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Posts Tagged ‘Wired’

It’s Official: Google Glass Is a Bust

Fashionable?

Even Shutterstock thinks so

For all the talk of tech in 2013, we can’t think of a single product that truly altered the landscape. Nothing came anywhere close to the innovation of, say, the iPad. Smart watches seemed mildly interesting, but the biggest “breakthrough” was supposed to be Google Glass.

After reading this Mat Honan Wired account of a year spent with the device, we can safely call it a dud. For now.

Key quotes after the jump.

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How Charitable Is Facebook’s ‘Internet for All’ Project?

Internet.org sounds like the most noble kind of charity organization: designed to bring broadband to the four billion-plus people around the world who don’t have access, it might be Mark Zuckerberg‘s passion project (and the promo clip is quite stately thanks to JFK).

But Matt Buchanan of The New Yorker, among many others, isn’t so sure about Internet.org’s goals. What’s the problem? Well, the project was founded by FacebookEricsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung—seven companies that would love to get those 4-5 billion wired up so they can provide them with related services (and promo messages). Buchanan takes issue with the fact that Facebook stands to gain millions, if not billions, of new users without actually doing any of the infrastructural legwork required to make the plan a reality. It’s hard to believe, but many of the areas targeted by Internet.org don’t have any electricity, much less 4G service.

This is why Zuckerberg’s Wired interview, published yesterday, reads something like the first stop on a damage control tour.

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How CNN and Wired Leverage Timing, Location and Serendipity to Push Content

An eccentric tech entrepreneur turned fugitive, an abrupt change in the papacy, a Japanese tsunami – the fact that each of these stories dominated the news for days and drove a whole lot of traffic confirms that content still reigns supreme. But since every big-news scenario is different, figuring out the optimal timing, location and platforms for presenting it to the public remains an ongoing challenge for media brands.

At MPA‘s recent Swipe 2.0 conference in New York, media presenters including CNN and Wired, discussed tablets and other new digital platforms to help get the message out. CNN’s reps explained their system for categorizing video content, while Wired offered a gripping account of how their reporting on tech security pioneer John McAfee factored into the unfolding odyssey.

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Pinterest and Punchfork: A Food PR Dream Team

Pinterest recipesLast week brought news of the first acquisition for Pinterest, the newest big player in the social media/promotion game. The company’s first get is a recipe bookmarking site called Punchfork (haha), and we feel like the two might just be a perfect pair.

We’ve all noted how Pinterest provided new life to visually-oriented lifestyle magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Cooking Light and Real Simple. What do these titles have in common? Recipes–lots of ‘em, presented in impeccable style.

According to Wired, Punchfork made a name for itself by “pull[ing] recipes from popular food blogs”, organizing them in a Pinterest-inspired layout and allowing users to search by item and filter by factors like ingredients or dietary needs.

The Punchfork site will soon shut down; its founder and CEO has already moved to Pinterest and will devote his future time to ensuring that the pin site remains the king of online recipes.

Our take? This acquisition reinforces the fact that any and every food-related property–be it a cooking site like Serious Eats, a major magazine like Southern Living or a top restaurant/chef that occasionally shares recipes–needs to get on Pinterest, pronto. In fact, we feel confident in saying that even the finest restaurants could benefit from sharing some simple how-tos with the public.

In other words, PR pros with food industry clients should take note. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, here are our 12 Pinterest Tips from Magazine Pros.

Cyber Monday: A Masterpiece of Marketing Hokum?


After watching a few of the hair-pulling, face-punching retail mayhem clips now making their way around the web, we’re amazed to say that we made it through the first wave of the holiday sales season intact.

Hey, don’t relax yet– it’s only just begun.

Every semi-sentient being in our solar system knows that today is “Cyber Monday”, when swarms of online shoppers hungry for deals can make or break retailers looking to boost their year-end revenue totals. Last week we gave you a very brief history of “Black Friday”, a phenomenon several decades in the making that ultimately required the collaborative efforts of America’s political and retail classes. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, is nothing but a marketing scheme—and many would call it a brilliant one.

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Roll Call: Ogilvy PR, Sunset, Bloomsbury and More

Ogilvy PR/Chicago has appointed Heather Wilson executive vice president and director of the agency’s Chicago Corporate Group. Wilson joined the company on September 17, moving from Weber Shandwick where she ran the West Coast corporate and crisis management practice in Los Angeles. In her new roll, she will focus on brand positioning, financial communication, litigation support, crisis management, government relations and media strategy to solving complex issues facing multinational corporations and crafting integrated campaigns that deliver business results. (Release)

Pete Beatty has been promoted to senior editor at Bloomsbury. He comes from Bloomsbury Press, where he’s been working with Peter Ginna since 2008. Lea Beresford, who joined Bloomsbury as editorial assistant in 2011, has been promoted to editor at the Bloomsbury imprint. (Publishers Weekly)

Maili Holiman has been named the new creative director of SunsetHoliman comes to Sunset from the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where she had been creative director of the foundation’s magazine — Edutopia — since 2009. Prior to that she was art director at Wired and Readymade. (FishbowlNY)

Andy Sareyan, president of National Journal, is stepping down and Bruce Gottlieb is set to take his place. Gottlieb had been Senior VP of Corporate Strategy. He has also written for Slate, The Atlantic, NYT magazine, and The New Republic, and was the former Chief Counsel at the FCC. (FishbowlDC)

Angelo Lomonte has been named SVP, managing director, at KSL Media. He had been director of media strategy, marketing & advertising at Cablevision. (mb)

Ian Robinson has been named creative director at Ebony. He had been design director at Spin. (mb)

Tom Arnost has been named EVP and chief revenue officer at Telemundo Station Group. He had been on numerous boards and managed a private investment portfolio focused on the media industry. (TVSpy)

Scandal du Jour: Plagiarism!

The Words” is a new film starring everyone’s favorite faux Frenchman, Bradley Cooper. Its plot, as we understand it, revolves around the concept of author as plagiarist–and while we can’t exactly recommend the movie based on its critical reception, we thought we’d use this opportunity (and the emergence of another small-scale plagiarism story) to examine parallel scandals that engaged the chattering classes this summer: the public trials of Jonah Lehrer and Fareed Zakaria.

Seems like everyone is copying the work of others these days–even noted wordsmith Chuck Norris has been caught red-handed. The two men at the center of this hot topic are very different personalities—and both the charges leveled against them and the public’s reaction to their respective PR crises have been very different as well. Fareed Zakaria is a respected journalist and TV news personality while Jonah Lehrer is (or, more accurately, was) a rising writer, speaker, and acknowledged expert in the realms of neurology and human behavior.

What, exactly, did they do?

Zakaria copied a paragraph of a Time article on gun control from an earlier New Yorker piece by historian Jill Lepore. CNN also found that one of his blog posts for CNN.com “contained similar unattributed quotes.” When accused of other acts of sloppy journalism, he lashed out at critics before backing down.

Lehrer’s first crime was plagiarizing himself—observers discovered that he often repeated passages that had appeared in previous columns or books. While this was bad news for Lehrer, it wasn’t necessarily the end of the world. Unfortunately, further investigations uncovered a disturbing history of similar behavior during his time at Wired and other publications. And that wasn’t the worst of it: The final, damning revelation was the fact that Lehrer had straight-up invented nonexistent Bob Dylan quotes for his bestselling book “Imagine”—and when pressed on his offense, he denied it and made more false claims before breaking down and confessing to his own dishonesty.

The saddest part about these stories is that both writers remain very talented, very busy men who obviously bit off more than they could chew. What conclusions can we, as PR and media professionals, draw from their cases?

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Apple Keeps Blocking Drone Strike App

According to Wired, developer Josh Begley just can’t seem to get his app approved. It’s nothing but a harmless little add-on that sends a pop-up message to users every time the United States conducts a fatal unmanned drone strike somewhere in the world, yet Apple has rejected it three times in the last month alone.

Josh says he doesn’t understand–the app doesn’t display photos of collateral damage, and it runs on data provided by the U.K.’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, so it’s public information. The company’s original objections centered on functionality, but their motives appear to be shifting–on the last occasion, they noted that the content may be offensive to some users. We can understand a bit of confusion, considering the fact that Apple considers up to 10,000 new apps for its store every week, but Begley is suspicious.

This wouldn’t happen to have anything to do with the PR interests of the Pentagon, now would it, Apple?

Creative Work Ideas Come From Unlikely Sources

While creativity has long been a mystery, lately researchers have been unlocking keys to the creative process and dispelling some common myths. Jonah Lehrer, Wired contributing editor and author of Imagine: How Creativity Works shared findings about personal creativity and group collaboration during a presentation at the Advertising Research Foundation‘s (ARF) Re:think conference on Monday in New York.

Public relations ranks as the top creative services job in U.S. News’ recent report, underscoring its creative component. So understanding the secrets of creativity can be valuable the next time you’re asked to come up with a big idea. As it turns out, daydreaming, diversions, and random conversations all play a role.

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Liveblogging, Blackouts, and Protests! The Internet Takes On SOPA

Top row l to r: Google, Converseon, Craigslist. Bottom row l to r: Wikipedia, Wired, and Google. Click here to get a better look at Google’s infographic.

We are losing the Internet, site by site. Google has a big black box on its logo. Wikipedia is dark. And dozens of New Yorkers may be out on the street because they can’t get to the rental listings on Craigslist.

Websites are taking their opposition to SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) to the Web, protesting the bill by demonstrating what they think will happen should it go into effect. Still a little fuzzy on what it all means? Fast Company has got a quick summary here. A few other screenshots are available on Poynter.org.

The Guardian is liveblogging the protest, updating this webpage with a list of sites that are joining in. A full list of participants and how to turn your site into a site of protest is available on the SOPAStrike site.

After the jump, we’ve got a poll to gather your thoughts on the impact that SOPA would have on your business.

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