Engaged Reading Digest: 17th Birthday Edition

This blog may by 17 years old, but that's no excuse for stopping the links coming!

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Today is the 17th — 17th — birthday of One Man & His Blog. In 2003 I sat in my tiny study in Lewisham, and wrote the first post on my new, Blogger-powered blog. You'll find that first post linked right at the end of this digest, but it's astonishing to me that this site has been a consistent thread in my life for the best part of two decades.

That first post has existed on four different publishing platforms, five different web hosts, yet is still there, for anyone to read, when the majority of the journalism I've done over the years either never made it online, or is locked behind paywalls. This blog is truly my biggest single piece of work. And that's just astonishing.

Thanks for reading, be you a new reader or someone who has been with me for years.

I have no plans for stopping…

Buzz and Woody contemplate the horror of the stories format hitting every platform.

We truly live in the age of the Stories format, pioneered by Snapchat, and cloned by everybody else. Or so it appears with two new platforms joining the Stories sisterhood:

Twitter Is Finally Doing Stories
Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn — yes, LinkedIn — beat it to the punch.
Testing a new conversational format for LinkedIn: Stories
Conversations are at the heart of so much that happens on LinkedIn. Need help with how to manage work life balance? Someone in your community can help share their experience.

It'll be interesting to see what people do with these — and to see if they get any traction. The format has been a huge success for Instagram, but notably less so for Facebook.

One thing it's worth bearing in mind: this format is more akin to conversation than publishing. It's about sharing things quickly with people, in a non-permanent way. Think of it as a stream of disposable updates about what's happening in your life, work or businesses.

Twitter under siege

Talking of Twitter, this is a good summary of the investor activity around the platform, and its threat to current CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey:

Opinion | Brace Yourself for What’s Coming at Twitter
Will the company’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey, lose his job?

Twitter CEOs have a habit of getting pushed out. Is history about to repeat itself?

Pinterest acts on Coronavirus

More evidence that Pinterest is the social platform that has its act together on misinformation:

Pinterest now showing custom search results for coronavirus to combat misinformation
Pinterest is introducing a “custom search experience” when you search for information about the coronavirus on the platform. The company also pledges that it will remove misleading and false information about the outbreak.

Social Media and politics

Some stories worth reading about the fraught intersection of platforms and governments:

The Problems With Germany’s New Social Media Hate Speech Bill
The Government wants to force social networks to report hate speech to the police. But critics warn that this could have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.
The Man Behind Trump’s Facebook Juggernaut
Andrew Marantz on how Brad Parscale used social media to sway the 2016 election and is poised to do it again.
How the internet shutdown in Kashmir is splintering India’s democracy
For nearly seven months, Kashmir has weathered the longest-running internet shutdown in any democracy—the culmination of a troubling trend in India that has cost the country’s economy billions.

And finally: how it all began

17 years ago, this is what I wrote.

Hopefully, I've improved a little since then…

And so it begins...
The first post on my new blog — One Man & His Blog

Thanks for reading. Feedback (and blog birthday congratulations) to the usual address.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.