The Media Oxpecker: Facebook Slips A Shiv Into Groupon

Every Friday we round up media & tech industry news you may have missed while you were busy facilitating and encouraging homicide.

  • The already crowded daily deal space got a lot tighter this week with the arrival of Facebook Deals – a development that makes the threat of Groupon and LivingSocial seem downright quaint:

    The Number One Killer Feature of Facebook Deals: Structured, verified, meaningful demographic and taste data. You think the retailers with whom you redeem a Facebook Deal aren’t going to be shown your favorite music, TV show, your education level, some level of details about your friends and much more – at least in aggregate? You’re kidding yourself. That info is gold and it’s going to be the real killer for Facebook Deals.

    And while deals of the Groupon variety arrive via email, a Facebook rep told the New York Times that in addition to email offers, Facebook deals will push offers directly into your news feed.

    For the moment at least, the program is only being tested in five cities: Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.

  • Ad revenue at McClatchy declined by 11% during the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year, a decline that hit all sectors – retail, classified and real estate – except the auto sector. Alan Mutter says that newspapers shouldn’t expect revenue from those sectors to rebound any time soon, and when they do, those advertisers won’t return to print ads:

    The more advertisers of all types experiment with web, mobile and social advertising, the more they will come to appreciate the power of the digital media to tightly target qualified prospects while granularly measuring the costs and effectiveness of their campaigns.

    Jeff Jarvis says more of the same, predicting continuing declines in newspaper circulation, downward pressure on ad rates, and an imminent event horizon in which we’ll hit “the end of a critical-mass of circulation needed to maintain inserts” thereby “tak[ing] away a primary justification for still printing and distributing paper.”

  • Google News will now highlight stories for users based on their behavior on the site.
  • Speaking of our new overlords in Mountain View, here’s yet another example of why you shouldn’t try to game Google’s search algorithms:

    The vast majority of Google’s search results are automated. But the company can — and often does — take manual action to bury sites that are running afoul of its rules. Google’s powerful webspam team serves as its search referees. Incur their wrath, and online oblivion follows.

  • Long-form journalism will have another platform next month with the launch of Byliner, a company which “combines a publishing platform for original, long-form journalism with a website that aims to be the Pandora of narrative nonfiction.”

    Former Outside magazine editor Mark Bryant, who is part of the project, says publishers shouldn’t see it as a threat:

    Bryant described Byliner as less a competitor for existing publishers and more a central gathering place for long-form journalism. It will provide some of its own content, he said, but also direct readers to stories elsewhere.

  • In other launch news, Storify – which has been available on an invite-only basis up until now and which we used to recap our Vegas Writers Workshop and S.F. Web Conferencenow has a beta version available to the public.
  • “Oh shit I thought those were DMs… Probably wasn’t public knowledge until 2 min ago.”
    – And thus it was accidentally revealed in a tweet that BusinessWeek spent $20 million on a “bullshit CMS” before going bankrupt.

    Perhaps with that in mind, insurance brokers in Canada are developing a “Twitter Insurance” product to protect companies from the careless tweets made by staff.

  • On the AOL/HuffPo front, its local blog network Patch announced a “a full-on course correction” and stated its intent to find 8,000 volunteer bloggers by May 4.

    Meanwhile, Arianna paid a visit to Mapquest’s new headquarters in Denver on the occasion of its 15th birthday reception that “was meant to show the company has changed along with the rest of AOL.”

  • After a near-death experience, the social bookmarking service Delicious was acquired by the duo behind YouTube. Over at Poynter, Katy Culver says that Delicious is an effective tool for journalism educators.
  • 39 percent of smartphone owners use their devices in the bathroom. But can the smartphone also be your handiest reporting tool?
  • Don’t let the content farmy headline fool you, here’s a legit post on how to create a Tumblr blog for your news organization.
  • Here’s Jay Rosen and his Four Ideas of Journalism.
  • Finally, we leave with words from AAN alum Jack Shafer and his epic takedown of New York Times public editor Arthur “Shiv” Brisbane, which deserves a full read.

    Brisbane found it unseemly that his media writers were taking swipes, and slipping shivs, into other news orgs. To which Shafer replied:

    Nobody deserves the lash more than publishers, editors, reporters, press critics, and public editors. The press corps may squeal bloody murder when tapped, but journalists are a lot tougher about taking criticism and fielding barbed questions than Brisbane suggests. Why? Because the same thing he accuses the Times of doing is what reporters and editors do every day to mayors, police chiefs, the clergy, Wall Street, scientists, captains of industry, foreign dignitaries, judges, teachers, athletes, fashion designers, jailers, revolutionaries, air-traffic controllers, bankers, bakers, firefighters, gurus, poets, inventors, economists, janitors, federal regulators, and others.

    Ours is mostly a negative business: We exist to put our finger between the anvil and the falling hammer and come back to tell our audiences how much life hurts.

  • Last week: How To Build A Fucking Website