Month: March 2012

Pinterest use, growth and copyright issues

Posted by – March 22, 2012

Any doubts about Pinterest being the social media break-out success of the first half of 2012 were further challenged by the ComScore numbers discussed today at Poynter. February saw site visits shoot up 52 percent, which is just astounding. Personally, I continue to see a faster adoption rate among my friends and colleagues than I saw with Path, FourSquare or even Tumblr. That has been surprising. The variety of ways people have come up with for using their accounts has been even more interesting.

Poynter’s Jeff Sonderman points to MindShift, where educational strategies get highlighted. He also links to a fine list of newspapers on Pinterest. Notable examples include:

The Chicago Tribune, who shares boards with aspects of Chicago culture depicted through snippets from their photo archives
The Columbia Missourian, who shares photos and inside-the-office glimpses of its staff
The Guardian, which is all over the place

This brings me to my larger point.

The strangest aspect of Pinterest to me has always been the murky official place that pins are supposed to inhabit between two key stipulations in the site’s Terms of Service and etiquette recommendations. Every user is first of all expected to be “the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content.” I read this and assume that, “OK, I just need to stick photos I have taken or have obtained permission to post.” (This is not a condition that seems to apply to most pins.)

Then there is the other side of the sandwich regarding the header “Avoid Self Promotion”: “Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.” So don’t pin only things that are yours.

I know I’m not the only or first person to point this out, but they really need to find a better way to position themselves. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann does seem to be keenly aware of this condition, though, and acknowledged as much to Fortune, offering assurance that a ToS update is incoming.

I’m anxious to see what the wording looks like when all is said and done.

New ‘Cosmopolis’ teaser

Posted by – March 22, 2012

Every time I see Robert Pattinson in an image from David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis adaptation, I can’t help but think how impossible it sounds to get Twilight readers buying Don DeLillo books. (I remember picking up my hardcover up off the clearance shelf at a Barnes & Noble years ago.) But I guess stranger things have happened.

Breakfast Links: a BSG trailer, a ‘Doctor Who’ companion and the NYT paywall

Posted by – March 21, 2012

• Syfy debuted their trailer for “Blood and Chrome,” the new “Battlestar Galactica” prequel project, which may be a Web series or a pilot/TV movie. My first impression from this trailer is that it’s all action and “Immigrant Song,” so I worry that they’re trying to overcompensate for “Caprica” ditching outer-space dogfights for character development and just turning “Blood and Chrome” into a low-budget, Michael Bay-styled, run-of-the-mill, direct-to-Syfy movie. “Blood and Chrome” looks like an adrenaline-charged Syfy original project, which isn’t the same thing as saying it looks like a good BSG spin-off. I’ll reserve judgment until Adama starts talking. (via io9)

• Producer Steven Moffet dropped some bombshell “Doctor Who” announcements, revealing that actress Jenna-Louise Coleman will be Matt Smith’s new companion and join the show’s cast in this year’s Christmas special. The Christmas special will be the sixth of six episodes released in 2012. The fifth one will be Amy and Rory’s last and feature the Weeping Angels, according to a Moffet quote on the DW Twitter account.

The New York Times recently announced that they’re closing the iris a bit for unpaid readers from 20 to 10 articles per month. Meanwhile, as of Q1 2012, they have upped their digital subscription count to 454,000. This was interesting to me, since Steve Jobs touched on these numbers in the Walter Isaacson bio that I recently finished. Jobs thought the The NYT could charge $5/month and net about 10 million subscribers. Right now, they’re charging way more than that and reaching far fewer digital subscribers. Nevertheless, Ryan Chittum has a great post up at The Audit where he notes the paper’s success and predicts they will pass the 500,000 mark before October. He also points out the big question on everyone’s minds, which is quite simply, “When will digital revenue start appearing on the company’s quarterly earnings reports?” (via

The Wall Street Journal took a look at the iPad 3’s data usage over LTE networks. Download speeds may be 10 times faster, but $30 a month for 2 or 3 gigabytes can go fast when you’re using that Retina Display screen. I think everyone can see the writing on the wall, as content access costs are increasing and Verizon and AT&T are the ones getting the cash. (via Brian Stelter)

• Wallpaper images, meanwhile, only need to be downloaded once, and Cult of Mac shared some gorgeous iPad-ready mosaics from graphic design artist Stephen C. Page. I put one on my throwback first-gen iPad. (via Russ Frushtick)

• This video from Nature about a camera that uses scattered photon detection to see through walls and around corners may blow your mind a little bit.

5 Washington cherry blossom facts

Posted by – March 20, 2012

Being that this is the first year I’ve been able to catch Washington’s cherry blossoms in full bloom, I took the camera along over the weekend and added a few cherry blossom photos to my Flickr account. I also did a little research before hitting up the Tidal Basin and National Mall, because, as with most things in D.C., history is loaded with context and nuances. Specifically, I would highly recommend sifting through The Washington Post‘s menu of cherry articles.

Here are a five things I learned:

1. Thanks to a pest infestation problem, President Taft had to burn the first 2,000 trees sent over by Japan in 1910.

2. 2012 actually marks the 100th anniversary of the next tree shipment’s planting two years later.

3. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial represents the first new memorial site to join the National Cherry Blossom Festival since the nearby Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial was dedicated 15 years ago.

4. The 3,020 trees that were originally planted included 12 varieties. Two of them, the Yoshino and Kwanzan, are now dominant.

5. The trees bloomed earlier than the National Park Service originally expected this year. If warming trends continue, they could be be blooming a full 29 days ahead of schedule by 2080.