All posts by ericancker

This Week in #SocialTV: Google’s Trojan Horse and the Battle for Second Screen


While Twitter and Facebook argue over who has more Klout, Google sends in a Trojan horse packed with YouTube’s Music Awards to ambush the kingdom of Social TV.

“Twitter and Facebook raced to tell the news media about the throngs who shared their instant reactions to the show [Breaking Bad’s finale] on the social networks.”  “Neither Facebook nor Twitter has disclosed how much revenue it makes from advertising related to TV, and some industry experts doubt they are earning much.”  “There’s definitely a lot of hype, and maybe one day they’ll live up to it all,” he [Jason Kint, senior vice president for the CBS Corporation’s interactive division] said. “But I certainly don’t see it taking away ad share from television.”

“Facebook this week will begin sending weekly reports to primetime TV networks, sharing data about how many “actions” — likes, comments, shares — each of their TV shows receive.”  “Twitter, though smaller and less diverse (the site sees a disproportionate number of young female users CBS’s chief researcher officer told The WSJ), is for now ahead of Facebook in terms of making a business out of the social TV data it has on hand.”,2817,2425030,00.asp

Three reasons why Facebook can’t beat Twitter for Social TV

“Forget Facebook and Twitter for a minute, if you will. With the YouTube Music Awards, Google’s big social TV move could have some symbolic collateral damage, namely to the stalwarts of the entertainment industry.”  “If you’re Google, you’re sitting on a three ingredient formula for success: resources sufficient to craft your very own hyped-up award show, the online network to broadcast it over and, bettered by its recent splicing of Google+ DNA into YouTube comments, the social network to control the conversation.

That’s not just major brand buzz and a ton of traffic—it’s a data goldmine.”

“Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo stated publicly that Twitter has the ability to extend the reach of television, with the number of tweets about specific shows multiplying as much as 100 times during first-run broadcasts.”  “Nielsen found that in 29% of episode instances, more tweets actually resulted in higher viewership, showing an actual causal relationship between social media usage and viewership. The findings are interesting because they push the notion that Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites can sell more advertising to major broadcast entities to push fan engagement.”  “In the end, a marketer’s ability to connect to consumers at the right time, on any device, across all channels will be the support that drives their business to either survive or die.”

“If you’ve never seen Modern Family, or heard of the hit show you might not even know it’s only a syndication launch with the network’s smart, social-TV savvy launch strategy.  Here are the details from [USA Network]:

  • An entire social community” for their newest fans called Mofy Nation
  • Modern Family Sync – every episode has a sync for fans to access as they watch.
  • Sunday night is the pièce de résistance for fans. From 9pm to 11pm, viewers can play Modern Family Live”

“Cinnabon heard it was part of the episode and joined the social TV conversation.”  “Within minutes, our team had found the twitter account to actor Mr. Bob Odenkirk who plays Saul, and proposed a tweet to the team: let us know when you’re ready to talk frosting #breakingbad”  “We want to be a part of a relevant relationship with the fans that make up our brand communities. It’s important that we’re relevant to them in other parts of their lives that aren’t directly brand focused.”  “Twitter doesn’t wait for tomorrow.”

This Week in #Journalism: Kick-Ass Journalism à la Carte


Hersh says be Breitbartier, Bezos says be Amazonian, Best says be Kick-Ass and Democrats and Republican finally agree on something.

“When a journalist as well known as Seymour Hersh blasts his colleagues and recommends, in essence, that journalism must become what Andrew Breitbart fought for in the field, the mainstream media have no choice but to at least hear him.”  As Hersh says in his interview, “…just do something different, do something that gets people mad at you, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Jeff Bezos’ customer-focused vision: “Does this mean give the customer what they want to read? Should editors choose stories that will be popular? It would mean giving up editorial control to the fickle themes of popular culture, and the loss of an editorial voice — the single most important feature that distinguishes and defines any newspaper.”  “Focusing on the customer is wonderful if you are a retailer because it’s easy to know what they want: low prices, speedy delivery, quick resolution of problems. The newspaper business is different.”

Filmmaker Charles Ferguson–director nonfiction film for CNN about Hillary Clinton: “After painful reflection, I decided that I couldn’t make a film of which I would be proud,” he wrote in the Huffington Post. “And so I’m canceling.”  “Neither political party wanted the film made,”  “the objection seems to be to journalism itself–and a sign that politicians believe that from here on out they will be able to run campaigns without bothering to deal at all with media that haven’t been paid for.”

Kathy Best, the new editor of The Seattle Times, “all of us in this room need to stay laser-focused on our mission: producing useful, meaningful, kick-ass journalism that readers can’t get anywhere else,” Jack Broom reports. Among her goals:  “Sunday newspapers that showcase elegant storytelling, along with watchdog and investigative stories” and “content that creates a strong sense of place, and connection to the community.”

“The conundrum in journalism today is that most people are not willing to pay anything for content. At the same time, there is a small pool of consumers that is willing to pay a large amount of money to see a story covered or content produced on a specific topic.”  “With crowdfunding, these same journalists can sell their journalism directly to readers without news organizations as mediators. Perhaps more importantly, it could be a model for true a la carte journalism consumption. Which is going to become more and more important as consumership gets atomized.” “That iTunes model of news all over again. It worked for music. We’re very close to finding out if it will work for journalism.”

This Week in #SocialTV: Emmys, Apps, Spoilers and Ads


The 2013 Emmys was the most social program on TV, The NFL Amplifyed with Twitter, Next Guide went to iPhone and If you didn’t want to know what happened, you should’ve installed Spoiler Shield.

“Data from SocialGuide, which measures the social media conversation around TV shows, called the Emmys the most social program on TV, with 924,667 Tweets in the U.S. alone, up 48% on last year’s event, according to AARP.”

“It turns out that two-thirds of in-program social TV use happens during the commercial breaks, according to a study by research group The Pool (a division within VivaKi).”

“TV still rules the living room when it comes to how we spend our time, according to a survey carried out on behalf of Panasonic. Brits spend nearly twice as much time watching TV as we do on social networking websites. The average Brit spends about 2.5 hours (156 minutes) watching television per day, while they spend on average about 75 minutes on Facebook and just 20 on Twitter.”

“Showtime this summer became perhaps the first network to introduce an interactive in-show experience for smart TVs, embedding social functionality within the show itself rather than asking viewers to synchronize smartphone and tablet apps to programming.”

“According to the Wall Street Journal yesterday, the National Football League has reached a deal with Twitter to use the social network’s Amplify product to make highlights and other content available to users both during and after games.”

“Anthony E. Zuiker, creator of the ubiquitous “CSI” franchise, has been busy plotting more murders — but not for TV. Having built a devoted Twitter following for his reality murder mystery series “Whodunnit?” on ABC, the mystery master started organizing online competitions, inviting fans to solve fictional “murders” on Twitter for points and prizes.”

Positioning emerging TV: “Do: Create Social experiences from the ground level up. The bigger game is crafting digital social TV integrations at all levels of the production process and not just as an afterthought. This would be truly Social TV.”

“TV ads are more relevant now than ever if they fit into the social dialogue that is happening every second. It’s just up to marketers and their agencies to capture people’s attention so they want to talk about the ads…in a positive light.”

“Five great, ongoing social TV strategies that have worked to engage viewers over the summer and leading into the fall . . .”

Apps Apps Apps

“Spoiler Shield, blocks spoilers on Facebook and Twitter. It has built-in “shields” for more than 30 TV shows, including most hit dramas; several reality competition shows including “The Amazing Race” and “Top Chef”; and “WWE Raw.” The games of all NFL and Major League Baseball teams are also included.”

“[Vokl TV beta 1.0] A new social TV app is set to change the way in which many TV viewers enjoy this pastime, as it will make it easier for fans of shows to engage with one another, thus taking audience participation and engagement to a whole new level. The new app is set to be hugely popular amongst fans of TV shows and social media, making TV more fun, more engaging, and more interactive.”

“[NextGuide] which melds live TV listings with ways to search for and stream video from online operators, follows its iPad and Web version with one specifically for iPhones running iOS 7.”

This Week in #Journalism: Why Viral is Important to Keeping Journalism Alive


Even with a viral injection, online journalism can’t survive this “era of creative destruction” without a Bezos booster.  What about comments?  Are they good for you or a harmful carcinogen?  Will annotation be the cure?  At least this “golden age” of journalism is keeping advertisers healthy.

“It’s always been true to some extent, but it is even more true now — serious online journalism requires something else to subsidize it, whether it’s a rich benefactor or cat GIFs and slideshows.”

“Journalism is being adapted, rethought and reconstructed in thousands of ways in far more places than can easily be grasped. In short, there is enough experiment in train to be optimistic that economic sustainability will be found even if the experiments have a high failure rate.”

“What is happening now is wonderful for journalism and the world,” Blodget said Monday at the IAB MIXX conference in New York. “The world is vastly better informed than it ever has been in history.”  “Advertisers, too, have more options and flexibility than ever, Blodget added, arguing that marketers can still pursue newspapers and TV as well as new digital upstarts to find the audiences they’re looking for.”

Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti on why viral videos are as vital as investigative journalism [Video]

In Comments News:

“Website [Popular Science] says comments harm debate, while YouTube begins integration with Google+ to bring friends and ‘popular personalities’ to greater visibility – and hide random remarks”

“It’s a fascinating alternative-history proposition: would a world of annotations, rather than comments, inspired in part by Jacques Derrida, have set the Web on a different course? Social media might look very different; you can easily imagine an alternate version of Facebook and Twitter made up of people who regularly annotate certain sites across the Web.”

“The New York Times gave us not one but two stories this weekend that lead with a lamentation over the state of Internet commenting. “The most obnoxious development of the Web, the wild back alleys where people sound their acid yawps,” wrote Michael Erard on Friday. “The most slimy and vitriolic stuff you could imagine, places where people snipe, jeer and behave like a frenzied mob,” said Nick Bilton on Sunday.”

This Week in #SocialTV: Is Accuracy an Important Part of Twitter’s Metrics?


Twitter posts some bad data, then posts some more bad data.  Twitter inaccuracies . . . sound familiar?  Sounds like Social TV and Journalism have a common beef.  In other news, Sony tries second screen with video games, user generated video Lands on live TV and . . . Google solves death.

“[Twitter’s] blog posted bad metrics Wednesday, then posted new metrics after those numbers were questioned, then explained the changes today.

The post now says one company was the most mentioned brand during London Fashion Week with almost 10,000 mentions. Then it goes on to say another company has 13,000 mentions.”

“Sony has been busy working on a smartphone app that will allow you to stream parts of games from your PlayStation 4 straight to your handset.  The app offers up a whole lot of uses, including access to trophy information and social feeds, but the most interesting aspect is that you will be able to use the app to interact with mini-games on the PS4.”

“Today, Time magazine broke the news that Google and its CEO Larry Page are funding a company that will try to extend human lifespan and solve the diseases of aging.  Page joins other wealthy technologists who have signed up to fund the anti-aging quest. Billionaire Larry Ellison funds anti-aging research at a foundation he set up. And there’s been talk in Silicon Valley X Prize for how to freeze human remains so they can be revived in the future.”

“TV Land begins to evovle and shift towards becoming a social and user generated experience with Vine and Instagram video integration.”  “Norwegian technology start-up “” has recently been first to take the screen back to its roots- User Generated Video content that can be integrated direct and in real time with Vine and Instagram Video.”

Social TV is largely becoming synonymous with Twitter due to its scaled open platform, despite the presence of several specialized apps such as GetGlue, Viggle, IntoNow, Shazam, Zeebox, and NextGuide, who were looking to capitalize on the growing trend of TV viewers interacting with social media in real-time.”

“Building steadily throughout its opener and growing year over year, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars ranked as Monday’s most-watched TV show, drawing the biggest audience for any TV series telecast since 5/14/13. Dancing was up from its year-ago season opener by 15% in Total Viewers and by 28% in Adults 18-49, marking the show’s strongest telecast since March 18, 2013.”

This Week in #Journalism: Oops is the New Norm


Well, it happened again.  News organizations were too busy reporting to worry about the truth.  Oops.  In the world of vetted sources, Reuters kills it’s Next big thing, All Things D’s co-editors leave for greener pastures and Sheboygan High drops it’s 178 year old print edition.

A Tragic Mess

“Breaking news is never pretty — anyone who hungers for facts and speed during a story as fluid as Monday’s shootings in Washington, D.C., is asking for a lot. Still, there were some notable screwups today, like…

  • Identifying suspect without official confirmation
  • Reporting numbers
  • Describing shooter’s race
  • Quoting police scanners

“Mistaken reporting on big, breaking events has become almost standard in the social-
media age.”  “We’ve gotten into a situation where the media’s standard operating procedure has become report first, confirm second and correct third,” said Dave Statter, a veteran TV news reporter who maintains, a Web site that reports on police and emergency services.

“Seriously, just ignore us. Wait it out. We’re wrong. We’ll keep on being wrong. File “mesmorizing” with “igon values” in the lexicon of accidentally valuable terminology. We’re all mesmorized. Those alarming yet tedious hours between something horrible happening and anyone figuring out what it was—forget about it, unless you’re in the vicinity. The only positive development this time was that the Reddit investigative thread immediately turned into a forum for abusing would-be investigators, then shut down entirely. Who did it? Piggy Poopballs did it. Reddit wins the news cycle.”

Other News

“Next is a long way from achieving either commercial viability or strategic success. In fact, I believe the existing suite of sites is a better starting point for where we need to go,” Chief Executive Andrew Rashbass wrote. “Therefore, I have decided to cancel the Next project and put our efforts into enhancing and improving the existing sites. We will repurpose as much of the Next development work as we can for that.”

All Things D’s split: “First things first: We’re keeping the Steelcase hot-seat red chairs. Forever. In fact, we own quite a few now.

And we’ll still be scooping and reviewing all things digital right here, at this Web address, for a few more months.”

“After a combined 178 years of producing printed copies of their school newspapers, Sheboygan North and South high schools have moved solely to online versions this school year.”  “We’re always attempting to model what is going on outside the world of education so we can prepare students for entrance into either college or the workforce,” North High Principal Jason Bull said.

This Week in #SocialTV: The New Black


Social TV is the new black and it’s growing exponentially, Facebook is trying to boost Social TV mentions and Twitter files IPO papers.

“Overall, Social TV grew 363% in 2012. There were 874 Million social media comments about TV programs in 2012, compared to 189 Million in 2011.” (Bluefin Labs)

“Following the lead of Facebook and other Internet companies whose fortunes depend on an enormous user base, Twitter has been cautious about turning its service into a money-maker so far, with ads few and far between on the site. So how does it make money, and why might it be worth so much?”

“Facebook wants a piece of Twitter’s “social TV” action, but what does that mean for you?”  “Keyword Insights scans all Facebook content – even the private stuff! – to compile aggregate information about a specific term over a specific period of time in the last twelve days. However, Keyword Insights does not associate results with individual Facebook users or provide access to the posted content. So, a media company could determine how many people have entered the hashtag #samcro (often used by Sons of Anarchy fans) in the last 24 hours, but they won’t get a the actual posts to know whether they’re good, bad, indifferent, or just typos.”

“The new [Facebook] tools allow select partners — including Buzzfeed, CNN, NBC’s Today Show, BSkyB and Slate — to use the tools to show the number of Facebook posts that mention a specific word over a period of time, including a demographic breakdown for the people talking about that topic.”

“Twitter Inc., the microblogging service with more than 200 million members worldwide, filed to go public, moving closer to the most highly anticipated offering since Facebook Inc.”  “This is obviously one of the seminal IPOs that the industry has been waiting for,” Byron Deeter, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

This Week in #Journalism: Journalism’s Great Riptide


As the journalism business struggles, Tina Brown splits The Beast to go solo.  Meanwhile, “an oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology, from 1980 to the present” is published but where’s the diversity?

“Journalism is doing fine; the journalism business is struggling.”

“[Tina] Brown, 59, said in a statement that she would start Tina Brown Live Media, which will focus on building up the Women in the World conferences she has been organizing and running for several years.”


“Indeed, if one were to eavesdrop on a gathering of traditional journalists deploring the state of the news media, it would be easy to conclude that without high-quality journalism, American democracy would be hugely diminished.”

“It’s true that men continue to dominate the top ranks of the journalism industry, but Riptide is more lopsided than even the most depressing newsroom demographics: Of the 61 people interviewed for the project, only five are women.”

“Jeanne Brooks, the digital director of the Online News Association, and Sabrina Hersi Issa, a media entrepreneur and Roosevelt Institute Pipeline fellow, are searching for funding to create a report that includes a full, diverse spectrum of change-makers in digital journalism. They hope to compile and launch it next year.”

This Week in #SocialTV: The Social TV Wars – Twitter Wins.

Twitter wins the war.  Well, nobody else has figured out how to tap millions at a time.  But just because Nielsen can measure Twitter doesn’t mean it’s important.  Ooh, don’t forget about Chromecast, it’s connected to everything.

“When marketers talk about “social TV,” they’re usually referring to Twitter.”  “Until social TV platforms can figure out a way to tap into the conversations, tastes and actions of millions of people at any one time, the data, insights and ad opportunities they can offer probably won’t come close to Twitter’s. For that reason alone, Twitter continues to provide the most interesting opportunity when it comes to social TV.”

“Just because you can measure something doesn’t make it important.”

“Nielsen has just released a major study for the social TV world. The study “proves there is a causal relationship between Twitter conversation and TV ratings — the volume of Tweets influences the number of TV viewers,”  as described by Twitter’s communications team referencing Nielsen’s big announcement.”

“the channels consumer marketers use most frequently for distributing content are Facebook (90 percent), Twitter (69 percent) and YouTube (65 percent), despite the fact that 77 percent of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email over any other channel”

“ITV today announced the launch of its new and improved website, The redesigned site transforms the user experience for digital content around ITV’s portfolio of programmes, launching with This Morning on Friday 6th September 2013 with further programme sites to launch in due course.”

“How Chromecast fundamentally changed how my family watches TV” “For me, the remote control has been my historical starting point, but Chromecast is liberating because it’s invisibly tied to my omnipresent devices.”

“During The White Queen’s premiere week, then network saw a score of 80, their highest yet. That means that per post, there were 80 engagements for every 1,000 fans on The White Queen page. “We successfully worked on a paid and earned strategy,” Dwyer [Starz Executive Director of Digital Marketing]

This Week in #Journalism: If You Bundle it, They Will Come.


Bezos thinks bundling is the answer.  What’s the problem with Twitter?  Is data science the goal of the new Post?  Does anything even matter when aggregators can summarize your work?  And what about history?  Is it history?

“People will buy a package,” Bezos told staffers, according to the Post. “They will not pay for a story.”

“Jay Rosen argues that news evolved to tell people about important events that happened in places they weren’t. But time can create distance as powerfully as space can.”

“Thompson [NY Times CEO] shares a bit more about the Times’ project-in-progress Need 2 Know.”  “the problem with Twitter is you don’t just get the news, you get everything else as well: uncorroborated but potentially precious eye-witness testimony and citizen journalism, but also rumour, speculation, disinformation, propaganda, lies and general nuttiness.”  “One statistic that is still startling even if, by now, it’s hardly surprising: In 2000, The New York Times generated $204 million in help-wanted advertising. In 2012? $13 million, a decline of 94 percent.”

“Erik Wemple breaks a huge media-corruption story for the Washington Post, and unfortunately for his employer, it’s about the Post itself.” “reports that the Chinese wall between advertising and editorial at the Washington Post Magazine, the paper’s thin little Sunday insert, is being seriously breached. Two stories from the August 11 education issue—one on college drinking and one on benefits for gay spouses of higher-ed workers— were pulled from the issue”  “If there’s a silver lining here, it’s Wemple, who takes it to his own employer as if they weren’t signing his paychecks. That’s brave on his part, but it also reflects well on the Post for letting him do so.”

“Contemporary journalism has a horrendous habit of considering history superfluous. If an event happened more than two—maybe three, if you’re lucky—decades ago, it’s impertinent. We just want the “facts,” and we want them now. No nuance, no complexity, and, Ford forbid, please no ambiguity. Ahistorical “journalism” is the norm; historical framing is abnormal.”  “Ignoring all of this history is ignoring reality. We can’t consider the stories we read in the corporate media real “journalism” when they ignore the very historical phenomena responsible for them coming into being. Contemporary “news” sources report on Assad as the “brutal dictator” (that he is) as though we had nothing to do with his rise to power. ”

“Data science.” In other words, not just the accumulation of data enabled by the ever-growing amounts of computing power, bandwidth, and storage we have available to us, but the smart application of it to reshape products, businesses, and industries in a continuous cycle of evolution and improvement.” “Ultimately, you need to have an idea of what your publication stands for and who you are as a journalist. Minus those lodestones, data can provide no guidance. But if you know who you want to reach and what you hope to do for them, there’s no question in my mind that data can help you fill in the map as you travel to your destination.”

“An awful lot of journalists I’ve spoken to over the years with background in old media think they know what’s wrong with the news business in the internet era, and I think they’ll be heartened to learn that Jeff Bezos agrees with them. The problem is that aggregators at the Huffington Post can summarize your hard work”

“On a complicated, fast-forward planet enveloped in information, journalists who thrive will be those who offer news consumers the same sense of trust that a skilled mountain guide provides to climbers after an avalanche. A sure trail cannot be guaranteed, but an honest effort can. Cronkite’s “That’s the way it is” no longer applies. Authority will derive less from an established media brand than through the constant scrutiny of the crowd. Effectiveness and impact may still come sometimes through a competitive scoop, but more often through collaborative networks in which insights flow in many directions.”