DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in SOPA (2)


This is the Week that Was, in both tech and content. Wow!

This was a very busy week for news in both the blogosphere and the content world, so this post will probably be newsier than most. Dig in, and I promise, there'll be some long reads popped in as well.

But first: on Monday I gave a lecture on the emerging market for transmedia this week which I call "Transmedia Sorting Hat." Check out the presentation slides and notes if you missed that post. I incorporated some wonderful new discoveries and content, including an info graphic from Steve Peters and a look at the work of Jan Libby.  Related links: Musician and protogeek Thomas Dolby is interviewed by Steve Peters (audio) about his big project, The Map of the Floating City, on ARGNetcast. Transmedia and ARG producer Jan Libby is interviewed (in text) by a Berlin site.


Certainly the biggest news from the digisphere this week was the astonishing collapse of the effort to pass restrictive bills targeting internet piracy. Both the House and Senate versions were dead by Friday, victim of an amazing run of events this week, starting with a cautionary announcement from the Obama White House (which may cost him campaign contributions from some studios and other Hollywood types) and capped by a day-long protest online, as many sites went dark or urged their audience to call or email their legislators. The MPAA, which dominated the coalition that pushed the bills, has cried Uncle, with its President and former Senator Chris Dodd admitting as much

Related, of course, was the Justice Department shutdown of  file-sharing site MegaUpload, and, in retaliation, some of the most widespread hacker attacks, with responsibility claimed by Anonymous.

And perhaps coincidentally, the Supreme Court decided to rule this week that Congress should be able to "re-copyright" public domain works. Wow. 


Analyst Will Richmond posits that we're entering a virtuous circle for "online-only original" production (what GigaOm this week calls the "golden age of content"), taking on Marc Cuban who is the biggest cheerleader for conventional broadcasting one can find. Cuban himself was in the news with the announcement of AXS, a reformulation of his HDNet channel with heavyweight partners AEG, CAA and Ryan Seacrest. Andy Wallenstein at Variety focuses on the channel's innovative business model. Cuban's partner AEG is front and center in a well-researched New Yorker profile called "The Man Who Owns L.A.," namely AEG's Tim Leiweke (and his boss, Phil Anschutz).

Sundance 2012 launched this week with a flood of reviews, gossip and all the rest. I found the opening remarksfrom Redford and his Sundance colleagues on alternative forms of distribution pretty interesting

YouTube announced its own short film festival this week, as well, called "Your Film Festival"  in conjunction with Ridley Scott, the Venice Film Festival and Emirates airline. Big prize is half a million bucks for production.

Speaking of new forms of distribution, Marc Schiller and Mike Lee of Bond Strategy posted a smart piece on Tribeca's site about film marketing and the social graph. 

Speaking of YouTube, the New Yorker's John Seabrook baked a nice slice about the pending shift of the video site towards professional channelization. Nothing really new, but it's mainstreaming the obvious. 

Nature, the UK-based science journal, ran an interesting story about how scientists are now beginning to use crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter to fund their research. Fascinating. 

Also, the LATimes' "Hero Complex" blog digs into the "making of" the new STAR WARS: OLD REPUBLIC video game, calling it 'a galactic gamble.'


Apple made a big announcement this week focusing upon the educational and e-textbook markets, with predictable mega-coverage. Some analysts decried the move as greedy and evil. Or Apple at its Absolute Worst, shouts Business Insider. Other coverage compared Apple's strategy to Amazon's failed bid to capture the textbook market three years ago. The Atlantic offers a longer read, namely a brief history of textbooks, calling Apple's announcement "actually revolutionary." Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab offered four lessons for news organizations, though I found them useful and I'm neither. 

Twitter bought news delivery platform Summify this week, evidently with the goal of ingesting the Vancouver-based team that built it, as TechCrunch reports, noting that some of its features are being disabled.  Web designer Mike Davidson offers insight into why: as does WIRED. I'm a daily Summify user, and I find its daily email summaries quite useful as a filtering device, along with Zite and Pulse on my iPad. I hope Twitter doesn't screw it up.


  • Kodak files for bankruptcy. 
  • Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo.
  • Google misses its numbers Lots of controversy over a move by Google to emphasize its own social network (Plus) in search results. Here's an especially pointed post by John Battelle, suggesting that Google may succeed in forcing brands (and people) to use its social network in order to show up in search results.

• Friday Update: SOPA, Flash, Storify, Bezos, FMFGT, privacy, TV & transmedia

Here's my weekly review of this week's links and tweets about the news, issues & trends I’m tracking. It's #NGIF (Nick’s Great Information Friday).

Future of TV

I learned a lot from my participation in Future Media Fest, a conference convened in Atlanta by Georgia Tech, where I spoke on a panel on the future of television with folks from Cisco, Intel and Motorola.  Video of some panels, including mine, will be archived sometime next week. I’ll post when that happens. Meanwhile, check out the live tweets from the conference at #FMFGT

Some of my thoughts on the future of television were posted in a presentation “Tracking Tomorrow’s Television Today” to the TV Academy Faculty Seminar.

Related and relevant are two videos from a recent GigaOm conference, one from VC Mark Suster and  this one from visionary exec Robert Tercek.

The buzz over UK-based TV companion app Zeebox continues with the news that the company will build companion apps for Channel 4.


Privacy is an issue that radiates throughout the web. My post, “The Virtual Self” examines the Hobson’s Choice between convenience and privacy on the web. (The piece was also posted on The Wrap this week, as well:)

Check out a useful Business Insider report on just exactly what Facebook gathers as you browse the web, and a Mashable report on the launch of a new company, appropriately called “Personal”, which seeks to be the data vault for your private information.  

While at #fmfgt, I encountered Social Fortress, an Atlanta start-up that offers a next-gen encryption platform. Available only for the enterprise right now, co-founder Adam Ghetti told me the consumer version will become available in Q1, 2012. 

Transmedia: Storytelling, Story Tools

My piece about the Story World Conference was posted at Tribeca Future of Film site. Earlier this month Tribeca hosted a panel on Transmedia for Documentaries at the New School, the video for which can be viewed here:

Bravo TV's digital chief Lisa Hsia weighed in with how Transmedia Storytelling is Changing TV on Mashable. Young adult author Michael Grant’s new transmedia property BZRK is getting a big marketing push from publisher Egmont  

More and more attention is turning to various platforms and toolsets, for instance this post about the new interface and features for Storify on Read Write Web, and another report detailing how “Storify comes into its own” as an aggregation tool for the coverage of Occupy Wall Street movement. I asked Twitter’s Director of Global Brand Strategy Joel Lunenfeld about Storify and other tools that leverage the Twitter API to present coherent stories, and his answer was unexpected and fascinating, basically that Twitter will be introducing new functionality in this area at an undisclosed date in the future. He would not tell me more, but I’ll keep you posted.

You may want to check out this report on a new tool for “online performance” called UpStage, from New Zealand. 

Flash Forward (not)

The web is still alive with chatter over Adobe’s announcement that it will no longer support Flash as a mobile development platform. Check out this roundup of comments from developers, produced by FWA (Favorite Website Awards).  

Bezos rising

Have you noticed the flood of words about the rise of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos as king of the web, esp. since Steve Job's death and the introduction of the Kindle Fire. Here's the best of the lot from WIRED.

#SOPA frenzy

Congressional hearings began over the “Stop Online Piracy Act” backed by the main trade groups representing copyright holders, and opposed by the Internet big-boys. Here is the case against.

And a report from showbiz journal The Wrap suggesting that the legislation goes too far, even for Hollywood’s allies.

AHA moments

Finally: You must check out "The Blu", a new site that allows users to explore the ocean online in an environment created by CG producers around the world. It's gorgeous, addictive and an unusual form of User-Generated Content.

My fave tweet quote this week: from coverage of the Future of Entertainment conference at MIT:  "That we don't have a venture capital model for creativity is one of the strangest things in contemporary culture." @grant27 #FoE5