There’s a term for this. Social psychologists, journalists and social-media users call it “lifestyle envy,” or Instagram envy, and savvy smartphone users are well-acquainted with its tell-tale sign: the little pang you get when a friend posts photos from his or her swanky vacation in Istanbul, or when actress Mindy Kaling snaps her newest pair of spike-toe Christian Louboutain pumps.
Lane Anderson in The Instagram Effect: How the Psychology of Envy Drives Consumerism, Deseret News.
The piece is part of a series called The Ten Today, which examines the relevance of the 10 Commandments in contemporary society. It’s kind of a a fascinating endeavor. The publication, which, as Nieman Lab reports, just came out of beta, is fascinating in itself:
The Deseret News is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but you might not detect its Mormon roots from looking at the outlet’s national site — officially came out of beta yesterday — which focuses on the self-proclaimed values of family and faith. Even in its faith section, which includes stories as wide ranging as a preview of a new PBS documentary on the history of the Jews and a piece on the Hindu holiday of Holi, there’s very little explicit coverage of Mormonism.
FJP: So most of the articles (see: popular content, for example) comes out of a set of curious, general-interesty questions about American society and the role that spirituality and family plays out in our daily lives. While most new news projects are following the niche-news-serving-narrow-interests trend, it’s an interesting ambition to keep an eye on: a publication aiming to hit such a broad audience and broad set of topics topics from a strangely narrow space. —Jihii
News consumption is growing more mobile, but with the number of smartphone and tablet users on the rise, it might make sense for newsrooms to abandon text alerts — which can cost money for both sender and receiver — and shift to push notifications and that old standby, email.
via Nieman Lab:
Ever since the Angels signed star first baseman Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson, fans had been going nuts with anticipation for the 2012 season. The growing excitement gave the paper’s Angels editor, Keith Sharon, what he called a “crazy idea.”
“They’ve never been so excited,” Sharon told me. “Given that atmosphere, I wanted to match the intensity and the enthusiasm of the fans somehow. I like flash mobs, I like cash mobs, and what I’ve been telling people is this is an overwhelming choreographed allocation of news resources. I want everybody who sees our website, our print product, our iPad product, our mobile device product to think: ‘They thought of everything. I mean everything.’”
So what exactly does an Angels news mob cover?
A real estate reporter is doing a story about how property values around Angel Stadium have gone up. A business reporter talked to the manufacturer of Angels bobbleheads. A technology reporter interviewed the person who picks the songs and video clips that run during the game. The person who usually covers celebrity gossip filed a story about the 1870s-era baseball cards that are in a Library of Congress collection. One reporter is writing a story about an Angels fan who plans to propose to his girlfriend at the opening-night game.
FJP: Great idea? Overkill? Not quite sure yet.
Illustrating that point: Last year, five technology giants — not including Apple and Amazon — generated 68 percent of all digital ad revenue. By 2015, Facebook is expected to account for one of every five digital display ads sold. In contrast, print ad revenues were down $2.1 billion, or 9.2 percent, last year. Losses in print outweighed $207 million in online advertising gains by a ratio of 10 to 1.
This dynamic gave Pew researchers an idea that has been floated before: Could a tech giant like Google or Facebook swoop in and “save” a household-name newspaper by buying it? Mitchell says there are signs that “speak to the possibility of that happening,” namely the idea that technology leaders might identify news production as a path to omnipresence in consumers’ lives. But why would a profitable company want to acquire an operation — even one with a legacy brand — that’s in the red?
Information obesity, that is. Clay Johnson sums it up quite well in this LA Times piece.
The problem is that these days you can feast on information as never before, and you can do it without leaving the living room couch. But consuming too much of the wrong kind of information can lead to a kind of information obesity as dangerous as that caused by too much of the wrong kinds of food.
Just as we know we should curb the cookies and high fructose corn syrup, Johnson suggests we construct healthy info diets for ourselves.
We eat a lot of junk food because it is cheap and tastes good and we haven’t trained our taste buds differently. Well, your information diet is as important to your general well-being as your food diet. Building a healthy information diet can give you more time, strengthen your social relationships and reduce your stress levels.
For those who don’t trust social news aggregators, while building your diet and picking tools, check out topheadlin.es, a new app-in-progress from the Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Singer-Vine. (Via Nieman)
In the same way that services like News.me, Zite, or our own Fuego aggregate social news judgments (like Twitter patterns) or personal news judgments (like user behavior), topheadlin.es aggregates editorial news judgments.
Happy dieting (& feel free to let us know how it goes)!