Working from home, versus corporate office life:
Discipline. Everyone talks about how much discipline you need to work at home. But how much discipline does it take to go to the same strange city office every day, for all the hours of daylight? To sit still for all the hours of the day, to accustom your body to temperatures you haven’t chosen, and gaze across wide dim expenses at faraway windows? To listen to no music unless it’s on headphones, look at no pictures unless on a screen, smell nothing but the smell of office. That takes discipline too; just of a different kind.
Some great examples of what a home office can be.
This is basically how my brother and I used to spend our summers:
Except with Lego Space, not Star Wars lego. And we didn’t have $800 to spend on a kit. Or a high speed digital camera.
But we would have done this if we could have.
A swath of prominent American literary figures are worried by the support for Charlie Hebdo after the shootings earlier this year. but their arguments don’t always tarry with reality:
Elsewhere, the #JeSuisCharlie brigades were admonished for affiliating with an anti-Arab magazine whose “staff was white,” a point not contested by editor Moustapha Ourrad because he had annoyingly just been murdered by religious psychopaths. Nor did Zineb El Rhazoui protest, likely because she was too busy mourning her dead friends and cobbling together the newspaper’s first post-bloodbath issue.
Sometimes we in media think we’ve been hit hard by digital. Be profoundly glad you don’t run an independent one-hour photo shop:
No other business over the past 15 years has died off with the near-totality of the all-American photo shop. There are now just 190 left
Source: Twilight of One-Hour Photo, America’s Fastest-Fading Business – Bloomberg Business
As a happily married, middle-aged father, Tinder is one part of social media that I’m aware of, but haven’t viscerally experienced – for obvious reasons.
So, this piece on Tinder from a woman’s point of view is a fascinating read:
And, for all its faults, I still find Tinder delightful. I’m now 29, and I set my upper age limit to a reasonable 37, my lower age limit to a rather scandalous 23. No one can address me without my consent, which I can withdraw with an unceremonious “Unmatch” at any time. And when I encounter a blank profile or a grainy photo or a man who is lying through his teeth about his age, I am reminded of those unfocused pictures and the entitled rage of that first encounter. It is a special joy to left-swipe such profiles back into the bowels of Hades from whence they came.
If the Medium version of Matter continues to produce good stuff, I might eventually stop mourning for the “long form science journalism” version of it.
Interesting exploration of the pseudo-relationships with celebrities that social media enables:
Spitzberg describes how a fan might respond to something like a celebrity tweet and then, days later, see an unrelated tweet from the same celebrity and read meaning into it because they’ve been thinking about the star in the interim period. “This phantom reciprocity may be one of the reinforcing aspects of the sequential and ongoing process of receiving messages from the celebrity,” he says, “which despite going to thousands, can feel uniquely responding to that fan’s devotion.”
It’s almost too obvious to say that one of the appeals of social media is that it puts updates from celebs on a par with updates from your friends. This piece goes a long way to explore the dynamics beyond that.
Pinterest is the quiet powerhouse of the social media world, driving more traffic than, say, Twitter, yet receiving much less attention. This change should make things more interesting:
The company says developers who integrate Pinterest sign-in will be able to offer users “a personalized, curated experience based on their boards and Pins.”
Source: Pinterest Introduces Developer Platform to Make Pins Interactive
Here’s a very interesting piece from a student newspaper editor in the US:
My peers are interested in reading news, but they have no loyalties whatsoever about where it comes from. You can be the greatest columnist in the world, but it will be tough to garner a strong following from millennials.
Even some of my closest friends refused to pick up the newspaper I spent dozens of hours on each week. They’d rather get the day’s news from many different sources by scrolling through their Twitter feed.
This dichotomy is one of the most challenging things about teaching some journalism students today. They come in with a love for – and a focus on – the newspaper (or magazine) as a printed object, even as they are aware that their contemporaries – in the main – don’t consume news in that way.
There’s a distinction between loving journalism, and loving a printed product, and some students don’t see that. It’s going to be a tough career for them if they don’t wake up to it.
Beware the hype of the social media gurus:
So what we have here are ignorant people (Vaynerchuk, Brogan, Kawasaki, and friends) telling big brands and agencies to dump their money into unproven platforms, or platforms with really shady metrics that they can totally fudge and claim their successful to journalists who don’t really know better. A tech blog may know to call out Vaynerchuk’s portfolio company, MeerKat, for spamming Twitter in order to grow their service, but other publications like AdAge won’t. And guess which one of those publications the brands and advertisers are reading?
This is a pretty harsh attack on some big names, but it makes some valid points. There’s a group of “influencers” who make the point of hyping the new, shiny thing. But as the death of Secret makes clear, initial hype has no correlation with long-term success.
Social media remains a social tool, and like all social interactions, take a while to establish into useful patterns. And some of them will turn out to be fads.
We have more than enough “social media influencers” hyping away. We need more people applying critical thinking and patience to these tools over time.
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