The Mediatwits | PBS (general)






July 2018
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Welcome to the 56th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week we try to pierce the heavy-duty hype coming from Apple around its new iPhone 5, as well as the hype about social media marketing. First, we discuss the iPhone 5 and how it has only incrementally improved on the last generation of phones. Engadget's Nicole Lee and Buzzfeed's Matt Buchanan give their take, and discuss how it stacks up against offerings from Nokia and others. Is Apple only good at making breakthroughs with entirely new product lines?

Then we talk with author and comedian B.J. Mendelson, who read every book about social media marketing and tried and failed to break through following their tips and tricks. He finally decided that their hype around social media was complete bull, and wrote a book titled "Social Media Is Bull***t." While he uses Twitter quite a bit to test out jokes, he thinks it's a joke for every business under the sun to feel like they have to engage on every social platform or they will die. Mendelson shares his caustic take on the marketing business.

Direct download: mediatwits56.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:23pm EDT

Welcome to the 55th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week, we follow up our report from the RNC with three guests at the DNC in Charlotte: Adam Connor from Facebook; Adam Sharp from Twitter; and our MediaShift correspondent Ari Melber. This convention season has been a hit on social media, and we've seen so many numbers and graphics showing popular hashtags and memes. But what will it all mean in the end? Will it move the needle for the election?

Also, Amazon has had a banner week, announcing a new line of Kindles, including an illuminated Paperwhite and a larger Kindle Fire. And the company's nemesis Apple was disappointed by a settlement in an e-book price-fixing lawsuit between the states and three large publishers. Where does that leave the other two publishers and Apple, who are continuing their fight in court? Will it lead to cheaper e-book prices? We ask paidContent's Jeff Roberts, as well as MediaShift correspondent Barbara Hernandez.

Direct download: mediatwits55.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:57pm EDT

Welcome to the 54th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. The big news is that Apple won a $1 billion patent judgment against Samsung and is trying to block the sale of many Samsung smartphones. What does this mean for other competitors, Android and consumers?

We also had a couple special guests reporting live from Tampa at the GOP Convention, including James Davis, the director of communications for the convention, and Dr. Mark Drapeau, who works at Microsoft. They tell us about the success of the "digital green room" for speakers, and some interesting Foursquare partnerships -- and the lack of action on Pinterest. Plus, CEO Doug Leeds and AllThingsD's Peter Kafka discuss the recent acquisition of by IAC (which owns and their plans to integrate the site more closely with The New York Times had some success with but then sold the site off to try to refocus the company. Can IAC do more?

Direct download: mediatwits54.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm EDT

Welcome to the 53nd episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. We were off on hiatus the past few months while Mark was getting a kidney transplant and Rafat was launching his new travel startup, "Skift": 

This week we are looking at a couple big online video intiatives: the new "HuffPost Live": video channel that will stream 12 hours per day 5 days per week; and the new "YouTube Elections Hub": that includes video content from eight editorial partners and will live-stream the upcoming political conventions and debates. We were joined by HuffPost's Roy Sekoff, YouTube's Olivia Ma and GigaOm columnist Liz Shannon Miller.

Direct download: mediatwits53.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:26pm EDT

Welcome to the 52nd episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week we have a special edition of the podcast dedicated to unplugging and taking breaks from media and technology. We are immersed in a world of technology, with smartphones at our fingertips, texts and status updates waiting for us at all times, and work that's increasingly difficult to leave behind. As part of this week's "Unplug 2012 special report":, this podcast includes an in-depth discussion on ways to unplug and detox.

Our special guests are William Powers, author of the book "Hamlet's Blackberry"; Tanya Schevitz, communications manager for Reboot; and Levi Felix, who runs the Digital Detox retreat. They have various strategies for achieving balance with hectic work schedules and taking breaks and enjoying life. Tanya also helps run the "National Day of Unplugging": in March.

Direct download: mediatwits52.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04pm EDT

Welcome to the 51st episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week we take a deeper look at the changes at various local newspapers in North America, lowering their print frequency from daily down to a few times per week. Is this an alarming trend or a natural evolution of newspapers as they move toward a digital-first future? We convene an esteemed panel to discuss the future of print papers, including new USA Today president and publisher Larry Kramer and NYU journalism professor and PressThink blogger Jay Rosen. Would Kramer consider lowering USA Today's print frequency? "I wouldn't take anything off the table," he said.

We also talked with one of the more prominent programmer-journalists, Brian Boyer, who is leaving the Chicago Tribune news apps team to go to NPR to lead their new news app team. What made him make the move to radio, and how will his job differ? We talk to Boyer about his plans to bring more data know-how to public radio.

Direct download: mediatwits51.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:28pm EDT

Welcome to the 50th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. The joy of the Facebook IPO was quickly replaced with disdain as the stock nosedived and lawsuits ensued. We run down the headlines, including the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Oregon Daily Emerald killing daily print editions for thrice- and twice-weekly editions, respectively. Special guests Craig Newmark of Craigslist and Kelly McBride of Poynter talk about their upcoming symposium where they will draw up new principles for ethics in journalism for the digital age. Will the so-called "Fifth Estate" take notice?

Plus, we talk to author and speaker Scott Steinberg about his new book, "The Crowdfunding Bible," all about how artists, singers, videogame makers, writers and startups have funded projects directly from fans online. Steinberg says that crowdfunding isn't for everyone, but those that succeed usually make headlines because they are the ultimate Cinderella stories.

Direct download: mediatwits50.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:36pm EDT

Welcome to the 49th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Dorian Benkoil as co-hosts. Today is the day for the Facebook IPO, so we've got it covered like a wet blanket. Special guests Debra Aho Williamson of eMarketer and Troy Young of SAY Media talk over the ins and outs of Facebook as it soars into the ionosphere. What are its possible weaknesses? Why is its ad revenue outlook falling short? Plus, it's Internet Week in the Big Apple, and Dorian and Troy are there. What are ad folks talking about, outside of the Facebook IPO?

Plus, it's web awards season time, and that means five-word acceptance speeches at the 16th annual Webby Awards, being streaming online on Monday. Special guest David-Michel Davies tells us why the awards will be even better this year, with geeky humorist Patton Oswalt hosting. But guest Josh Seifert thinks that digital awards can do better, and gives his own criticism of the Webbys and other advertising awards.

Direct download: mediatwits49.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:19pm EDT

Welcome to the 48th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and the Rafat Ali as co-hosts. On this show, we turn to the chaotic soap opera that continues at Yahoo, once an Internet darling on its umpteenth remake. Its new CEO Scott Thompson appears to have padded his bio with a computer science degree that he never received. An activist investor found the "mistake" and our special guest Kara Swisher of AllThingsD has been on this story all week with updates. She talks about possible successors for Thompson and also gives the skinny on the upcoming 10th edition of the D conference.

Next up is the ever lovable debate on pay walls and paid content online. When we approached Gawker honcho Nick Denton about the subject, he said, "Pay wall discussions make me want to blow my brains out." Be that as it may, we ended up having a lively debate between Steven Brill, creator of CourtTV and American Lawyer magazine and current co-CEO of Press+, and Mike Masnick, who runs the TechDirt blog and community. Brill says that Press+ could be running metered pay walls for up to 1,000 publications by the end of the year, while Masnick says that keeping content free and sharable is the best way to stay relevant online.

Direct download: mediatwits48.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00pm EDT

Welcome to the 47th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, this time with Mark Glaser and the Rafat Ali as co-hosts. On this show, Rafat had the honor (and early-morning wakeup call) to interview news icon Dan Rather at 7 am while Rather was traveling by train to Washington, DC. Rather has a new memoir out, "Rather Outspoken," and talked to Rafat about why he's positive about journalism, the lack of online business model for news and the rise of Al Jazeera. With the Facebook IPO coming in a couple weeks, we had special guest Eric Jackson talk about his new Forbes story, with the catchy title: "Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years." Jackson believes that a school of thought called organizational sociology might be relevant to the tech business today.

Finally, we looked deeper at a new social curation tool called, similar to Pinterest but where people "snip" stories they like and put them into categories. Special guest Ramy Adeeb, founder and CEO of, explained how he started the service after his frustration with sharing the best stories covering the Arab Spring a year ago. Now the service is growing, and helping to drive traffic to publishers' sites. But does it have staying power?

Direct download: mediatwits47.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm EDT