The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

Category: Media on the Web

Helen Gurley Brown gives Stanford, Columbia $30 million


The intersection of media and technology just got better funded.

Today the Columbia Journalism School and the Stanford School of Engineering announced a joint $30 million gift from longtime Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown to establish the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation.

The idea is to get the best media minds on the East Coast to start working with the best technology  minds on the West Coast and get innovating!

"David and I have long supported and encouraged bright young people to follow their passions and to create original content," said Helen Gurley Brown in a statement. "Great content needs usable technology....It's time for two great institutions on the East and West Coasts to build a bridge."

If you are thinking this bridge might be a bit arbitrary, it may help to know that Helen Gurley Brown's late husband graduated from Stanford University and the Columbia School of Journalism.

Each school will receive $12 million for "Institute activities"--enough to endow a professorship holder and to support graduate and post-graduate fellowships at both schools. Columbia will receive an additional $6 million for construction of a building that will feature a high-tech newsroom.

"New York City as the major center for the television, music, print media and advertising, is profoundly affected by rapidly evolving digital technology," said Stanford engineering professor Bernd Girod, who will be the institute's founding director, in a statement. "The Brown Institute will bring together creative innovators skilled in production and delivery of news and entertainment with the entrepreneurial researchers at Stanford working in multimedia technology."


Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 tablet review [Video]

Super Bowl ads: Broderick's Ferris Bueller takes day off for Honda

Facebook, Google, other firms team to fight email phishing scams

--Deborah Netburn

Photo: David Brown and Helen Gurley Brown in 1979. Credit: Los Angeles Times.


Is Facebook 'Subscribe' for real? Booming new traffic explained


As their Facebook "subscriber" lists have spiraled upward -- into the thousands and tens of thousands in recent weeks -- many journalists have looked on in awe and wonder.

Executives at the social media behemoth say the "Subscribe" function, introduced in September, has instantly become a hugely popular feature. It allows the public to follow journalists, artists and political figures without taking the more personal, and potentially intrusive, step of "friending."

The manager of the Journalist Program for Facebook said in a posting Wednesday that subscriptions have jumped more than threefold since November for a sample of 25 journalists around the country. Vadim Lavrusik, the program manager, suggested that the exponential growth -- CNN weather reporter Bonnie Schneider somewhat suddenly has 72,000 subscribers -- is a reflection of the "organic discovery mechanisms" built into the social network.

Journalists have alternately expressed happiness (any audience expansion is a good thing) and skepticism over what's behind the booming Facebook Subscribe numbers.

Linda Thomas, a morning news anchor in Seattle, put out a series of Facebook messages trying to determine why her following on the site had suddenly leaped to nearly 5,000. Media analyst Jim Romenesko responded:  “Subscriber (and LIKE) spam is a huge problem for Facebook. I have 14,000+ Facebook subscribers and guess that not even 25% of them know my work and have any interest in it.”

When I asked Romenesko why he was skeptical that new subscribers were real,  he said it was partly the fact the newcomers to his Facebook page seemed to have no connectedness to his other friends and subscribers. Many came with oddball names, like the one that appeared to be a takeoff on  "Adolph Hitler."

Continue reading »

Google, Facebook, YouTube are most visited websites in 2011

Google, Facebook and YouTube racked up the most unique visitors among U.S. websites in 2011, according to new data from the research group Nielsen.

Not necessarily the most surprising news is it? What may be a bit more interesting is that, despite its rapid growth, Google+ was on average visited by fewer users than Myspace this year, according to Nielsen. Google+ was released in beta in July and opened to the public in September.

The Nielsen data also doesn't cover the entire year, only January to October.

According to Nielsen, the top 10 U.S. social networks and blogs, by page views, in 2011 were:

1. Facebook -- 137.6 million average page views per month

2. Blogger -- 45.5 million average page views per month

3. -- 23.6 million average page views per month

4. -- 20.4 million average page views per month

5. -- 17.9 million average page views per month

6. LinkedIn -- 17 million average page views per month

7. Tumblr -- 10.9 million average page views per month

8. Google+ -- 8.2 million average page views per month

9. Yahoo! Pulse -- 8 million average page views per month

10. Six Apart/TypePad -- 7 million average page views per month

Nielsen also reported that the 10 most visited overall U.S. Web brands in 2011 were:

1. Google -- 153.4 million average page views per month

2. Facebook -- 137.6 million average page views per month

3. Yahoo! -- 130.1 million average page views per month

4. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing -- 115.9 million average page views per month

5. YouTube -- 106.7 million average page views per month

6. Microsoft -- 83.8 million average page views per month

7. AOL Media Network -- 74.6 million average page views per month

8. Wikipedia -- 62 million average page views per month

9. Apple -- 61.6 million average page views per month

10. Ask Search Network -- 60.5 million average page views per month

 And finally, the top 10 U.S. Web brands for video, according to Nielsen's data:

1. YouTube -- 111.1 million average page views per month

2. Vevo -- 34.6 million average page views per month

3. Facebook -- 29.8 million average page views per month

4. Yahoo! -- 25.3 million average page views per month

5. MSN/WindowsLive/Bing -- 16.6 million average page views per month

6. AOL Media Network -- 13.3 million average page views per month

7. Hulu -- 13.1 million average page views per month

8. The CollegeHumor Network -- 12.5 million average page views per month

9. CNN Digital Network -- 8.3 million average page views per month

10. Netflix -- 7.4 million average page views per month


Google+ may reach 400 million users by end of 2012

'Facebook' tops list of most-searched-for terms of 2011

Report: Investment banks compete for lead role in Facebook IPO

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Image: A screen shot of Credit: Google

Foursquare launches 'Save to Foursquare' and 'Follow' buttons


Foursquare launched its "Save to Foursquare" and "Follow on Foursquare" buttons Wednesday in an effort by the New York company to get users to integrate what they do on the Web with what they do in the real world.

The Save to Foursquare button is aimed at online publishers and can enable publications to relate stories and reviews to places listed in the Foursquare app.

"For example, from a user perspective, if the L.A. Times were to use this feature, and I'm on the L.A. Times website and I'm reading a review of a new sushi place at LA Live, then I can click the Save to Foursquare button from the review online and that sushi place will be added to my to-do list on Foursquare," said Jonathan Crowley, who oversees Foursquare's partnerships with media companies. "And then when I'm in L.A. near LA Live and I'm looking at my to-do list, I'll see that sushi place on my list and the L.A. Times review would show up when I am looking at that sushi place in the app.

"So I could go back and read that review if I wanted to remember why it's on my list in the first place. And all of this would take place with the publisher's logo and branding."

As of now the L.A. Times isn't using the Save to Foursquare button, but Crowley's hypothetical example went into practice Wednesday with launch partners such as Frommer's Travel,, New York Magazine, Time Out NY and Time Out NY Kids, Time Out Boston, Time Out Chicago, and CBS.

CBS' use of the Save to Foursquare button is something that Crowley said he is particularly excited about because it's a move many people wouldn't expect, he said.

"We wanted to bridge the gap between what you're reading and watching online, and what you go out and do in the real world," Crowley said. "A lot of people don't look at CBS as a local brand, but if you think about it, there are all of these markets out there that have local CBS stations and they're producing a ton of locally focused content, so it actually makes a lot of sense.

"The fact is that the best content creators, the places that know cities the best, are publications like newspapers and magazines and local TV stations. And now we can connect the work all of these publications are doing with what we're doing on Foursquare very easily. It's something we've been working on for a while now."

The Follow on Foursquare button enables anyone with a website to allow Foursquare users to follow that person or business on Foursquare with a simple click, similar to Twitter's follow button, he said.

"The Follow button is even easier to put on a website," Crowley said. "With the Save to Foursquare button, a publisher has to structure the location data of what they're writing about in a certain way. With the Follow button, it's as easy as copying code from our website over to your website. Anyone can do it."

When a person follows someone or something on Foursquare, they'll see that person's or brand's tips when they check in at a location and they'll see lists of things to do by who they follow as well, he said.

"It's all the same as when you've followed a person or a brand on Foursquare before, but now you can follow someone you see on the Web without having to take your phone out of your pocket and go looking for them," Crowley said.

The company also launched a redesigned developer website Wednesday that should make it easier for third-party apps to build on what Foursquare has built and has coming up.

"I think a lot of people look at us as a 'check-in service,' but it's so much more than that," Crowley said. "It's about exploring your city, having a travel guide when you're in a new city, getting brand or friend recommendations wherever you go -- and all of this just adds to that.

"We've got a very long product road map, and we're focused on building more of these types of tools that make it easier for people to explore what's going on around them."


Foursquare has more than 10 million users

Foursquare reaches 1 billion check-ins [Video]

Foursquare Radar leverages Apple iOS 5 with new discovery features

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles+

Image: A screen shot of the Save to Foursquare button on Credit: New York Magazine / Foursquare

SoundCloud wants to be the YouTube of audio

ABC News Radio on SoundCloud

SoundCloud is one of the handful of popular destinations for musicians on the Web looking to upload their songs, so listeners can download or stream their work.

But while musicians have largely powered SoundCloud's growth to a user base of more than 7 million since it's start in 2008, the site is now looking to reach not just bands and fans, but also everyone else who currently captures a moment in a photo or a video, versus audio, with their smartphone.

"We had a realization last year where we started seeing people using SoundCloud for other things than just music," said Alex Ljung, SoundCloud's co-founder and chief executive. "And it became obvious for us, that when we look at the Web we think of photos, we think of text, we think of videos, so why don't we think about sound in a broader sense? So, music is obviously a key part for us, but there's a lot of other things happening on the platform as well."

The Berlin-based start-up recently opened a San Francisco office to aid its efforts to reach more and more users, musician and non-musician alike. And while SoundCloud has more than a few competitors out there -- such as BandCamp and SoundClick -- as a preferred platform for musicians to host their tunes, the company might be aided in its goal by the fact that its sound-streaming rivals are focused on music.

The company also has its own free audio recording apps available for Apple's iPhone, Google's Android mobile OS, as well as more than 200 other apps from third parties that can record and sync with a user's SoundCloud account by way of developer tools it has made available.

"Ultimately we want people to be able to connect through sounds, and we think that, you know, we are providing a certain kind of experience around that, but we want that experience to be like the Web is," Ljung said. "We want it to be distributed. So it doesn't matter if you're on your phone, or your desktop, or you know, on a different website -- we want people to be able to have a SoundCloud experience there. So that's why we built it as a platform and allow other apps to basically integrate SoundCloud into what they're doing. So you don't have to to get the experience. You should be able to get that wherever you are."

By opening up its own platform, as well as being integrated with the likes of other social sharing networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, SoundCloud aims to be what YouTube has been for video, what Twitter has become for quick comments written out in 140 characters or less and what Facebook has grown into for photos.

"I think for us it's important, just this idea of you know sound can be a lot of different things," Ljung said. "It can be the Foo Fighters putting something up. It can be 50 Cent using it. But it can also be Russell Brand reading stuff from his new book, it could be ABC News putting up memories from -- or people's memories from 9/11."

What do you think? Do you want to record and share audio -- or are photos, video and text good enough? Is there anything you'd like to hear on the Web, on SoundCloud or anywhere else?

To listen to my interview with Ljung, recorded in downtown Los Angeles earlier this week, check out the recording I posted to SoundCloud below.


How to get the new Facebook 'Timeline' now

Facebook F8: Is Facebook a 'social operating system'?

Digg's Newsrooms an attempt to separate good content from bad

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screenshot of ABC News Radio on SoundCloud.

Digg's Newsrooms an attempt to separate good content from bad

Digg Newsrooms

Digg, the social news reading website, is going through yet another overhaul and this time is taking a new approach, which it calls Newsrooms, to enable the best content to ascend atop its pages.

"The online world is flooded with information," Digg CEO Matt Williams said in a company blog post. "The volume of news published on a daily basis has grown exponentially. Many of us visit several different sites each day to get the most relevant or entertaining information on the topics we care about. There has never been a better time to separate the news from the noise."

Digg's Newsrooms will seek to create that separation by dividing news stories into different topics, each with their own Newsroom.

"When you visit a Newsroom you'll find the best news for a given topic as measured by popular opinion and ranked by top contributors on Digg," Williams said. "Topics as broad as technology or as specific as Lady Gaga. We've built a three-step algorithm to help the most meaningful stories rise to the top -– leveraging our greatest asset, the Digg community."

Williams said the three steps are sourcing, signals and curation. From Williams' blog post:

- Sourcing: We locate great content for each topic and display in a real-time feed called "Newswire."

- Signals: Stories are ranked automatically by an algorithm that looks at recency and popularity including Likes on Facebook, Tweets and LinkedIn sharing, to name a few.

- Curation: The news is then filtered by the Diggs and Comments of passionate users who have gained reputation as top influencers in each Newsroom topic.

Although the methods of ranking news items by their popularity or by recommendations from active members on a website aren't new approaches, Digg has never before made use of signals from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In fact, when Digg was created, none of these three sites were as influential or popular as they are now.

"Many are measuring news coverage by how many times a story is shared by a reader with their friends and followers," Williams said. "But is the most popular story also the most meaningful? Not necessarily. Just ask music fans about Rebecca Black, or political junkies about Weinergate. Newsrooms are designed to find the most meaningful news for a given topic -- to separate valuable from popular."

So, will the approach work? That will depend on how many people use Digg as their destination to read the news of the day or hour. The last time Digg made major changes to its site, back in August 2010, a number of users headed to rival news reader Reddit.

For now, the old Digg (which acts a bit more like a personal news feed) remains live. Digg Newsrooms are invite-only but soon will be opened to the public, Williams said. The CEO called Newsrooms a "first step" at enabling Digg's users to find exactly what they want.

"Sifting out the most relevant and meaningful news each day is a hard problem to solve," Williams said. "Creating the best experience for every topic is a long road."


Reddit considers itself a benefactor of Digg user revolt

Google News badges track what you read, are sharable and social

New Digg CEO, take note: How social media companies respond to irate users

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of Digg's Newsrooms. Credit: Digg

AP's iCircular puts Sunday coupons in Times app, mobile site


The Associated Press and 40 newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, are taking one of the print industry's largest revenue sources, preprinted advertising inserts, to the mobile, digital world.

The AP's iCircular business will embed coupons and advertisements like those found bulking up the Sunday editions of newspapers into the mobile websites and apps of newspapers on smartphones and tablets.

The digital coupons and ads began rolling out to newspaper mobile sites on Monday in a testing phase, the AP said.

"You've always relied on your Sunday newspaper ads for great deals and savings. Now you can have the best of both worlds -- look at your inserts at home, then take them with you on your mobile phone," the AP said, describing its iCircular business in a statement.

The ads and inserts can be accessed through a newspaper's app or mobile site in a new built-in "deals" tab. A tap of that tab on the touchscreen devices and "you'll find all of the merchandise and products contained in your weekly preprint -- browse retailers' store ads and view product information, plus you'll be able to make a shopping list, get directions to the closest store, share with family and friends, plus many other great features and tools," the AP said.

Preprinted advertising and coupon inserts are one of the few major revenue sources for the newspaper industry, which, as noted by the site, has experienced 20 consecutive quarters of advertising revenue declines.

iCircular is available to newspapers as essentially a pre-built addition that can be added to a newspaper's mobile site or app, sort of the same way that the advertising circulars are preprinted and inserted into newspapers themselves. Currently, iCircular is available as an HTML 5 insert for mobile site or an insert for apps built for Apple's iOS, which runs on the iPhone and iPad. An Android version of iCircular isn't yet built, but the AP is working on it, PaidContent said.

The program is open to all newspapers, not just papers that pay the AP for its wire service of photos, stories and video, though the AP didn't offer details on how much iCircular might cost a newspaper to implement. During the testing phase, the mobile ads are free to retailers and will later become an advertising option alongside the preprinted circulars.

For now, 20 national retailers are taking part in the iCircular testing phase, such as JCPenney, Kohl's, Kmart, Macy’s, Staples, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. Some regional and local retailers, such as supermarkets, are taking part in the testing phase as well.

Among the other newspapers taking part are the Chicago Tribune (which, like the L.A. Times, is owned by the Tribune Co.), New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and "other representatives of nearly every major newspaper company," the AP said.

So, can print coupons and ads be successfully translated onto a three- or four-inch smartphone screen? Will this give readers a reason to not buy the Sunday newspaper?

Rick Edmonds, a writer for the Poynter Institute who does research on the business side of journalism, said in a blog post that iCircular looked good after he was able to demo the digital insert last week.

The preview, and an interview with those heading up the iCircular business, "left me convinced that more than a year of tinkering in the lab has produced a credible digital replica of the printed insert," Edmonds said in a blog post.

"I don't have a crystal-ball prediction on whether iCircular will fly high or flop," he added. But, "a significant presence in smart-phone commerce would count as an important business win for an industry that hasn't had many lately."


Philadelphia newspaper group to launch Android tablet [Video]

More people got news from Web than newspapers in 2010, Pew says

New York Times erects paywall to push reader to Web and app subscriptions

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: Screen shots of the AP's iCircular advertising and coupon inserts in the mobile apps of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Quad City Times. Credit: Associated Press iCircular

Michael Arrington has a new blog, scolds TechCrunch editor

Michael Arrington's Facebook profile photo

Michael Arrington may be out of TechCrunch and AOL, but that doesn't mean he'll stop blogging.

Arrington, who founded the TechCrunch blog as an angel investor in 2005, announced on Twitter on Thursday morning that he'll be going out on his own for now, tweeting:

"I'll be launching my new (personal) blog in a couple of days."

Paul Carr, a freelance writer for TechCrunch and author, responded to Arrington asking if he can get in on the new personal blog, tweeting:

"@arrington can I write the weekend posts on your tumblr?"

Arrington wrote back on Twitter, poking fun at AOL's head of online content, Arianna Huffington, and TechCrunch's new top editor, Erick Schonfeld.

"@paulcarr I'm not sure the journo police will allow that. Will ask Erick to ask Arianna if that's ok."

Carr might not be simply joking about following Arrington to his new blog eventually. The writer lashed out at AOL and its CEO Tim Armstrong, in a post on TechCrunch, for its handling of criticism that was directed toward Arrington and TechCrunch when Arrington and Armstrong announced the formation of a venture fund called CrunchFund.

It was Arrington's involvement in CrunchFund (he's running it) that cost him his job at TechCrunch as co-editor with Schonfeld. AOL had said that its tech reporters can't also be tech investors. AOL, however, is the main investor in Arrington's CrunchFund.

The back-and-forth between Carr and Arrington isn't the first time the TechCrunch founder has criticized AOL, which bought TechCrunch in Sept. 2010 for as much as $40 million, and his former co-editor Schonfeld since the break-up.

On Monday, at AOL's TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Arrington appeared on stage wearing a green T-shirt printed with the text "unpaid blogger." The T-shirt was a jab at AOL and Huffington, which after announcing he was fired from his job as TechCrunch's co-editor said he might contribute as an unpaid writer from time to time. A photo of Arrington in that T-shirt is his Facebook profile picture.

On Wednesday, Schonfeld named the finalists in a start-up competition at the Disrupt conference in a TechCrunch blog post. In naming the finalists, Schonfeld added in a few sentences trying to make clear Arrington's involvement in the process or lack there of, writing:

(In the spirit of disclosure, two of the companies, Bitcasa and Prism Skylabs, are CrunchFund investments, but we didn't hold that against them. Along with the other finalists, the judges scored them the highest. The CrunchFund is Michael Arrington's new venture fund. He was not involved in the final selection of these companies).

Arrington, in a comment on that blog post, said that Schonfeld wasn't being honest about his involvement in the process of selecting the finalists.

Erick, I'm still an Aol employee through tomorrow (15th). Also, as you know I had significant input into this list of finalists and spoke to Heather for over an hour last night about them. My final list is somewhat different from this one, though, but we agree on four of the companies.

Please be careful making statements on my behalf. And remember that reader trust is what matters. You shouldn't say "he was not involved in the final selection of these companies" just because it sounds nice. Since it isn't true, you shouldn't say it at all.

Also, going forward, I don't know if I'll be disclosing our investments to TechCrunch.

On Thursday, Barry Diller, chairman of InterActiveCorp., which owns 50% of the Newsweek/Daily Beast, said that AOL's firing of Arrington for investing in tech start-ups was a move that robbed TechCrunch of its unique voice, which was Arrington's voice.

Here's a transcript of Diller's statement, as reported by TechCrunch:

You buy it because it is absolutely the voice of a single person primarily, with some other people working for him -- but it's Michael Arrington's voice, and you know when you buy it, that that voice is biased and mean and capable of saying anything, and is playing a hundred different games. And you know that. And that's why you buy it — because it's a good voice, and you like it. This is, to me, the definition of that rocket going up and then getting underneath…

And then somebody calls you up and says, "I'm the Editor in Chief, and you can't let him do that, because he’s now in a conflict of interest."

Instead of saying, "Shut up and go back to your room"… and it's not because you don't respect journalism, it's because this has nothing to do with that. To apply that standard to something where the guy says, "I'm filled with conflicts. You don't have to listen, you don't have to read me. Take the stuff for whatever it’s worth."

It’s not a journalistic enterprise, TechCrunch. And so to have treated it as such is to destroy it. So now, he's gone, and now they own this thing, which has no voice. Congratulations. What a good piece of business.


TechCrunch writer takes on AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

Michael Arrington: Ex-TechCrunch, and now ex-AOL employee, too

TechCrunch blogger Mike Arrington starts CrunchFund venture capital firm

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: A screen shot of Michael Arrington's Facebook profile page. Credit: Michael Arrington / Facebook

Facebook and L.A. Times on news and social media [Video]

The Los Angeles Times is hosting an event to talk about journalism, technology and Facebook tonight at the L.A. Times building in downtown L.A.

Facebook and journalists The Facebook Journalism Meetup starts at 6:30 p.m. and should wrap up around 8:30 p.m.

Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook's evangelist to reporters and news outlets, is giving a presentation titled Facebook and Social Journalism.

After that, a panel discussion on the topic of social media and journalism will get underway with Shira Lazar of CBS, Martin Beck of the L.A. Times, Mekahlo Medina of NBC L.A. and Hunter Walker of The Daily, followed by a Q&A session.

They'll discuss how journalists in Los Angeles are using Facebook for their reporting and storytelling and cover some best practices, as well as hear from journalists who are using Facebook to engage readers and viewers, find sources and experiment with new forms of storytelling.

More details on tonight's event are available on this EventBrite page.

It is free, and participants will be tweeting about the event -- search for the hashtag #fbjournalism on Twitter to follow it there.  You can also catch a live stream of the event below, starting at 7 p.m.

[Update: Since the event is now over, the live-stream isn't live anymore. Instead, you can watch the recorded event below, coming in at 104 minutes long.]


Facebook buys iPad book maker Push Pop Press

Randi Zuckerberg leaving Facebook to start social media firm

Facebook's facial recognition violates German privacy laws, officials say

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Editions by AOL iPad app promises to read its readers

Editions by AOL for Apple iPad

AOL wants Editions, the latest news-aggregating app for Apple's iPad, to be "the magazine that reads you."

Sound a bit creepy? The "reads you" part doesn't mean that Editions will take over your front-facing camera. The emphasis here is on personalization and learning what a reader likes and doesn't like.

And with personalization in mind, Editions is looking to stand out from other news-reading apps such as Pulse, Flipboard, Zite and others that deliver news from across the Web to Apple's tablet (and other phones and tablets), in a more reader-friendly format.

To do this, AOL is employing algorithms in Editions that decide where to place stories inside the app by what it deems as important to each specific reader, essentially building a magazine of stories each day from online news sources.

Using what a reader self-identifies as their interests, as well as outside trends such as what is rising to the top of the froth on Twitter that day, stories will appear toward the front of the app's digital magazine, or rear, and be given more, or less, page real estate.

The idea is to sort of re-create the work done by editors and designers at newspapers and magazines, who lay out a publication and place stories to communicate to the reader what's most important in any given printed issue. It's just that Editions is using software to do this, not human editors.

"Every morning, at a time of your choosing, you'll receive a unique 30- to 40-page magazine tailored to your interests," AOL said in a statement. "Editions replicates some of the features that make magazines fun to read, including beautiful pages, images and layout, and fast and easy page turning. Every Edition has a cover, a list of top articles and a final page that features your daily horoscope."

The app offers up news sorted into 16 different sections, which readers can put in any order they'd like (or leave out), such as Top News, Tech, Business, Family, Health & Fitness, Sports, Entertainment, Music and Travel.

Like Zite, a reader can flag which stories she or she likes and doesn't like, which then affects what news Editions serves up.

And, of course, anything a reader finds delivered to their Editions app can be shared to Facebook and Twitter from within the app.

Editions, like its competitors, is a free download.


Flipboard gets $50 million and Oprah in one day

Twitter's Biz Stone to advise AOL on "social impact"

Pulse news app raises $9 million in funding, passes 4 million downloads

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Images: Screenshots of Editions by AOL for Apple's iPad. Credit: AOL / Apple


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