Appssavvy pitches new educational application

Thursday, October 9, 2008

By: Allison McNeal

An Internet advertising company, Appsavvy, is trying to pave a new way of online marketing towards young adults and college students.

Appssavvy, which sells advertisements for applications on social networks and other Web sites, recently partnered up with NBC to produce a new learning application called iCue.

iCue, short for the immerce of complete understanding and excel, is designed to help teachers and students interact with materials on American history, governement, and English.

This application will show video features from monumental historical events and have well-known journalists report the stories.

Online newspapers such as The Washington Post and The New York Times have also agreed to allow access to some articles under the iCue site.

Even though these newspaper companies are coming on board, Adam Jones, chief financial officer for NBC news, said that he knows many students do not watch or read standard news. Instead, they are watching programs like Jon Stewart or "The Colbert Report".

He is hopeful that this site will help turn things around.

"We’ve always talked about trying to find new ways to reach our future audience," he said.

With the collaboration of NBC and Appssavvy, these programs are also looking to place their advertisements on social networks like Facebook.

The advertisements would be placed on applications instead of on a running banner across the top of a page because users tend to ignore the display ads. With embedding the advertisment in an application, individuals are more likely to click on the product to find out more information.

One possible snag this application could face may be the redesign of Facebook's layout, which could cause some confusion.

Since the redesign, many of the applications are hidden instead of being located directly on an individual's profile page, which could hurt Appssavvy's ads.

Another factor that is hurting online advertisement is the economy.

Even though Internet advertising is fairly cheap, The New York Times reported that TNS Media Intelligence has been measuring Internet ads and "spending on Internet ads increased only 8 percent [in 2002] and a decrease from an 18 percent growth rate in the same period last year."

Even though the economy is influencing online advertisements, Scott Kurnit, the founder of, said that ads will still prosper and become more effective than television ads.

With the development of iCue, the collaboration between NBC, Appssavvy, The New York Times, and The Washington Post shows how different forms of media can interact with one another to try and impliment a new online application.

Will different forms of the media all start to collaborate on online projects in the future? Will individuals embrace the merge of different companies?

These question can only be answered after many organizations start to pair up and get feedback on how the audience views their product.


Yahoo pipes does the searching for its users

By: Kathryn Lisk

As the Internet continues to grow, sorting through information has become more difficult than ever. Simply using Google and a few key words rarely provides sufficient information to anyone.

Yahoo now has a tool that allows Internet users to constantly track what is being published on any given topic. According to Poynter Online,  Yahoo pipes allows its users to "gather, filter and display any collection of online content." 

While a tool like this would be beneficial to anyone with very specific interests in the media, it is also helpful for journalists with a beat. It allows reporters to spend less time on Internet search engines and more time out of the office talking with their sources.

This also may be the program Brian uses which constantly gathers stories about journalism, which are then posted on our blog cite. Having this resource available has been very helpful in finding news-related stories to post about.

My only concern with Yahoo pipes is that it provides users with a tunnel vision keeping them away from important news. Now that readers have direct access to news specifically filtered for their interests, they won't even browse through other news stories and will be less informed.

 However, it may also bring more people to the news world. People may find newspapers overwhelming and avoid the industry entirely. Yahoo pipes would at least give these uninformed individuals with some news. 


Journalists to blame for decline of newspapers

By Austin Bates

I hadn't considered this before, but at least one person, Jeff Jarvis, thinks that journalists can be held responsible for the continuing decline of the newspaper industry. While his article is well-thought out as well as thought provoking, I have mixed feelings on the issue.

On one hand I tend to think of and see journalists as being just another batch of workers at just another for-profit company, their decisions counting for little in the day to day operations of the business itself.

On the other hand, I tend to think of journalists as almost artists, working in a trade-craft that is one part pure skill and aptitude, and one part desk job, but one where what you do counts, and your name appears on everything you do and say. In this view, journalists are the guts of newspapers, and editors are just their mentors and guides, and the people who run the newspaper at the top are just the ones held responsible for writing the checks and dealing with the "business stuff".

I suppose that neither of these views is wrong or right. In the end, the truth is probably a little closer to both.

One memorable series of statements from Jarvis is this:

It is our fault that we did not see the change coming soon enough and ready our craft for the transition. It is our fault that we did not see and exploit — hell, we resisted — all the opportunities new media and new relationships with the public presented. It is our fault that we did not give adequate stewardship to journalism and left the business to the business people. It is our fault that we lost readers and squandered trust. It is our fault that we sat back and expected to be supported in the manner to which we had become accustomed by some unknown princely patron. Responsibility and blame are indeed ours.

I can't disagree with any particular part of that. Journalists, in being the front-line workers most exposed to the realities of the "craft", do have some responsibility for constantly adapting and molding it to what the future will demand. Their work at least partly determines whether a paper will just survive or thrive. Like the American voter, journalists have to do something if they want to see a change for the better.

By far, one of the biggest criticisms have been that the newspaper industry (and thus, part of journalism) had failed to embrace the budding technologies of the Internet. At a time when everything else is connected, some papers still have yet to become integrated with the World Wide Web. Journalists, if they have failed to try out new things or go out on a limb and attempt to use the new frontier, should be held somewhat responsible for this failure of the papers.

In the end, I think everyone is to blame for the decline of the newspapers, and of journalism it seems. The newspaper execs and editors are responsible for their lack of pushing or requiring the new frontiers, and journalists are responsible for not experimenting and moving out of their comfort zones to seek new ways of reporting. So now that the blame has been cast about, what are they, we, going to do about it?


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