Reading List

Thanks to Zite, Twitter and Facebook, I come across a bunch of good reading every week, more than I can share on Twitter and far more than I can riff about here. But how to get the word out about these pieces?

So I’m going to try something new, something along the lines of what Jon DeNunzio does with his three clicks, but on a weekly basis, not daily, as Jon’s is. I’ll collect the links I saved to Instapaper and explain why they might be worth your time.

This big news at work this past week was the announcement that Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli would leave the newsroom at year’s end, replaced by Martin Baron of the Boston Globe. Here are a few articles about Brauchli and Baron:

Demography Is Destiny

Blacks cast 13% of the vote and Obama won them 12-1. Latinos cast 10% and Obama carried them by 7-3. Under 30 voters cast 19% of the vote and Obama swept them by 12-7. Single white women cast 18% of the total vote and Obama won them by 12-6.

There is some overlap among these groups, of course, but without allowing for any, Obama won 43-17 before the first married white woman or man over 30 cast their vote. (Lets guess that if we eliminate duplication, the Obama margin would be 35-13) Having conceded these votes, Romney would have had to win over two-thirds of the rest of the vote to win. He almost did. But not quite.

If Romney couldn’t manage this trick against Obama in the current economy, no Republican could.

Dick Morris, “Why I Was Wrong

The Difference

A big-city sports columnist came one day to speak to our journalism class. At the end, there was Q&A, and I had a question: What makes your opinions better than anyone else’s? 

His answer was just as blunt: People pay to read my opinions. 

I recalled that story the other night over dinner with a college classmate, and I laughed to think that now I’m paid to read other people’s opinions.

(Thirty years later, that columnist is now an Anglican deacon.)

Angry Birds Star Wars and the evolution of the app market

Interesting analysis from BGR’s Tero Kuittinen:

The app market has evolved from paid apps to free apps and as it turns out, the free apps proved to be stronger revenue-generators. Except that it’s not quite that simple. There is another, rare category of apps — games as vehicles for merchandising and franchising deals. This requires hundreds of millions of downloads to build brand awareness to the level that persuades major retailers such as Toys R Us and Hot Topic to pledge marketing support. …

A new wave of game vendors has figured out how to foster gradual growth of a loyal user base willing to pay for multiple upgrades inside the game.

Apple Selling Pick Axes

Smart insight from George Buckenham about the rush to build apps.

There are 160,000 developers for iOS. Assuming each one buys an iPhone to develop for ($300 profit) and a single year developer account costing $99, they’ve generated $64 million of profit for Apple before they’ve even opened XCode.

Recall that one of the biggest bonanzas of the California Gold Rush went to Levi Strauss.

Facebook’s About-Face on Sharing

From Wired:

Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away. App startups have known this for a long time; now The Washington Post and other news publishers are learning the same lesson as Facebook makes it harder for articles to go viral. …

Facebook says it is simply incorporating lessons it has learned about what kind of experience its users want. Specifically, they want more control over sharing.

Control over sharing, huh? Gee, who could’ve seen that coming.