Weekly output: Doug Pray, mobile-app monetization, mugshot sites, T-Mobile, ad-free Web-mail, Shared Endorsements

I managed to head into D.C. four of the five workdays this week, thanks to various meetings. That’s unusual. And that won’t be possible this week coming up, as I’m departing Tuesday morning for the Demo conference in Santa Clara.

DisCo Doug Pray post10/7/2013: Documentary Evidence: A Director Opens Up About Distribution, Gatekeepers and Piracy, Disruptive Competition Project

After a visit to Seattle, I wanted to watch a great documentary of the mid-’90s grunge scene, Hype!–but could not, as it had vanished from all the legitimate streaming and downloading channels. So I looked up its director, Doug Pray, and wound up having a great chat over e-mail about the state of movie industry from an indie perspective. I appreciate his honesty… and hope it doesn’t get in the way of him lining up a new distributor so I can see this flick for the first time since 1996.

10/8/2013: Mobile App Monetization Models, Enterprise Mobile Hub

This Twitter chat covered ways to cover a mobile app’s cost: showing ads to the user, charging the user, charging for an upgraded version of the app, or subsidizing it through other means.

10/11/2013: Mugshot Mess Provides A Reminder: You Don’t Want “Search Neutrality”, Disruptive Competition Project

I wrote a response to a couple of thought-provoking pieces: David Segal’s long NYT feature about sites that make it easy to browse mugshots of arrested suspects and also charge to have mugshots removed, then Mathew Ingram’s GigaOM post worrying about how quickly Google and payment processors moved to cut off mugshots sites after they started getting press queries about them.

10/12/2013: T-Mobile to eliminate international data fees, WTOP

T-Mobile announced that it would give its users free 2G data service overseas, and WTOP’s Kristi King sought out my input. My voice sounds sharper than usual not because I was in studio, but because I recorded my end of the conversation with a desktop microphone and then e-mailed the MP3 to King.

10/13/2013: Are any e-mail sites ad-free?, USA Today

A reader asked a question I’d answered last May, but enough things have changed in the Web-mail market for me to revisit the question. And this time around, Outlook.com’s $19.95 ad-free option looks a lot more attractive now that Microsoft’s service supports standard IMAP synchronization. The column also includes a brief explanation of Google’s new “Shared Endorsement” ads and a comparison of them with Facebook’s “Sponsored Stories.”

On Sulia, I posted a couple of reports from an Intuit press event and reception in D.C. (one on how it “ended up distracting the Mint team for the greater good of the company,” another on how its SnapTax app unintentionally makes a case for the direct e-filing that Intuit has lobbied long and hard against), scolded Facebook for taking away the option to hide your name from its search, reported some startups’ testimony about patent trolling, and noted how the advertised prices for CenturyLink’s new gigabit fiber service in Las Vegas understate what you might pay.

You’ve gotta be on [social-media site of the month]

I finally posted something on Pinterest. Are you happy now?

I held out as long as I could. But almost five months after I’d signed up with the site, and with 110 people following me there despite a complete lack of content, the guilt got to me.

This seems to be a permanent occupational hazard of writing about social media. There’s always some new shiny thing that the early adopters are jumping onto, and that you are professionally obliged to check out–except that the day’s annoying habit of only lasting 24 hours often obstructs that.

So I have to confess that I haven’t done anything on Instagram (I wasn’t using an iPhone when it started getting cool, then it seemed beside the point). I somehow never got around to testing Path, even when its privacy violations got into the headlines. I got a semi-coveted invite to the leave-notes-around-the-world site Pinwheel at SXSW but have only logged in a few times since. And my Tumblr blog amounts to a placeholder for my LLC coupled with an updated set of links to my articles; it’s getting the lame readership such a transparently self-promotional exercise deserves.

I’m not proud that I’ve only registered at some of these sites to make sure nobody else grabs “my” username, or that I’ve only done a drive-by inspection of others. Plus, you never know what new site will send some crazy level of traffic your way.

(My current self-marketing budget: tweeting out a link to a story and revisiting that a day later; sharing it on Google+; doing the same on my public Facebook page if an RSS page hasn’t done that for me; archiving the link on Tumblr; noting it in each Sunday’s “weekly output” post here. Any suggestions for optimizing that?)

And yet: I can’t drop everything to immerse myself in every new site, much less add it to my daily communications routine. If I have to flack for myself on 17 different sites, I won’t have time to report and write much worth promoting.

I tell myself that saying “no” to a new social-media site helps reminds me that all of this stuff is optional. But if you think I’m missing out on a useful channel of communication, I hope you’ll tell me about it–on one of the social networks I do inhabit regularly.