Squares

Jack Dorsey Can’t Even Look at a Picture Anymore Without Wanting It to Be a Vine

Mr. Dorsey and Ms. Brown. (Photo: Courtesy Hearst)

Twitter cofounder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey took the stage in a non-Silicon Valley venue this afternoon: an auditorium in the Hearst HQ, for a chat with Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown. 

Fittingly for an audience of stylishly attired editorial belles, Ms. Brown led by asking Mr. Dorsey about his leadership philosophy. The man, it seems, likes to think of himself as an editor.

“I’ve studied a lot of editors, I’ve studied a lot of newspapers and magazines,” Mr. Dorsey explained. He thinks of his own job as editing the team (brings new meaning to “kill your darlings”), as well as crafting both mission and product for the company. “It’s a constant chance to make it better and better and better and better. Sometimes the best edit is a complete rewrite,” he concluded. Read More

Old Dog

Hearst’s iPad Head Girl Explained

iPad-head-Girl_1

Last week the lunch crowd at Bryant Park were treated to a bizarre vision: a pretty girl in an orange dress . . . with a four iPads affixed to a helmet of sorts on her head. The screen of each iPad displayed the respective part of her head–front, back, left side, right side–as though it were moving in real-time.  The effect was arresting. As it turned out, it was a promotion for Heart’s new Cosmo For Guys iPad app. Perhaps they picked Bryant Park to scare the competition? After all that’s awwwwwfully close to Conde Nast headquarters at 4 Times Square.

In any case, The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW) has an interesting video about how the helmet was made. The campaign was created by a local ad firm, Thinkmodo, but Clockwork Apple was responsible for the “helmet/head.” They created the illusion by recording individual videos of each side of the model walking through Bryant Park beforehand then displaying them on the iPad screens. Read More

Class Is in Session

Khoi Vinh: Publishers Should Be Developing for the Mobile Web Instead of Making Replica Apps

khoi

For this week’s cover story about Condé Nast’s struggle developing for the iPad, Betabeat had the opportunity to talk to Khoi Vinh, former Design Director for NYTimes.com. On his widely-read design blog, Subtraction, Mr. Vinh has repeatedly expressed his skepticism toward publishers like Condé Nast and Hearst and software companies like Adobe for thinking that what iPad readers want is a magazine replica app that takes a print-centric approach to tablet design. But we didn’t get the chance to include some really interesting predictions Mr. Vinh made about the direction he thinks consuming content on the iPad is heading (in short: back to the browser) and what readers really want.

Mr. Vinh, who recently released a book on web design, seem to have contracted that start-up fever making its way around the city and is currently working in stealth mode on an app of his own. He compared the bells-and-whistles of the current magazine app rush to the CD-ROM bubble and advised publishers to think more like Netflix. Read More

App Economy

Now That Hearst Has Partnered With Buddy Media, You’re Going to Have to Learn What a ‘Sapplet’ Is

Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow

“The days of, ‘Do we publish on Facebook? Do we tweet?’ are over,” Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow told Betabeat. “Either you do it, or you’re crushed. Do it or go out of business.” Hearst Magazines must have got the memo, because its Digital Media unit just announced a partnership today to use Buddy Media’s platform to enhance its presence on Facebook. From its Midtown headquarters, Buddy Media will create “sapplets” (short for social applets) that overlay on the Facebook pages for titles like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Marie Claire.

Sapplets like Buddy Media’s  Interactive “Personality” Boutique, which recommends products based on answers to a personality quiz,  introduce a game-like aspect into the Facebook page and encourage interaction. They also offer a handy new advertising vehicle for Hearst, which is probably why Kristine Welker, Hearst Digital Media’s chief revenue officer, was the point person on the deal. Hearst is further removing friction for potential advertisers by launching multiple brands (13 titles and websites will eventually be involved) at once. That way, if an advertiser wants to reach a certain demographic, they don’t have to negotiate with each magazine individually.

“Instead of doing one-off siloed programs, they’re almost selling it as part of a cable network that lives on top of Facebook,” Mr. Lazerow explained. But why “sapplet”? Did the world really need another word for a widget? “I can’t speak for the world, ” he said sharply. Read More

App Economy

Hearst Institutionalizes Its App Obsession With a Posh New Think Tank

250px-Hearstowernyc

Publishing giant Hearst has been vocal about putting its resources in tablets over paywalls. But today reporters got the first glimpse of just how much they are willing to invest in the new app economy. Hearst’s App Lab, up on the 41st floor of the Hearst Tower on 8th Avenue, isn’t just a “plush, windowless, gadget-filled” think tank for app development and advertising. It’s also staffed by 44 in-house developers, producers, editors and designers. What do they create? So far, 100 apps for the iPad and iPad, Google Android, the Nook, and Zinio’s Newsstand. The App Lab doesn’t just develop tablet editions of glossies. It’s also churning out spin-off apps like House Beautiful‘s paint colors app and Esquire‘s iPad puzzle app.Why should third-party developers have all the one-off fun? Read More