From the Digital NewFronts: 15 Shows for AOL, Start-Up Doc for WSJ and More

Curt-Hecht-2This week, all of the top media companies in the US have gathered together in New York City to present their digital content to potential advertisers. It’s the online version of the TV Upfronts, which they’ve dubbed The Digital Content NewFronts.

Here’s a brief overview of what’s in the works.

The Wall Street Journal

Did you know that WSJ creates more than 100 hours of video content every month. I had no idea. Now, they’re pushing even further into that area with several exciting new shows including WorldStream, a short-form Vlog platform for international journalists. The one I’m most interested in is “WSJ Startup of the Year.” In this series, which premieres in June, 25 aspiring entrepreneurs will have a chance to pitch their best idea to mentors such as Sir Richard Branson, Ray Kurzweil of Google and Carly Fiorina, chairman Good360.

Fab Gives Up the Flash In Hopes of Bringing in More Cash

fab androidImagine if Ikea and Amazon got together and had a baby – that would be Fab.com.

Two years ago, founder Jason Goldberg launched Fabulis, a social media network for gay men. In June 2011, he and his partner tossed that idea, shortened the name and came back as a flash sale site with the emphasis on quirky housewares. As Fab.com, they raised over $105 million in start-up capital on a company valued at $600 million. Not bad.

Some would be worried about the short-term, wide swing, but not Goldberg.

“I tell start-ups that if you can’t figure out something in a year, it won’t work. You can’t iterate forever.”

Fast forward to April 2013 and Goldberg is taking his own advice again but at least this time, the shift is a little more subtle.

Twitter Self-Serve Ad Platform Now Available to All in US

screenshot_baristabar-500px_1Despite the confusing title to the blog post, Twitter ads are available to all in the US (does the title “Twitter Ads now generally available for U.S. users” sound odd as if it was available to ‘just about’ everyone or is it just me?).

Anyway, Twitter self-serve ads can be had by all. From the post we get

When we built our self-service ad platform last March, our goal was to create an experience that would be powerful and also extremely easy for anybody to use. Whether you’re an individual looking to grow your personal brand, or an online retailer looking to increase sales, Twitter’s ad platform has the right products to help achieve your unique goals.

Twitter Doesn’t Exactly Instill Confidence in Memo to Journalists

imagessources-unreliableTwitter has taken a bit of a reputation ding after the hijacking of the AP Twitter account last week. Financial markets dipped and now federal attention is being given to the activities to see who profited from this event.

The result has been the promise, or the rumor, of a two step authentication process. Uhhh, those are nice words but until it’s in place and works it means absolutely nothing. Now to add to the uncertainty that surrounds the security of a Twitter account and, as a result, the reliability of the service in ‘reporting’ the news (God help us if Twitter is actually seen as a reliable breaking news source ever but it seems inevitable) is the following memo sent to journalists trying to help them protect their Twitter accounts.

BuzzFeed provided the contents of the memo and here it is.

Small Business Owners Say Mobile Devices Are Vital to Their Business

tablet useSmall business owners are like moms, they have to be all things to all people and like moms, they depend on mobile devices to get it all done. AT&T says that 63% of the small business owners  could not survive or it would be a major challenge to go on without wireless technology.

Tablet usage, in particular, is on the rise. 69% of businesses with under 50 employees use them. When you move up to the larger companies (51 to 99 employees) usage pops up to 90%.

The survey also found that tablets were extremely popular with new business owners. 80% of companies under two years old use them, compared to 69% of companies that have been around more than two years.

Has Facebook Peaked in Popularity? Depends on Who You Ask

1334984_22895442“Facebook has lost nearly 9m monthly visitors in the US and 2m in the UK.” That’s from an article in Sunday’s edition of The Guardian. The author pulled the number from Socialbakers and goes on to say that Facebook numbers are dropping in several other countries including Canada, Spain, France, Germany and Japan.

Maybe and maybe not.

Socialbakers, the source of the data, posted a counter argument today saying that the article in The Guardian is wrong.

We state, quite clearly, on our site that these figures are rough estimates and cannot be used to determine Facebook traffic. Again, we explained this to The Guardian when they published a similar story some months ago.

To other journalists out there, the same thing applies to the UK and US Facebook stats as it did three months ago:

Creating a Winning Mobile Strategy for Your Business

mobile strategyThink about how much the Internet has changed the way we communicate and collaborate, shop and socialize, the business models it has disrupted as well as the new ones it has created. And now we’re seeing the next evolution of the web in the palm of our hands, on our mobile phones.

Over the past 6 months, I’ve become an evangelist for mobile. I’ve seen how much I’m increasingly using my phone and I’m sure you have too – and so have your potential customers.

Did you know that:

  • Half of U.S. adults own a smart phone, which is a 10-point increase in just one year.
  • This year, the U.S. will pass 200 million mobile Internet users, nearly tripling the number from 2010.