Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Social Media Sites to Become “Personalized Newspapers” – Elsewhere, Market Caps for Current, Fading News Sources

The ‘print publishing industry’ is a phrase used by some in the field to refer to the old newspaper game. And it’s a game undergoing some dynamic shifts and adjustments — due mostly to falling subscriptions and advertisements — the financial numbers depicting this follows in tonight’s post.

This adjustment/survival mode being entertained by the major print news giants such as New York Times and News Corp has opened up new inroads for innovative companies to deliver more frequent and customized news (and news feeds) to more demanding and sophisticated customers.

And just who are these innovative ‘white knight’ companies who will charge in and take up the banner of global news delivery? Social media sites, that’s who — Facebook and LinkedIn, to be specific. Others are sure to follow.

Facebook is developing a service called ‘Reader’ that will reveal news content to its users and LinkedIn just bought ‘Pulse’, a mobile application that enables users to create custom news feeds. The service is similar to Facebook’s Reader.

Imagine being able to immediately tap into news feeds that old print newspapers used to get the stories they published the next day or later? All kinds of interesting things are brewing and possible in the future of news and news delivery 🙂

From the Insider Monkey by The Motley Fool:

Facebook Inc (FB), LinkedIn Corp (LNKD): Two Companies That Will Grow In a Declining Publishing Industry

The invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440 revolutionized the world, reducing the price of printed goods and enabling the materials to be mass-distributed. Now, technology is doing the same. Established publishing companies are facing challenging times, while social media firms like Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) andLinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) are poised to capitalize within a new market.

A dying model

Newspapers generate their revenue primarily from subscriptions and advertisements. And with both decreasing in recent years, the industry is under major reconstruction. For example, according to The Wall Street Journal, The Newspaper Association of America estimated that U.S. print advertising fell 55% in the past five years. Further, Magna Global expects print ad revenues to drop 6.8% in 2014, and Zenith Optimedia anticipates print ad spending to drop 8% in coming years.

Entrenched players are adjusting to stay alive

The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) publishes national and regional newspapers and “owns eight network-affiliated television stations, two New York radio stations and more than 40 web sites.” However, to diversify its portfolio and focus its strategy, it plans to sell The Boston Globe and related assets.

The transition comes as New York Times wants to expand its international reach. With current assets just under $1 billion as of the first quarter, and liabilities exceeding $2 billion, the cash generated from the potential sale will help the publisher to remain competitive by paying down debt, moving into new markets, and holding a cash reserve for future use.

On Friday, conglomerate News Corp (NASDAQ:NWS) will officially spin off its publishing and newspaper assets. It wants its two major business units to function independently and to encourage growth, especially with its entertainment division. This segment will be named 21st Century Fox, and will continue to operate major news and television studios, along with major broadcasting networks.

News Corp’s publishing spin-off is valued at $9.1 billion, about one-seventh the value of 21st Century Fox. However, by market cap, it is still the largest print media firm in America.

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Facebook Valued at About 50 Billion!

A little business and finance tonight RE a major source used by writers and publishers.

Facebook is used by many artists to promote their works…I’m particularly bad at it! I need to really get motivated and learn how to use FB more EE (efficiently and effectively). Seems I’m just running out of gas, procrastinating or too damn lazy!

FB is absolutely blasting into the stratosphere, financially speaking, but may be getting greedy, too damn secretive and over-reaching by getting investment capital through an investment fund vehicle offered by Goldman Sachs (Goldman Sachs? Aren’t they in the Greedy & Devious Who’s Who Hall of Fame?).

You see, by not going public with an IPO (Initial Public Offering) and selling stocks on the open market, FB can stay private and don’t have to disclose financial information as long as they have less than 500 investor owners-of-record. Goldman Sachs would only count as one investor no matter how many of their clients bought shares through their offered fund vehicle.

A matter being looked into by the SEC (that’s the Securities and Exchange Commission…NOT the Southeastern Conference in College football…my favorite)

More details from Bloomberg News through Crain’s New York Business:

Facebook, Goldman deal may draw SEC scrutiny
Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinizing the market for trading shares of closely held companies, including Facebook.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s plan to offer clients up to $1.5 billion in Facebook Inc. equity may invite U.S. regulators to take a closer look at whether the owner of the world’s most popular social-networking site is circumventing disclosure rules, securities lawyers said.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, whose rules require any company with more than 499 investors to disclose financial information, is already scrutinizing the market for trading shares of closely held companies including Facebook, according to a person familiar with the inquiry, who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

Goldman Sachs invested $450 million in Facebook and is planning to create a special purpose vehicle for its clients to make additional investments worth as much as $1.5 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal is private. Some private companies avoid crossing the disclosure threshold when investors’ funds are channeled through a single entity, such as a private equity firm or hedge fund.

“The real question is, what are the details of this special purpose vehicle?” said James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University’s business school in Washington. If the investment is designed to circumvent the rule, “the SEC should be looking very closely at it.”

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A Facebook Draped in RisquĂ© ‘ity’

After just getting over Halloween with all the ghosts, ghouls and witches…a little fun post tonight.

It seems Facebook is at odds with a site called Faceporn over trademark infringement. How about that? Not surprising…but this infringement suit brings up some interesting, if not down-right funny (and some sad), aspects of the FB site.

This from Violet Blue posting on Tech Broiler, a blog:

Facebook and adult social networking: A dream that’s all wet

How many times have you been stuck in the rat’s maze of Facebook profile settings and thought, “This is such a turn-on. I can’t believe that no one has made a porn version of Facebook, because surely this pleasure must be taken to the next level”?

Many times, we’re sure. As it happens, you’re not alone.

One website, Faceporn (, decided that the constant stress of agonizing over personal privacy in social networks was going to be the next “Behind The Green Door” for our generations. Billing itself as “the number one socializing porn and sex network,” the site aimed to create an X-rated social network, taking the literal “face book” concept to one of “face porn” which actually sounds a lot less appealing. They launched in April 2009.

Unfortunately for them, and everyone else with a Facebook fetish, Facebook did not like this very much. Two weeks ago, Facebook filed suit against Faceporn at U.S. District Court in Northern California, claiming trademark infringement.

In Facebook’s court filing, the company stated that Faceporn “blatantly copied the Facebook logo, site and Wall trademark” while showing screenshots that exemplified Faceporn’s blue-and-white color palette, Wall-style postings, and where users could send a “flirt” — even though in this instance, you would think a “poke” would be more appropriate.

Faceporn, in their second Tweet ever, made a tiny peep on October 20 saying, “Forced to close down for a while, due to unforeseen circumstances. We’ll be back though. Better than ever!”

In the meantime, Facebook wants the court to order Faceporn to turn over the domain and all of Faceporn’s revenue. As many people know, Facebook has not hesitated in the past to take action over what it deems as potentially violating Facebook’s trademark and intellectual property.

Read and enjoy more (and the neat comments)


Facebook Recruiting Top Talent Through Acquisitions

For writers wanting to build online platforms for their books and other wares, Facebook has been one of the major social media sites to accomplish that goal…Now, FB is quietly (or not so quietly) stacking their team with innovative “ringers” from the staffs of their numerous, recent buyouts.

Wonder what their agenda is? What do they see coming down the track? Hummmmm…

Let’s hope they don’t get too big to fail…because once in this position companies inevitably get too big for their own britches…and who suffers? We do!

This article from InformationWeek by Antone Gonsalves delves into some of the recent FB acquisitions and the talent acquired:

Facebook has bought Chai Labs, the latest in a string of acquisitions where the company’s talent is at least as important as the technology.

What Chai Labs does is unclear from its website. The company says it has an “in-depth focus on a handful of verticals” and helps web publishers “easily customize and launch scalable, search-friendly sites.”

However, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company was founded by Gokul Rajaram, a former Google AdSense executive. In addition, its investors and advisers include Marc Andreessen, general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and co-founder of now-defunct Netscape Communications; Reid Hoffman, general partner at Greylock Partners and chairman of Linkedin; and Joe Kraus, general partner of Google Ventures.

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