Do newspapers have a shot?

Newspapers’ business model is under severe pressure. We all know that, so I wanted to find out how bad it is by going over to Silicon Valley’s hometown newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, and meeting with Mac Tully, the President and Publisher.

It was interesting to hear how the economic downturn is going and how he’s moving more and more of the newsroom over to the San Jose Mercury News’ online efforts. Plus we talk about Twitter and Facebook and a bunch of other stuff in this 16-minute interview including the role of citizen journalists alongside professional journalists.

This is the newspaper I read as a child.

Do newspapers have a shot? Does this interview change your opinions?


The future of the blog with Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the guy who runs Automattic, which makes WordPress and hosts this blog. Since they are about to come out with version 2.7, I wanted to have a conversation with Matt and pick his brain about the future of the blog. It’s long, but this is one of my favorite interviews, hope you enjoy it too.

Part I. 21 minutes.
Part II. 17 minutes.

Nokia N97: the ultimate Facebook device

Nokia N97 sitting next to iPhone

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UPDATE: here’s a short video of the N97 in action last night at dinner.

I have a second video that shows the photo viewing, which looks a lot like how the iPhone does it.

Nokia just announced the N97. I got a chance to play with it last night and realized they have built the ultimate Facebook device. Now, I’m sure, lots of you will wonder how it compares to the iPhone. Well, for a Facebook user it isn’t even close: the new Nokia device wins hands down. Why? Let’s compare:

1. It does 16:9 video. The iPhone doesn’t even do video. So, how can you go to a Daft Punk concert and record it to taunt your friends?
2. It has a 5 megapixel camera. The iPhone only has 2, and the quality isn’t even close. The camera also has a dual LED flash, so you can take pictures in the dark where the iPhone can’t.
3. I can type three Facebook status messages on the N97’s nice QWERTY keybord in the time that I can type two on the iPhone.
4. It does copy and paste, so you can copy URLs to send to your friends. The iPhone can’t do that.
5. It has replaceable batteries so you can charge up three batteries and Facebook for days, while the iPhone needs to be hooked back up to the wall for recharging after a few hours.
6. The GPS device does turn-by-turn and has a built in compass, so you’ll get to your parties faster than with the iPhone, which doesn’t have a compass and doesn’t do turn-by-turn.

OK, so how else does it compare to the iPhone? It has a touch screen, with a cool customizeable home screen. You can add a Facebook component and can drag and drop different components with your finger. You can also use gestures so you can “flick” through your photos. That part is very similar to the iPhone, so you can see that Steve Jobs had a big influence on the user experience.

The device itself has only one button and you can see Jonathan Ives’ challenge taken up all over the device. Close your eyes and touch the device and you don’t feel buttons or other things protuding. Smooth.

Photos and videos will come soon. The wifi isn’t good here.

Other details?

Price? $550 before subsidy, so price should be about $350 in stores.

Availabilty? Second quarter of 2009.

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded some photos to my Flickr stream. I’ll upload videos shortly.

TechMeme has links to more info