Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week in Review

Short reads on a Saturday morning:

• Rafat Ali announced that he is leaving his post at ContentNext in July. Ali was the the founder of ContentNext, the parent of paidContent, which was acquired by Guardian News & Media in July of 2008.
Ali may not have been cutout for the corporate publishing world writing that it has been challenging since the acquisition. "The last two years under Guardian have been illuminating, to say the least. Being part of a big company brings its own level of complexities; during a huge financial crisis, it makes for a roller-coaster ride. The high of the sale dissipated quickly, and pulling back and hunkering down isn’t fun, much less entrepreneurial," Ali wrote for the website.

"As for my future, the honest answer is, I am in the middle of figuring it out. The good part is I have lots of choices; the bad part is that I have lots of choices. Very likely it will be another startup, in a larger media and marketing space. But in the immediate future, you will see my head pop up in places like Iceland, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Socotra Island (Google it!) and other parts of Central Asia," Ali writes.

• Speaking of acquisitions . . . Google got the word on Friday that the FTC will not be standing in its way of its acquisition of mobile ad network AdMob.

The FTC specifically pointed out that Apple's own mobile ad network plans played a part in the FTC's decision.

• Google's Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco was the venue for a major announcement: the rollout of Google TV.
The product of a partnership with Sony, Logitech and others, Google TV promises to bring the Android platform to television, along with the ability to run Android apps on your TV.

Once again there is an Apple angle here: Apple's own Apple TV product, with its lack of web features, and lack of full integration with other Apple products, opened the door for Google.

• ST Media Group International announced that it was acquiring Boutique Media Group, the publisher of boutique Design magazine and associated events.
“The addition of boutique DESIGN gives us a firm foothold in the hospitality design industry,” said ST president Tedd Swormstedt. “And because there’s little overlap in their circulations, the two magazines offer advertisers a broader reach at bundle rates.”

Michael Schneider, president of Boutique Media Group, will now take over the role of publisher of the Hospitality Brands at St Media. Schneider was a principal in the transaction, along with his father, Eric Schneider, who will continue to publish Fabrics & Furnishings International under the Sipco Publications umbrella.

• Time for another demo video! Sports Illustrated, working with The Wonderfactory, have again produced a prototype video of what its magazine will one day look like -- this time on the web using HTML5.

Last December, if you recall, they got people excited by producing a video of what SI would look like on a hypothetical tablet -- wink, wink, nod, nod. That tablet, Apple's iPad was announced a month later, and launch on April 3rd. We are still waiting that SI application, probably because of the iPad's lack of Flash support.

But now SI's editor, Terry McDonnell, has this look at a Flash-less prototype. It still looks good, and this time, we hear, it may make it to the marketplace. Because it uses HTML5, it can be viewed on the web, as well (presumably) as being iPad compliant.