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Welcome to the 25th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and entrepreneur Rafat Ali. This week is the "Beyond the Book series":http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2011/10/special-series-beyond-the-book297.html at MediaShift, and keeping with that theme the podcast is all about Amazon.com. Rafat admits to being a fanboy of Amazon, with 5 Kindles bought and 1 on order. Special guests Laura Hazard Owen from PaidContent and author James Altucher talk about the growing power and convenience of Amazon in the book business.

On the plus side, Amazon delivers convenience, cheap prices and one-click online shopping. It also has lowered the prices for e-books and has a dead-simple Kindle e-reader, with the $199 Kindle Fire tablet on the way. But Amazon has also taken PR hits for its avoidance of sales taxes in many states, and the poor working conditions at a fulfillment center in Pennsylvania. On balance, is the book-selling behemoth doing a public service or harm?

Direct download: mediatwits25.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

Welcome to the 24th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and entrepreneur Rafat Ali. The hot topic is non-profit news sites and whether they can sustain themselves. A recent study was released from the Knight Foundation about the business health of some of these sites, and noted that they still need to experiment to find the right business model to survive. Special guests Mayur Patel from Knight and consultant Michele McLellan talked about their findings and bright spots at sites such as Texas Tribune and the St. Louis Beacon.

Also up for discussion was the amazing success of the iPhone 4S, with Apple selling 4 million of the phones in the first weekend on sale. With all that success, why did Wall Street knock Apple for last quarter's earnings miss? Plus, Google strikes back in mobile with "Ice Cream Sandwich," a new operating system that is sleeker, allows multi-tasking, and works the same on phones as tablets. Bonus futuristic feature: It can use face-recognition to unlock the phone.

Direct download: mediatwits24.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm EDT

Welcome to the 23rd episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and entrepreneur Rafat Ali. The main topic on this show is the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement, how the media has covered it, and the remarkable "Occupied Wall Street Journal" newspaper. Special guest Arun Gupta is the co-founder of the newspaper and explains the importance of a print publication in political circles. Plus, the head of audio at SoundCloud, Manolo Espinosa, explains how Occupy protesters and journalists have been using the service to capture audio at the protests.

Meanwhile, Netflix backed down on its plan to spin off a separate DVD rental service, Qwikster, so what does that mean in the streaming video wars? And a Pennsylvania newspaper decides to keep its pay wall up even during a flood when residents were clamoring for emergency information. Was the publisher really serving the public by not bringing down the wall at least temporarily?

Direct download: mediatwits23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:16pm EDT

Welcome to the 22nd episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and entrepreneur Rafat Ali. This week is a special edition dedicated to Steve Jobs, the technology visionary who died on Wednesday. The news spread quickly online and on social media, with so many heartfelt memories, stories and old videos. And of course, in death as in life, Jobs remained a polarizing figure, with so many admirers and so many haters. No one can deny he helped usher in the personal computing revolution, while later disrupting the music and telecom businesses and creating a whole new market for tablets.

The special guests this week are two Steve Jobs biographers: Alan Deutschman, who wrote "The Second Coming of Steve Jobs" in 2001; and Leander Kahney, who wrote "Inside Steve's Brain" in 2008. They're both eagerly anticipating the new biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson. The discussion also touched on the recent iPhone 4S announcement from Apple, and the tough shoes Tim Cook has to fill as Apple's CEO. Plus, how does the new Kindle Fire stack up to the iPad? Amazon fanboy Rafat Ali already has his on order.

Direct download: mediatwits22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:32pm EDT

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