Jeff Bezos gives The Washington Post something better than hope — now it’s got potential

Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post has inspired lots of “Why would he buy that“? analysis — some of it is quite good and some of it is really funny.

But this single tweet from Adrian Holovaty explains why Post staffers, subscribers and anyone else who cares about the institution should feel good about the move:

Bezos’ involvement gives the Post potential. Now there’s a chance that something interesting is going to happen there; something that’s not just a repackaging of content or yet another paywall or some other half measure driven by desperation.

Why BuzzFeed is winning

The New Republic’s Marc Tracy explains why BuzzFeed’s version of the Reza Aslan / Fox News interview captured so much attention:

As I reported in a New Republic story about the site [BuzzFeed] a year ago, its presence on social media, its clean layout, and its editorial philosophy of shearing most context from tidbits of news and giving readers just the thing itself—all make the site immaculately positioned to capitalize on the new news economy, in which readers increasingly find things like this video not by subscribing to or regularly visiting specific blogs or websites, but by happening upon independent articles shared via social media like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. Indeed, more than half of BuzzFeed’s pageviews have come from people clicking on links to the post that their friends shared on Facebook. (And don’t sleep on [BuzzFeed writer Andrew] Kaczynski’s headline—headlines being something that I would bet BuzzFeed spends a substantial amount of time thinking about. Kaczynski’s headline was, “Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” Don’t you want to click and find out?) [Emphasis added.]

How to win Atari’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”

I remember playing Atari’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” as a kid. I was fortunate because my friend knew the ins and outs — how to avoid the wells, how to find phone pieces, how to get to the landing site, etc. I didn’t encounter the frustrations that caused many others to revile this game (nor did I realize E.T. game hate was so strong).

Today, in one of those serendipitous click trips (see the “via” segment, below), I was reintroduced to the E.T. game by way of this VHS-era tutorial:

I understand the frustration now. Marching E.T. through dull screens in search of pixellated doodads feels like an exceptional waste of time. And the sound. My God, the sound.

Yet, the thing I always enjoyed about this game is that it had an ending. That appealed to me much more than gathering points or setting a new high score (much of this is due to my complete incompetence as a gamer — I’m really quite horrible).

Via O’Reilly Radar > ASCII > “Fixing E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for the Atari 2600” > “E.T. (Atari 2600) (How To Beat Home Video Games 2)

Your day will get better when you watch this: Google Street View Hyperlapse

Google Street View Hyperlapse stitches Street View images into fantastic mini movies. You can build your own hyperlapse here.

Be sure to check out this demo video as well (and try not to smile while you watch this thing — it’s impossible):

Via “Four short links: 10 April 2013” on O’Reilly Radar

The Financial Times shows how data-driven is done

The Financial Times launched its metered model years ago, which puts it way ahead of the current paywall curve.

After reading through this Mashable piece, it’s clear that all of the FT’s paywall experience — and, importantly, all of its related data — has made the organization quite savvy. For example:

Looking through some of the reader data — the FT’s data team now numbers more than 30 across three groups — the FT was able to recognize the kinds of patterns readers display before purchasing subscriptions. “We would see the sort of articles they were reading and the frequency they were reading those articles, for instance, and we began to map those,” [CEO John] Ridding explains. “People do behave in predictable ways.”

“… the FT was able to recognize the kinds of patterns readers display before purchasing subscriptions.”

That, right there, is how you put data to use.

The full article is worth a read.

Charlie Rose AMA: “What was it that made you who you are and enabled you to do what you do?”

Charlie Rose participated in an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit. Here’s part of his response to the question “What interview will you remember most? Why?“:

If you can get people where they’re thinking out loud and revealing things that they might not have thought about, but they’re so caught up by the engagement, that they feel a desire for themselves and for you to tell you about choices they made and experiences that shaped them, you always want to know, “What was it that made you who you are and enabled you to do what you do?”

“What was it that made you who you are and enabled you to do what you do?”

Isn’t that great?

The state of native advertising in 45 words

Native advertising is all the rage, but there’s still so much work to do, so many lessons to learn, and so many mistakes to make. That’s why I love this line from Adweek’s Charlie Warzel:

For native advertising to succeed, its practitioners need to be mindful that it’s not yet universally accepted, and traditionalists need to unmoor themselves from the idea that native is a corrosive practice that undermines great journalism and see that it could even be its savior.

Out of work reporter breaks big news in pajama pants

Despite no longer having an organization or a job or maybe even a desk, former Boston Phoenix staff writer David S. Bernstein (@dbernstein) still managed to break the story that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino would not run for another term (this is huge news in Boston — physicists have determined that Menino is the city’s Constant).

Bernstein’s feat was celebrated in journalism circles, and some rightly questioned how a man who can land the big scoop remains unemployed:

And this is when my respect for Bernstein reached a whole new level:

Key lesson: journalism needs more pajama pants.

Via Poynter