The Digital Gloss Files - October 18

...with Julia Low

Condé Nast has appointed Dawn Ostroff president of Condé Nast Entertainment, a newly created division geared towards producing and distributing original television and digital initiatives based on Condé Nast’s diverse portfolio of brands. Ostroff, who is also the former chief of the CW Network, believes digital channels are the future and plans to create content that will go across all platforms. “The goal is to build an asset in this division for Condé Nast and add a revenue stream for them and for the magazine brands, so that they're maximizing the content they already have.”

With Ostroff’s appointment as a fine example, who says the digital industry has to be an all-boys club? Not Glamour magazine. In a Glamour special report featuring the female founders of Polyvore and Flickr, Kara Swisher of discusses the issues faced by female techies and celebrates women in technology.

Is technology narrowing our perspectives? Relevant magazine’s Kristen Tennant believes that in the midst of personalising content, following only niche interests, and editing our world, we’re in danger of losing the joy of discovery:

“True discovery usually involves something new and unexpected—something that takes you by surprise. A discovery makes you step back, pause and consider how to process and maybe even incorporate that new thing, whether it be a new flavor of food, an unfamiliar culture or a different way of organizing and running a business... Ever-evolving, “cool” technology is something we can’t ignore. But as we embrace the advancements, let’s consider what steps we can take in our day-to-day lives to allow for the serendipitous, enjoy the unexpected and preserve the journey of discovery.”

However,  The New York Times editorialises on the possibilities opened up by the tablet: "Every e-book reader seems to come preloaded with a few canonical titles — “Pride and Prejudice” or “Alice in Wonderland,” for instance. But there has never been a better time to be a slightly faded writer just beyond the cusp of copyright, like Edgar Wallace or Hilaire Belloc. Their voluminous works — not easily found in your local library — are now copiously available to the digitally curious."

Plus, Princeton University Press will launch a new digital imprint it calls Princeton Shorts. The series will begin November 9 as extended excerpts from the publisher’s catalog of scholarly and classic works, including 'On Reading' from Thoreau's Walden and 'The Five Habits of Highly Effective Honeybees' from Seeley's Honeybee Democracy. The spiel: "In a world where every second counts, how better to stay up-to-speed on current events and digest the kernels of wisdom great works of the past? Princeton Shorts enables you to be an instant expert in a world where information is everywhere but quality is at a premium."

Google’s first international eBookstore has arrived in the UK, capitalising on the country’s growing e-book market. The eBookstore signed agreements with major publishers such as Penguin and Random House to sell their books in-store, and supports browsers as well as Apple and Android devices for the reading and buying of e-books. The Australian and Canadian stores are set to be launched next year.

In other Google news, Bradley Horowitz, Google Vice-President of Product, has announced the shutting down of Google Buzz, the social networking venture that failed to take off. Meanwhile, negotiations regarding Google Music and its MP3 store are still in the works with no agreements signed as yet.

Australia's e-commerce market is expected to grow to $30.2 billion by the end of 2011, and a further 12.2% throughout 2012, according to a PayPal Australia report, Secure Insight: Changing the way we pay. The research – which also found 97% of Aussie internet users have shopped online, domestic retail accounts for 73% of online consumption in Australia and 63% of Australians have shopped overseas in the past year – was conducted in partnership with Forrester Research, Nielsen and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies. The increasing use of smart phones accounts for much of the growth – monthly mobile payments are have increased 430% year on year.
We were wondering when the paywall was going up at The Oz online. Ross Dawson reports on News Limited's digital subscription plans

"On The Australian website a ‘pass’ image will be displayed next to premium articles," he writes. "A ‘plus’ sign indicates additional content and social media sharing features... 

The idea is to shift from newspaper brands to ‘media franchises’. This includes many other manifestations of media, including events and other activities beyond traditional media delivery. Rather than breaking the news, the intention is to break news and then own it through the day.
Search engine optimization is central to the strategy.

Online editors have always been co-located with print editors, with joint ownership of content and distribution. It is a journey for the journalists, editors and sub-editors to shift into a more online world. All need to be thinking about how best to use content in a digital world.
Each desk will need to consistently create sufficient quality content that merits being premium content."

Meanwhile, News International has decided against a paywall for The Sun online, reports Paid Content, choosing to rely on old-fashioned advertising and release a paid mobile app instead. Additionally: "paidContent understands News International Commercial, which stretches across both The Sun and Times Newspapers, is currently undergoing a restructure to focus less on strategy and more on ad sales."

After much deliberation and anticipation, The Guardian has finally hopped onto the iPad newspaper edition bandwagon, and editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger promises it will be a finite reading experience. “We’re not going to be scrambling to update it every minute or every hour,” said Rusbridger. “We will do that on the browser; the browser is a place to go for live-blogging and to go searching for material. This is going to be a different kind of read, a bit more reflective.” Subscriptions will cost £9.99 a month and free for print subscribers.

Global newsagency AFP has acknowledged Facebook and Twitter to be an essential part of the newsgathering process and citizen journalism, encouraging their journalists to get active on the popular social networking websites. The news agency has since released the AFP journalist’s guide to using social networks and rules of using content gathered from social media.
Taylor Swift, Jessica Biel, and David Beckham have teamed up with Nickelodeon to honour teens who make a difference in their communities in the annual TeenNick HALO (‘Helping and Leading Others’) Awards. Starting from 28th October, Nickelodeon and will launch The HALO Effect—a two-week campaign that will help fund project requests from high-need public school classrooms across the U.S. by translating a user’s online activity into donations. Get donation points by simply engaging with HALO-themed content at

Sony Entertainment Pictures—the same studio that produced Michael Jackson’s film concert This Is It—has bought the film rights to Steve Jobs’s authorised biography written by Walter Anderson. The deal reportedly cost $1million and will cost an additional $2million should the biopic be produced.

YouTube is set to extend its film rental services to its British users, allowing them to stream both local and Hollywood films online for a small fee starting from £2.49.

European fashion brands lag behind American brands with regard to digital innovation, reports WWD. New York University’s Digital IQ Index revealed that while Burberry has the most Facebook fans, YouTube views, and Instagram followers, ten out of the top fifteen digitally-savvy brands such as Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs hail from the U.S. But, with the recently unveiled 3-D-esque features available on Christian Dior’s revamped website, perhaps Dior’s digital IQ isn’t so average after all...

Former The City star and fashionista Olivia Palermo has launched a brand new fashion and lifestyle blog, Pretty it is, GOOP it is not (yet).

And finally, just for a bit of fun, this music video by a new boyband called Heart2Heart is so bad, it’s good. Bad because that’s 3 minutes and 21 seconds of your life you won’t get back, but good because it will Crack. You. Up. Yes, they are singing about wanting to change their Facebook status; and yes, that is former ‘NSync member Lance Bass you see at the beginning*. Comic gold!

Julia @ Girl With a Satchel
*columnist may or may not secretly still be an ‘NSync fan...


Adelaide Dupont said...

Enjoyed this edition of Digital Gloss, Julia.

Thank you.

So the Guardian is not going to update their iPad application every hour of every day.

Reading through the Guidelines from the AFP right now.