Notice how Google CEO Eric Schmidt is very cautious to specify all the services Google can give you if you share information while also being very careful to specify user permission in this recent Charlie Rose interview (at 1:47, and again at 20:21).

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