the new york times

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #200

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Karateka – Jordan Mechner. “So we’ve been sharing links for nearly four years, and this is our 200th installment. I figured I’d choose things that make us feel old. First up, Karateka. When I was a young boy playing on an Apple IIe, there were a few games that pushed the 64K envelope of what was possible: Black Magic, Rescue Raiders, Lode Runner, and Archon 2. But nothing came close to Karateka. The first game by Jordan Mechner — who went on to make the Prince of Persia franchise — it had the music, animation, simplicity and humor that showed what was possible. A recent Facebook thread suggested this site (hat tip to Steve Hayter), which explains some of its history, with a link to a video about the game. Mechner’s first computer had 16K. To put that into context, that’s less memory than the logo on most modern websites. Dig around for a while and feel old.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Biomarkers and ageing: The clock-watcher – Nature. “What if your body kept time? And what if we could measure it accurately? Crime scene investigations are the obvious application, but what about the lifespan of transplanted organs? Or if cancer cells are different, can we detect them? For years, Steve Horvath had tried to find the body’s clock, but when he found it, it seemed too good to be true. He was widely rejected by scientific journals. But he persevered, and it looks like he was right. You can even do it with pee. This story is as much about tenacity as it is about science. And, it reminds me that we’re only a generation or two away from some kind of immortality — whether that’s artificial intelligence, downloaded brains, or life extension. Either way, we’re probably too soon to benefit from it, which should make us feel even older than Karateka does.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia – BBC. “Breathtaking photos.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • 6 Independent Bookstores That Are Thriving — and How They Do It – New York Magazine. “A good-news story about book stores.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Scientists Find an ‘Earth Twin,’ or Perhaps a Cousin – The New York Times. “Astronomy is just awesome, isn’t it? Here’s the deal: Kepler 186f is the first validated, Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star. It falls into an area known as the ‘Goldilocks zone‘ (not too hot and not too cold… but just right). You read that right. A planet that is about as close to Earth as possible. It’s only 500 lights years away (not too close). It’s also not perfect. According to this article: ‘It is closer to its star — a red dwarf that is smaller, cooler and fainter than our sun — than the Earth is to its; its year, the time to complete one orbit, is 130 days, not 365. It is also at the outer edge of the habitable zone, receiving less warmth, so perhaps more of its surface would freeze.’ Still, the thinking is that you could walk around, breathe and have gravity working for you over there. How cool is that?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • 30 Knockoff Products That Are Almost Better Than The Real Thing – Buzzfeed. “I honestly don’t know whether I should be laughing at crying at this. It’s funny, because it’s hard to believe how stupid certain unscrupulous business people are to make a quick buck… and how little thought they put into their plans. It’s sad, because it’s hard to be a brand on the receiving end of these knock-offs. You come up with an idea, you do your best to protect it, you gain market share, you get attention, you get people to care, and then the maniacal hawks (dogs) swoop in and do ridiculous things like this. Feels like something more than a simple ‘lost in translation’ kind of thing.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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The End Of Liking A Brand In A Move Towards Anti-Social Media

Be careful which brands you like, friend and follow going forward.

That was the headline yesterday in The New York Times article, When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue. What may seem like legal side-stepping to avoid things like class action lawsuits or individuals suing a brand, feels like a massive movement by brands to force consumers with any sort of issue to seek arbitration over the courts. There are pros and cons to this approach, but it is becoming a major issue for major corporations. With that, this New York Times article points this issue into an arena that may shock the marketing industry. From the article:

General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, ‘join’ it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways. Instead, anyone who has received anything that could be construed as a benefit and who then has a dispute with the company over its products will have to use informal negotiation via email or go through arbitration to seek relief, according to the new terms posted on its site.”

What does that mean to social media? A lot.

Marketers have taken issue with these sorts of things long before this breaking news. Companies like Facebook, Twitter and others are constantly being criticized because of their terms of service and usage regulations and agreements. They are long, legal, cumbersome and very infrequently read or understood by consumers. Now, imagine this layer of confusion being added to mix. So, as this theory goes, if someone likes your page on Facebook, they are suddenly waiving their right to sue the company should something negative come about. While this may work for other industries, this seems even more restrictive when we’re talking about food companies. Picture a scenario where you like this brand on Facebook and then months later are poisoned due to quality controls at the factory. Suddenly, you can’t sue or take part in a class action suit because you clicked a like button for a completely different reason. If you didn’t click that like button… does that make it fair ball to sue?

We have to get less legal about things.

No one will argue that we live in very litigious times. People suing fast food restaurants because they spilled boiling coffee on themselves by accident (how is that the brand’s fault? They should not make the coffee so hot or they should put a warning on the coffee cups that the contents may be hot… for real). It takes all kinds. Still, in a world where consumers have demanded transparency, and brands have responded by attempting to be more open and real (in particular, on social media channels), it’s astonishing that these types of antics will be – in some form or another – considered good customer advocacy.

Connecting the points.

What makes digital marketing truly fascinating (for me, anyways) is how it elevates brands above and beyond a world of advertising (shouting messages) into a bigger palette of marketing expression. With it will come challenges (as we have seen on numerous occasions). It forces everybody in an organization (from the CEO and CMO down to the people on the frontlines) to think differently about how they act, react, communicate and engage with an audience. On the the other side, if every attempt to do so is met with a need for the legal department to absolve the brand of any mistakes, we may be headed in the wrong direction. The article goes on to state: “Arbitration experts said courts would probably require General Mills to prove that a customer was aware of its new policy before issuing decisions denying legal action against the company.” Translation: we are pitting brands against consumers and vice-versa… all over again. Over a decade ago, we begun to usher in this new type of connection and communication. It made me proud to be in the marketing profession. I understand the brand’s perspective and their need to protect themselves from frivolous and unfounded claims. I also understand the consumer’s perspective and their need to take action against anyone who knowingly does them harm. We have a legal system for a reason. That being said, forcing consumers to waive their legal rights because they “like” a brand on Facebook feels like a terribly anti-social statement to be making.

We have to ask ourselves if these types of legal arrangements are really empowering and entrusting our consumers or does it spell the end for social media? 

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NYT Now: All the News That Fits on Your Mobile Phone, More or Less

As someone old enough to remember life before the web, I still associate The New York Times with a big honking broadsheet, something you hunker down with for a few hours on a Sunday. Compared to easy reads like Newsday or The New York Post, The Times…

‘FiveThirtyEight,’ ‘The Upshot’ and Vox Bet Big on Explanatory Journalism

Nate-silver-1

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When Nate Silver took his talents to ESPN last July, The New York Times—Silver’s former employer—convened a committee to plot its next move. It concluded the Times shouldn’t replicate Silver’s blog, FiveThirtyEight, but that it needed something in the same ballpark — journalism that examines current events but doesn’t attempt to break news.

The Times tapped David Leonhardt, one of the committee members, to lead a new, explanatory website: The Upshot. The point of it is, well, to get to the point.

“I could give you a list of five things that are strong about the economy right now and five things that are weak. That’s a somewhat useful list,” Leonhardt, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former Times Washington Bureau Chief, said. “More useful is to tell people, okay, which of those matters more. Is the economy getting better or is it getting worse?” Read more…

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Pakistan Printer Censors Entire ‘New York Times’ Front-Page Story

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Pakistani readers were not able to see the International New York Times‘ front-page story, as it was censored by the newspaper’s local printing partner.

Entitled “What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden,” the Saturday cover story by Carlotta Gall was completely blanked out in a conspicuous censorship effort

The writer tweeted out a photo of the International New York Times edition in Pakistan, showing the huge white space where her story was supposed to be

Breakfast in Islamabad, courtesy of photog Max Becherer @mlbecherer and @etribune pic.twitter.com/G2a3Drjj8X

— Carlotta Gall (@carlottagall) March 22, 2014 Read more…

More about Osama Bin Laden, Censorship, The New York Times, Pakistan, and Media

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #196

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It – Wired. “If something doesn’t kill you, as the saying goes, it makes you stronger. That’s sort of how evolution works, so when scientists devised a form of corn that poisoned a common pest, they told farmers to plant normal corn alongside it — so the bugs that survived didn’t build a resistance. Guess what? Like vaccines and global warming, people were happy to enjoy the benefits of the science but less quick to heed its warnings. The rest, you can probably figure out.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Lumo Play – Give It 100. “My friend Meg Athavale, from Winnipeg, is in Silicon Valley for four months as part of Highway1 – a hardware startup accelerator. She wants to take interactivity and projection mapping and turn it into a kid’s toy. Meg’s been at this for a few years now and her time at Highway1 will take her to Taiwan and China to work with manufacturers. It’s a far cry from Winnipeg, where she’s better known for poking fun at the mayor. And, she’s keeping a journal, creating a video log of her experiences every day. Out of the Winnipeg chill, into the Logan’s Run-like fishbowl of San Francisco Maker tech. I suspect it will get interesting fast.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science – The New York Times. “Ever was it thus, I suppose, but billionaires seem to be getting much better at being billionaires faster than governments are getting better at governing, and here’s yet another indication of this direction.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • International Women’s Day 2014: What’s the difference between men and women’s brains? Very little, says neuroscientist – The Independent. “In the nature vs nurture debate, I’ve always been a ‘both’ kind of guy. Certain brains are pre-disposed to certain kinds of development; when exposed at a certain environment, they’ll grow in one way or another. Multiple by several billion times, and repeat over and during a lifetime. But: do girls and boys have different brains, biologically? I’m inclined to think yes-ish. Here’s a recent neurologist saying no-ish.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • We already live in the age of robots–we just don’t call them that – Quartz. “Does it need arms, legs and a face for us to call it a ‘robot’? Don’t laugh. This is a serious question. For a few years now, I’ve been fascinated with the growth of robots in our society. I’m a huge proponent that while everyone is paying attention to how robots are going to automate our workforce (as in, no more jobs for us, humans), that the real opportunity is in how robots are going to help us augment our work (make us stronger, allow us to focus more on the creativity and strategy, etc…). Well, in the meantime, it seems as though everyone (including journalists) are having a problem defining what a robot is. Is your bank machine a robot? What about the ATM? How about all of those Amazon drones that are coming?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • A Tale of Two TEDs: Ideas Conference Triumphant on 30th Anniversary – Wired. “My head is spinning. If you could have dinner with ten fascinating people, who would it be? What if you could have dinner with people like Clay Shirky, Barry Schwartz, Nilofer Merchant, Steven Johnson, Scott Belsky, Jane McGonigal, Susan Cain, Amy Cuddy and Baratunde Thurston, would that be cool? I had dinner with those people (and a few others – can’t forget Curt Beckmann and Andrew Blau) on Wednesday night at TED… and that was the free night, the unorganized evening, so Nilofer and I pulled some friends together to hang out. I know… I know… it sounds like I’m name dropping. I apologize. My head is still spinning. It was a week that had me both fired up about the potential of what could be, and drained from the amazing connections, conversations and ideas that have filled a Moleskine. With each and every passing year, I get more and more excited about what the TED conference does for my professional and personal development. This article does a great job of explaining the diversity and some of the issues that TED faces. Ultimately, I feel that the conference is a lightning rod for contention (check out the comments) simply because it has become so popular. Personally, I can’t think of another event (with the exception of Google Zeitgeist) that I look forward to – with each and every passing year – as much as TED.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Social Media Newsfeed: Google Hangouts, Talk Outage | WhatsApp Privacy

 Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.

google_logo-150x150Outage Hits Google Talk, Hangouts (CNET)
Google’s chat services experienced some hiccups early Monday. Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts were down for some users for roughly three hours, according to the company’s app status dashboard. TechCrunch Messages in Gmail’s chat integration were receiving system messages saying “[User] did not receive your chat” or simply not showing up, while in Google+ a loading animation with “Things are taking longer than expected” was showing in the Hangouts chat tab. On mobile, there were authentication errors signing into the service. Los Angeles Times In the meantime, users took to Twitter to voice their displeasure as well as their jokes. The Wall Street Journal/Digits The Hangouts outage may have the widest impact, since the app now powers text messaging on many of the latest Android devices. People who use the Google Nexus 5, for example, have been struggling to send texts since the first outages were reported around 9 a.m. Pacific Time. Mashable The last major disruption of Gmail occurred in January, when the service suffered two major outages over the course of two weeks. The free email service had roughly 425 million monthly active users as of 2012, making it one of the leading webmail services in the United States, along with Yahoo and Microsoft’s Outlook (which was merged with Hotmail in 2013).

WhatsApp Reiterates Facebook Purchase Will Not Affect User Privacy; Company ‘Values and Beliefs Will Not Change’ (The Next Web)
Almost a month after announcing Facebook’s plan to acquire it, WhatsApp Monday published a blog post titled “Setting the record straight” in which co-founder and CEO Jan Koum attempts to address concerns about how the transaction will impact the popular messaging app. Koum starts off by thanking everyone who covered the news, but quickly moves to discuss the “inaccurate and careless information circulating about what our future partnership would mean for WhatsApp users’ data and privacy.”

Media-Savvy Turkish Protesters Take Out Full-Page Ad in NYT, Recreate ‘Ellen Selfie’ After Arrest (SocialTimes)
An organization of Turkish protesters called Occupy Gezi recently placed this full-page ad in The New York Times to commemorate the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died after a blow to the head from a teargas canister set off by Turkish police. The Indiegogo campaign has already raised money beyond the cost of the ad, which reads: “Those responsible do not have a conscience. Use yours.”

TED Takes Over Facebook Paper’s ‘Ideas’ Section with Exclusive Content (VentureBeat)
Facebook’s standalone news feed app Facebook Paper devoted an entire category of content to the TED 2014 conference in Vancouver starting Monday. The move is interesting because it marks the first time Facebook has worked with an outside content partner on the relatively new Facebook Paper platform.

Social Media Explained with Beer [Infographic] (AllTwitter)
You know how beer works, right? Good news! Folks have been using other things to explain social media since the dawn on time and this visual from Jbertho.com proposes a tongue-in-cheek (or perhaps that should be hops-on-tongue) explanation of social media, courtesy of beer.

Twitter’s Mr. Costolo Goes to China (re/code)
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo is currently visiting China in an attempt to learn more about the country’s tech and culture trends, according to the company. Twitter insists that this trip isn’t to gain a foothold in the lucrative market, where Twitter has been blocked to users for six years by mandate of the Chinese government.

Reddit Bots – Better and Better at Not Saying Much (BetaBeat)
Last week, a normal ol’ Reddit thread was hijacked by bots. While it’s not uncommon to hear two bots eerily have a conversation, it’s odd to see them compete for approval and supremacy.

A Legen – Eight for it – Dary Twitter Contest Courtesy of Neil Patrick Harris (LostRemote)
On March 2 at 7:25 EST, Neil Patrick Harris tweeted to his 8 million Twitter followers: “Puzzle time: solve my next tweet before anyone else and win something awesome from me.” The next tweet: “Mpyza wlyzvu av adlla ihjr ‘Slnlu – lpnoa mvy pa – khyf’ dpuz!”

Cloak is the Latest ‘Antisocial’ Networking App That Helps You Avoid People (The Daily Dot)
Do you suffer from an extreme form of generalized anxiety disorder, or are you just an alum of the Larry David School of Avoiding the Stop-And-Chat? If either of these things are true, you’ll really dig Cloak, an app that uses your social media data to determine where your friends are — specifically so you can avoid them.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Media-Savvy Turkish Protesters Take Out Full-Page Ad in NYT, Recreate ‘Ellen Selfie’ After Arrest

Elvan

An organization of Turkish protesters called Occupy Gezi recently placed this full-page ad in The New York Times to commemorate the death of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died after a blow to the head from a teargas cannister set off by Turkish police.

The Indiegogo campaign has already raised money beyond the cost of the ad, which reads: “Those responsible do not have a conscience. Use yours.” The organization funded a similar ad in the Times last June, urging readers to stand in solidarity with the protesters.

Last week, after police arrested a group of fourteen protestors, the group captured the moment with an “Ellen Selfie” of their own — taken from the back of a cramped police van. The photo recreated Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie, the most retweeted tweet in history. So far the protestors have more than 5,000 retweets.

Selfie dediğin polis otosunda gözaltındayken çekilir (7 Mart) pic.twitter.com/oc5Lit3Z1z

— Ali Emre Mazlumoğlu (@AEMazlumoglu) March 10, 2014

Ryot News gathered Instagram photos posted by protestors using the hashtag #occupygezi to demonstrate what was happening on the ground during last year’s protests in Istanbul.

turkish protestors

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #195

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Interviewing the algorithm: How reporting and reverse engineering could build a beat to understand the code that influences us – Nieman Journalism Lab. “This is an important topic. Many of the decisions we’re going to face in the coming years will be made by machines, optimizing and ranking our lives and choices. But those algorithms are black boxes, opaque and arcane. How does Facebook know which stories to show you? An algorithm — and probably not one that serves your needs, but rather, those of Facebook’s: getting you to click links, and double-down on already-popular stories, while missing small updates from long-lost friends. If we want to report on the future, we need to understand the decisions these algorithms make.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Here’s What Happens When The Internet Decides A Newspaper’s Front Page – BuzzFeed. “Is crowdsourcing good? Or just pictures of cats all the way down? Editors decide what makes the front page — but what happens when the popularity of stories on social platforms decides what newspapers should cover? As it turns out, it’s not bad.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Between two Ferns Director Scott Aukerman on Obama’s Comedy Skills – GQ. “Unless you have been living under a fern, you have probably seen Obama’s recent comedy/communications coup to promote healthcare.gov. Here’s the story of how it happened.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Reaching 400K followers on @CBCNews – CBC. “This one is for Canadian history books, with a funny bit of local colour. Way back in 2007, a friend and ex-Montrealer, illustrator/animator, Matt Forsythe, decided that CBC News should have a Twitter feed. He registered @CBCNews, and started posting tweets with links to news items. Eventually CBC mucky-mucks got wind, and were shamed into joining Twitter: Matt, a nice fellow, handed the account over. A few short years (SIX YEARS!! WHAT?!?) later, @CBCNews has 400,000 followers.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Move over, small-time Bitcoin exchange startups–Wall Street has arrived – ArsTechnica. “Here’s my theory: as fragmented and uncoupled as the general news has become, we still only follow the same stories. If you really want to better understand what is happening in this world, you have dig a little deeper. Stores like this are the ones that we need to be paying attention to. When people think of BitCoin or virtual currency, they tend to think of either the people who are running these businesses into the ground or the wild fluctuations that the currency experiences (is it a bubble or isn’t it?). Well, while these more generic and mass media appealing stories block the sun, stuff like this is going on. Now, we’re going to have trading bots and high speed trading for BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies and exchanges. In short: things are about to get really crazy over there.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • No, His Name Is Not Ted – The New York Times. “I begin my annual pilgrimage out West to the TED conference on Monday (it’s now being held in Vancouver). I have been going since 2009 (can’t believe it has been that long). It’s a controversial conference that is constantly being slapped around in the media. I understand why, but it has no bearing on my decision to go. It is the one time a year that I do something (somewhat) selfish for myself. I go out there, I seclude myself from the rest of the world (with the exception of any emergencies) and drown myself in ideas, conversations, learning and my own thoughts. I fill up a notebook with my thoughts, spend time with old friends discussing new challenges and make no qualms about whether it is elitist or if the talks are like infomercials for intellects (I think the price is minor compared to the value and most of the talks inspire me in one way, shape or form). I find most of criticism against TED (and the people who create it) coming from people who don’t have an interest in this type of conference or who are simply there to poke holes in it. I’m lucky, as a professional speaker, I get to attend hundreds of events every year. For my dollar, my time and my personal growth, nothing has ever come close to TED (with the exception of the Google Zeitgeist event – which also helps me rethink everything). While this piece takes some shots at TED, it did nothing but get me even more excited for what’s to come next week. Can’t wait!” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #193

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Tupperware! – American Experience. “This is an hour-long documentary. It’s also a time capsule. And to understand modern North American society, you need to grok the tug-of-war between this technical optimism and the post-Vietnam, post-9/11 mistrust that pervades much of media today. But for now, go back to a time when the future was bright and plastic, and a generation of women found themselves building a business empire one plastic tub at a time.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • How Cash Would Be Seen by the Media if Invented Today – CoinDesk. “I once spoke with a proponent of electric cars who pointed out that, if we were trying to get the internal combustion engine approved today, nobody would allow it — it’s essentially an explosive on wheels. Well, Bitcoin proponent Antonis Polemitis took a similar approach to Bitcoin, writing this satirical piece about cold, hard cash. He makes a few good points about just how antiquated modern currency really is.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • This Looks Like A Charming Little Cabin. And It Is… But It’s So Much More Than That. Trust Me. – ViralNova. “Oh, to live in a tiny, wonderfully-designed cabin in the woods…” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • A Simple Strategy To Get More Replies To The Emails You Send – Buffer. “When you write: ‘Let’s schedule a call – how do things look for you next week?’ what you are really saying is: ‘a) I am too lazy to look at my calendar b) I want you to do the work of looking at your calendar c) I am going to make this a 4 x email exchange (1. how does your schedule look? 2. what about Tuesday? 3. no, Wednesday. 4. OK.)’ Instead of a 2 email exchange (1. Tuesday 10am? 2. OK!). Learning to be efficient and clear in emails is so much kinder to your contacts, and to yourself.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • How to Get a Job at Google – The New York Times. “Do you think it takes an awesome GPA and Ivey league college diploma to score a great gig at Google these days? Remember the countless blog posts and articles about the highly intricate questions that they were asking in the hopes of scoring the world’s best and brightest talent? Well, guess what? Grades (obviously) matter in some of the more technical jobs, but as Google grows and continues to employ more and more people, they’re looking at other – more fascinating – attributes to decide on who, exactly, they consider to be the best of the best. What are those attributes? You will have to read the article to find out (I am such a tease). But, more importantly, start asking yourself this: if Google is looking for people with these kinds of dynamic skill sets and thinking capabilities, just how well are the schools of today prepping kids for the workplace of tomorrow?” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • How Much My Novel Cost Me – Emily Gould. “I read this post on Medium and I didn’t know what to think. We live in such a strange world when it comes to book publishing. On one hand, because of social media, it has never been easier for great content to get noticed by people like literary agents and book publishers. On the other hand, it is so hard to get people to care about buying books (let alone reading them). If you look at the landscape, it doesn’t feel like there is much hope. Then again, I know countless people who are doing well financially on their books, because they understand how to either play the game or do things on their own. This is a fascinating piece that will make you think deeply about the true nuances that exist in the book publishing world and how we define success.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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Reddit is having the same problem as traditional media: Defining what the news is

Critics of Reddit point to a moderator’s repeated removal of a Glenn Greenwald story as proof that the site can’t be trusted to do journalism, but in reality the moderator’s behavior is no worse — and in some ways better — than that of a newspaper editor

Online Trolls Really Are Terrible People, Study Says

Sad news day for that dude who sent me the hilarious “ur hot y feminazi?” message last month, and, indeed, for all people who spend a stupid amount of time online harassing innocent bloggers and telling them to die in fiery rape pits for no apparent …

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #191

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • The Little Girl from the 1981 LEGO Ad is All Grown Up, and She’s Got Something to Say – Women You Should Know. “This article revisits Lego‘s iconic ad showing a pigtailed redhead playing with Lego. It provoked all kinds of reactions online — from those lauding it for pointing out gender bias, to those wondering why liking ‘girly things’ is somehow less worthy. Wherever you stand on the issue, it’s interesting to see how Lego has changed over the last few decades.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Dinner Party – Oliver Walker. “I’m a big fan of changing formats to shift how people interact. It’s something I try to do at Bitnorth. But I’ve never taken it this far. Here’s a social-experiment-slash-art-piece that investigates just how much of our interactions are nonverbal. I really want to try this sometime.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Hi, I’m Jack – jack.minardi.org. “Take a healthy dollop of BitTorrent, add a dash of BitCoin, shake until you get a decentralized browser with decentralized domain ownership: SyncNet. Early, experimental days. Fascinating direction for the ‘Web’, as the original idea of a independent, decentralized Internet is slowly getting gobbled up by a small number of mega-centralized behemoths (Facebook/Google/Amazon/Verizon etc).” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Conrad Black: This anemic recovery – National Post.Conrad Black is the most famous ex-convict former newspaper baron Canada has produced to date. Since his release from US prison (for various fraudulent uses of company money), Baron Black of Crossharbour (long story) has been penning long-winded and delightfully grouchy essays for Canada’s National Post newspaper (the right-leaning paper he founded back when he was a newspaper baron). Black is one hell of a personality, whatever you think of him, and a renaissance man to boot. His articles are pompous and wide-ranging, and pretty great reads. Here’s one about the 2008 economic collapse and Canada and a few other things.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • This Dad Coloured-In His Kid’s Art To Kill Time On Business Trips – We Interviewed Him – Lost At E Minor. “If you ever have those moments when you think that you’re not that great of a father, don’t worry because there’s always the Internet to confirm it for you. You may think that you’re an awesome dad, but you’re not this awesome. Of course, I’m kidding. I’m sure everyone is a great parent (including you, Alistair), but this hyper-creative dad takes it to a whole new level in what can only be described as the most heart-warming story that I have read all week. Truly beautiful and powerful.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen – The New York Times. “Sometimes you read something on the Internet that gives you pause. Most people (myself included) take Wikipedia for granted. After all, I don’t contribute, edit or even correct anything on the platform. Yet, I use it constantly (and I love it). Sure, I am more than happy to support them on their annual giving campaign, but I take more than I give when it comes to Wikipedia. Well, what happens in a mobile world where creating and editing content is not as easy as it is in a Web-browser-based world? I had not thought about this, but Wikipedia is going to be in lot of trouble if they can’t figure out how to encourage people to contribute to Wikipedia in a world where most people are simply using their smartphones for content.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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There is no one Twitter experience — there is only your Twitter experience

Yes, Twitter is becoming filled with more noise and possibly less signal, as Jenna Wortham argues in the New York Times — but it’s also true that much of that experience is a result of how we choose to use the service

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #188

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Debunking Princeton – Facebook. “A recent Princeton study claimed Facebook would lose eighty percent of its users in the next few years. Sure, we all know the kids love their Snapchat, but that seems dubious to me. Apparently, it also seemed dubious to the whip-smart data science team at Facebook, who took them to task with this brilliant rebuttal. Oh, and based on this analysis, we’re running out of air, too.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • What are the best travel hacks? – Quora. “I spent a lot of time on the road last year. My favorite travel hack is using the ironing board as a work desk you can adjust to your perfect height in a hotel room, so you don’t destroy your back in a marathon writing session. This Quora thread is packed with gems.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Last Alan Moore Interview? – Slovobooks. Alan Moore, creator of Watchmen and a few other cult comic classics, gives a delightfully grouchy interview, which he seems to claim will be his last. In it, he pillories contemporary adults for raising kids’ entertainment from the last century (superheroes) to the center of our cultural life; attacks claims that his work is prevalent with misogynist scenes of rape and violence against women (‘prevalent’ compared to what?’ he asks, ‘Consensual sex? Non-sexual violence?’); and bridles at the idea that white men shouldn’t write characters of other races. A thoughtful and detailed piece on our art, politics, culture.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Sit Back, Relax, and Read That Long Story–on Your Phone – The Atlantic. “It’s no suprise to me (since the thing that sold me on ebooks was reading War And Peace on my iPhone), but certainly marketers and content producers should have a think about this little stat: one of Buzzfeed‘s most popular stories (Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500) is 6,000 words long. Average time spent on the article by tablet readers: 12 minutes. Phones? 25 minutes. Movies, television, books and long articles. Turns out phones are *built* for these things, no matter what David Lynch has to say about it.” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Why Bitcoin Matters – The New York Times. “I get asked about Bitcoin and digital currency all of the time now. Bitcoin is sweeping pop culture like Facebook once did. I believe in the power of digital currency and the massive opportunity that lies ahead for it. Who cares? Who am I? Just some dude with a blog and an opinion. Let’s ask the experts what they think. Someone whose opinion I hold in the highest of regards would be Marc Andreessen. So, here’s what he thinks about it…” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Jerry Seinfeld on how to be funny without sex and swearing – The Guardian. “I don’t care what you do for a living, if you’re not spending your time truly honing your craft, skills and talent, they are being wasted. Someone who takes this job to a whole other level of dedication and care is Jerry Seinfeld. He’s no longer a spring chicken, but this doesn’t stop him from always having a spring in his step. This is a fabulous read that should motivate you to keep at it. Whatever your ‘it’ is.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

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‘New York Times’ Website Redesign Goes Back to the Future

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The New York Times has rolled out its largest website redesign in seven years, but readers familiar with the newspaper might feel like it’s a step back in time.

There are no drastic changes. Gone are the blue headlines and the lengthy sidebar in favor of a grayer digital lady with more white space. But the site feels more like the New York Times than NYTimes.com.

“We’re leaning more heavily on the site to maintain our identity,” says Ian Adelman, the director of digital design for the Times.

It is that notion of identity that Adelman and Denise Warren, executive vice president of digital products, returned to repeatedly in an interview with Mashable on the eve of the redesign’s launch. Read more…

More about Redesign, The New York Times, Html5, Business, and Media

8 Activists Admit to 1971 Theft Exposing FBI Spying

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In 1971, burglars broke into an FBI office outside Philadelphia and stole files that proved the bureau was spying on Americans. They then mailed the documents to the press, opening a firehose of “extensive spying” operations against dissident groups. The crime was never solved.

Now, decades later, in a safe haven of expired statute of limitations, the thieves have stepped forward.

“There was only one way to convince people that it was true, and that was to get it in their handwriting,” Keith Forsyth, one of the thieves, told the New York Times. Forsyth, 63, and other members of the eight-person group agreed to be interviewed one week before the release of a new book called The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret F.B.I., which details the inner workings of their escapade Read more…

More about The New York Times, History, Fbi, Us World, and Politics

The Evolution of ‘The New York Times’ Homepage in 1 GIF

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Today, The New York Times launched a preview of the redesign of its website. The updated version of NYTimes.com, the paper promises, is “sleeker,” “faster,” “more intuitive,” and “enhanced” than its forebears. “We’ve streamlined our article pages,” the paper explains, “and created a more responsive interface with faster load times.”

Another thing that’s been streamlined? The site’s homepage. The front door to the country’s paper of record has been remodeled, with a new emphasis on interstitial spaces and sleek blacks and whites. Below, you can see that evolution in action — via a GIF featuring screen-captures of homepages dating from the page’s beginning (the 2001 launch of NYTimes.com) to its present moment in 2014. Read more…

More about The New York Times, Business, Media, and Videos

Social Media Newsfeed: Zynga Testing Bitcoins | Tweet in Advertising

 Click here to receive the Morning Social Media Newsfeed via email.

zynga-150x150Zynga Links Up with BitPay for a Bitcoin Payment Test in FarmVille 2, CityVille and Other Web Games (TechCrunch)
Gaming giant Zynga has started to accept the cryptocurrency as a payment option for those buying tokens for virtual goods on the web versions of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille. It makes Zynga the first major gaming company to accept Bitcoin. CNET “In response to Bitcoin’s rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin,” the company said in its post. “We look forward to hearing from our players about the Bitcoin test so we can continue in our efforts to provide the best possible gaming experience.” The Verge Zynga has for years offered the ability for players to buy in-game assets and upgrades using their credit cards and PayPal, as well as Facebook local currency, but Zynga admits that Bitcoin has now become too big for it ignore. It’s unclear for now just how long the test will last, much less whether Zynga will expand Bitcoin payments to other games. CoinDesk It might also be worth mentioning that Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, who contributed to Zynga’s Series A and B funding rounds in 2008-09, also both have a stake in Bitcoin payment processor and wallet service Coinbase. Zynga’s revenue comes in two forms: direct payments in games and revenue from partners. Direct payments are made inside games to buy assets that can help players to compete. Bloomberg Businessweek The price of Bitcoin surpassed $1,000 again on the Mt.Gox exchange, after Zynga said it would start accepting the virtual currency. Bitcoins surged to about $1,119 on the exchange, one of several markets where they are traded for dollars, euros and other currencies.

CBS Tests Twitter Rules By Placing Film Critic’s Tweet in an Ad (ReadWrite)
On Saturday, the print edition of The New York Times carried a full-page ad for the movie Inside Llewyn Davis with a single tweet by A.O. Scott, a film critic for the newspaper. While he tweeted the words of praise for the film’s soundtrack, the version of the tweet quoted by the movie’s studio, CBS Films, while mocked up to look like a real tweet, actually omitted his first sentence, which mentioned competing movies The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle.

How Your Social Media Profile Could Cost You Your Next Job (SocialTimes)
A recent study by Carnegie Mellon University analyzed the impact of online information on U.S. firms’ hiring behavior. The researchers manipulated candidates’ personal information on social media networks, information that is protected under federal or state laws, and the kind that is risky for employers to inquire about during interviews but which may be inferred from applicants’ online social media profiles.

How Twitter Hopes to Live Up to its Spectacular IPO in 2014 (VentureBeat)
Twitter has come a long way in the last seven years, building a community of 230 million monthly users and 2,300 employees, but it has a lot of work ahead of it to prove its long-term viability. Here’s how we see Twitter turning its little bird into a social dragon.

PageData: Green Bay Packers Surge on Facebook on Eve of NFL Playoffs (AllFacebook)
The Denver Broncos, the top seed in the National Football League’s American Football Conference, led the league’s playoff teams in terms of likes gained over the past seven days, but surprisingly finished dead last in people talking about this movement during the same period, seeing its PTAT total drop by 45,766, according to data from sister site PageData. The Green Bay Packers had the most momentum on Facebook heading into the NFL’s postseason, coming in second on the likes list and dominating the list of PTAT gains.

Facebook: We are Not Collecting Unpublished Posts and Comments (Mashable)
Thousands of Facebook users are giving a big thumbs-down to the idea that the social network may be reading their unpublished thoughts. “Facebook does not collect or track any content that people have chosen not to post,” a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable on Friday.

How to Stick to Your Twitter New Year’s Resolution (AllTwitter)
Jan. 1 might be behind us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come up with your Twitter resolution today. There are some typical traits of resolutions that can actually be achieved that your Twitter resolution might want to mimic.

Will Employers Still Ask for Facebook Passwords in 2014? (USA Today)
Without federal legislation, employers — as well as colleges and universities — are continuing to pry into the personal lives of their employees and students through the sparsely legislated realm of the Internet. “If you have certain privacy protections in your own home … then my feeling is that you should have the same type of protections online as you do offline,” said Bradley Shear, a lawyer who has worked with state and federal lawmakers to draft legislation on the issue.

NBC Sports to Stream Both NFL Wild Card Games, Feature Special Social Media Analyst (LostRemote)
For the third consecutive season, NBC Sports will stream Saturday’s Chiefs – Colts and Saints – Eagles wild card games via its “NBC Sports Live Extra” desktop and tablet product. The stream will include additional camera angles and interactive features, along with unique digital content and social media extensions.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #185

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • Mapping The Wealth Of U.S. ZIP Codes Shows The Haves Hiding From The Have-Nots – Fast Company. “One of the things I’ve loved about 2013 has been the rise of visualizations that help convey data–congressional deadlock, the outbreak of conflict, spending habits, and more. The intersection of a connected populace and widely available tools to crunch large amounts of data makes this possible. Here’s a Fast Company interactive infographic that shows the rich hiding from the poor, in what Harvard philosopher, Michael Sandel, calls the ‘skyboxification’ of American life.” (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Nordic Soul Top 100 Albums of 2013 Mix – Sean Horton. “A couple of years ago, I helped run Seattle’s Decibel electronic music conference. Decibel is the brainchild of Sean Horton, who is also an amazing DJ and the guy who programs music for a bunch of big retailers and brands. If you want to know what artists and sounds you’ll be familiar with three years from now, look no further than his annual lineup.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • George Saunders’s Advice to Graduates – The New York Times. “In short, be kinder. Wise words for all of us in 2014.” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • Structure. Beyond The Picnic Table Crisis – The New Yorker. “This is one of those crazy, long pieces The New Yorker is famous for. In it, John McPhee explores – in a long, digressive, but highly structured essay – how to write long, digressive, but highly structured essays. Even though you don’t know at all where it is headed, you want to stick with it, with the writer on his journey of discovery and exposition. And that is the best kind of writing, for my money, the kind that doesn’t tell you where it is going, but when you get there, it all makes sense (and you’re glad you stayed till the end).” (Hugh for Mitch).
  • NSA seeks to build quantum computer that could crack most types of encryption – The Washington Post. “Well, here’s a thought: if you want to beat the encryption and privacy game, why not just build and SUPER super computer. One that uses quantum computing. One that is so powerful that it simply glides through all of that private stuff that all of us think is protected by passwords and security. Plus, if let’s say you were a government agency that had the resources and capabilities to build that type of system and then have access to everything, who would know? Creeped out? You should be.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • In Speed Metal, Fastest Drummers Take a Beating – Wall Street Journal. “The technology makes it hard to tell the difference between a human doing a double bass drum blast beat or a drum machine. So, bands that are trying to push the limits of heavy metal (in terms of aggression and speed) are turning to technology when the feet fails. If there’s one thing I can tell you about heavy metal (and trust me, I have tons of experience on this topic): the faster it is, the better it is. The problem with that equation is that fans of the genre want it faster, but they also want it to be real. So now, the great debate begins. What wins? Feet or algorithms? And, for the record, Mike Mangini (currently in Dream Theater) is one worthy of checking out -video below).” (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.

Transitions with John Digweed – 19th December 2013 by John Digweed on Mixcloud

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