Under the guidance of Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post reportedly plans to sell its back-end content-management system (CMS) to local and regional newspapers. “The Post was approached by some of its partner newspapers, which already have content-sharing deals with The Post, about licensing the software that’s used for The Post's Web site,” Business Insider writes, citing a paywall-protected report in The Financial Times. “The Post has content-sharing deals with the Dallas Morning News and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.”
Summations can be helpful in remember big news stories over the course of a year. From Facebook's purchase of WhatsApp to Russia's annexation of Crimea, the Ebola outbreak to ISIS gaining ground, Mashable chronicles the big stories that defined 2014. The concise news bulletins give an overview of news from various fields, politics, science, tech, entertainment and media.
The New York Observer details the deeply troubled New York Times and its efforts to find a sustainable business model in the age of Instagram and Buzzfeed. Most troubling, “the financial demands of those holding the [company’s] shares … are now making it difficult to perform the very journalism the structure was created to protect,” The Observer writes. So, while 100 of the best news-men and -women in the business are getting axed, the company’s owners are seeing strong investment returns.
The same hackers who took credit for crippling Sony caused the Web platforms of Xbox and PlayStation to go dark on Christmas Day. Microsoft and Sony -- makers of the two popular gaming consoles -- have been trying to get them back online, BBC News reports. “To make the most of the Xbox and PlayStation consoles, players have to connect to the Internet in order to reach the console manufacturers computer servers,” BBC notes.
Microsoft and Google are standing up to the hotel industry as it appeals to government regulators for the power to block guests from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots. “The tech companies recently joined the wireless industry’s lobbying group … in opposing the hotel industry’s petition,” ReCode reports. “Opponents of the proposal basically [argue] that the hotel industry is just trying to keep guests and exhibitors dependent on pricy hotel wireless networks.”
When people do a Google search for a “song name” plus “lyrics,” the top results now come courtesy of Google itself. Among other implications, the change “may reduce the number of visits to music lyrics sites that now rank highly in Google Search,” TechCrunch reports. “Google is just showing longer snippets of the lyrics with a link that points to Google Play … or in other words, it’s a case of Google promoting its own content above search results pointing to third-party websites.”
Led by a disparate army of anonymous venom-spitting “trolls,” the Web is facilitating a “renaissance” in what the MIT Technology Review calls “old-school hate.” As it reports, “the struggle against hate online is so urgent and difficult that the law professor Danielle Citron … calls the Internet ‘the next battleground for civil rights.’” Fighting the scourge in Sweden, a TV show named “Troll Hunter” tries to get to the heart näthat (“Net hate”).
Going big in The New York Times Magazine, Nicholas Carlson takes more than 7,000 words to say that Yahoo needs a new CEO. First, however, someone has to burst Marissa Mayer’s delusional self-image as the next Steve Jobs. Said bursting will likely be done by some activist investors, who have been planning to restructure Yahoo’s business assets, and perhaps put it under the custody of AOL and its CEO Tim Armstrong.
TheSkimm an enewsletter for young women, just raised $6.25 million in financing from investment firms RRE, Homebrew, Greycroft Partners, and Chelsea Handler, among other investors. “TheSkimm has grown to more than a million active readers who digest the newsletter’s informal, sometimes flip, tone,” The New York Times writes. “The newsletter’s average open rate … stands at about 45 percent … and the company now generates revenue via sponsorships from the likes of the National Basketball Association and Turner Sports.”
Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Medium, gives an interesting interview to Fortune in which he discusses his experimental efforts to monetize Medium. In one case, the blogging platform got BMW to sponsor one of its publications. “We sold it based on time spent on the articles,” Williams said. “It’s not a traditional advertising metric.” As for how much a minute of advertising costs on Medium, Williams said he didn’t know. “We’re experimenting.”