Welcome to the 54th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. The big news is that Apple won a $1 billion patent judgment against Samsung and is trying to block the sale of many Samsung smartphones. What does this mean for other competitors, Android and consumers?

We also have a couple special guests reporting live from Tampa at the GOP Convention, including James Davis, the director of communications for the convention, and Dr. Mark Drapeau, who works at Microsoft. They tell us about the success of the “digital green room” for speakers, and some interesting Foursquare partnerships — and the lack of action on Pinterest. Plus, Ask.com CEO Doug Leeds and AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka discuss the recent acquisition of About.com by IAC (which owns Ask.com) and their plans to integrate the site more closely with Ask.com. The New York Times had some success with About.com but then sold the site off to try to refocus the company. Can IAC do more?

Guest Bios

James Davis is director of communications for the 2012 Republican National Convention. Previously, Davis worked for the Brunswick Group, an international corporate communications firm, and has served as deputy director of media affairs at the Republican National Committee and associate director of communications for the 2008 Republican National Convention.

Dr. Mark Drapeau is the Director of Innovative Engagement (Public Sector) for Microsoft, based in Washington DC. As part of that role he edits and writes for Publicyte.com, the company’s blog. Prior to Microsoft he worked at George Washington University, the National Defense University, and New York University.

CEO of Ask.com, Doug Leeds helms strategy, product and technology internationally for Ask.com, one of the biggest consumer Internet companies in the world with more than 90 million unique users in the U.S. alone.

Peter Kafka is the media editor at AllThingsD. He has been covering media and technology since 1997, when he joined the staff of Forbes magazine. He made the digital leap to Forbes.com in 2005. In 2007, Mr. Kafka became the first hire at Silicon Alley Insider, where he was the managing editor.


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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:

James Davis


1:00: Mind-boggling judgment against Samsung in Apple patent case

2:30: Mark: Long history of patent litigation in Silicon Valley; does it chill innovation?

5:25: Rundown of topics on our show

GOP Convention Gets Social

6:10: Special guests James Davis and Mark Drapeau

8:45: Davis: We’re doing things in digital that didn’t exist back in 2008

12:10: Davis: We don’t mind a debate happening on our hashtags

14:30: Drapeau: Haven’t seen Pinterest used much at GOP convention

i-39356db5af15b5a6c991fa484cdc2340-Mark Drapeau Microsoft.jpg
Mark Drapeau

17:00: Davis: We looked at what ROI we could get from a social network before using it

18:15: Can social media actually sway an election result?

21:00: Davis: GOP will put more into online marketing for election, including mobile

Ask.com + About.com

21:40: Special guests Doug Leeds and Peter Kafka

23:10: Leeds: About.com is not a content farm and doesn’t write articles for the Google algorithm

25:00: Kafka: I was surprised that IAC bought About.com; thought Answers.com deal was done

26:50: Leeds: We found the more content we had on Ask.com, the more loyalty we got from users

29:15: How has About.com survived online for 15 years?

i-47f4f3a532581ba63b477932a448d6b6-Doug Leeds Headshot.jpg
Doug Leeds

31:45: Kafka: The Times’ SEC filings say that About.com did get hit by Google algorithm change

33:00: Leeds: People understand what they’re getting when they see About.com in Google search results

More Reading

Why Apple Needs to Lose the Samsung Appeal at Washington Post

Samsung Braces for New Battle with Apple at Marketwatch

Apple Lists 8 Samsung Products It Wants Banned at USA Today

RNC Dispatch: Social Media Grows at Conventions at WNYC

Infographics: Daily Social Media Buzz at the RNC at MediaShift

Twitter Political Index

Social Media Takes Center Stage at RNC at Tampa Bay Times

Republican, Democratic Conventions Battle to Claim Social Media Supremacy at The Hill

Barry Diller Shows Up Late, Gets What He Wants; IAC to Buy About.com From New York Times at AllThingsD

IAC Buying About.com from New York Times at AP

Times to Sell About Group to IAC for $300 Million at NYT Media Decoder

Beyond Content Farms special series at MediaShift

MediaShift Poll

Don’t forget to vote in our poll, this time about how you’ll be following the political conventions:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+