Mike Masnick published a piece on Tech Dirt yesterday about how the better-than-expected success of the New York Times “paywall” doesn’t mean it’s actually “working.”
It’s been a good year for San Francisco’s ego. Businessweek.com named it America’s "Best City in 2012." Grantland named the Bay Area the best "sports city of the year" – an honor I never thought I’d see, though things have been looking up. But there’s one small list where San Francisco does not tap the higher echelon – and it’s a bit of a surprise considering the city’s perch as the metropolitan center of the technology world. In a report released today, Mixpanel, a data analytics company, ranked the nation’s most active mobile cities during the holidays, based on data from Christmas day. San Francisco isn’t even on the list. Beating us out are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. First, to be fair, we must scrutinize the data: Mobile usage was defined loosely, from logging into an app to shopping to playing a game. Curiously, there is no fifth slot, when some of the other categories on the report name the top five cities. The company’s PR agency tells me there are only four because “after that the data splits based on the mobile platform and would not be substantial enough to include.” That basically means there was no clear winner for number 5 among a slew of other cities. Either way, the agency goes out of its way to emphasize the city’s absence: “Missing? San Francisco.” the pitch says. (Bold and italics not mine.)
If one long sentence could sum up what 2012 means to me, it would be this: We are living at the intersection of advertising and publishing at a time of hyper growth and innovation, which separately and together present us with both formidable challenges but also game-changing possibilities.
Since the Web has existed, three things have happened over and over again: Industry king-makers and wannabes have obsessed about a metric. The obsession gets pushed too far as the metric is gamed. And then the industry rejects the metric.
The year 2012 will go down in the record books as one of the strongest years the venture industry has seen in some time. Even as Wall Street can be tough on Facebook, Groupon, and other graduates of venture, when the IPO and M&A windows are open and working in tandem, as they did for a big part of this year, it’s a great environment for venture returns and for realizing just how good this asset class can be. While the macro-global economy is still trying to shift out of neutral, the venture industry, and all of its participants can share some collective pride that young companies are still pushing the limits of innovation and are a big driver of overall economic development around the world.
Imagine harnessing the power of a mob (not the kind led by Tony Soprano), with its sheer scale and frenzied passion, and channeling it for good. That’s the basic mission behind HopeMob, a flash-mob inspired crowdfunding site for charitable causes. But with the Internet littered with crowdfunding and charitable giving options, HopeMob Founder and lauded social media humanitarian Shaun King knew he had to do something radical to stand out and deliver the impact for which the site was founded.
Every app is an island. The iOS home screen's grid layout makes this clear – this app goes over here, that app goes over there, and goddamn if they're ever going to overlap. Developers have created workarounds to circumvent this restriction, but they're often clunky, imperfect, and inherently limited.
From IPOs and shakeouts to acquisitions and crunches, it's been another exciting, bewildering year in tech. Continuing with our year-end coverage, here's part 2 of our "Best of 2012" series.
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