Webmonkey Podcast: Apple News in an Era of Ad Blocking
Another week, another sit-down with WIRED Executive Editor Joe Brown as we hash out the details surrounding Apple News and how it changes the world of online publishing. We’re also joined by WIRED’s director of audience development, Eric Steuer, to chat about the recent release of iOS 9, the first version of iOS to allow ad blocking.
We get into the technical nitty-gritty of how we ourselves at WIRED are publishing on Apple News, taking content originally intended to be web-native and crafting them for Apple’s new platform. As it turns out, Apple News depends on Markdown, a format originally developed by Apple aficionado John Gruber to create easy-to-read, easy-to-write documents that translate well into HTML. In short, our method turns HTML into Markdown for easy transport into Apple News.
Have a question or feedback for Webmonkey? I’m WIRED software engineer @whyisjake. If you want to pitch Joe on a great app for WIRED you can find him on Twitter at @joemfbrown. Eric Steuer’s verified twitter account is here @eric_steuer.
Webmonkey Podcast: Yep, We’re Podcasting About Podcasts, Because Podcast
On this week’s episode of the Webmonkey podcast, I am joined once again by WIRED Executive Editor Joe Brown. This time around, we’re sitting down in the podcasting studio to talk about our love of podcasts. Yes, we’re going meta.
Podcasting has followed an interesting path over the last few years. The format originally catapulted into popular parlance around 2005 or so with the surging popularity of iPods (hence the name), along with convenient publishing tools from Apple and others. The last few years have seen a rebirth of the medium as seemingly everyone seeks to stake a claim to what appears to be a truly new broadcasting medium.
Part of the popularity of podcasting is the breadth of subject matter. You can find everything from the broad appeal of NPR’s classic radio shows from NPR to super-niche podcasts for every interest imaginable. (If you are into table-top wargaming like yours truly, there are also many options to choose from.)
In the midst of this publishing euphoria, we have seen, among other thins, a rise in longform podcasts. These carry a narrative over several shows instead of just one, resulting in something that more resembles a book than a blog post.
The crown jewel of this new approach—and the emblem of the podcasting renaissance—was of course Serial, which painstakingly reinvestigated the murder of a Baltimore teenager and the conviction of a classmate over the course of 12 episodes.
But whodunits are hardly the only way to creatively use the serial podcast concept. Another of my favorites has been the Year of Polygamy podcast from host Lindsay Hansen Park. After researching the history of polygamy among her ancestors, she was compelled to learn more about the practice and how it spread across the western US. She turned her research into a 100-episode podcast series that traces the history of polygamy from Brigham Young to Warren Jeffs.
Much like blogging, part of the appeal of podcasting is the ease of publishing. With as little as a smartphone at your disposal—though a full-blown recording studio is also nice—you can be off the ground and on the air, sharing insights on whatever you’re passionate about.
What podcasts are you into? Let Joe (@joemfbrown) or me (@whyisjake) know. I’m always looking for a good story.
Webmonkey Podcast: Who Exactly ‘Looks Like an Engineer’?
When OneLogin put four employees up on billboards in the Bay Area as recruiting tools, nothing could have prepared them for the type of attention that came their way. OneLogin included Isis Anchalee, a female engineer, and many accused the company of exploiting her gender in an effort to attract male engineers—or, at the very least, misrepresenting the role of women in the tech world. “I was not personally ready for the amount of attention that it has brought me,” Anchalee says.
Her story is as amazing as it is condemning of tech culture here in Silicon Valley. Her picture was shared, discussed, analyzed, and torn apart, but as a result of all of this, Isis used the attention to put a spotlight on gender issues in tech—to show that engineers can look like, well, anything. “[M]ost people are well intentioned but genuinely blind to a lot of the crap that those who do not identify as male have to deal with,” she says.
After her grassroots campaign, #ILookLikeAnEngineer, started trending on Twitter—as people from all cultural, ethnic, and gender backgrounds posting pictures of themselves—Michelle Glauser, an engineering friend of Isis paired up to create an IndieGoGo campaign to raise money for a billboard to celebrate the diversity of the #ILookLikeAnEngineer posts. Since then, almost $20,000 has been raised, and the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag has reached all corners of the globe, and thousands of people tweeting.
In this episode of the Webmonkey podcast, I sit down with Michelle and talk about her campaign, along with Kathleen Vignos, Director of Engineering here at WIRED. In addition to the ad campaign, we talk more broadly about the gender issues in tech, and the ways that some companies are trying to work to change the trends. One positive example is Facebook, who has recently published their Managing Bias training that they are putting all of their employees through. We also talk about the ethics of ad blocking, and what we are doing at WIRED to counteract ad blocking products.
It’s Humans vs. Machines in This Weeks Webmonkey Podcast
At Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference a few weeks ago, Apple-owned Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine said humans would play a crucial role as curators—a.k.a. DJs—for its upcoming Apple Music service.
“Algorithms alone can’t do that emotional task,” Iovine said. “You need a human touch.”
On this week’s episode, Webmonkey sits down with WIRED Executive Editor Joe Brown to talk about curation and algorithms—humans versus machines—and the role each is shaping up to play in the emerging digital publishing landscape. We also examine the skillset that today’s journalists need to survive in the world of new, new media. Hint: it’s not enough just to know Microsoft Office.
I Don’t Need a Monster Truck — America is the land of the truck—so why is it so hard to find one that isn’t giant-sized?
I Ate Nothing But Burritos For A Week — Buzzfeed reporter (and WIRED alum) Brendan Klinkenberg tests the limits of a bad diet—and good content.
Curation and Algorithms — Stratechery’s Ben Thompson on how major tech players negotiate human versus machine intelligence.
Have a question or feedback for Webmonkey? I’m WIRED software engineer @whyisjake.
Webmonkey Podcast: WWDC’s News From a Dev’s Perspective
Today on the Webmonkey podcast, I am joined once again by WIRED engineer Ben Chirlin, as well as a new guest, WIRED staff writer Julia Greenberg. This week, we go in-depth on OS X El Capitan; how Apple is undercutting Google on search by bringing more contextual results to Spotlight searches; iOS 9 and how Apple is jumping into the news game with a new app; and how they need to get publishers on board (including WIRED). We also chat about Watch OS, and how excited we are about native apps and the future of wearables.
Deep Web — A feature documentary that explores the rise of a new Internet; decentralized, encrypted, dangerous and beyond the law. Features reporting by WIRED writers Andy Greenberg and Kim Zetter.
Startup Podcast — Season two documents two women building a dating company in the male-dominated world of startups
Find today’s hosts—Jake Spurlock, Ben Chirlin, and Julia Greenberg—on Twitter, or check out @Webmonkey.
Webmonkey Podcast: E-Commerce Is Coming to WordPress.com
This here is the third episode of the Webmonkey podcast, and we’re WIRED devs Jake Spurlock and Ben Chirlin. This week, we sit down with Matt Mullenweg and chat about the recent announcement that Automattic has purchased WooCommerce, plus the potential to add eCommerce abilities to blogs on WordPress.com. Ben also gives us the skinny on Cyphon, his project to bring 20+ years of WIRED.com archives into WordPress with a custom node.js app. Lastly, we look at regular expressions, and their place in computer science.
Star Wars Armada
Send the hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds (Jake Spurlock is @whyisjake and Ben Chirlin is @benchirlin) or to the main hotline at @Webmonkey.