It’s been a while, apologies for that but there was a serious amount of election ignoring, and then post-election to be done. My big pile of ignorage has probably never been so swollen. Yet still it continues.
Last night I listened to a live stream of a local Minnesota radio station. They were playing Prince‘s entire back catalogue in chronological order, interspersed with listener and staff anecdotes about him. Despite frequently being a garbagefire of despair the Internet can still amaze and move in surprising ways.
The ‘Purple Life’ mixtape on Mixcloud by Dave Wrangler and DJ Alykhan, done to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Purple Rain is worth squeezing into your earholes today. Next week’s New Yorker cover is beautiful.
Sort of continuing on that theme of what the Internet has wrought, this piece by Rex Sorgatz about growing up isolated in a very small town, leaving and returning is fascinating. There was no Internet so the source of knowledge was the library with subscriptions to a whole five magazines. Now everything has changed utterly, information-wise, whilst the town has mostly remained the same. There’s a great story about a scandal involving the naughty words in ‘The Catcher In The Rye’ as well.
Here are a few more things I’ve enjoyed reading over the last while, mostly about the intersection of media and technology.
Emily Bell wrote this piece about Facebook and the future of media and journalism, and it really sums up everything I’ve been thinking over the last few years about this. Tough times for publishers, certainly, but they have handed over control of the distribution of their product with barely a squeak of protest. As discrete items of content become separated from major media brands and appear free-floating in the streams of media consumers, where now for the brands?
There are huge benefits to having a new class of technically able, socially aware, financially successful, and highly energetic people like Mark Zuckerberg taking over functions and economic power from some of the staid, politically entrenched, and occasionally corrupt gatekeepers we have had in the past. But we ought to be aware, too, that this cultural, economic, and political shift is profound.
‘Don’t Trust Your CMS’ is a sobering look at the realities of publishing workflows inside media organisations. Learn to write in markdown folks.
“Can I share this video with my family?” ‘The Secret Rules Of The Internet’ delves into content moderation and the still haphazard and often exploitative way it is carried out.
While public debates rage about government censorship and free speech on college campuses, customer content management constitutes the quiet transnational transfer of free-speech decisions to the private, corporately managed corners of the internet where people weigh competing values in hidden and proprietary ways.
The New York Times gave an insight into how the media sausage is made nowadays with ‘How The Times Covers Breaking News: The First 12 Hours of the Brussels Bombings’. Eyewitness David Crunelle gave a rather startling view of this process from the other side of the newsdesk.
Yours etc., @loughlin
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