NewFronts and Upfronts Converge

As the line blurs between television and digital, with consumers watching all kinds of content on all different screens, the ad industry still turns out for two major events: the Digital Content NewFronts and the TV Upfronts. I polled buyers on what they were expecting and how the media landscape is changing in two stories for Portada:

Maturing Marketplace: Digital NewFronts 2015

(The second one will publish next week.)

How the TechHire Initiative Could Change Business and Lives

This seems like a no-brainer, and I don’t understand why Obama’s TechHire Initiative is not getting more attention. The idea is, with 500,000 — yes, that many — technology jobs unfilled, you don’t really need a four-year computer-science degree to do a lot of them. This blog post I did for staffing company Modis explains how it works and highlights some early successes.

The TechHire Initiative and What It Means for Your Business

Can Native Advertising Be Programmatic?

My editor liked this idea because it contained not one but two ad-world buzzwords. Programmatic content is also a concept that scares us journalists and content creators to death, stinking as it does of robots and the bad old days of content farms.

However, programmatic native advertising has been with us since, arguably, the earliest days of AdWords. This article for Campaign US explores in depth where programmatic makes sense for native advertising, how it’s already being used and whether premium publishers will be able to keep raking in premium rates for native articles on their sites.

Native Programmatic: Apples and Oranges in the Same Basket

How Connectivity Will Improve Autonomous Driving

Evidently, whether self-driving cars will need to be connected to external databases, maps or whatever is a matter of contention. I always thought they would, to access real-time maps, traffic and road info, etc. In the world of research, however, “autonomous” means the vehicle has no need to connect to any external systems. This article examines how real-world autonomous cars will make use of their persistent connections.

Autonomous and Connected: Better Together

I think I deserve props for not using that Reese’s P-butter Cups analogy. : )

Next-gen sensors for autonomous cars

There are three strategies for implementing advanced safety features that will lead to full autonomy: add still more sensors; reduce the number of sensors by combining functions; use advanced processing to make use of sensor data.

Here’s a look at how vendors and tier 1s are doing all of them.

Sensors: Powerful, Cheap and Multipurpose

Mobile Payments Still in Hype Cycle

mobilepayMobile commerce was definitely up over the 2014 holiday shopping season — and for many sites, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. (Although I think that tablets, which are used more like laptops, which have replaced desktops, are muddying the stats.)

But, despite all the attention Apple Pay got, few used mobile payments to buy stuff.

Mobile Payments MIA in Black Friday Frenzy

Why Virtual Reality on the Web Is Important (and cool)

VR demo at Mozilla HQ
VR demo at Mozilla HQ

Seems like virtual reality is about to blow up. Mozilla and Google plan to implement browser APIs that will let VR developers make their virtual worlds accessible via the browser. Users still will need headsets, however.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Web — Maybe for Real This Time