GigaOM launches ‘GigaOM Europe’

I say ‘launches’, they’d added a ‘Europe’ link to the nav bar. But this is more than a link.

It’s probably not escaped your notice GigaOM has been upping it’s not-US presence. In addition to appointing ex-Guardian tech staffer Bobbie Johnson as European editor, the site has also nabbed PaidContent and associated sites from the Guardian Media Group (see a pattern here) to strengthen its coverage areas and international reach.

Why is this? To be blunt, Europe is different to the US. We have different laws and governance covering lovely things like data protection, file sharing and copyright of digital content, social media, privacy and lots of other technical what-nots that are in a near constant state of change. We’ve also got a whole host of companies based in the Europe – and have had for some time now., for example, kicked into life in East London. Plus, there’s a whole VC and financing sector operating in complete separation of the Mecca that we Brits like to believe Silicon Valley is. Oh, and the time is different over here too.

In short, you’d struggle to cover it all from the states. Or, to quote the site itself “Ultimately, we believe that not only is there an under-covered base of businesses in Europe, but there is also a new generation of international start-ups and digital companies being built here — and that the changes happening as a result of this shift deserve the kind of attention we can give it.”

So there is it – GigaOM Europe. Start reading.


Mobile News Consumption in UK leads Europe: Proud to be British

Last week we posted a piece for fans of mobile news consumption in the US, and now those of us in Europe are getting some of the action too.

After the The State of the News Media 2012 revealed an increase in mobile news gobbling in the US, ComScore thought ‘we need to get in on this surveying of mobile what-not business’. So here we are, a lovely survey showing how mobile news consumption is up in Europe as well.

UK mobile news consumption

And consume we do. You think those yanks like their news on the go? Well, over 46% of us smartphone owning Brits are accessing news through our devices, compared to the European average of 37%. Yep we’re ahead of the curve and beating the our nearest competition the French and Spanish, with 37% and 32% respectively (based on January 2012 numbers). I guess we just want news more, makes you proud to be British.

ComScore mobiel news consumption

Source: ComScore website

There’s no word on tablet-based news gorging. Perhaps ComScore think us Europeans are a little behind the US when it comes to table usage. My own survey based on last week’s queues indicates 100% of ComScore employees did not walk past an Apple store last week.

No insight as to how users are landing on the news pages through their phones either. They survey looked at a mixture of dedicated app and mobile browser traffic. Naturally dedicated app traffic is coming direct through apps, but it would be nice to see if smartphone users are tapping in website addresses or are wondering in through Twitter, Facebook and other social sites.

Regardless, these latest figures show the hunger for news on-the-go is increasing like the clappers on both sides of the pond.


The Daily ‘UK Edition’ gets a quite soft launch

Rupert Murdoch’s iPad-only newspaper, which launched back in February, has been quietly released to UK readers. According to The Guardian, although there was no official launch date it seems to have been available for over a week.

And it’s been getting mixed reviews – mainly because of the lack of localised content. The paper still contains US-based stories, including reports on US politics, current affairs and a two-week trial offer from Verizon Wireless – a business that does not have a UK consumer offering.

Ads are also US-centric, advertising Fox TV shows and a 4G smartphone. Anyone notice our Gs only go up to three?

It seems a strange tactic to try and woo a new perspective audience, especially from a media mogul with so much experience. So strange in fact, you have to wonder if this is really an actual launch or simply testing the water for something more tailored to the UK. The Wall Street Journal doesn’t just slap ‘Europe’ on the end of its header and hope for the best – so why is The Daily any different?

Twitter is coming to the UK – Easy on the super injunctions guvna

Much excitement is brewing in this here London, as the world’s most famous micro-blogging / news breaking / celeb humiliating platform, Twitter, makes a move ‘across the pond’. Tony Wang is already here. He works for Twitter, “doing deals.”

The company is apparently planning an office for up to 60 people somewhere in our tea-loving nation’s capital, with the main aim likely being attracting advertising dollars (or pounds, actually) from local advertising types.

Cameron Twitter

Of course, such success doesn’t come without a price. Get popular enough to attract mass-market user numbers and you’ll find yourself running into a few controversies. For example, when footballers choose to play away from home and take out a super injunction. In the olden days of traditional media this may have been a viable solution to stop the British tabloids and gossip machine turning. Nowadays, social media makes it a whole different ballgame (last football pun, promise).

Even our illustrious coalition PM thinks so, telling The Guardian privacy law in the UK is “unsustainable” in the social media age, and needs to “catch up” with the expanding online world.  An interesting position for Dave, given that he’s probably keen for Twitter to take up residence in the all singing tech hotspot that is Silicon Roundabout.

Of all the excitement Twitter will bring when it arrives in our green and pleasant land, the legal implications may well be the most impactful. With a UK office, it seems unlikely the company will be able to continue to hide behind its US status and ignore local laws. So that football who we cannot name could be one of the last to suffer the embarrassment of the all mighty tweeting blue bird. Although we should still be able to get our fix — the law never stopped the red tops much.