Archive for September, 2012

Making Visible the Invisible: Meaning, Not Content, Matters in Social Data

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

There is no question that in today’s connected world — where few activities go untracked and undigitized — social data is everywhere, being generated by the terabyte. Fast on the heels of social data are innumerable ideas for harnessing it. But all too often the focus seems to be on the vastness of data, the wow-factor of its proliferation, the fear-factor of its invasiveness. Lost from the discussion is that social data is not like other data — it cannot be calibrated, is often ambiguous, and the traditional tools of data analysis may not apply. Given the buzz about Facebook’s data trove, you might think the only use for social data is to tap into consumers’ likes and dislikes. However, the potential to use social data extends far beyond consumer marketing. The free-flowing streams of data generated as people conduct their business and personal lives online hold insights into new ways to address old business issues and to discover new ones.

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Twitter’s Comings and Goings: Beefing Up Big Apple Engineering While Shuffling Cali Design Talent

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the last installment of “As Twitter Turns,” I reported on a number of key hires and departures in the company’s recent past. Three months later, and Twitter continues to shuffle around its team members — from coast to coast. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: In addition to having a respectable sales team on the East Coast, Twitter has an engineering office in New York City. That was formed when Twitter acquired Julpan , a search and social analytics start-up, almost a year ago to the day . That outfit, led by search guru Ori Allon, became what is now known as Twitter’s Search and Discovery Team, and has led the effort for the past year to improve Twitter’s Discovery tab — the section inside Twitter’s apps and Web site that surfaces your most relevant tweets based on your network. And you may have noticed that on Friday, the team launched the latest iteration of the Discovery tab , so users will now see a continuous stream of tweets. Former Twitter director of engineering Ori Allon. That seems to have been Allon’s last major project. He is leaving the company , according to a tweet he sent on Friday morning. He has not announced plans beyond this, outside of “more coming soon.” Twitter didn’t have a comment, outside of directing me to Allon’s own tweet on his departure. Twitter’s new Search and Relevance head, Ruslan Belkin. The candidate who will fill his position: Ruslan Belkin, Twitter’s Director of Engineering in charge of Search and Relevance. Twitter hired Belkin back in March , snagging him away from LinkedIn, where he also worked on similar search and relevance surfacing algorithms inside the professional networking company. Belkin will continue to improve upon the Discovery tab, with aid from the bi-coastal Sara Mauskopf, the product manager who announced the Discovery update on the Twitter blog Friday morning. Twitter isn’t just shuffling around new blood in New York. On Thursday, two designers — Mark Otto and Dave Gamache — left the company , along with engineer Ian Ownbey (that picture below is the three of them walking home on their last day at Twitter). I asked around on Thursday evening, and most have been pretty tight-lipped as to exactly why the three left the company. Image courtesy of Ian Chan's Twitter feed.

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Twitter’s Comings and Goings: Beefing Up Big Apple Engineering While Shuffling Cali Design Talent

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the last installment of “As Twitter Turns,” I reported on a number of key hires and departures in the company’s recent past. Three months later, and Twitter continues to shuffle around its team members — from coast to coast. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: In addition to having a respectable sales team on the East Coast, Twitter has an engineering office in New York City. That was formed when Twitter acquired Julpan , a search and social analytics start-up, almost a year ago to the day . That outfit, led by search guru Ori Allon, became what is now known as Twitter’s Search and Discovery Team, and has led the effort for the past year to improve Twitter’s Discovery tab — the section inside Twitter’s apps and Web site that surfaces your most relevant tweets based on your network. And you may have noticed that on Friday, the team launched the latest iteration of the Discovery tab , so users will now see a continuous stream of tweets. Former Twitter director of engineering Ori Allon. That seems to have been Allon’s last major project. He is leaving the company , according to a tweet he sent on Friday morning. He has not announced plans beyond this, outside of “more coming soon.” Twitter didn’t have a comment, outside of directing me to Allon’s own tweet on his departure. Twitter’s new Search and Relevance head, Ruslan Belkin. The candidate who will fill his position: Ruslan Belkin, Twitter’s Director of Engineering in charge of Search and Relevance. Twitter hired Belkin back in March , snagging him away from LinkedIn, where he also worked on similar search and relevance surfacing algorithms inside the professional networking company. Belkin will continue to improve upon the Discovery tab, with aid from the bi-coastal Sara Mauskopf, the product manager who announced the Discovery update on the Twitter blog Friday morning. Twitter isn’t just shuffling around new blood in New York. On Thursday, two designers — Mark Otto and Dave Gamache — left the company , along with engineer Ian Ownbey (that picture below is the three of them walking home on their last day at Twitter). I asked around on Thursday evening, and most have been pretty tight-lipped as to exactly why the three left the company. Image courtesy of Ian Chan's Twitter feed. Again, Twitter declined to comment.

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Twitter’s Comings and Goings: Beefing Up Big Apple Engineering While Shuffling Cali Design Talent

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the last installment of “As Twitter Turns,” I reported on a number of key hires and departures in the company’s recent past. Three months later, and Twitter continues to shuffle around its team members — from coast to coast. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: In addition to having a respectable sales team on the East Coast, Twitter has an engineering office in New York City. That was formed when Twitter acquired Julpan , a search and social analytics start-up, almost a year ago to the day . That outfit, led by search guru Ori Allon, became what is now known as Twitter’s Search and Discovery Team, and has led the effort for the past year to improve Twitter’s Discovery tab — the section inside Twitter’s apps and Web site that surfaces your most relevant tweets based on your network. And you may have noticed that on Friday, the team launched the latest iteration of the Discovery tab , so users will now see a continuous stream of tweets. Former Twitter director of engineering Ori Allon

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Twitter’s Comings and Goings: Beefing Up Big Apple Engineering While Shuffling Cali Design Talent

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the last installment of “As Twitter Turns,” I reported on a number of key hires and departures in the company’s recent past. Three months later, and Twitter continues to shuffle around its team members — from coast to coast. Here’s something you probably didn’t know: In addition to having a respectable sales team on the East Coast, Twitter has an engineering office in New York City. That was formed when Twitter acquired Julpan , a search and social analytics start-up, almost a year ago to the day . That outfit, led by search guru Ori Allon, became what is now known as Twitter’s Search and Discovery Team, and has led the effort for the past year to improve Twitter’s Discovery tab — the section inside Twitter’s apps and Web site that surfaces your most relevant tweets based on your network. And you may have noticed that on Friday, the team launched the latest iteration of the Discovery tab , so users will now see a continuous stream of tweets. Former Twitter director of engineering Ori Allon. That seems to have been Allon’s last major project. He is leaving the company , according to a tweet he sent on Friday morning. He has not announced plans beyond this, outside of “more coming soon.” Twitter didn’t have a comment, outside of directing me to Allon’s own tweet on his departure

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‘Elementary,’ My Dear Nielsen

September 28, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CBS last night rolled to a decisive ratings victory, as its hybridized comedy-procedural lineup led to a strong series debut at 10 p.m. Per preliminary Nielsen data, CBS’s new Sherlock Holmes reboot Elementary delivered 13.3 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the adults 18-to-49 demo, improving on its Person of Interest lead-in (2.9) and the year-ago season opener of former time slot occupant The Mentalist (2.8). Elementary breezed to a win in the hour, besting ABC’s sophomore drama Scandal (7.01 million viewers/2.1) and NBC’s prime time newsmagazine show, Rock Center with Brian Williams (4.17 million/1.2). Scandal ’s half-hour numbers may be cause for concern; more than 1 million viewers tuned away in the latter part of the hour and the demo fell 20 percent (2.5 to 2.0). With 13 series premieres on the books, Elementary now stands as the No. 2 reach vehicle—CBS’s freshman series Vegas bowed Tuesday night to 14.9 million viewers—and No. 4 among the 18-to-49 set. NBC’s Revolution leads all comers with its opening salvo (4.1). CBS got things started with the return of The Big Bang Theory (15.3 million/4.8) and Two and Half Men (12.4 million/3.5)

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Kieran Darcy-Smith to helm ‘Helena’

September 28, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Mandeville Films producing Matt Cook's Black List script

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Apple: Here Are Some Map Apps That Actually Work

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

When Tim Cook said this morning that Apple is doing everything it can to make its not-quite-ready-for-primetime Maps app better, he took the unusual step of directing frustrated users to alternative applications and Web-based services from the company’s rivals. Now the company has gone a step further and begun promoting those alternatives on the iTunes App Store . This morning a new “Featured” catgory appeared in the App Store: “Find maps for your iPhone/iPad.” It showcases mapping apps from MapQuest, Microsoft’s Bing and TeleNav, among others and it’s being promoted on the front page of the storefront. Another unusual move. Unprecedented, too. But it’s a very savvy one from a PR standpoint. It reinforces the idea that the company cares about the user experience and makes Cooks apology that much more genuine. And while it doesn’t make the pain of this particular debacle any easier to bear for Apple, the fact that the company is taking a cut of the sales on the mapping apps it’s recommending certainly doesn’t hurt any.

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Rivet & Sway Eyeing Big Opportunity to Sell Prescription Glasses Online

September 28, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Rivet & Sway believes it can carve out a niche in online prescription glasses, even though Warby Parker has an intimidating head start. Backed by $50 million in capital, Warby Parker has already created a name for itself, selling hip glasses to men and women at the bargain price of $95. After conducting nearly a year of research, Rivet & Sway was born with a slightly different modus operandi: Targeting time-starved women, at a slightly higher price point of $199. “Warby is an awesome proof point, but it seemed at the time to be focused on twenty-something hipsters,” said Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures. “That’s a big market, but it’s also a niche market — and from my standpoint, they are killing it right now.” Anderson believed that if Warby Parker could be successful within one segment of the population, then there was room for another company focused on a slightly older demographic – especially since people’s vision worsens as they age. “The market is plenty big for multiple players, especially when the incumbents aren’t looking at online as a channel,” he said. The company was officially started a year ago in Seattle, with John Lusk as founder and CEO. Anderson, along with Harrison Metal’s Michael Dearing, invested $1.3 million. Earlier this week, Lusk invited me to the company’s Pike Place Market offices to hear the Rivet & Sway story. By any definition, the operation can be considered thrifty: Rivet & Sway has only three employees, not including help from a handful of contractors, and it subleases a row of cubes from a real estate company. But you would never know it based on the consumer experience. Having launched commercially only six weeks ago, it’s obvious the company spent a lot of time thinking about all the details. It works the way you might expect: Women choose three frames from 23 styles (in three colors each), try them on at home, and order one they like with their prescription. The glasses then appear at their home within a week. All for $199. While it sounds simple, a lot of thought has gone on behind the scenes. Lusk said they determined that 23 styles was a big enough selection to satisfy most people without being overwhelming. And the sample box had to be limited to three frames to make it possible to ship back through the regular Postal Service — anything larger would require a trip to UPS or Federal Express, making it less convenient. The price was also a big consideration. Although it’s higher than Warby Parker’s, he said, research showed that women trusted a higher price. “There must be a problem if you are getting an $800 pair of glasses for $99 — they were thinking, ‘No way,’” he said. “At $150, they just started to get comfortable.” The higher price also allows the company to provide slightly better service. A stylist will conduct a Skype session with women to help them determine which three frames they should try on at home.

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‘Hotel Transylvania’ stakes No. 1 spot with $33 mil

September 28, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Sony toon shows strong pulse among box office newcomers

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