NJ Mobile News Lab
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NJ Mobile News Lab

“Audiobots, roll out!” Alexa will be on the road with you before you know it

The Amazon Echo, Google Home, and the rest of the personal audio assistants are seemingly everywhere these days, so the inevitable next step in the audio bots’ steady march toward ubiquity is pretty obvious: the personal automobile. They’ve already succeeded in taking over living rooms and home offices across the country, and soon you’ll also be able to treat your car like your own personal robot slave. Garmin recently announced that it teamed up with Amazon to bring Alexa to all of BMW’s new 2018 models.

The Garmin Speak currently costs about $150 and attaches to your windshield like a standard GPS mount, allowing you to summon Alexa while you’re stuck in traffic. But because Alexa connects to your other smart devices, you’ll also be able to ask Alexa to do things like turn on your house lights or set the temperature in your home before you even pull into your driveway.

Click here to read more.

The Guardian experiments with live mobile updates for the Roy Moore scandal

The Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab is experimenting with a new mobile story format this week regarding the sexual assault accusations against Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama. They’ve created this mobile page, will update as the story progresses over the next few days. When users return to the page, it will only show you the information that is new to you, specifically. The format is meant be viewed on mobile, and Android users on Chrome browsers can sign up for notifications above to be automatically alerted to significant story updates.

Click here to read more and subscribe.

We all have 280 characters now — is that a good or bad thing?

Trick question. It’s probably a little of both. Lívia De Paula Labate (@livlab) argues — via Twitter thread, of course — that there are benefits and downfalls to both. For one, only having 140 characters to work with made it crucial for users to be succinct in their writing and careful when editing. It also forced users to come up with innovative new approaches to storytelling when using the platform. The Twitter thread itself is a perfect example of such innovation and adaptation. Labate has much more to say on this topic, and I highly recommend you check out her thread.

Click here to read the full Twitter thread.

Democracy Dies in Dankness: It turns out behaving like an actual human being is a great way to engage with people online

Some groundbreaking revelations coming out of the Washington Post: people on the Internet don’t like being the target of blatant marketing campaigns. As it turns out, people online will respect and trust you more if you don’t just treat them like a mark. The Washington Post learned this valuable lesson after spending a considerable amount of time using their /u/washingtonpost account on Reddit to actually engage, joke and have conversations with other Reddit users.

The fact that people respond better to a more human approach from news publications and other brands online is further backed up by Darnelle O’Brien, who wrote about the value of getting personal on social media in an article for the marketing publication Business2Community.

Click here to read more about the Washington Post’s Reddit strategy via Nieman Lab.

Now you can read the news while you’re stuck in the tunnel

Another experiment from the Guardian’s Mobile Innovation Lab addresses an issue that most commuters have likely encountered during their daily slog to and from work: data dead zones. The new app, dubbed LabRdr, prepares a daily “package” of Guardian content based on the articles and content the user has previously accessed. LabRdr (which can either be pronounced as “Labrador” or “lab reader”) creates “content recommendations through transparent use of data,” giving users a higher degree of control as it pushes out minimal (but thoughtful) alerts.

Click here to read more about LabRdr.

Chart of the month:

Upcoming trainings & events:

The social web was born 10 years ago with the unveiling of the first iPhone, Twitter’s debut at SXSW, Facebook growth beyond college dorms, and the first Presidential debate on YouTube. To explore what we’ve learned about the internet over the past decade and what we might expect in 2027, the Knight Foundation has invited 13 entrepreneurs, journalists and scholars to the Paley Center on Nov. 16 for an afternoon of dialogue. Free. More info.

Join BCIS at the Microsoft Technology Center on Nov. 17 for the inaugural assembly of technologists, entrepreneurs, impact investors and futurists, as we converge to help solve global challenges in the areas of financial inclusion, supply chain, identity & vulnerable populations, and energy & environment, using the most world’s most revolutionary technology — Ethereum blockchain. Tickets are $120. More info.

This on-demand online course from the MIT Sloan School of Management aims to give you a practical grounding in artificial intelligence (AI) and its business applications, equipping you with the knowledge and confidence you need to help you transform your organization into an innovative, efficient, and sustainable company of the future. Click here to get the course brochure.

Bots, AI, and messaging apps

Virtual and augmented reality

Revenue and sustainability

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Social tools and platforms

Research and reports

Design and development

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The Center for Cooperative Media will curate information about our efforts and the work of our grantees, along with relevant industry trends via this monthly newsletter, the contents of which will also be published on the NJ Mobile News Lab blog.



Experiments in Mobile News Innovation from the Center for Cooperative Media

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Joe Amditis

Associate director of products + events, Center for Cooperative Media; host + producer, WTF Just Happened Today podcast.