Livefyre Acquires Social Storytelling Tool Storify

LiveFyre has bought Spotify. Photo: LiveFyreThis post was first published on Mashable.

The real-time curation and commenting platform Livefyre announced on Monday that it has acquired the social storytelling tool Storify.

Storify helps publishers tell stories by collecting tweets, photos, videos and media from across the web. Its staff of five will keep their positions and relocate to Livefyre’s San Francisco office six blocks away.

Livefyre, which in February raised $15 million in venture funding, helps media companies and brands engage users through real-time social conversations, curation and advertising. Its 400-plus client base includes Conde Nast, TIME and the New York Times. Deal terms were not disclosed.

“The idea is to give publishers their own versions of Storify, inside their site,” said Storify co-founder Burt Herman. “The goal of Storify is to impact how stories are going to be told, and how journalists are going to evolve and make stories on the social web.”

Approximately 850,000 journalists, agencies and brands use Storify. Now, the plan is to use Livefyre’s reach to monetize it and reach more fans. Herman told Mashable that his small team didn’t have the resources to take their service to the next level business-wise. Now he and his team can focus on product.

“Brands are paying big bucks” for exposure, said Livefyre CEO Jordan Kretchmer, adding that his site can deliver millions of targeted impressions to relevant users. Companies can collect user-generated web content with Storify to supplement editorial content, which Livefyre will distribute onto their brands’ websites, mobile apps and advertisements rather than linking out to Storify.

Kretchmer said the end goal is to automate Storify stories, turning content production into a “fire hose experience.”

Livefyre clients will now receive Storify in their suite of Livefyre products. This means it will be available in their CMS and integrated in a slew of Livefyre tools such as live blogs, commenting and drag-and-drop video video.

But don’t worry if you don’t have deep pockets like some Fortune 500 brands that use the social storytelling service. The freemium model is still available, and paid user contracts will be grandfathered in. Storify’s three paid tiers will be merged into a single enterprise rate and offered a la carte by Livefyre, which charges big clients six to seven figures for services.

Kretchmer assures users that they will always be able to Storify for free.

The deal is an unlikely pairing of a shark and remora (the tiny swimmer attached to the shark). Livefyre benefits from an attractive editorial tech tool that brings it closer to the social curation space; Storify can now take advantage of Livefyre’s large business and sales divisions. Competitors like RebelMouse and ScribbleLive offer similar capabilities, but none contain all of Livefyre’s features in one place.

“Livefyre has already built a sales team to go after publishers, and agencies, and media,” Herman said. “We felt we could do much more, much faster [by selling].”

Mashable is the largest independent news source covering digital culture, social media and technology.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Fullerton Cove residents pursued for legal costs

The state government is pursuing a group of Fullerton Cove residents for legal costs after they unsuccessfully challenged its approval of coal seam gas exploratory drilling in their suburb.

Dart Energy, which has since shelved the pilot project, is not participating in the Land and Environment Court hearing that began Tuesday morning into whether the Fullerton Cove Residents Action Group should foot the cost of legal bills.

But the NSW Department of Trade and Investment has, arguing the original case against it and Dart Energy was not mounted on public interest grounds.

The group lost the case after Justice Rachel Pepper found that the cumulative impacts of drilling exploratory wells would not significantly affect the environment.

In a decision handed down in March, Justice Pepper rejected the group’s argument that Dart Energy should have been required to undertake a full environmental impact study that looked at cumulative impacts, rather than just a “review of environmental factors”.

Barrister for the Fullerton Cove residents Ian Hemmings told the court this morning it was “incongruous” that Premier Barry O’Farrell had announced earlier this year the government was getting “tough” on coal seam gas, yet on the other hand the department was pursuing the group.

He cited a press release from Mr O’Farrell’s office earlier this year that said the government would implement new exclusion zones for gas wells and others measures in response to community concerns about the industry.

Mr Hemmings said there was a continuing public debate about coal seam gas and the group had raised concerns about the potential impact of drilling on aquifers during its case.

Group public officer Justin Hamilton told the court it had raised funds through the course of the court case but those had mostly been used to pay for its own legal fees.

Alan Shearer, for the department, put to Mr Hamilton that the group’s members would have opposed the project even if further testing showed there would be no adverse environmental impacts.

“They want to stop it come what may,” Mr Shearer said.

“… I believe different members of our group have expressed different levels of anxiety and frustration,” Mr Hamilton replied.

The hearing is continuing.

FLASHBACK: The Fullerton Cove protest.

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Buyers not sold on Australian art

”It was subdued,” Sotheby’s Australia chairman Geoffrey Smith admits, referring to his latest auction of Important Australian Art on August 27. It may have been a beautiful day in Sydney, with a hint of spring in the air, but inside the Woollahra salerooms, the atmosphere was lukewarm.

Despite an impressive and eclectic selection of Australian art, ranging from colonial to contemporary, only 20 lots of the 48 lots sold (42 per cent by volume) for a total of $1,972,740 (40 per cent by value, including buyers’ premiums).

The results didn’t come close to the pre-sale estimates of between $4.98 million and $6.76 million because no one bought the three key items, notably Brett Whiteley’s The Orange Nude (1981).

Estimates were $900,000 to $1.2 million, which was optimistic, as it turned out.

Two important Sidney Nolans – Royal Hotel (estimates $600,000 to $800,000) and Desert Bird ($400,000 to $600,000) – were also passed in. Both were painted in 1948.

Speaking after the sale, Smith didn’t know why the three didn’t sell, but he did mention the looming election.

Still, there were a few rays of sunshine. The Hitch-Hiker, a 1972 work by Jeffrey Smart, sold for $366,000, including buyer’s premium, and paintings by Fred Williams and Albert Tucker sold for $268,400 and $244,000, respectively. All were within expectations.

The real surprises were the results for two colonial works – setting records for both artists. Robert Neill’s Aborigines of Van Diemen’s Land (1828) sold for $219,600 IBP. Not the top price but Smith rated this painting as ”overall, the most important work in the sale”.

Another significant work was Thomas Wainewright’s Portrait of Thomas Giblin (1846), a convict described as a dandy, an artist and litterateur, convicted forger and suspected poisoner. This striking portrait sold for $109,800 IBP.

Other good results included two examples by contemporary Australian artists.

Peter Booth’s Untitled 1997 sold for $183,000 IBP, a record for this artist.

A portrait by Del Kathryn Barton, winner of the Archibald Prize in 2008 and again this year, sold above estimates for $58,560 IBP. Prices for her work continue to rise.

Buyers might be hard to find at home, but Australian art appears to be the flavour of the month in Britain. Starting on September 21, the Australia exhibition takes place at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This is the first survey of Australian art in Britain for 50 years.

Sourced mainly through the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, the exhibition spans more than two centuries, from 1800 to the present, tracking the evolution of this country through 200 works of painting, drawing, photography, watercolours and multimedia.

On September 26, a week after that exhibition opens, Christie’s auction house in London will offer 75 works of Australian art with a total estimated value of between $9.3 million and $12.7 million.

The highlight will be a Tasmanian landscape by John Glover, Ben Lomond from Mr Talbot’s Property – Four Men Catching Opossums. It was bought in 1835 at a London exhibition of Glover’s paintings. Estimates are $3 million to $4.25 million.

Other blue-chip works include Fred McCubbin’s Bush Idyll, which set the record in 1998 as the most expensive Australian painting sold at auction when it fetched $2.3 million. It now reappears with a lower estimate of $2 million.

More modern works include two Jeffrey Smart paintings, both unseen on the secondary market for more than 40 years.

Geoffrey Smith, a former head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, will fly over to attend the launch of the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition and will also attend the Christie’s sale, possibly wearing a disguise.

While he notes the irony of going to England to see Australian art, he suggests both events should have a positive impact on the secondary market here.

”It should influence the primary market as well, and also translate into other areas, such as art publications.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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The hoodoo that stands between Bill Shorten and the prime ministership

Bill Shorten Photo: Wayne Hawkins Bill Shorten is tipped to become the next Labor leader, but may never make it to the top job. Photo: Wayne Hawkins

Federal election 2013 coverageThe charm offensiveLabor MPs at odds over Rudd’s future

If Bill Shorten takes on the job as opposition leader, a powerful hoodoo stands in his path to The Lodge. It is 100 years since anyone who took over as opposition leader after a change of government has gone on to become Prime Minister.

Saturday’s triumph for the Coalition was only the twelfth time that government has changed sides in Australia in the past century. After each of the previous 11 changes, the man (always a man) who became opposition leader never made it to the top job.

Two of them were forced to surrender the leadership to defectors from the other side. Two died in office as opposition leader. Four of them ultimately resigned in the wake of election losses, and three were dumped by their own collagues.

The last to become PM was Labor’s Andrew Fisher. Dethroned as Prime Minister at the nailbiter 1913 election, Fisher stayed on as opposition leader, then brought down his opponent Joseph Cook a year later when Cook tried to abolish preference for unionists in the public service. Fisher won the election, and was PM for a year before handing over to Billy Hughes.

Cook became opposition leader. But in late 1916 Labor rejected Hughes’ plan to conscript all young adult males for wartime service. The PM walked out on his party. Cook was forced to make way for Hughes as leader, and the Liberal party was renamed the Nationalists.

Frank Tudor, a former hatter, took over from Hughes as Labor leader, had a win over him when the 1917 referendum rejected conscription, but lost two elections, and died in 1922. When Labor eventually regained power in 1929, it was under James Scullin, again with industrial relations as the main campaign issue.

Melbourne lawyer John Latham became opposition leader, and as the Depression crashed down, looked set to become prime minister. But a group of Melbourne businessmen led by Herald chief Sir Keith Murdoch, the father of Rupert, persuaded popular Labor moderate Joe Lyons to defect from his party. The austere Latham was forced to step down for Lyons, the party was renamed again as the United Australia Party, and Lyons took it to a crushing victory at the 1931 election.

In 1941, in the midst of war, the UAP government ended after the party dumped Lyons’ talented but abrasive young successor, Robert Menzies, for the Country Party’s Artie Fadden. The two independents holding the balance of power decided that Labor’s John Curtin would be a better wartime leader; they crossed sides, bringing down the government. Fadden became opposition leader, but was crushed at the 1943 election, and handed back the job to Menzies.

Menzies learnt from his defeat, reformed the party again as the Liberal Party, and led the Coalition to victory in 1949, unseating Labor icon Ben Chifley. Chifley stayed on initally as opposition leader, but died of a heart attack in 1951. It would be 23 long years before Labor returned to power, under another talented but abrasive figure, Gough Whitlam.

In 1972 Bill Snedden inherited the Liberal leadership after its defeat, but lost the 1974 election, and was brushed aside early in 1975 by Malcolm Fraser. Within months, Fraser decided to block supply to the government, governor-general Sir John Kerr sacked Whitlam, and Fraser won the ensuing election.

Whitlam became opposition leader, but lost convincingly at the 1977 election and made way for Bill Hayden. But just as Hayden was on the verge of possibly winning the PM’s job at the 1983 election, he was leant on to step down for the more popular Bob Hawke, to make Labor’s victory a certainty.

Andrew Peacock became opposition leader. He lost an election, then was dumped for John Howard, who lost an election, and was then dumped to bring back Peacock, who just lost the 1990 election. Peacock then made way for John Hewson, who lost an election, was dumped for Alexander Downer, who was then dumped to bring back Howard, who led the Coalition to victory in 1996.

Kim Beazley took over as opposition leader. He lost two elections narrowly to Howard in 1998 and 2001, then handed over to Simon Crean. Two years later Crean abdicated for Mark Latham, who lost the 2004 election. Beazley was brought back, only to be dumped in 2006 for Kevin Rudd, who led Labor to victory in 2007 – again, on an industrial relations issue.

The Liberals turned to Brendan Nelson as opposition leader. He failed to match it with Rudd, and within months was dumped for Malcolm Turnbull. But Turnbull could not control the divisions in the party over emissions trading, and was dumped for Tony Abbott. Abbott lost his first election as leader, but ultimately broke through on Saturday.

Being opposition leader is a tough job that wears good people down. Tony Abbott solved the problem by waging non-stop war against everything the government did, keeping the focus on the government rather than his own side.

That’s not Bill Shorten’s style, and voters might throw up if a new opposition leader mimicked Abbott’s 24/7 war on everything. If he’s to break the hoodoo, he’ll have to do it his own way.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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Geelong to challenge Enright charge

Corey Enright and Danyle Pearce battle for possession at Simonds Stadium. Photo: Pat ScalaGeelong will take advantage of a quirk in the match review panel system after by challenging a one-match striking ban offered to Corey Enright.

Because Enright is unable to play this weekend due to a knee injury – coach Chris Scott confirmed this on Tuesday morning – the reprimand offered to him by the panel offered no benefit for him and the club, and would actually be a hindrance.

Irrespective of the result at the tribunal on Tuesday evening, for a strike to Fremantle’s Chris Mayne, Enright will benefit. If he wins he will not accrue any carry-over points, while if he loses he will accrue only 25 for the next year, compared to 93.75 had he and the club accepted the downgrade for a guilty plea and accepted a reprimand.

The only other player charged in the first week of the finals, Mayne for a minor midriff strike to Geelong’s Steve Johnson, guaranteed his availability for the Dockers’ home preliminary final by accepted a striking charge.

That reduced his penalty from a one-match band to a reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points.

By accepting the charge Mayne is no longer eligible to benefit from his good record. The sharpshooter forward had been due to qualify for a good-behaviour bonus for a six-year clean record at the start of next season.

AFL TRIBUNAL – 5pm TuesdayCorey Enright (Geel) striking Chris Mayne (Fre). Intentional, low impact, body contact. 125 points.

Penalties accepted:Chris Mayne (Fre) striking Steve Johnson (Geel). Reprimand and 93.75 carry-over points.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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