Archive | January, 2008

Online Video Vets Take $10M Stake in Broadband Enterprises

17 Jan

The guy who persuaded Fox to pay 500 million for myspace back when everyone thought it was crazy has now put his money behind Broadband Enterprises.  The company is said to be, “the largest seller of video advertising online outside of the big portals.”

NEW YORK ( — Since former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller and former Fox Interactive Media chief Ross Levinsohn banded together as partners in Velocity Investment Group, internet watchers have been curious to see where they’d place their bets. Online video — its distribution, content creation and monetization — is an area in which they are particularly bullish.

The group’s first investment is a $10 million stake in Broadband Enterprises. The deal also marks the first round of funding Broadband Enterprises has raised, despite its having been around for two years and having grown its online traffic into something that rivals top media companies and portals.

Mr. Miller, who will join the board of Broadband Enterprises, said Velocity is interested in investing in “online platforms that scale, the content you put through those and [those with] the ability to make money in the space.”

Ross Levinsohn, FOX Interactive Media - 'We've bought someone in this room'

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Inflation rate is worst in 17 years

16 Jan

Troubling numbers on the economy today.  Hopefully this doesn’t signal stagflation:

WASHINGTON – Higher costs for energy and food last year pushed inflation up by the largest amount in 17 years, even though prices generally remained tame outside of those two areas. Meanwhile, industrial output was flat in December, more evidence of a significant slowdown in the economy.

The worst part about this is that rising gas and fast food costs disproportunately effect the poor.

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Gawker: If you don’t buy this magazine we’ll kill this dog

15 Jan

In January 1973, National Lampoon published what would become one of the most famous magazine covers of all time: A photograph of a cute pup with a gun held to its head, next to the headline “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog.” Turns out that whoever wrote that line was a visionary. Almost exactly 35 years later, someone’s finally adopted a somewhat finessed version of that MO, only it pertains not to the glossy world but to the blogosphere — and it works from the inside out.

It relates to a new compensation scheme, and it goes roughly like this: “If You Don’t Click on This Post, We’ll Kill This Blogger.” Well, OK, not exactly — but the blogger might lose the will to live, because her pay rises and falls in direct proportion to the number of people who click on her blog posts.

Nick Denton gets Pied at RADAR mag relaunch party

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Obama smear campaign begins

15 Jan

In Richard Cohen’s op-ed for the Post today, he plays a very nasty game of guilt by association. Because Barack Obama belongs to the ostensibly controversial Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago, and because the minister there, Reverand Jeremiah Wright, in the pages of an in-house magazine he publishes, “heaped praise on” Louis Farakkhan as a man who “truly epitomized greatness,” Obama must disavow, um, wait, who exactly? Minister Farrakhan? Reverend Wright? It’s not entirely clear from Cohen’s article.

What is clear, though, is that the there’s an effort underway to paint Barack Obama as bad for the Jews. If you’re Jewish, and perhaps even if you’re not, you’ve likely received a piece of hateful spam informing you that Obama is Muslim, or half Muslim, or 3/5 Muslim — just for counting purposes, of course — or some other ill-founded crap. You know that he was also educated at a madrassa, don’t you? Well, don’t you? He’s radical. And a terrorist.

But the plot thinkens.  As Josh Marshall points out, it appears as though NewsMax is involved.

IMG_0844.JPG Obama '08 -- Go Green Barack explains why he's running Oprah and Michelle cheer on Barack in NH Barack Obama in  NH Obama 065 What Does it All Mean? Barack Obama 3 Change We Can Believe In Barack Obama 4 Barack Obama 6 Embarrassment Of Riches vs. Riches Of Embarrassment :: MAXINE Kerry endorses Obama The View From Europe

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BBC iPlayer Scores 3.5m Downloads

15 Jan

A big win for the beeb here:

The BBC is reporting that their iPlayer is overflowing with win (as da yoot would say), with over 1m users streaming or downloading around 3.5m BBC programmes since the Christmas Day launch.

The on-demand Internet TV service notched up over a million users between Tuesday 25th December and Monday 7th January, downloading or streaming 250,000 programmes each day on average during this period.

the iPlayer__oh dear BBC iPlayer Beta demo iPlayer Virgin Media preview

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Chinese Killed by City Inspectors For Recording Protest

14 Jan

This could get big:

CNN, citing a report by Xinhua, reports that Wei Wenhua (I think the Chinese name is 魏文华, but I’m not completely sure) was beaten to death by China city inspectors after trying to make photos of (or perhaps film) a protest with his mobile phone last Monday. The citizens he was trying to record protested “over the dumping of waste near their homes.” Wenhua was the manager of a construction company and, according to the reports, also a blogger.

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The Decline of Citizen Journalism

14 Jan


I recently revisited the Alexa data on companies and sites
that I used to watch when I first started NP. 
It’s interesting to see how the original ‘citizen journalist’ sites like
Slashdot have actually suffered a decline in the wake of the 2.0 revolution. 

Of course this decline is more than offset by the successes of newer entrants like Newsvine, Digg, Flickr, Youtube and (I’m relieved to say) NowPublic.  But what is interesting is that in spite of having real first-mover advantage none of these innovators have grown over the last 2 years.

NOTE:  Alexa is notoriously unreliable as a metric but as they say, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. 

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