Every scroll through Twitter puts at least one person’s bad day, shitty experience, or moment of snark in front of me. These are good happy people – I know many of them in real life – but for whatever reason, Twitter is the place they let their shit loose. And while it’s easy to do, it’s not comfortable to be around. I don’t enjoy it.
Every scroll through Instagram puts someone’s good day in front of me. A vacation picture, something new they got that they love, pictures of nature, pictures of people they love, places they’ve been, and stuff they want to cheer about. It’s just flat out harder to be negative when sharing a picture. This isn’t a small thing – it’s a very big deal. I feel good when I browse Instagram.
That’s the feel that matters.
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As for that entanglement among stories, Mr. Williams has conceded that it’s “confusing.” But this ambiguity isn’t a bug. It’s an essential feature of the business plan. The goal is to create the illusion that everything on Medium belongs to one editorial ecosystem, as if it’s the New York Times.
But unlike the Times, Medium pays for only a small fraction of its stories. The rest are submitted—for free—by writers like you. After a long time being elusive about its business model, Medium revealed that it plans to make money by—surprise!—selling advertising. This means displaying ads, but also collecting and selling data about readers and writers. So Medium will extract revenue from every story, whether it paid for that story or not.
In truth, Medium’s main product is not a publishing platform, but the promotion of a publishing platform. This promotion brings readers and writers onto the site. This, in turn, generates the usage data that’s valuable to advertisers. Boiled down, Medium is simply marketing in the service of more marketing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for advertisers. It is, therefore, utterly superfluous.
“But what about all the writing on Medium?” The measure of superfluity is not the writing on Medium. Rather, it’s what Medium adds to the writing. Recall the question from above: how does Medium improve the Internet? I haven’t seen a single story on Medium that couldn’t exist equally well elsewhere. Nor evidence that Medium’s editing and publishing tools are a manifest improvement over what you can do with other tools.
In sum—still superfluous.
As writers, we don’t need companies like Medium to tell us how to use the web. Or define openness and democracy. Or tell us what’s a “waste of [our] time” and what’s not. Or determine how and where readers experience our work. We need to decide those things for ourselves.
Matthew Butterick expresses in his piece one of the main reasons on why I’m not sold with Medium, and still prefer to publish everything I want over a space I can really control. Thanks to my pal Andrea Contino for pointing me to Matt’s article…
During last week I got in touch with Lisa Smith from the BlueBerry Labs, a web design studio that makes also some nice infographic. Lisa asked me to have a look at some of their work, which I found entertaining enough to share with you.
Earlier this morning I was playing with Google Fonts over my self-hosted italian blog, so the following infographic seemed appropriate…
Over the Backchannel magazine on Medium – one of the best magazine on technology out there nowadays – here’s to you a lengthy but “must read”, insightful, article:
If KT Bradford’s challenge to consciously expand your literary horizons isn’t for you, cool. But if it makes you angry, even if it’s not angry enough to take to the internets and rage, then maybe just take a moment and ask yourself why. If you come up with a good reason, then by all means carry on, I guess, though as someone with long-standing anger management issues I can say from my personal experience that acting in anger has never worked out particularly well for me. I can also say that consciously challenging my defaults and worldview has always, in my experience, been profitable, and making alterations in the parts that don’t hold up to honest scrutiny has driven my evolution not only as a reader but as a human being for my whole adult life. Personally, I’d wager that the angrier the challenge to read outside your comfort zone makes you, the more likely you are to profit by it. But that’s just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.
But if you look at your reasons and they maybe don’t hold up as well as you thought they did, then maybe it’s worth trying whatever version of the challenge is most amenable for you. Try it for a month. Or three, or six. Hell, try it for one book. As my father was wont to say when I was growing up, you can stand on your head in shit for [finite period of time]. If it doesn’t work out, okay, you gave it a shot. Maybe try again sometime, whatever. What’s the worst that could happen? What’s the best?
Yesterday it would have been the 60th birthday of Steve Jobs. For a mere coincidence Fonts in Use posted this archive image of this movie about him…
On the (italian) blog The Wardrobe there’s an interesting post on the look of the latest 10 actress awarded with an Oscar and the attached illustration with a recap of the all-time fashion look of those magnificent women…
Read more on this ground-breaking news on the AdWeek post by Tim Nudd.
A nice reading over New York Times today.