A business model for Medium (and the rest of online content)

Medium CEO Ev Williams posted that he’ll be pivoting the company toward a mysterious new business model: [W]e are shifting our resources and attention to defining a new model for writers and creators to be rewarded, based on the value they’re creating for people. And toward building a transformational product for curious humans who want … Continued

To Jeffrey D. Sachs: sprinkling tech on politics makes it worse, not better

In an op-ed in today’s Boston Globe, the influential economist Jeffrey D. Sachs laments the lack of trust in modern American politics. He then proposes that we solve it with (among other things) “e-parties” and “e-governance.” But proposals like this ignore the way that trolls and partisans now wreck every online social space. Sachs’ op-ed, … Continued

Amazing! Facebook solves fake news problem! (Not really.)

The problem of fake news on Facebook is now a news story. The last few days have seen tons of articles about it, most misleading or wrong. Ironically, these are exactly the kind of articles that spread virally, with misleading headlines. The headlines I show here are real, only the articles don’t match the headlines (yup, clickbait). None … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg’s delusions regarding fake news on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook this weekend regarding the role of fake news in the election. It’s way worse than he says, and he has a lot of work to do to fix it. Ignorance is the biggest problem in our democracy, and Facebook is making it worse. First, let me ask you: was your news … Continued

Post-election, Microsoft’s Brad Smith shows tech CEOs how to lead

What’s a leader to do in the wake of a divisive election? For Silicon Valley CEOs from Apple, eBay, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the answer is smile, give us a all a hug, and tell people to get back to work. But Microsoft’s President Brad Smith showed us how a leader ought to lead in a crisis. This election is … Continued

Ludicrous facepalms to avoid when dealing with authors

Here’s what you need to know about authors: they spend a lot of time on their books, care about them, and think that they and their books are special. If you respect what they created, they’ll be happy to talk to you about anything reasonable. If not . . . well, they’re very witty smartasses, … Continued

What happened after I poked the Trump statue hornet’s nest

Friday’s post about the Donald Trump statues got quite a reaction. Surprisingly, it restored my faith in the Internet as a place for discourse. My objective was simple: get people to think twice about whether we’re ready to accept public, naked, exaggerated depictions of our political candidates as part of the dialogue. And I think … Continued

How Facebook’s algorithm can help you rethink your emails

Facebook determines which of your posts get through to your friends. Your emails, on the other hand, all go through. But what if they didn’t? You’d have to write email to make it clearer, more compelling, more engaging. And that’s what you ought to be doing anyway. While Facebook’s algorithm is mysterious and ever-changing, we know … Continued