Media Navel-Gazing: February 14, 2011


The Week Unpeeled

Ahead of Valentine’s Day on Monday, love -- or at least mergers – were in the air, with AOL announcing plans to buy the HuffPo blog for $315 million (or 30 times projected Ebidta!); Deutsche Borse AG was talking to NYSE Euronext about combining (Wall Strasse!), and reports over the weekend said that the NYSE would have management control; Nokia and Microsoft are forming an alliance to take on the smartphone market; and London and Toronto stock exchanges are looking to hook up.

Elsewhere:

  • President Obama unveiled his budget package and pledged to cut $1.1 trillion over the next decade
  • Borders is expected to file for bankruptcy as early as early this week;
  • The Daily supposedly posted a picture of “the most powerful women in Hollywood,” but many deny that the screenshot through the window of the car was NOT Nikke Finke;
  • “Fit fun classy guy” Rep. Chris Lee from New York resigned from Congress after he was exposed for above-the-belt exposure on Craigslist as single (he’s not) and looking (now for a job);
  • And kinda in the same vein, an opera about Anna Nicole Smith opens in London this week at the Royal Opera House;
  • Meanwhile, the Dow closed at a 2-1/2 year high Friday at 12,273.

Crowdsourcing and Tahrir Square

Egypt dominated headlines all week and all weekend, with President Hosni Mubarak stepping down after 18-days or stepped-up opposition pressure amid expectations that other Arab nations may see similar conflict (or as seen on Twitter: “First Tunisia. Now Egypt. What’s next? Check Facebook.”); Although obvious at this point, it’s worth emphasizing the strong influence social media had on this revolution, even spearheaded in large part by a social-media executive, Google employee, Wael Ghonim. In the aftermath, it’s clear that Facebook and Twitter served as the accelerators, helping demonstrators push the pedal on the revolution or to crowdsource the overthrow at Tahrir Square. Watching the revolution from CNN and Twitter and CNN watching Twitter, social media also seemed to accelerate diplomacy, keeping steps ahead of the administration on responses. The test now comes to see what role social media plays in rebuilding democracy, more important but less glamorous and maybe a less Tweetable activity.

CJP Remains Ahead of the Curve

Last week, the Verdana font was made part of MoMA’s design collection and now word from The Wall Street Journal over the weekend on a front-page feature: “Orange Crush: Fall in Love with the Color of the Moment.” WAY been there, done that.  CJP


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