Will Lee: People is fundamentally and foremost a storytelling platform. My persistent focus is making sure the quality of the storytelling is at the highest level. Folio: talked with Lee about his approach, what’s working and why. Lee: We’re in sort of a post-pageview world. There are a lot of different metrics we look at and it depends on what our goals are. Some stories we’re very invested in making sure it’s engaging, so how long do people spend on it and how many share it. Other stories, like on an awards night we want to see as many people come to the site and consume as much content as they possibly can. So it depends. But pageviews is one metric, visits is another, and engagement in 2016 and 2017 is going to be essential. Lee: Like everything else in the world, decisions need to be driven by logic, not magic. There’s a level at which we can be much more crisp in our decisionmaking. We’ve got a great editorial team with great instincts and they do really good work, but it’s a very different world when you can give somebody much deeper and more persistent focus, they’re doing things that really drive audience. And the more we learn about the stories we’re telling, the more we’re able to make them better and sharper and to really give the audience more of what they want. That’s the ultimate purpose and outcome we’re trying to see by using data to drive content. Folio: What are your primary goals now for People.com? Part of the approach here is what we like to call thin slicing, meaning that when we know that there’s a great story and the audience is responding to it, instead of doing just one story and hoping it goes well, we’ll do 15 or 20. But we create as many entry points for reader as possible, because everybody has a slightly different point of entry on a given topic. Folio: How does your approach differ? Lee: There was very little challenge in getting writers and editors to get the new data-driven approach to stories. Our journalists are fiercely competitive and they want to win—and they do. And our brand’s Editorial Director, Jess Cagle (my boss), has been instrumental in driving new initiatives. As far as changing metabolism goes—our spirit animal is the hare, because, as our board member David Bell likes to say—and this is the G-rated version—the tortoise only beats the hare in fairytales. When we look very carefully at content that performs, it’s actually pretty granular. We have to look at what are the elements and do controlled experiments and literally change very small coefficients within the story to really understand: is it the headline, is it the subject, is it time of day? All of those factors go into how we program. Folio: How is that translating for People.com? Folio: How would you describe your editorial/content mission at People.com? Folio: How has staff been motivated to change to a data-driven content culture? Lee: For me, it’s fundamentally about new storytelling for new audiences and driving new revenue streams. It’s important for us to figure out how to create great content for brands. We’re great storytellers, and brands should want to align with us because we can do that better than any of our competition. From a new audiences perspective, we need to be ubiquitous. Whether it’s with mobile, whether its Snapchat Discover, and the seven other apps and destinations that we’ve never heard of but are being created somewhere right now, we’ll be there. Everyone understands the urgency of what we’re doing, and that we have to be nimble, we have to be agile, and we have to be fast, fast, fast. That’s why our weekly digital win award for is now called the Most Valuable Bunny. What’s been especially helpful here at Time Inc. is that every executive has supported the culture change, and has encouraged us to push the teams to go beyond what they’ve been doing before. Again, we’re a competitive lot, and we understand how crucial it is for us to win. The Internet is full of click bait. What differentiates us is that we are the originator of these stories. We tell the best stories in the most creative way and we have the best journalists on the planet. Folio: What’s your approach to using data? That’s what drives our decisionmaking the next day or next week. When there’s a breaking story, and we’re watching our real-time data, we do adjust on the fly, so it’s obviously looking at things like headlines and the photos we use and all of that gets adjusted on the fly. Lee: A lot of news organizations and publications can be very binary about how they program based on data. They’ll say like this did really well so let’s do more of it tomorrow. But I don’t think that’s really the case. There are a lot of extrinsic factors that can determine why a story does well. So it’s not so much we’ll do more of it just because it performed well. It’s far more nuanced than that. When we look at things that have been successful or performed well, we want to understand exactly why. Will Lee has put his stamp on People.com. Since the TMZ and Hollywood Reporter veteran became digital editorial director for People.com and EW.com in October 2014, traffic has exploded. The People Digital Group hit a record 51 million unique visitors in January, and the People/Entertainment Weekly Network was the leader in the entertainment news category for the 10th consecutive month. We don’t just do things to drive audience. People is fundamentally and foremost a storytelling platform. The more we learn about the stories we’re telling the more we’re able to make them better and sharper and to really give the audience more of what they want. That’s the ultimate purpose and outcome we’re trying to see by using data to drive content. We have to be early adopters and execute well on different platforms. From a new storytelling standpoint it’s important for us to figure out what the atomic unit of content is for audiences today. It’s probably not simply an article with a headline and 300 words of text. It could be video, it could be a Snap. There are many, many ways to tell stories and relay news. Whether its Amazon Echo, or the front of your refrigerator or the bathroom mirror those are all places you’re going to consume content, we have to figure out how to tell our stories on all of those surfaces. I’d like to say I’m able to look into the future, but unfortunately the future is upon us.
Smartphone design just got taken to another level. Nubia, an associate company to Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, just unveiled the world’s first wearable smart phone at MWC 2019. The smartphone, (or is it a smartwatch?), named the Nubia Alpha, looks like something out of a sci-fi novel, and it’s a first step toward the wearable tech of the future. The design is a bit cumbersome, the gold a bit gaudy, but the execution is commendable. You can make and receive phone calls, take pictures, and decide to control it either with your fingers or a series of hand gestures–all from the water resistant band around your wrist. Check out more details on the design and functionality of it here. Nubia hasn’t announced a release date or set a price, but it has stated the phone will be available for purchase, it’s not just a concept. The Nubia Alpha looks like either a house arrest bracelet or Batman’s phone CNET Asks 2:47 Tags Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Comments The Nubia Alpha wraps a phone around your wrist We have seen concepts and prototypes of wearable phones before. And of course, the smartwatch accompaniments to phones, like the Apple Watch, but Nubia seems to be the first in the game to actually sell a standalone wearable phone. This very well may be the phone of the future, but is the Nubia Alpha the one to propel us there? Are you even interested in wearable phones such as the this? We have questions like this in the poll below, and we would love to gauge your reaction to this phone. If you feel like explaining a bit more, hop on over to the comment section and let us know your opinion. Can’t wait to see your responses.Check out previous installments of CNET Asks here, and cast your votes on a wide range of topics. If there is a particular question you’d like to see asked, or if you’d like a shot at being featured in a future edition, join us at CNET Member Asks and submit your topic idea.Not seeing the poll below? Click here to see poll 8 Photos 3 Wearable Tech Gadgets Mobile Accessories Sci-Tech Phones
Amazon’s drones and robots want to take over your deliveries Now playing: Watch this: Mobile 0 Post a comment 10 Photos 1:32 Tags Share your voice Starships bots are coming to University of Pittsburgh’s campus, home of the Panthers, on Tuesday. Starship Starship Technologies launched a new service earlier this year to deliver food and groceries at two US universities using self-driving robots. It’s now planning on doing a whole lot more.The San Francisco-based startup announced Tuesday it will expand this service to 100 universities over the next two years, thanks to an infusion of $40 million in new funding. The expansion, which will focus mostly on the US, starts with the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Purdue University is coming in early September. George Mason University and Northern Arizona University came online in January and March, respectively.”There’s going to be a whole generation of students that grow up tapping on their phone when they’re hungry and a robot brings food to them,” Lex Bayer, Starship’s CEO, said in an interview.Starship is a part of the burgeoning delivery robots industry, which has already attracted corporate giants Amazon, Google and UPS, as well as a constellation of smaller players including Postmates and Workhorse. These companies see an opportunity to bring their customers things they need much faster, more cheaply or with far more convenience than current delivery options offer. And they could in some cases extend delivery times to nearly every hour of the day. These companies will, though, need to develop their services amid growing concerns about bots and automation stealing humans’ jobs.Amazon’s similarly shaped Scout robots are getting a test run in Washington state. Ben Fox Rubin/CNET Amazon is busy working on flying drones to deliver consumer goods to customers in 15 minutes through its Prime Air program and has already started a pilot in Britain. It’s also developed the Scout autonomous sidewalk robots, which look like and work similarly to Starship’s bots. It’s testing these deliveries in Washington state. UPS, meanwhile, is focusing on helping business customers, including efforts to bring flying drones to hospital campuses to speed the completion of lab tests.Starship, too, has found a niche in this new market, saying it’s receiving heavy demand from college campuses for its squat, battery-powered, six-wheeled robots. Bayer explained that colleges aren’t so easily served by typical food delivery apps like Uber Eats or DoorDash, since there’s usually little available parking and campuses often feel like mazes to outsiders. While those features make it hard for human delivery workers, they’re no concern for Starship’s autonomous bots, which are preloaded with detailed 3D maps of campuses before they ever start roaming around and which don’t need to park anywhere.The Starship bots bring breakfast, late-night snacks and plenty else in between, letting students buy food from local restaurants through its app. The bots then bring orders to wherever customers are on campus for $1.99 per shipment. Starship also gets paid by the restaurant for making each delivery.Starship typically uses 25 to 50 robots per campus, and they roam around seven days a week, rain or shine, from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Bayer said they don’t displace workers’ jobs, since deliveries often don’t exist on campuses. He said the company hires student workers to maintain, monitor and recharge the bots.Demonstrating UPS drone deliveries at a hospital campus. UPS Bayer added that the bots are safe on sidewalks, driving at 4 mph and bristling with 10 cameras, radar, ultrasound sensors and GPS, in addition to sophisticated computer vision and neural networks to process what they see. These bots have already completed 100,000 deliveries and driven 300,000 miles, Bayer said. Even though the Starship bots weigh just 50 pounds, he said thefts of the bots don’t happen since they include alarms and are monitored by humans. Also, a bot’s payload of food remains locked inside until a student opens it using the app.Like just about any tech CEO, Bayer isn’t content just making the Starship bot ubiquitous on college campuses from coast to coast, with a goal of eventually serving 1 million students. The company has already started package deliveries in neighborhoods and parts deliveries on business and industrial campuses.”Our model and vision is to move everything around in neighborhoods and cities,” Bayer said. Tertill is a robot weed trimmer that’s like a Roomba for your garden E-commerce Bots Robots
By The Associated PressMCLEAN, Va. (AP) — A Baltimore boxer who’s the World Boxing Association champion in the 130-pound (58.9-kilogram) category is accused of assaulting someone at a shopping mall near Washington.News outlets report Fairfax County police announced Tuesday that a warrant had been issued for Gervonta Davis. Lt. John Lieb says the misdemeanor assault warrant is based on sworn testimony from the alleged victim in the Feb. 17 incident.In this April 20, 2018, file photo, Gervonta Davis poses for photographs during the official weigh-in for a boxing match against Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar, in New York. The World Boxing Association 130-pound champion is accused of assaulting someone at a shopping mall near Washington. News outlets report Fairfax County police announced Tuesday, March 5, 2019, that a warrant had been issued for Gervonta Davis. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)Lieb says police have made multiple attempts to contact the boxer by telephone, but haven’t received a response. Police say the 24-year-old started a confrontation and then assaulted the unidentified man near an ATM at Tysons Galleria.A representative for Davis said he had no immediate comment, but the super featherweight addressed a TMZ Sports report about the incident by tweeting: “Lies lies lies.”
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. June 12, 2012 If you’re thinking about building an app and want to know what it takes to get an app approved by Apple, check out what Jason Becker has to say on the topic. He and his team created Dreamt It — an ingenious little app that taps into the iPhone’s Siri voice recognition software to help its users keep track of and share their dreams. After a 60-day build, Dreamt It was approved for the Apple app store in about two hours.Apple’s app submission process is often viewed as mysterious or extremely difficult. Use these tips to successfully navigate it and get your app approved:Understand Apple’s standards before building your app. Apple takes care to establish clear guidelines for developing applications for its app store. Dreamt It’s developers understood the constraints and expectations that Apple has for new applications, which helped the start-up quickly refine its app’s functional goals.Build your app with open-source tools. Dreamt It uses ShareKit, an open-source tool that developers can integrate into their apps to enable users to share content through social networks, email and SMS. Dreamt It didn’t need to invent its own sharing capabilities to be successful, and you don’t, either.Related: There’s an App Maker for ThatSubmit once you’re a user, not a tester. A winning recipe for application approval is to submit an app that’s bug-free, looks great and provides clear, differentiated value for users. If you find yourself happily using (not testing) your app every day, you’re probably ready for submission.Don’t forget the details. Apple has a lot of secondary requirements for apps, including logo size, links to support pages and age-appropriate settings. Overlooking these details is a surefire way to have your app rejected.Expect a subjective feedback. A real, live person leads the app review process, so you should expect a review from Apple. While review times vary, your Apple reviewer will be assigned between seven and 10 days following your submission. How long a review takes and whether you’ll pass on the first try is anyone’s guess. Be sure your expectations for launch include time to fix issues and re-submit to Apple if necessary.Related: Three Ways to Make Your App Stand Out (Video)