We promise not to screw it up. —
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO, announcing the company’s agreement to acquire Tumblr. On Tumblr, of course. Tumblr. + Yahoo! = !!
FJP: We’re wary, but let’s hope so.
Scaling Mt. Everest
Twenty-five-year-old Raha Moharrak is the first Saudi Arabian woman, and youngest Arab ever, to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. She accomplished the feat with the first Qatari and Palestinian men to ever reach the peak, and an Iranian man.
The group calls itself Arabs with Altitude and the expedition was made in an attempt to raise $1 million for education projects in Nepal.
Image: Raha Moharrak on being “first”. Mt. Everest aerial view via Wikimedia Commons. Select to embiggen.
Rupert Murdoch, offering advice to Facebook, via Twitter.
Murdoch’s News Corp (in)famously bought Myspace in 2005 for $580 million and sold it in 2011 to Specific Media for $35 million. During a 2011 annual meeting, he admitted that News Corp managed to “mismanage it in every possible way.”
To speak with an incarcerated loved one for just an hour a week would cost $240 a month — and that’s on top of the regular phone bill. — Step Up FCC: Lower the Cost of Prison Phone Rates, Free Press.
Is Yahoo Trying to Acquire Tumblr?
All Things D reports that Yahoo is trying to get its cool on with a potential Tumblr acquisition:
Earlier this week, Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference and underscored the need for the aging Silicon Valley Internet giant to attract more users from the coveted 18-to-24-years-old age bracket. Along with more marketing, he explicitly said Yahoo needed to be “cool again.” …According to sources close to the situation, that could mean a strategic alliance and investment in or outright buy of perhaps the coolest Internet company of late: Tumblr.
Adweek follows up saying a deal could be done by this weekend, adding:
Such an acquisition could be just what CEO [Marissa] Mayer has been looking for to turn around Yahoo’s momentum; Tumblr has the potential to excite the engineering/Silicon Valley community (even though it’s based in New York) while recapturing the imagination of advertisers, who have grown to view Yahoo as big but stale.
While its revenue is modest, Tumblr has positioned itself as one of the few players in the digital ad world that is well suited for brand advertising. And Tumblr is also the domain of the young, cool and creative crowd—not currently a Yahoo sweet spot.
From Tumblr’s point of view, the deal also would seem to make a lot of sense. The company has been looking to make a big exit to justify its huge valuation.
Over at GigaOm, Om Malik suggests Facebook might try to swoop in on a deal.:
We have heard that Yahoo is worried that Facebook could swoop in at the last minute and beat it to the buzzer. If the Instagram acquisition was any indication, then we shouldn’t doubt [Mark] Zuckerberg’s salesmanship. [Tumblr’s David] Karp is said to have a close relationship with Facebook and was recently spotted at the Facebook Home launch. Facebook could use the much needed younger 18-to-24 year old demographic, something it (successfully) tried to acquire with Instagram. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
Word of warning via 37signals: What happens after Yahoo acquires you:
Whether it’s Flickr, Delicious, MyBlogLog, or Upcoming, the post-purchase story is a similar one. Both sides talk about all the wonderful things they will do together. Then reality sets in. They get bogged down trying to overcome integration obstacles, endless meetings, and stifling bureaucracy. The products slow down or stop moving forward entirely. Once they hit the two-year mark and are free to leave, the founders take off. The sites are left to flounder or ride into the sunset. And customers are left holding the bag.
At Bloomberg, reporters could sit at their desks and use a keyboard function to see the last time an official of the Federal Reserve logged on. And the Justice Department obtained the records of The Associated Press from phone companies with no advance notice, giving it no chance to challenge the action. The absence of friction has led to a culture of transgression. Clearly, if it can be known, it will be known. — David Carr, Snooping and the news media: it’s a two way street (via soupsoup)
Apple passes 50 billion App Store downloads
FJP: via CNET, “The person who downloaded the 50 billionth app will get a $10,000 App Store gift card from Apple, and the 50 people who downloaded apps right after that each will receive a $500 gift card.”
Yes, You Can Win This Cinetics miniSkates Tripod
And now for something new: The first ever FJP Photo Contest.
Back in March Peter went to SXSW and met Justin Jensen, founder of Cinetics, a company he started from the MIT Media Lab to create portable cinematic systems. Peter loved what they’re doing and Justin and Co were kind enough to donate the miniSkates tripod as the prize for our first photo contest. (You can see the tripod in action in Justin’s original 2011 Kickstarter video.)
The theme for this contest is “Daily Commute”.
You are welcome to interpret the theme however you like but here are some ideas to help get you started:
How to Enter
Deadline: May 31, 2013
Other things you can do: Share this with your friends.
If this contest is successful we think we can get other companies to come together and offer contest prizes for The FJP community.
Many thanks. Start taking your photos and submit them to us over on Facebook. We look forward to seeing them!
In mid-April, we went live with a half dozen articles which we call “stubs.” The idea here is to plant a flag in a story right away with a short post—a “stub”—and then build the article as the story develops over time, rather than just cranking out short, discrete posts every time something new breaks. One of our writers refers to this aptly as a “slow live blog. —
This Is What Happens When Publishers Invest In Long Stories ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
The results of Fast Company’s experiment with “stubs” — which allowed them to gradually create long-form journalism — pleasantly surprised the team when it brought a lot of traffic. Learn more about their strategy and check out snapshots of their site analytics from Chris Dannen. (via onaissues)
FJP: SBNation, the network of sports blog, rolled out a feature similar to this when Vox Media redesigned the entire ecosystem. This is how Jeff Clark of SBNation’s CelticsBlog described “Storystreams” when the redesign launched:
This is a kind of post that has several updates within that post. It is a smarter way of handling big stories that have many updates (like trade deadline day and media day) rather than editing a single post or breaking it into several smaller posts.
And yes, I’m a Celtics junkie. — Michael
Bing Now Translates Klingon Language
Bing has just added Klingon, the language spoken by the Klingon warrior race of the Star Trek universe, to its language translator.
Bing worked with the linguistics Ph. D. Marc Okrand who developed the language for the series. It also turned to 10 people who are fluent in the language to train the systems, as well as the Klingon Language Institute who assisted in the process.
Bing users can now even translate entire websites into Klingon.
FJP: I think I speak for everyone when I say: HIja’ tlhuchtlh! — Krissy
Image: Today I Found Out
The Ultimate Nerd Assignment
Slate’s Matthew Yglesias watches every movie and every episode of every Star Trek and reports back on what it all means.
What does everyone make of this tool then?
As in 1957, 1966 and 1989, Chinese intellectuals are feeling more or less the same fear as one does before an approaching mountain storm. The scariest [fear] of all is not being silenced or sent to prison; it is the sense of powerlessness and uncertainty about what comes next… It’s as if you are walking into a minefield blindfolded. —
Hao Qun, as quoted in The Guardian. China Tries to Rein in Microbloggers.
The News, via The Guardian:
China has launched a new drive to tame its boisterous microblogging culture by closing influential accounts belonging to writers and intellectuals who have used them to highlight social injustice.
The strict censorship of mainstream media in China has made social media an essential forum for public debate, but authorities have shown increasing determination to control it. Previous campaigns have warned the public against spreading rumours – a theme that has recurred in this crackdown – and ordered users to register with their real names.
Now attention has turned to the country’s opinion formers. A recent commentary in the state-run Global Times newspaper warned that “Big Vs” – meaning verified accounts with millions of followers – had become “relay stations for online rumours” and accused them of “harming the dignity of the law”.
Somewhat Related: The South China Morning Post reports that the central government has ordered universities to stop teaching seven subjects, among them civil rights, press freedom and the communist party’s past mistakes.
The History of Cuss Words
Salon’s featured excerpt of Melissa Mohr’s Holy Shit: A Brief History of Swearing, provides an in depth look at commonly used swear words of the 18th and 19th centuries.
According to Mohr, a cuss word is defined by its impact:
Along with grammatical flexibility, this figurativeness is the hallmark of a fully obscene word, a word used not as a literal descriptor but to shock, offend, or otherwise carry emotion — a swearword.
Some of the popular curse words and phrases from Mohr’s excerpt include the following:
FJP: More bloody fun: Nine Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Swear Words. You should also check out, FUCK — the documentary about “fuck’s” origins and uses. If you don’t — it will surely be a “burning shame.” Figuratively, of course. (Let’s hope.) — Krissy
Image: Screenshot from The Fantastic Mr. Fox.