The Media Oxpecker: Twitter’s ‘Absolutely Filthy Bathroom Wall’

Every Friday we round up media & tech industry news you may have missed while you were busy trying to fix that damn typewriter.

  • Google Believes in Humanity After All (Kinda)! After proudly declaring when it launched nine years ago that it was “generated entirely by computer algorithms,” Google News this week changed the equation — but only slightly — by rolling out a new section in the U.S.: Editors’ Picks, which are selected by individual publishers.
  • Quick Growth for Google+: A new survey finds that Google’s new social-networking site may grow to claim 22 percent of online American adults within a year, surpassing Twitter and LinkedIn to become the second most popular social site, after Facebook. It remains to be seen, however, if the growth will change the problem the site is having so far with being a male-dominated “sausage party.”
  • Introducing Newsbeat: The people behind the popular realtime analytics tool Chartbeat have launched a new version today specifically designed for news publishers — Newsbeat. As Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman points out in an informative overview, “it’s a more powerful tool for understanding your Web traffic, but also comes at a higher cost.” (Entry-level subscriptions start at $199 a month.)
  • The Problem With Promoted Tweets: Well, they’re pretty damn expensive, for one thing. They are also, as Matthew Creamer so aptly puts it, “often surrounded by an unruliness that makes it not unlike a high-end restaurant with an absolutely filthy bathroom wall.”
  • FourSquare Brand Pages: They’re now self-serve, so get in while the getting’s good, if you haven’t already.
  • Facebook & E-Books: The giant social networking site raised plenty of eyebrows this week when it acquired e-book publisher and app maker Push Pop Press; The Guardian, for one, called it a “red alert for publishers.”
  • What Can the Open Source Movement Teach Journalism? Nieman Lab reports on the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, and finds that journalism can learn plenty of lessons from idealistic technologists, but that open source — unfortunately — can’t help journalism find a sustainable business model moving forward.
  • Fewer Wikipedians on Board: Wikipedia is “scrambling to simplify editing procedures in an attempt to retain volunteers” in response to a drop in contributors. Founder Jimmy Wales chalks the attrition up to “26-year-old geeky male[s]” who move on to other (presumably better?) things in life, and to the fact that there are fewer new entries to add to the site as it reaches maturity.
  • Email Design Informed by Print: Spurred into action by a recent DzineBlog post, MediaPost’s Email Insider looks into the trend of taking email blasts beyond text by incorporating creative print-inspired design. “The way that subscribers interact with email is evolving, and so should our designs,” the blog notes.
  • Cookie Crumbs: Hulu and Spotify have suspended use of KISSmetrics’ analytics service, which was using “ETag” technology to track users — even after they had deleted their cookies, and two consumers have filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the company as well.
  • Coming to a Hipster Neighborhood Near You? A student newspaper in Florida “embraced pre-computer technology” to publish an issue; there is a great recap here. It makes us wonder: could analog publication production be the next big thing for the handlebar mustache-wearing, home-canning, cassette-making DIY set?
  • Think Before You Buy That Drone: The Daily’s use of drone aircraft to capture images from the sky has drawn a review from the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • So Who’s Got the Lower IQ: Internet Explorer users … or all the reporters who fell for the apparent hoax? SiliconFilter helpfully details three key reasons the hoax stuck (including the good old “Microsoft sucks, doesn’t it?” meme).