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February 2012
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Syndication

Welcome to the 39th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Brightcove's Eric Elia, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. This week we convene a special roundtable to talk about one of our favorite subjects: cutting the cord to cable TV! We had hoped that a Comcast executive would join us, but he had to cancel at the last minute. Fortunately, we still had a stellar lineup of guests: Wall Street Journal's Ben Schechter, NewTeeVee's Ryan Lawler and Free Press' Jenn Ettinger.

The big news of the week was that cable giant Comcast announced its own streaming service called Xfinity Streampix, which is only offered to cable subscribers. They either pay $4.99 per month for the add-on service or it's free for people in the higher tiers of service. Will it keep people from cutting the cord and dumping Comcast? Also, Google has been laying fiber optic lines in Kansas City for a test run of a possible pay TV service. What does the search giant have up its sleeve?

Direct download: mediatwits39.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49pm EDT

Welcome to the 38th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Jillian York, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. First, we get a special on-the-ground report from special guest Mohamed El Dahshan in Tunisia, talking about a ruling expected from the country's Supreme Court about filtering the Internet. Mohamed also talks about how freedom of speech online briefly flourished in Tunisia and Egypt before being reined in. We also talked about the case of Hamza Kashgari, who could get executed in Saudi Arabia because of three tweets he wrote directed to the prophet Mohammed.

Next up was a discussion about Pinterest, the visual social networking site that has become a hit among people who like to do scrapbooks and bookmarking online. Special guest Courtney Lowery Cowgill, who wrote a popular story about Pinterest, tries to explain what makes the site so addictive -- and whether they can figure out a business model for it. Finally, we discuss recent moves by Apple responding to investigative reports about appalling conditions at its factories in China. The tech giant hired a labor monitoring group to do inspections at its Chinese factories, but will Apple take action or is this just whitewashing the problem?

Direct download: mediatwits38.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

Welcome to the 37th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Jillian York, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. It's been a crazy week in media + tech, with important mergers abounding! First up is the Center for Investigative Reporting announcing that it will try to merge with another non-profit, the Bay Citizen, making a powerhouse investigative team to cover local, state and national issues. We get all the key players in that deal as guests on the show: CIR chairman Phil Bronstein, CIR executive director Robert Rosenthal and Bay Citizen interim CEO Brian Kelley.

Next up, there's a merger of key tech sites, both started by Indian-born bloggers who turned them into startup businesses. GigaOm announced it was buying PaidContent from the Guardian for an undisclosed sum. The Guardian will get stock in GigaOm's parent company and get a seat on the board. Special guests Om Malik, founder of GigaOm and Staci Kramer, SVP at ContentNext (and sometimes co-host of Mediatwits), talked about the deal and how the "synergy" in this case didn't mean layoffs. And finally, we discussed the recent move by Twitter to censor some tweets in countries that had more stringent free speech controls. Was Twitter right to implement these rules?

Direct download: mediatwits37.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:04pm EDT

Welcome to the 36th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Dorian Benkoil, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. It's been a crazy week in media + tech, with Google privacy concerns, Amazon falling short in earnings, and much more. But the dominant news was Facebook filing for an IPO, with demand to read its S-1 crashing the SEC's servers. The startup had $3.7 billion in revenues, with $1 billion in profits last year, and showed tremendous growth in users and advertising. Can anything slow down the juggernaut on the way to raising $5 billion in a public offering? We talked to special guest Nick O'Neill, founder of AllFacebook.com, who was impressed with the user engagement on the social networking site.

This week was also the "Dive into Media" conference put on by AllThingsD in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Special guest Peter Kafka programmed the show and interviewed many of the top execs on stage. He told us about the challenge of interviewing Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, a former improv comedian, as well as the mix of old and new media at the show. Finally, Columbia University's Journalism School and Stanford University's Engineering School received a $30 million gift from Helen Gurley Brown to create a new Institute for Media Innovation, marking the largest gift in the history of Columbia's J-School. Has digital media now arrived? Has the revolution been institutionalized?

Direct download: mediatwits36.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

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