Monthly Archives: June 2013

Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters

TED: Ideas worth spreading
TED Blog

Kate Torgovnick
May 31, 2013

A look at the famous TED Bookstore at TED2013. Photo: Michael Brands

Books can entertain, sucking you like a tornado into incredible new worlds. Books can teach, giving you a richer understanding of time periods, people and ideas you’ve never been exposed to. But books can do so much more.

In today’s talk, TED’s own Lisa Bu introduces us to the concept of “comparative reading,” the practice of reading books in pairs, to give deeper context and reveal new insights. Comparative reading not only helped Bu adjust to American culture after moving here from China for graduate school — it also helped her re-imagine her life and find new directions after her dream failed to come true. This personal, moving talk about the magic of books and resilience of the human spirit is a must-watch »

Every year at TED, we set up a bookstore filled with books recommended by TEDsters of note. Today, as you prepare for a summer filled with reading, we are releasing this incredible library of recommendations from this spring’s TED2013 bookstore. We’ll begin, of course, with Lisa Bu’s must-reads, followed by book recommendations from Rainn WilsonSarah KayBaratunde ThurstonMaria PopovaGuy RazChip KiddCindy GallopKeith YamashitaBill T. JonesSafwat SaleemRaney AronsonRaghava KKTiffany DufuChris KluweKaren Wickre and Colleen Keegan. Click the name to hop straight to their list. Let’s get started… (more…)

High school learns to love students’ tech habits

CNN Tech

By Heather Kelly, CNN
Sat June 1, 2013
At the public New Tech High School in California, students bring their own laptops and are encouraged to use Twitter in class.
At the public New Tech High School in California, students bring their own laptops and are encouraged to use Twitter in class

Napa, California (CNN) — Many high-school-age students are hooked on their phones and computers. Instead of fighting the kids, some schools like the public New Technology High School in Napa, California, are jumping right in and embracing the technology.

“We meet kids where they live,” New Tech Principal Michelle Spencer said.

Where they live is increasingly online, on instant messenger and Twitter. The school encourages students to bring in their own computers and to embrace tools like Gchat and YouTube in school and as part of their lessons.

New Tech High School, founded in 1997, is the oldest member of the New Tech Network, a national nonprofit organization that schools hire to implement project-based learning and embed the use of technology with teachers and students.

The New Tech Network has gone on to work with 120 schools of varying grades and budgets, but the Napa high school is a unique look at how the next generation of schools might work with modern technology, not against it. (more…)

In The Land Of Telenovelas, A Youtube Channel Gives A Glimpse Of Scripted Entertainment’s Future

Anderson Antunes
, Contributor

Porta dos Fundos ("Backdoor," in English): Brazil's most successful--and promising--Youtube channel

Porta dos Fundos (“Backdoor,” in English): Brazil’s most successful–and promising–Youtube channel

Now that Youtube has officially replaced the MTV generation in terms of cultural heft, production companies from all over the globe are popping up to create content for the video site owned by Google GOOG -0.49%. In Brazil, where the entertainment industry grows at a steady annual rate of 20%, it’s no different. Brazil’s so-called “Youtube moguls” are growing up and attracting big advertisers in direct competition with broadcast and cable TV industries.

Take for instance the production company turned into Youtube channel Porta dos Fundos (“Backdoor,” in English). First launched as a Youtube channel nine months ago, Porta dos Fundos now has roughly 3.5 million subscribers and counts 300 million video views.

In addition to that the site has a staff of 34 employees, owns its headquarters and produces about 10 original sitcom-style videos a month (not including some custom-made videos for companies like FIAT, Visa V +0.58% and LG, which are uploaded by the companies themselves) and draws an average of 24 million video views a month (that’s about four times the monthly audience ofFunny Or Die, the US comedy website founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay and funded by Sequoia Capital and other investors, who have backed itwith at least $15 million).

With the help of a growing roster of advertisers, Porta dos Fundos is actually turning a profit: companies willing to make fun of themselves in a way that they wouldn’t do on broadcast TV pay up to a reportedly $100,000 per video. (more…)

New MTV Russia Due to Launch in October


31 May 2013 | Issue 5138

The Moscow Times

Viacom International Media Networks will launch a new MTV Russia channel on cable television in October which will be more aligned to its global brand, according to a statement issued by the company Thursday.

Now the company is holding talks with cable, satellite and mobile operators to include MTV in its basic package.

As of June 1, MTV Russia will be fully owned and operated by Viacom for the first time in its 15-year history.

Previously, the channel was operated jointly with ProfMedia. Last September, the company decided to replace the channel with a new youth, information and entertainment-based channel called Pyatnitsa, or Friday.

The new MTV Russia will air shows such as “Pimp My Ride” and ”Punk’d,” the newspaper reported. (more…)

Half of US Mobile Users to Play Games in 2013

MAY 30, 2013

User growth to push US mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in 2013

More than half of all US mobile phone users—about 125.9 million people or 39.8% of the total US population—will play games on their phones this year, as the ongoing explosion in usage pushes mobile gaming revenues to $1.78 billion in the US, according to new figures from eMarketer.

Mobile gaming has been a high-growth market in recent years, with revenues increasing at triple-digit rates in 2012 and 2011. But even as the market grows more mature, double-digit growth rates are anticipated in coming years, with revenues expected to reach $3.77 billion by 2017. (more…)

Mobile Important For Hispanic Shoppers

by , May 23, 2013


Marketers looking to capture more of the growing Hispanic market in the U.S. would do well to employ the mobile Web more often. According to a new shopper behavior study from The Integer Group, Hispanic shoppers are more likely to use their mobile devices to make purchases than general market consumers.

According to the survey, 16% of Hispanic consumers use their mobile devices for their purchases, compared with 12% of general market consumers. According to Armand Parra, director of insight and strategy at The Integer Group, age and early adoption of technology are the main drivers behind the trend.

“The median age of Hispanics in the U.S. is roughly 10 years younger than the total population. This younger population are adopting technology at a faster rate than the older general population,” Parra tells Marketing Daily, in response to e-mailed questions. “Secondly, for the majority of Hispanics, mobile is their primary access point to the Web and therefore their whole Web experience is based around a mobile tool set versus the PC-based Web experience.”

Accordingly, marketers should approach the Hispanic market differently when it comes to interactive and mobile marketing, Parra says. “For Hispanic users the Web is more organically integrated into their lives,” he says. “It’s on the go, right now, access to their friends, family and information. Marketers need to see this environment and determine the right way to message in it so they are providing utility to this experience.”

The access to “friends, family and information” is key. According to the survey, Hispanics also put greater emphasis on their personal networks for product recommendations (40% versus 29% of the general market) and put more weight behind the shopping experience than the general market (25% versus 18%).

Still, Hispanic consumers are also more likely to consider private-label products than the general market (68% of Hispanic consumers said they shop for their usual brand in a store, but then consider the private-label alternative; only 60% of general market consumers do the same). More than three-quarters of Hispanic consumers also said they regularly compare prices between the name brands and the store brands. Hispanic consumers, however, remain very brand loyal when it comes to products such as laundry detergent, health and beauty products and breakfast cereals.

“A large part of the desire for brands in these categories stems from the nature of family and the role of the mother in the household,” Parra says. “These are categories where she wants trusted brands and products that make her feel like she is doing the best possible job in this role. Brands provide a guarantee of performance and the trust she needs.”

“Mobile Shopping” photo from Shutterstock.

The Evolving Demographics of Hispanic Americans

Hispanic PR Blog
05/23/2013 By

The Evolving Demographics of Hispanic Americans

Teens Are Moving From Facebook To Twitter [Pew Study]

June 2013

UPDATED: Facebook adoption and use by teens is flattening off, according to a new Pew Research study.  But Twitter uses is slowly but steadily growing. Eight in ten online teens use some kind of social media, says Pew. Twitter is still not in the same league as Facebook, which attracts 77% of online teens. Still, 24% of online teens now use Twitter, a figure that is up from 16% in 2011. 16% of online adults are Twitter users.

image from pewinternet.orgSome Teens Don’t View Twitter As Social Media

Pew data shows that a segment of teens think of Twitter differently. “When we ask a standalone question about Twitter use, there is consistently a group of users who say they are not users of social networking sites, but they do use Twitter,” says Pew.  Of the 24% of online teens who use Twitter, 3% say they do not use a social networking site like Facebook.

image from

As mobile explodes in Africa, Nairobi is emerging as a leader in the region’s tech scene


By Leo Mirani @lmirani May 20, 2013

If the future of computing lies in mobile and the fastest growth in mobile uptake will come from poor countries, Africa is where much of the action will be. Kenya, a stable country with an impressive history of investment in communications technology, has emerged as a leader in the region.

This month, Nairobi became the third African city after Johannesburg and Casablanca, and the 41st globally, to become home to an IBM “innovation center,” a co-working space with high-end equipment and visiting experts. Last week, GSMA, a mobile operators’ association and standards-setting body, picked Nairobi for its first African office. They add to the growing list of large tech companies establishing a base in the city. Google’s east African headquarters can be found in Nairobi, as can Microsoft’s. IBM has operated a research center in the city since August. (more…)

Profmedia to Spend $100M to Replace MTV With New Channel


17 May 2013
The Moscow Times

Media group Profmedia will spend an unprecedented $100 million to launch a new entertainment television channel named Pyatnitsa, or Friday, on June 1, to replace MTV Russia, Vedomosti reported Thursday.

Profmedia borrowed 1.64 billion rubles ($52.9 million) from an unidentified third party in February to finance the new channel, the newspaper reported, citing the media holding’s accounts.

Vladimir Potanin’s Interros group, which controls Profmedia, will finance the launch, sources close to Profmedia and Interros said.

Profmedia president Olga Paskina said Pyatnitsa would be the most expensive rebranding of a television channel on the Russian market in the past few years, with the group’s leadership planning to spend $100 million on the channel in the next two years.

Paskina predicted that the new channel’s share of the Russian television market would reach 5 percent within five years. By comparison, the share of MTV Russia was 1.4 percent in April.

The channel, which will be broadcast on MTV Russia’s frequency, will take over several MTV shows but the bulk of its schedule will be filled with new content. Pyatnitsa will also show repeats of two comedy shows previously aired on Channel One — the Paris Hilton Searchlight and Big Difference.