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Welcome to the 16th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This show looks at the week's big news, including the head-turning buyout of Motorola Mobility by Google for $12.5 billion. What was driving the search giant to become a hardware maker? Was it the patents, the handsets, the set-top boxes? Special guest Tim Carmody of Wired has been on the story all week and gives his excellent perspective.

Plus, the show looks at one of the biggest, most explosive in-depth investigative reports in quite awhile -- by Yahoo Sports, of all places. Joe Lago, managing editor of Yahoo Sports, explains why the company is committed to doing long-form investigative reports, including its recent 11-month report on a rogue booster at the University of Miami. Lago says that Yahoo might begin doing more investigative reports outside of sports after the success of this expose.

Direct download: mediatwits16.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:17pm EDT

Welcome to the 15th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This show is all about cord-cutters, people who like to watch TV without paying for cable or satellite TV (like Mark & Rafat). The big news is that Fox will not allow free streaming of its shows online for 8 days after airing unless you pay for Hulu Plus or can authenticate that you are paying for TV. Special guest "Brian Stelter":http://twitter.com/#!/brianstelter of the New York Times talks about the move by Fox and how ABC might make a similar move soon. Brian also talks about the streaming race between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others, as Netflix raises its rates and Hulu goes on the sale block.

Plus, the show covers recent moves by various app-makers who are stripping out the ability to buy books or subscribe to magazines within apps to keep from having to pay 30% to Apple. Apps for Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Kobo all have stripped out "buy" buttons and are directing people to buy outside the Apple ecosystem. Will others follow suit? Will a rush continue to develop web apps and HTML5 apps that get around Apple's big bite out of revenues?

Direct download: mediatwits15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:33pm EDT

Welcome to the 14th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. There's a lot of news to cover in this podcast, including Apple's earnings, Yahoo's earnings, the possible sale of Hulu, and more. But the big deal this week is of course another heaping helping of "This Week in Rupert," with a side of humble pie. Our U.K. correspondent Tristan Stewart-Robertson weighs in on the reactions across the pond to the Murdochs testifying at a Parliamentary hearing. Are we all reaching a saturation point with the scandal yet? Possibly. (Vote in the MediaShift poll about that, below.)

Plus, the New York Times reported its quarterly earnings, with some mixed news on the digital front: About.com was still hurting but digital revenues at its News Group were up 15.5%, and iPad app ad inventory is sold out until the end of the third quarter. Digital subscriptions hit 1 million, with 281,000 paid. What does it all mean? Rafat talks about the "novelty" of reading the print edition of the Times, while Mark continues to read it on all platforms without paying.

Direct download: mediatwits14.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:45pm EDT

Welcome to the 13th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This week's show looks at a recent survey by Pew Internet that found that 35% of Americans now have smartphones, and that ownership is even higher among people of color. Guest Aaron Smith from Pew explained one surprise from the survey: 25% of smartphone users were using their phone as their main source of accessing the Net.

Then talk once again turned to the United Kingdom, and what is becoming a regular feature on the podcast: "This Week in Rupert." The phone-hacking scandal continues to widen, with News Corp. dropping its bid to take over BSkyB, and a new FBI investigation into possible phone hacking of 9/11 victims in the U.S. Special guest Jack Shafer, Pressbox columnist for Slate, says not to jump to conclusions and that the New York Post and Fox News are innocent until proven guilty.

Direct download: mediatwits13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:22pm EDT

Welcome to the twelfth episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This week's show looks at the recent launch of Facebook video chat with Skype built in. While Facebook called its announcement "awesome" it was underwhelming for tech and media insiders who have been wowed by the Google+ Hangout feature that lets you do video chats with up to 10 people. Rafat and Mark tested out both video chats *simultaneously* -- all in the name of science. Guest Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb, who broke the story about Google+ back in March, gives his take on the competing video chats.

The talk then turns to across the pond, where the biggest press scandal in memory has grown even larger, as News International decided to close its tabloid the News of the World, after more allegations of phone-hacking came to light (not to mention police bribes and government indifference). Special guest Tristan Stewart-Robertson, a MediaShift correspondent in the U.K. who has freelanced for News of the World, gives his take on the role of social media in putting pressure on the tabloid and its advertisers.

Direct download: mediatwits12.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm EDT

Welcome to the eleventh episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali, the founder of PaidContent. This week's show looks at the recent launch of Google+, a more fully formed social network that is taking on Facebook. Google+ is in an invite-only mode but both Mark and Rafat had a chance to try it out. Special guest Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Watch joins the show to spell out just how difficult Google+ will have it trying to overtake entrenched social networking king Facebook.

Plus, MySpace, the former social networking leader, has fallen on hard times, with News Corp. recently selling it in a fire sale for just $35 million, a far cry from its sale price in 2005 for $580 million. What went wrong? Could the same thing happen to Facebook? And how can Google+ be the next Facebook and not the next MySpace?

Direct download: mediatwits11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:41pm EDT

Welcome to the tenth episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Dorian Benkoil, filling in for Rafat Ali. This week's show looks at the changes in Apple's subscription plan for publishers, as they backpedal on the pricing. But still, Apple will take a 30% cut of subscription revenues and keep the data on subscribers, which has caused publishers like the Financial Times to develop "web apps" on HTML5 that live outside the App Store.

This week's special guest is Matthew Hindman, assistant professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, who recently did a study on online local news. Hindman found that only a tiny amount of web traffic (1/2 of 1%) was going to local news, but we wondered about sites that were too small to count in comScore data. Finally, we talked about how the New York Times' pay wall and Wired's iPad app prices had come down considerably. What's behind those moves?

Direct download: mediatwits10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:01pm EDT

Welcome to the ninth episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser along with PaidContent founder Rafat Ali. This week's show looks at the recent purchase of Tweetdeck by Twitter, and the questions it raises about companies starting businesses on the platform of other companies. If you run an app for Twitter but aren't bought by Twitter, where does that leave you?

This week's special guest is Jen Lee Reeves, who teaches at the Missouri School of Journalism and is the interactive director for KOMU-TV. She has been covering the recent tornados and bad weather in Missouri and using her TV station's Facebook page to connect with its community. Finally, the talk turns to conflicts of interest for entrepreneurial journalists and tech bloggers such as Michael Arrington, Kara Swisher and Om Malik. Should they be able to invest in companies they cover, be venture capitalists themselves? How do they maintain credibility?

Direct download: mediatwits9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

Welcome to the eighth episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser along with PaidContent founder Rafat Ali. This week's show looks at the big IPO of business networking site LinkedIn, with the stock price doubling to more than $90 per share in its first day of trading, valuing the company at nearly $10 billion. Things are getting a little bubbly out there.

This week's special guest is Bill Grueskin, the dean of academic affairs at Columbia University's Journalism School. Grueskin talks about the upcoming launch of the school's new online publication, the New York World, as well as how Columbia is putting greater emphasis on students learning about the business of journalism. Finally, Amazon had an important milestone recently, saying it is now selling more e-books than print books. How has the Kindle survived the onslaught of the iPad and tablets?

Direct download: mediatwits8.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53pm EDT

Welcome to the seventh episode of "The Mediatwits," the new revamped longer form weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser along with PaidContent founder Rafat Ali. This week's show looks at Microsoft's massive payout, $8.5 billion, for Skype, a popular communication service that still loses money.

Our guest this week is Laura Rich, the co-founder of the new "Street Fight":http://www.streetfightmag.com site covering the business of hyper-local and geo-location. She responds to our earlier criticism of the site on a past episode. Plus, Google announces its new "Chromebook": netbook computers that don't have any software beyond a web browser, and will be out next month.

Direct download: mediatwits7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18pm EDT