Is the tech narrative endangered? Lately we've cased the web for the kinds of stories we used to see everywhere -- the 600-to-800 word news story about a tech company claiming to have built something better, cheaper or faster, or otherwise out to change the world. We found far fewer than we expected, even where they once were abundant.
[Learned lots this week in meetings with editors and subscribers. Here are this week's notes from the field. Hope you enjoy. Please let us know if you like this format and how we can make it better.]
First, the newsy stuff. Business Insider is close to launching a consumer tech publication that will offer news, reviews and analysis with the 'tude we have come to expect from BI.
Says Emarketer: the average American watches 76 minutes of web video each day. In the wake of 33 presentations at the 2015 NewFronts (which ended today), even more reasons to watch web video are on the way. This SWMS analysis can help refine your storytelling and sense of audience.
"OMG, I'm a millennial," Tweeted Christina Bonnington this week, when she couldn't remember what a "keyboard typing machine" was called. The former Wired Gadget Lab writer, now the newly hired technology editor for Refinery29, doesn't really need to remember the word "typewriter" anyway. She's got an important new job these days, focusing on cool, useful technology that will fascinate Refinery29's 22 million monthly readers.
Prepare to submit your B2B contributed content to TechBeacon, a new platform designed to guide ambitious IT pros and line-of-business technologists. A placeholder site is live today; a soft-launch is due Apr. 15. Areas of focus: agile, big data, cloud, devops, mobile, performance, security, software quality and startups. Paying the bills for this site is HP, which promises to give TechBeacon full independence.
Staff writer Issie Lapowsky carries a big load at Wired; she typically writes more than once a day and when a big Facebook or Google story breaks, it's often Issie who has to chase it. That said, she's always on the hunt for constructive stories to tell. Her work often gravitates to doing-well-by-doing-good stories. She also writes quite about education, as she did at Inc.
Even before the Apple Watch arrives, "design" has come to dominate the hive mind. (The latest evidence: this week's 16,628-word New Yorker profile of Apple chief designer Jony Ive.) Wearables, car tech and IoT -- three of today's top tech trends -- all owe themselves to design. Smart VC firms are hiring designers-in-residence. Yet editorially, the rise of design is easy to miss.
This will be a big year for Wired. It's redesigning its web site. It's consolidating Wired Enterprise and Wired Business into a single comprehensive section. Its new boss? Same as the old boss -- senior editor Cade Metz. As Conde Nast reevaluates everything about Wired in advance of the redesign, Cade has been doing some reevaluating of his own. And what he says might surprise you.
“Fusion is the most ambitious experiment happening in media right now, and I just wanted to be a part of it." -- Kevin Roose as quoted in Re/code, Oct. 31, 2014
Fusion isn't yet a media brand your clients and bosses will ask about. Yet now is the time to grasp it. Today's most inspired Americans are millennial and multicultural. What media brand will stake its claim as this generation's cornerstone media brand, as Rolling Stone was in the '70s and MTV was in the '80s? Univision and ABC Television want it to be Fusion.