Disruption wins — except when it loses

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Disruptive innovation requires viewing the world differently from conventional wisdom. Disruptors who succeed manage to change the conventional wisdom. Disruptors who fail end up victims of the conventional wisdom. And that includes the conventional wisdom inherent in government regulation Disruptors who ignored the rules YouTube was built on pirated, copyrighted content. It violated rules and … Continued

The promise of social media

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I’ve been studying social media for 16 years. I think what Charlene Li and I observed back then is still true. People want to connect with friends. People want to connect with strangers with whom they share an interest. People want to engage intellectually with strangers. Or at least, they used to. Back when blogs … Continued

How things fail

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Things break on the internet. The question is: is there anyone left to fix them? And how much of the resulting friction causes people to leave you for a competitor? Friction, like entropy, is ever-increasing Code is forever. It should keep working. But it requires maintenance. Why? Because it does not exist in a vacuum. … Continued

The Twitter endgame

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We’re not paying enough attention to the financing of Elon Musk’s Twitter purchase. It explains why he’s flailing now, and points to a shocking future for the social network. Where did Musk get the money to buy Twitter, and why does it matter? Of the $44 billion it took to buy Twitter, about $24 billion … Continued

Why Elon Musk can’t control Twitter

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The hardest insight for anyone working in or through social media is this: No matter what you think you own or control, you are not in charge. The participants are. And they will do whatever they want, in spite of (and sometimes because of) any efforts you make to channel, guide, or block them. I … Continued

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta layoff message was pretty good

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I skewered the email Elon Musk sent as he laid off half of Twitter. Now Mark Zuckerberg has dumped 11,000 Meta employees, 13% of the workforce. Zuck did it right, including clarity about options for laid off employees and taking responsibility for making an error. To be clear, Meta’s management made a serious error in … Continued

Here’s what’s sad about the place Twitter is becoming

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Elon Musk’s new Twitter will be completely different because of the changes he’s made in who is verified. Here’s what happened, and what it will feel like: How this will change Twitter Currently, the Twitter algorithm prioritizes tweets from those you follow, especially tweets that get a lot of interaction, such as likes and retweets. … Continued

Elon Musk is a genius. Is that enough to save Twitter?

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There are two basic takes on what Elon Musk is doing at Twitter: either’s he’s trashing the whole thing, or he’s a strategic genius with a plan so far-reaching that we mortals can’t see it yet. I’ll explain why, even if he is a genius, Twitter won’t be the mechanism for realizing his genius. The … Continued