Trends We’re Tracking: Publishing Errors, Safer Streets, & Canned Wine

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Sriracha faces a scare, things get dicey for an unfortunately named rapper, and Boston has another marathon threat. It’s been a scary week in the news, but horror levels will increase exponentially if you go another second without this installment of our top stories. It’s time for your weekly dosage of trends we’re tracking. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Toy Guns, Wine Apps, & Crooked Bankers

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Ping, ping, ping, Colbert lands Late Night, and Hollywood loses a legend. It’s been a busy week for the entertainment industry, and we’ve got the most entertaining stories away from it. It’s time for your weekly rundown of the trends we’re tracking.   Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Urban Wine, News Content & More Acquisitions

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Cat shenanigans in Turkey, solar powered dresses, and a heroin overdose antidote is legalized. Another week of fascinating stories. These are the ones that are holding our attention. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Spotify’s IPO, A Shrewd Zuck & BaneCat

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More people break into the Freedom Tower, others fail miserably. Meanwhile, in eastern Europe, Russia is stealing dolphins (yes, you read that right). We’re almost to the start of a new month, and we’re hoping warmer weather isn’t too far behind. In the meantime, these are the stories that have kept us talking while we’re cooped up indoors. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Wine Milkshakes, Robo-News & Emotional Marketing

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More developments on Flight 370, earthquakes in Cali, and a brazen teen climbs the Freedom Tower. It has been a particularly surreal week in the news, and the stories we’ve collected will only reinforce that. These are the trends we’re tracking.    Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Strangers Kissing, Social News & Net Neutrality

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We mourn a few tragedies, celebrate National Nutrition Month, and explore the cosmos. It’s been a busy week – we’ve had business trips, attended business meetings, and wrote business plans. Still, we’ve continued our weekly exercise of collecting a handful of compelling news stories. But first, a correction. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Water To Wine, PBR Revival & Your Body, The Phone Charger

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Putin and the Ukraine, the wickedly talented Adele Dazeem, and (plot twist!) more snow. No matter what the topic, we’re keeping our ear to the grindstone and our eye on the prize, sorting out all the news that’s fit to print. Through all the media noise, these five stories are ones we’re tracking this week. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Beauty Cocktailing, Social Media Lie Detectors & Millennial Targeting

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The grind of winter marches on, and with yet another polar vortex wrapping its icy fingers around North America, we’re all in need of some thought-provoking news to distract us. Here at Cf, we have just the thing. This week, we explore the newest use for your cell phone, more Millennial marketing, and an effort to call out Twitter liars. Read the entire post

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Marc Andreessen on the Business of News

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Silicon Valley visionary, Marc Andreessen, maps an exciting future for the Business of News:

The news business is a business like any business. It can and should be analyzed and run like a business. Thinking of news as a business is not only NOT bad for quality, objective journalism, but is PRO quality, objective journalism. A healthy business is the foundation for being able to build high quality products, and to do so sustainably. That includes journalism. Analyzed as a business, the news industry is going through a fundamental restructuring and transformation, for worse and for better.

Check out the full blog here. It’s a great read.

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Trends We’re Tracking: Fashion Drones, Anonymous Messaging & Vice’s Next Step

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It’s Friday and you need some lunchtime reading. Luckily, we’re here to direct you to this week’s most compelling stories in the industries that matter to us most. This week, we cover gif contests, literature-themed cocktails, and fashion drones. We begin with an interesting take on this week’s biggest news story. Read the entire post

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Business Bonuses Of Yesterday And Today

Bonus numbers for 2013 began rolling in last week, and whether you’re flush with cash or bad mouthing your boss, we know your time is valuable. Take a look at this quick recap of the bonus landscape of yesterday and today.

In the early years of bonuses…

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Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Shoppable Ads, Future Spacecrafts & Valentine’s Day Inspiration

Maybe you need things to talk about tonight on your date, or maybe you’re looking for some conversation starters at the bar. Either way, we’re happy to oblige here at Cf. This week, we’re talking Italian wine, Google dominance, and some Valentine’s Day surprises. With so much love in the air, here are the stories that caught our eye: Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Apple Dominance, Tongue Dying, & Tons Of Booze

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New York City may be dealing with a salt shortage, but there’s never a shortage of trends to track at Cf. This week, we’re exploring artistic ads, the influence of an NGO, and Apple’s crushing grip on Silicon Valley. It’s Sochi Friday, and while the conditions in Russia are seemingly subpar, we’re in prime position for another installment of Trends We’re Tracking. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Wine Trends, Wearable Books & More

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“I ain’t even scared”

As always, we’re balancing work and play at Cf, but that won’t stop us from putting together another juicy roundup of industry trends. This week, we’ve got a report from the Consumer Wine Trends Conference, a look at solar-powered laptop chargers, wearable books (Wha…?), and more. Time to find your balance with the trends we’re tracking. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: The Return of Newsweek, Next Gen WiFi & More

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It’s been a busy week here at the Feed. We began new projects, moved into a new office, and dealt with a little snowstorm named Janus. But even the bitter cold couldn’t keep us from getting the scoop on this week’s most interesting stories.  Here is what has us stroking our whiskers: Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Internet of Things, Smart TVs & More

In a week highlighted by Oscar nominees and seedy details from New Jersey’s governor’s mansion, we’ve continued to keep our focus on the things that matter to us most. With this week’s roundup, we’re covering Google acquisitions, wine revolutions, publishers diving into digital, and even a potty-related Internet of Things story. The weekend is here and these are the trends we’re tracking. Read the entire post

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Trends We’re Tracking: Native Ads, CES 2014 & More

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Native ads, CES 2014, Bitcoin discrimination, wino women, and mom love. It’s our first post of 2014 and we’re ready to dive into the new year with a new weekly segment that outlines all of the things on our minds. Have a look at what’s buzzing this week at Cf:

New York Times Launches Native Ads

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Native advertising may have come of age in 2013, but 2014 is the year it goes boom. The earliest sign of this came this week when the New York Times launched a new native ad campaign on its website.

The ads will appear with a disclaimer that indicates the content has been produced by the advertising department with absolutely no editorial collaboration. Unbridled transparency – absent from a lot of prior attempts in native advertising – is a major component of the NYT’s new policy.

With the Times now firmly committed, it’s high time for other outlets and marketers to accept that the sometimes controversial ad form is where the future of brand awareness is going.

More on the new NYT ads from Ad Age.

P&G Shows Moms Some Love

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This week, P&G unveiled its latest homage to Moms for this year’s Sochi Winter Olympics. With over 5.5 million views in just five days, they prove just how potent a personal yet universal brand story can be. Especially when it involves mommies. You can watch the touching tribute here. #BecauseofMom

BONUS: Speaking of moms

Beauty Is Ageless 

Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen’s latest lookbook for The Row gives “timeless fashion” new meaning. Starring alongside sophisticated neutrals and soft fabrics are models entirely over the age of 39 – including 60 plus beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin, Ursula Wallis, and Esther de Jong.

CES 2014 Comes To A Close

In tech news, the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show wraps up today after a weeklong stay in Las Vegas. The big takeaways from this year’s conference: Curved screens, 4K HD, the emergence of the Internet of Things, and toy robots. The future of tech gets more and more exciting (and surreal) with each passing year. For a roundup of all the 2014 CES trends, check out this article from PC Mag.

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know: Women Want Wine

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A 2013 Gallup Poll revealed that women are wine’s number one fan. Women chose wine as their drink of choice nearly 52% of the time compared to men who preferred it only 20% of the time. Yet, while there are 135 designated Master Sommeliers in the country, only 19 of them are women. An annual symposium hosted by Winebow hopes to empower more women to tackle the industry.

AliBaba Bans Bitcoins

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Bitcoins, hailed by many has the “next big thing,” has aroused both interest and scorn lately. Investors took the virtual currency on a literal rollercoaster, with prices reaching north of $1000 from a low $200 in November, only to tumble back to $539 in the span of a few days.

Now, with many questioning the long term value of this disruptive player, the biggest online retailer in the world, AliBaba, has decided to ban the use of bitcoin on its online retail platforms amid Chinese crackdowns. More from CNN.

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One Last Look at 2013

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One Last Look at 2013

Maybe you’ve already seen a few of the top takes on 2013 – from GoogleFacebookPitchforkSpotify, and Tumblr – but with all the family, food, and festivities this season has to offer, who has time to read the rest?

We took on the task for you, sifting through a litany of lists to give you the overlooked homages and hidden gems of 2013.

So as you ring in the New Year, and before you start your own lists for 2014 (resolutions!), here’s one last look back on the year past.

Hope to see you in the new year!

- Cf.

Paste Magazine’s Top 10 Home Gadgets of 2013

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The internet of things invades your living room

Businessweek’s First Annual Jealousy List

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41 stories and one book that Businessweek journalists wish they’d written

2013 Black List: Best Scripts That Weren’t Produced

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Over 250 film executives weigh in on the stories that weren’t told in 2013

Fast Company’s Best Ads of 2013

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20 best of 2013

Esquire’s Best New Restaurants List

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Top 20 culinary newcomers from all across America

Time’s Best Inventions of 2013

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Techland and Time count down the best innovations of the past year

Longreads’ Best Stories of 2013

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49 top pieces of lengthy journalism from the past year

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Top 10 Charities in Year-End Giving

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Charities that net the highest percentage of donations during the holiday season

iO9′s Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2013

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Time’s Top 10 Memes of 2013

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Guilty pleasures, GIFs, and gaffs

The Atlantic’s In Focus: 2013 in Photos

Part 1 & Part 2

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Rotten Tomatoes’ Best Movies of 2013

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Persistence is the Key to Going Viral

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Don’t expect to create buzz around your brand if you’re not willing to get involved in a real long-term content strategy. While it may seem obvious, it’s a fact lost on many companies who expect marketing success by relying on gimmicky, trite campaigns rather than creating realistic, long-term budgets for content marketing.

Venture Beat recently explored the phenomenon in this article, which shows that companies who are the least involved in content marketing are the most challenged to produce engaging content. That, of course, is no coincidence. If you don’t commit the time and resources to your campaigns, the payoff will never come.

Venture Beat uses the example of the WestJet YouTube video, which recently went viral. Any company would relish this type of exposure – millions of views, a bevy of press coverage, and the greater brand awareness that results from all the exposure.

What many companies don’t realize is that WestJet’s video was not the result of a single effort. WestJet produces this kind of content regularly (they’ve got 240 videos on YouTube right now). None of it has worked as well as the last video. Going viral is not an exact science, and it’s impossible to tell exactly what is going to catch the attention of the masses. But increasing your odds with regular content is certainly the best practice.

If you want to go viral, you have to produce unpredictable content regularly. Be persistent and patient and one day, you may strike gold.

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Paper Chasing

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“Print Dead at 1,803″

The wry headline, published by the Onion in the spring of 2013, seems to aptly capture the sentiment coursing through the media industry today. From paywalls to native advertising, publishers are experimenting with new ways to survive and thrive in the “digital era.” But is print really dead?

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Earlier this month, Newsweek, a publication that ceased its print operations in December 2012, announced its plan to fire up the presses again in January or February of 2014. Jim Impoco, Editor-in-Chief, described the new 64-page weekly format as a subscription-driven lovechild of The New Yorker and The Economist. 

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Is a return to print and pulp the solution to Newsweek‘s historically rocky financial troubles? The answer remains to be seen, but signs elsewhere in the industry point to a renewed interest in experimenting with print-like formats. The New York Times, whose paywall-driven online strategy netted a cool $150 million in 2012, recently unveiled a new web app dubbed “Today’s Paper.” The app, available for tablets and online, will bring elements of the Times’ print edition – including classic layout and tightly edited content – to life in digital.

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Across the pond, journalism’s golden Guardian is playing in print as well; “The Long Good Read,” a post-modern mashup of analog and digital, is an algorithmically curated collection of long form articles that are printed weekly and distributed as physical tabloids.

While the future direction of the news media industry is unclear and the best revenue model to support healthy journalism remains to be found, physical paper seems to still hold a strange power. There’s an inimitable allure that has yet to be replicated online – or even in the slickest tablet apps. Maybe it’s the experience of interacting with an ephemeral object that feels special or the fascination bred of industry nostalgia for a bygone golden era. But perhaps we’re getting a glimpse at the future – where printed media is reborn as a new “luxury” product with true market value.

We can’t wait to turn the page and find out.

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