When you look back at it, 2012 was a stupendous year for news and magazine publishing. We witnessed the emergence of several paradigm-altering trends – from micropublishing to micropayments – that will be consolidated and built on in the year ahead. Not one of these trends is enough to save magazine or news publishing by itself, but the combination of them all certainly makes the space more lively and dynamic. Even with glum news about plummeting circulations and evaporating ad dollars, the months ahead promise to be among the most exciting in digital publishing for years.
Andrew Sullivan's popular political blog the Daily Dish is going indie. In a "Declaration of Independence," Sullivan announced plans to leave the Daily Beast behind and implement a $19.99-a-year subscription model. It's not a "paywall," Sullivan emphasizes, but a "meter," allowing non-paying members to read a limited number of full stories before being cut off. External links from other blogs or social networks will not count toward non-members' allotted total.
Earlier this week, we wrote about Uber's bend-over-backwards messaging attempts to make sure everyone knew that surge pricing was going to be in effect on New Year's Eve. You can't really fault them this year on communication, given the lengths they went to -- including saying it'd be a lot more expensive and building in alerts and even a sobriety test to make sure you knew what you were signing up for. They stopped short of dropping leaflets from the sky.
On December 28, 2012, the standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress approved rules requiring websites that host user generated content to verify the real identity of their users. These rules, while not new, may nonetheless lead to the disappearance of the last free space on China’s internet by eliminating anonymity, which is vital in a society where freedom of speech does not otherwise exist.
We’ve all had moments where we needed to communicate with multiple people simultaneously, whether it be to plan a night out or simply to chat about something too good to keep to yourself. When on the go, this means turning to any one of a dozen group messaging apps or services available on the various mobile platforms. As an iPhone user, I’d love for this solution to be the native iMessage app, but the team at Apple HQ simply can’t seem to deliver a workable solution.
The software patent system is one of the greatest challenges that app developers face. Vague claims, product life cycles shorter than the PTO review process, secretive trolls with unlimited litigation budgets, and recent uncertainty about so-called “standard essential patents” are all threats to app innovators. Fortunately, as 2012 ends, and a new year begins, progress toward reducing patent litigation may be on the horizon.
Apps are the lifeblood of any mobile platform. Without a powerful app ecosystem that covers a variety of tastes, offering anything from calculator apps and games to remote desktop access and email clients, a mobile operating system doesn't stand much of a chance. Yet an ecosystem can't be developed out of thin air – it needs to be nurtured. There needs to be an established market, and time for it to mature.
Ernst & Young is typically known for insightful commentary, particularly around the startup and IPO realm. But either its year-end IPO update is a joke or they're living in another world.
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