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Sept. 23, 2013, 9:43 a.m.
LINK: itunes.apple.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   September 23, 2013

Or, rather, Fuego is en Nextgov’s new iPhone app.

fuego-has-a-posseThe new iPhone app from Atlantic Media’s technology-in-government vertical wouldn’t normally be something we’d write about, but I hope you’ll forgive us for noting that it includes OpenFuego, the open-source version of Fuego, our heat-seeking Twitter bot.

(If you’re unfamiliar, Fuego defines and tracks a community of interest on Twitter — in our case, people interested in talking about the future of news — monitors their tweets, and tracks the links being talked about most. As we like to say, Fuego stays on Twitter all day so you don’t have to.)

Nextgov’s app uses OpenFuego to monitor the conversation going on in the gov/tech space and produce a “Trending” tab — real-time aggregation done by the community.

We’ve heard from a number of people working on cool projects with OpenFuego (and we’d love to hear from more!), but I think this may be the first time it’s been put in a shipping app other than our own. Huzzah! And congrats to OpenFuego coder-in-chief Andrew Phelps. Press release below, emphasis mine.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nextgov, the #1 federal technology site, today launched a free iPhone app that provides original analysis and breaking news to the site’s growing mobile audience. Nextgov, produced by Government Executive Media Group, serves federal technology and program leaders by leading the national discussion about innovation and technology in government.

As part of Government Executive Media Group’s expanding digital portfolio, the Nextgov app integrates executive analysis, social trend data and breaking news push notifications to keep senior technology leaders updated throughout the day. Nieman Lab’s newly launched OpenFuego code powers the Nextgov app, enabling users to read the stories federal technology influencers — and those they follow — are sharing across Twitter.

“Using open source application OpenFuego, the app surfaces content shared among those most influential in federal technology,” said Krystle Kopacz, Digital General Manager for Government Executive Media Group. “The Nextgov app not only extends access to the federal content our readers demand and editorial team produces, but is a must-have application for federal managers to use on a daily basis as they evaluate emerging technologies and make decisions.”

Innovation in mobile technologies has driven traffic growth for all Government Executive Media Group properties as more readers access their content from mobile platforms. The Nextgov app follows the success of the 4.5–star GovExec iPhone and Android apps, which drove 195% growth in mobile over the last 12–months. The Nextgov iPhone app will compliment this trajectory and will launch an app for Android in 2014.

“With the Nextgov audience increasingly accessing the site through their mobile device, it was a perfect time to pursue a differentiated Nextgov mobile strategy,” said Tim Hartman, President of Government Executive Media Group. “Nextgov is the leading federal technology brand because of its emphasis on innovation and providing useful tools for the federal technology decision maker.”

The iPhone app is now available for download on the App Store.

About Nextgov

Nextgov is the #1 federal technology resource, engaging more federal technology decision makers on a daily basis than any other website dedicated to federal IT.1 Nextgov’s mission is to lead the national discussion about how technology and innovation can transform the way government operates and serves citizens. Nextgov seeks to enable senior decision making teams, comprised of technology and program leaders, to learn about and evaluate emerging technologies and transform government. Visit Nextgov.com.

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LINK: bbcpopup.tumblr.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   September 11, 2014

The business of journalism looks a lot like a game of Risk right now, as media companies are angling for position with new sites and bureaus around the globe. Quartz and The Huffington Post have both recently set up shop in India. BuzzFeed plans to use its new funding to expand its overseas reporting footprint, and this week Politico announced it was partnering with Axel Springer to launch a Europe-focused politics site.

bbcnewsWith so much globetrotting it only makes sense that foreign news outlets would turn their eyes to the United States. The BBC set off on one adventure this week with BBC Pop Up, a mobile (in the on-the-move sense, not the iPhone 6 sense) reporting project where journalists will report from a series of U.S. cities over the next six months. Like any good pop up restaurant, the BBC’s plans are simultaneously ambitious but also limited: the BBC team will file stories for online, shoot video for broadcast, and work with locals to uncover unreported stories. It’ll do all of that in one month before moving on to the next town. The first stop is Boulder, Colo. The Ringling Brothers would be proud.

For an organization as large as the BBC the pop up bureaus are a relatively low risk/high reward proposition. It gets the BBC wider exposure in the United States as something other than the place that broadcasts Gordon Ramsey and Doctor Who, but also serves as a test for whether there is a broader appetite for their reporting in the states.

As far as experiments go, it’s still curious why a news organization that already has large bureaus throughout the United States, not to mention various language services around the world, would put on a roadshow. As Matt Danzico, head of the BBC innovation lab explains, the pop up project is about building a bridge to a new type of audience:

In the 21st Century, creating video for television from cities like Washington, New York and/or Los Angeles is definitely an effective way of reaching traditional media consumers in those markets. But if you’re also trying to reach younger generations in Colorado, for instance, why not create gripping video from the state that’s of interest to a global audience?

And now you’ve not only provided interesting programming to your traditional audience but you have also sparked the interest of an entirely new community as well.

Do that for one month at a time. Post your videos to local social media. Move cities. Repeat.

Yes, BBC News has 44 foreign bureaus in a heap of cities around the world. But the world has nearly 3,000 cities with a population over 150k. So why not create a mobile bureau that can embed itself in a community and then relocate easily?

Here’s a look at what they have in store:

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LINK: www.buzzfeed.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Joseph Lichterman   |   September 11, 2014

Apple WatchAfter Apple unveiled its Apple Watch earlier this week most news organizations are still figuring out how — or even if — they’ll develop apps for the smart watch. Most outlets haven’t received any technical specifications from Apple about the device and are still in the very preliminary stages of thinking about how they’ll approach the smart watch, Myles Tanzer reports in BuzzFeed.

There was at least one news app that got an advance look at the Apple Watch: Yahoo News Digest. The app’s logo was visible on mock-ups of the watch during Apple’s presentation. (It’s the purple one with the colorful dots in a circle — above the Pinterest logo — in the watch that’s above.)

From BuzzFeed:

But during the Tuesday’s keynote, close observers noticed multiple quick flashes of the Apple Watch’s homescreen that showed icons for two apps from Yahoo, one of which is a version of the popular Yahoo News Digest app. Adam Cahan, Yahoo’s senior vice president of mobile and emerging products, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the company has a working version of a Yahoo News Digest product but was wary to comment on any additional apps from Yahoo — “I wouldn’t read into every icon that you see everywhere.” He said the Yahoo team was one of a select few chosen to participate in a multi-week test of the Apple Watch’s development kit.

The Apple Watch is slated to be released sometime early next year. It seems likely more news apps will be developed for the platform.

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LINK: new.dowjones.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   September 9, 2014

The Wall Street Journal wants readers to know that being a subscriber has its perks. The Journal rolled out WSJ+ this week, a complimentary membership program for readers who have subscriptions to the paper.

What, exactly, does being a WSJ+ member get you beyond a sweet membership card to display on your digital device of choice? From the Journal’s news release:

WSJ+ members will receive special offers and be welcomed to invitation-only events designed to bring Journal content to life, while providing subscribers elevated Journal experiences specially curated to speak to their wide-ranging and ambitious interests. Events will take place across the country and will include panel discussions with top Journal editors, as well as arts performances and private film screenings.

As a WSJ+ member you could get a talk and tour of the Journal newsroom (“learn how our famous stipples are made,” the event advertises) with Editor in Chief Gerald Baker or see a conversation between Whoopi Goldberg and legendary TV producer Norman Lear.

Many of the offers through WSJ+ are either discounts or raffles seemingly attuned to the needs of the aspirational Journal reader. Tell the “Golf Concierge” you’d like a discount to play at course in Hilton Head Island, or win two tickets to the Longines Los Angeles Masters equestrian event.

The Journal is one of a growing number of media companies that wants to deepen the relationship with readers through membership programs. Both nonprofit and for-profit companies are trying to find programs to incentivize paid readership while also collecting more detailed data on their audience. One difference is that some loyalty programs, like WSJ+, are complimentary with a subscription. Others, like The Guardian’s membership plan and The New York Times’ Times Premier, are extra, which means a potential added source of revenue.

The characteristics of the programs usually fall into similar categories: special access to events, discounts, and invitations to look behind the curtain of your beloved news provider. Wine and free books seem to be a love shared by media executives and newspaper readers.

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LINK: gigaom.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   September 5, 2014

Netflix wants to boost its mobile audience and plans to make shorter, bite-sized videos to do it. According to Janko Roettgers at Gigaom, the streaming media company plans to create 2-5 minute video clips specifically targeted at mobile viewers. The catch is that Netflix won’t be producing new content, but slicing up scenes from its catalog of movies, TV shows, and comedy specials. Like many media companies, Netflix is seeing a shift in the consumption patterns and interests of its audience:

Davis said Thursday that most Netflix content is still watched on TV screens, but that mobile is seeing the biggest growth, in part because of the way phones have been changing. “As screen sizes are becoming bigger, watching content on phones becomes more natural,” he said.

That development prompted Netflix to take mobile more seriously, and while researching the space, Netflix’s designers came upon an unexpected challenge: 87 percent of all mobile sessions last less than ten minutes — but Netflix didn’t have any content that was less than ten minutes long. That’s why the company decided to experiment with shorter-form content.

It’s an interesting move that lines up with interest in things like, say, seconds-long clips of crucial soccer goals. It also mirrors recent short-form video products like NFL Now and 120 Sports.

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LINK: www.latimes.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Caroline O'Donovan   |   September 5, 2014

The L.A. Times made a move toward expanding its video strategy today — but not in digital video. The newspaper announced a broadcast deal with DIRECTV for a series of documentaries to be called Los Angeles Times Originals.

“The Times is renowned for its powerful storytelling in a multitude of forms, including exceptional, award-winning video,” said Colin Crawford, Times deputy managing editor, visual journalism. “Los Angeles Times Originals is a vital extension of our journalistic endeavors and we are excited to have our documentaries presented to DIRECTV’s subscribers.”

With an interest in both short and longform video, the move could be compared to BuzzFeed’s recent creation of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures or Vice Media’s increasingly aggressive maneuvers in television and film. The L.A. Times is not the first major US newspaper to delve into documentary video production. The New York Times has invested significant resources in its Op-Docs programming, which has aired online and at film festivals.

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