Monday, October 11, 2010

Morning Brief: Columbus Day, media writing, the Apple App Store and foreign media apps, and sports 'torture'

Today is Columbus Day in America -- a not-quite national holiday, celebrated by the banks and the post office, because . . . well, because there are no other holidays until November. In the Midwest where Halloween seems like a logical choice for a holiday, though I'm sure there would be a few objections from conservatives.

This article is silly, just silly. Read it and ask yourself "when I think of Esquire magazine do I think of web content?" Poynter's mobile writer links to it because, well, he links to anything negative about media apps.

Many online commentators frequently ask "why can't we have a better press corps?" I always ask myself "why can't we have a better media reporting corps?"

The Apple App Store clearly is in need of an online retail guru to come in and clean it up, organize it, and make it easier to find things. But I think the folks at Apple are slowly beginning to play around with the categories in order to spice things up a bit.

This morning I noticed a category for Halloween, for instance. But I'm more interested in news apps and this is where things seem pretty out of control.

For instance, what exactly is a news app? Is it an app that delivers or organizes news? Or is it anything that contains "news"? Many apps end up in the "News" category simply because there is no other place for them. Others, like the Australian magazine "Sport & Style" could go under Sports or Lifestyle but are classified under "News" -- probably it was a judgement call.

One things an iTunes user sees is a lot of foreign language apps in the U.S. store. The vast majority of these apps list "English" as their language even though they are clearly written a language other than English. This is a common error made by the developers when they submit their apps to Apple.

But not every app makes it into the U.S. app store. The folks at WoodWing sent me a press release last week for an app that was in the German store but is not available in the U.S. store. The app for Auto Bild looks interesting but I took a pass.

I like looking at the non-U.S. media apps. Especially in Europe, media professionals don't seem as jaded and negative as those here in the States -- maybe I'm wrong about that, but that is the way it looks from here.

It is truly painful to be a fan of Bay Area teams. Last week I had to watch all the teams lose until late Sunday afternoon when the Giants finally ended the streak by beating the Padres (and wrapped up the division title). This weekend they all seemed to win until Sunday night when the once-proud 49ers proved that their abilities to find new ways to lose are endless. The new trendy word used by Bay Area sports fans is "torture".

Well, I suppose there are worse things than being a Bay Area sports fan -- you could be Brooks Conrad this morning.