Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New media: increased news consumption; perils of classifying as public utilities

The State of the News Media 2012

A mounting body of evidence finds that the spread of mobile technology is adding to news consumption, strengthening the appeal of traditional news brands and even boosting reading of long-form journalism. But the evidence also shows that technology companies are strengthening their grip on who profits, according to the 2012 State of the News Media report by Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

More than a quarter of Americans (27%) now get news on mobile devices, and for the vast majority, this is increasing news consumption, the report finds. More than 80% of smartphone and tablet news consumers still get news on laptop or desktop computers. On mobile devices, news consumers also are more likely to go directly to a news site or use an app, rather than to rely on search — strengthening the bond with traditional news brands.


The Perils Of Classifying Social Media Platforms As Public Utilities

Are social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter "information monopolies" that should be regulated as public utilities? While calls for social networking regulation are on the rise, there are good reasons why policymaker should avoid the rush and rethink classifying them as "public utilities." Public utility regulation has traditionally been the arch-enemy of innovation, and this could have lasting effects on such a dynamic industry. Treating today’s leading social media providers as essential facilities threatens to convert predictions of "natural monopoly" into a self-fulfilling prophecy.


The Future of Apps and Web

The Web Is Dead? No. Experts expect apps and the Web to converge in the cloud; but many worry that simplicity for users will come at a price.

Tech experts generally believe the mobile revolution, the popularity of targeted apps, the monetization of online products and services, and innovations in cloud computing will drive Web evolution. Some survey respondents say while much may be gained, perhaps even more may be lost if the “appification” of the Web comes to pass.

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