Digital Publishing Technology

Ad Firms Are the Reason Adobe’s Flash Still Exists -- Despite Its Many, Many Security Flaws
August 7, 2015 at 2:58 pm

There’s yet another security issue surrounding Flash, the Adobe technology that is used in the majority of rich online ads today. On Monday (Aug. 3), Yahoo said it shut down an attack that distributed malicious code to Windows computers that had visited its properties. Once installed, the malware exploited machines running outdated versions of Flash,…

You Don't Have to Be a Villain to Say Flash Must Die
July 15, 2015

I won't pretend to be Steve Jobs-I don't even own a mock turtleneck-but I have to repeat his words from April 2010: "Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content." Flash is a constantly exploited, superannuated bit of technology that useful in the early days of multimedia in web browsers, and now deserves to die.

When Jobs wrote "Thoughts on Flash" over five years ago, it was in response to the notion that Flash should be available on iOS.

Is Programmatic Advertising the Future of Marketing?
June 23, 2015

It's been 21 years since the first banner ad appeared on the web. It ran on a site called, the original website of Wired Magazine, and it asked, "Have you ever clicked your mouse right HERE?" An arrow pointed to an ominous-sounding prediction, which was spelled out in all caps, and read: "YOU WILL." It was part of a campaign that aimed to visualize the digital future brought to you by AT&T. The vignettes were prescient in just about every instance

A Futuristic Look at Data & Publishing: Entering the "Human" Internet Era
May 29, 2015

Popular thought has it that the Internet has allowed us to usher in something that is known generally as the 'knowledge economy' or the 'information age'. I happen to believe that society is already moving out of that era and on to 'the human era', an era where we are re-asserting our humanity.

The Apple Watch Will Expose How Little Publishers Know About Their Readers
May 29, 2015

I've spent the past few weeks with a town crier attached to my wrist.

Or at least that's the best metaphor I can come up with for what wearing anApple Watch does for (to?) a news-interested consumer. It's tweaked the modern American condition - constantly fiddling with your smartphone - with a system of thumps and buzzes that grab your attention whenever an app believes it deserves it. It is simultaneously a marvel (a powerful little computer, attached to my arm!) and a bore, a transference of focus from a nice 4.7-inch screen to a tiny 42-millimeter one.

Ad Blocking Software Has Figured Out Native Content, Threatening The New Media Economy
May 26, 2015

In the coming weeks, a large analytic firm will release disturbing figures on the state of the ad blocking scene. According to someone who has advanced knowledge of the data on desktop computers and critical segments of the digital audience, the use of ad blocking is rising exponentially.

Along with The Netherlands, the German market is by far the most affected one by the ad blocking phenomenon. There, ad block use approaches 40% of the internet population. The reasons for the epidemic are unclear, but two elements are likely to play a role.

What’s Going On At Medium?
May 22, 2015

Medium is about to look - or at least feel - less like a traditional internet word factory and a lot more like a social network. Company sources and individuals familiar with its strategy tell BuzzFeed News that companywide changes intended to increase user sign-ups and interactions are on the way, with a greater emphasis on increasing the number of logged-in users, and getting them to share content with their friends and favorite posts by clicking on heart-shaped icons. It's also moving away from its sole emphasis on longform content and time spent on the site.

“Quartz Is an API”: The Path Ahead For The Business Site That’s Reshaping Digital News
May 15, 2015

There are few more compelling digital journalism stories than the growth of Quartz, Atlantic Media's business site. Though it was born with the advantage of a highly desirable target audience - the global business elite - it has still managed to do so much right: sharable content, visual distinction, global reach, smart advertising strategy, mobile-first design...all while maintaining high quality. It's one of the few operations I recommend to the many people who ask me: Who's doing it right?