Twice today I’ve read things that I’ve earlier made predictions about. This would make a person insufferable, he said insufferably, if it wasn’t done in a charming way.
Netflix is cutting a bunch of movies in the midst of a licensing fight:
The titles belong to Warner Brothers, MGM and Universal, which are pulling them from Netflix and instead housing them in their own subscription-based “Instant Warner Archive” which you can access for $10 a month.
Two years ago I called this the HBO problem. Entities that own the content, having seen the success of Netflix, and having now verified that achievement by HBO’s own gated community, will pull their own material in favor of a branded digital platform, as we first discussed on the campus blog last March. That’s in addition to the Hulus and Amazons of the world, too. Netflix becomes just another layer in the stratification.
Of course, now, you have to have a paid membership to everything, which is expensive, learn new interfaces and have the proper smart TV and so on — or do without programming.
Eventually some format wins and all of these things come back together again, somehow.
Here’s the other thing I sort-of-somewhat-guessed-at. The New York Times launched their new mobile site today. It is something of a shame that this is a big deal — I would have thought we’d be beyond this point by now — but there is something important here. As Nieman Lab said:
In typography and story layout, it’s much closer to the Times’ iPhone app, edging closer toward cross-platform parity. (Headlines are still just Georgia, not the custom version of Cheltenham it uses in print, in apps, and on Skimmer. But they’re now black — no longer 1994-weblink blue.) Presentation of images, captions, and credits on article pages are also much closer to app styles.
Overall, the takeaways seem to be: a common visual experience across mobile platforms and a cleaner, more premium look.
Two months ago, after a sneak peak of the new version of the website, I wrote:
But look at the layout they are showing you in this prototype. That’s as indicative of mobile as a traditional news site has thus far been. They may be conceptually starting with the article, but they are designing for your phones and tablets.
As the Times goes on this design, so will many folks follow.
The last part still remains to be seen, but give it time.
Things to read: Just two items today, this one is worth bookmarking: 10 digital tools journalists can use to improve their reporting, storytelling:
Digital tools help produce quality content online, but it can be tough figuring out where to start. Here are 10 online tools that can help improve journalists’ reporting and storytelling, and engage readers in multimedia.
Reporting resources: These tools can help with research and sourcing.
Data compilation and resources: Datasets and social media backlogs can be intimidating for any reporter; these resources help share, gather and handle large shares of information.
Data presentation: These tools can help process and design otherwise-cumbersome data sets in a way that makes them easily accessible for stories.
What the drone debates really tell us, then, is not so much about drones. What they do, unfortunately, tell us is how ill-prepared we are institutionally, and as a culture, to deal with the challenges and complexities of rapidly evolving technologies. In an age when emerging technologies become ever more integral to geopolitical positioning, and military and security competence, this is a weakness that any society can ill afford.
You can take out the word drone and put in the name Google Glass and have the same conversation.
One new thing on Tumblr today, this from Ted’s Montana Grill in Atlanta. I hear that Ted himself lives just upstairs. I’m told that this has provided many interesting stories to the people thereabouts.
There are, of course, always new things to see on Twitter.
And a video from yesterday. It was omelet day in the caf. Delicious: