Opinion

Anthony De Rosa

Our transforming news habits

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 18, 2011 16:47 UTC

Newsrooms are transforming to a great degree because the way we consume and create news is changing. The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is check my Twitter. I know I can rely on my Twitter Lists, which I’ve carefully curated to be finely focused by reliable sources, both traditional and non-traditional, from the ground and from newsrooms.

In a highly un-scientific poll, with answers coming from Twitter, which again will skew the answers biased toward the medium of Twitter, I asked folks where they go first thing in the morning to check what happened overnight:

[<a href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" mce_href="http://storify.com/antderosa/morning-news" target="blank">View the story "Morning News" on Storify]</a>

A teachable moment

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 7, 2011 17:39 UTC

Is a crisis in education less important than a crisis of our capital markets? At the end of 2008, the federal government took aggressive measures to ensure that a supposed complete financial meltdown would be averted by purchasing troubled assets and restoring liquidity to the largest banks in America. Only a few months following the bailout of these banks, many of them paid out healthy bonuses to the same executives responsible for causing the situation to unfold.

Today, in Wisconsin, we watch teachers fight to ensure they receive a five figure salary. According to The Atlantic, the average salary for teachers in Wisconsin is slightly worse than the national average with starting salaries of $32,642 and a maximum with a master’s degree of $60,036. Meanwhile, the average Wall St. bonus, not salary, fell to a measly $128, 530. Goldman Sachs paid $431,000 on average.

Is it fair to compare the salaries of Wall Street executives to the teachers in Wisconsin? Are the jobs on Wall Street more valuable than the ones in education? It seems like an easy answer, with Wall Street profits reaching $27.6 billion last year. But with our job market thinning and unemployment hovering around 9% it seems wise to invest in education to help build the jobs of tomorrow. The financial sector is but one component of our economy, an economy sorely needing diversification based on how apparent it is now that we depended on Wall Street to create capital and jobs for far too long.

The rise and fall of Gawker media

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 3, 2011 17:37 UTC

Screen shot 2011-03-03 at 11.51.24 AM

Full disclosure: I was a contributor at Gawker in 2009.

How has Gawker’s major redesign altered their traffic? It all depends who you ask and what measurement service you decide to use. They all seem to paint a slightly different picture and everyone you speak to will give you a different explanation for why it is so. Gawker had been using the measurement service, Sitemeter, that they proudly displayed prior to the redesign, and still exists on Gawker’s UK site in the old reverse chronological format they tossed away.

The new format launched on February 10th, and you can see the massive drop off on that very date. Gawker’s editor-in-chief Remy Stern claimed the Sitemeter was not working anymore. The new format of the site was created in such a way that the measurement could not be accurately detected by that type of tool. So let’s toss out the Sitemeter entirely since it seems incapable of giving us a true look at Gawker’s traffic.

Instead, we’ll look at Quantcast, which shows a steady decline in pageviews for Gawker since  the end of January. Additionally, unique visitors fell off a cliff shortly after February 7th and have struggled to reach their previous levels ever since.

Apple’s iPad 2: A thin video powerhouse

Anthony De Rosa
Mar 2, 2011 20:17 UTC

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The biggest surprise at today’s Apple iPad 2 event was the fact that Steve Jobs was there to present it. Jobs walked out to a thunderous standing ovation and stated, “We’ve been working on this product for awhile, and I didn’t want to miss it.”

The iPad 2 is very much a video device. The resolution is the same, the price is the same and the battery life is the same. The new feature is a front and back facing camera which was not available on the original iPad.

The new device can also wirelessly stream video from any app to an Apple TV device (and vice versa), which makes the iPad an even more powerful convergence device than Apple TV.

Will mainstream mobile users “check in” to location based services?

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 18, 2011 17:44 UTC

It’s easy to get a skewed sense of reality in the media centric world that is New York City. It’s even easier when you work and live around folks enamored with shiny new gadgets and the apps that run on them. The app that most of my friends are using is Foursquare, but I would venture to guess the greater majority of folks outside the metropolitan area are not.

Foursquare recently reached 6 million users, an impressive number. An even more impressive number, they were adding users at a rate of 100,000 a week last summer. Foursquare grew to 1 million users in six months, something it took Twitter two years to accomplish. Although it took Foursquare two years to reach 2 million users, while it took Facebook Places two months to reach thirty million users. (It would be interesting to know how many of those thirty million actively decided to join Facebook Places or were unwittingly “checked-in” by their friends.)

Instagram, which allows users to post photos from their phone and attach them to Foursquare “check ins,” reached the magic 1 million user number in three months and then doubled that number just six weeks later. A real-time stream of photos from this year’s Grammys was powered by Instagram. There are roughly 5 billion cell phone subscriptions in the world, putting Foursquare’s penetration of the market at .12%

The economics of internships

Anthony De Rosa
Feb 17, 2011 19:40 UTC

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The haves and the have nots are delineated in multiple ways through our polite society here in America. That separation is apparent to a significant degree when it comes to the opportunities available to the folks we are counting on to pull us out of the ditch we’ve found ourselves in after the nuclear winter of sub-prime mortgages and the supposed near collapse of our financial system. They are, of course, our interns.

Internships are seemingly thankless jobs, but they are often a rare golden ticket to a path to highly sought after positions. The issue is that most of these jobs are non-paying, making them unaffordable for those who don’t come from a privileged background. When one must toil through 12-hour days, with tasks ranging from the banal (fetching coffee) to somewhat skilled (fetching data,) it doesn’t leave time to take a second job to support their dream. This creates a very real societal structure that locks out those on the lower rungs of society from pulling themselves up. The American Dream requires more than a little help from friends and a well established and generous family.

Aside from the fact that this practice only allows children of upper middle to upper class families the opportunity to take these coveted jobs, it may even be illegal. In a New York Times article back in April of last year, it was noted that number of unpaid internships had seen a significant rise in recent years, leading the New York labor commissioner to launch an investigation into several firms.

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