Read All About It – some news, links about mobile

First off, very interesting research yesterday from Pew, which found that 59% of American adults go online wirelessly (using a laptop or mobile/cellphone), which is up 8% from 2009.

Pew gives a breakdown of ‘non-voice’ cellphone application usage. Interestingly, the percentage of cellphone users accessing the internet on their devices has increased from 25% to 38%. However, in the 18-29 age group that internet access figure jumps to 65%.

Plus more than half of all cellphone internet users access the internet every day from their devices, according to the research.

Read the full report also eweek has some good coverage, which focuses on the ethnic breakdown of cellphone usage.

Next up,  Apple’s advertising platform iAd has debuted and the results, according to this article, are initially looking good. The article by says click-through rates are five times higher.

Turning to video, YouTube said yesterday that it is serving up 100m videos a day on its mobile website, which it re-launched at, according to Janko Roettgers at

Finally, in this blog post, Adrian Hon says the iPhone 4 may be the ‘last major advance in mobile phones we’ll ever see’, which is a fairly bold statement. After reading quite a lot of coverage about its faults, it’s an interesting big picture perspective.

Seems to me the mobile space is getting more and more interesting.

If I were running a news organisation, I’d be spending on my mobile website and apps,


Google’s concedes to newspapers?

Has Murdoch managed to force Google’s hand?

Via the BBC website:

Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google, the company has announced.

The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages.

Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites.

Read the full article from the BBC  here and get more views from Mashable here

More on this later


Flip or Flop?

I think there is definitely potential in Google’s new product Fast Flip, which it is currently trying out in its lab.

What is Fast Flip:

  • Visual way to browse news stories aggregated from a Google search
  • Scrapbook-style screenshots of participating publisher’s pages
  • At the moment it has about 30 plus news sources (including the Washington Post, BBC, the New York Times and Salon)
  • Features categories, recommend, most viewed and headlines as options
  • Has a revenue-share system with the news organisations
  • Pushes users to the content sources if they click on the screen shots

The immediate benefits I see for news organisations:

  • Drives traffic to their own websites
  • Revenue share
  • Stats
  • Greater chance of serendipitous  discovery
  • Hands back more ownership and gives them a chance to reach new readers and most importantly keep them because of greater branding

Benefits for the reader:

  • Better access to the source document (less chance of reading an out-of date article, which can increase with aggregated content)
  • Visually more pleasing than a feed reader and on first look easy to navigate and digest
  • Personalisation options
  • Good for readers who prefer browsing
  • Has much greater appeal to traditional newspaper readers than a feed reader would have

It is in its infancy at the moment and for most people outside the US or UK it won’t be helpful for domestic news until they link up with more organisations.  It doesn’t appear that they have partnered with anyone in Ireland yet.

Is this an olive branch?

Maybe Google are beginning to address the issue of funding news.  After all, if the people who provide news content don’t find a way to fund it – Google will have little in the way of news to aggregate.

To take these thoughts further read Mark Cuban’s post on micro-payments and super-subscriptions, which is something I’ve been thinking about recently as a possible pay model for online news. Also, check out Nieman Journalism Lab’s post, which explores Google’s proposed micro-payment system and looks at a recent document the group submitted to the Newspaper Association of America. I guess if there was a pull quote from Google this is it:

“open” need not mean free’

Hoping to get some time to write more about that document itself, but in the meantime here’s the link.