A lot’s happened since I last did a tl;dr, so expect a mix of links from over the last six weeks below — and probably for the next couple of weeks as I play catch-up.
Thanks for all the great feedback about this format, by the way. It’s clear many people find it useful, and that gives me an incentive to keep on going.
- 🤑 The power of Audience Engagement for small publishers
- 🗣 An audience and a community are NOT the same thing…
- 👩🏽💻 A metrics-centric take from Australia.
- 📉 The Trump Slump — social media engagement with news fell off a cliff in the US. If US titles didn’t take the opportunity to convert drive-by readers into loyal ones in 2020, they’ve missed the boat.
- 👥 Interesting, holistic take on audience engagement from Scroll in India.
- 🔌 And we’re running my audience engagement course again soon. Please sign up!
- 🍆 Why Metropolis bought Viz. Fnar Fnar.
- 🎞 The AP is about to start selling NFTs of historic photos. I tend to agree with Charles Arthur’s take on it.
- 🧑🏽⚖️ Lots of news outlets are suing the duopoly.
- 😢 The quiet masochism of obsessing over unfollowers.
- 😡 John Naughton’s thoughts about polarisation online are worth your time.
- 🤓 I’ve been an enthusiastic Pocket user for years. Here’s what you should know about the app.
- 👮🏻 Why regulating algorithms is harder than many assumed
- 🎭 I’m normally sceptical of articles calling for an end to online anonymity — it doesn’t solve the problems people think it will, and creates others — but this is a good set of suggestions, full of nuance. Ending anonymity would be bad — but I think the time might have come to put limits on it.
- 🦠 Trends are moving more quickly than they used to online. But all your base are still belong to us.
- 💃🏼 The 2022 Instagram Trend Report — this makes me feel old. I mean, I am old, but this makes me feel it.
- ⏰ The return of the chronological feed is in testing.
- 🤝 Some useful thoughts about peer mentoring in an industry so dependent on freelancers.
- 💏 And some really clear ideas about addressing the problem of trust in journalism here.
- 🏘 And, surprise, surprise people trust news produced locally to them more than that from untouchable media figures elsewhere…
- 👨🏼🔬 China made a fake scientist to spread disinformation.
- 🧑🏽🔬 The strange case of a Twitter scientist who died from COVID — without ever existing in the first place
- 🎤 1 in 10 Brits plans to launch a new podcast this year. I am not one of them.
- 🎈 So, yes, it’s just possible that podcasting is a bubble. Here’s how to cope.
- 📧 Substack gets a number of small quality-of-life improvements, including what any other platform would call a magazine theme.
- 🔮 The Revue newsletter gathers up some predictions for the year ahead.
- 🏘 Reach is doing interesting things with local newsletters.
- 🛑 Politcs for All is now politics for nobody, as Twitter has permanently suspended the account. Sensationalist takes, suspicious levels of follower growth and an account based on other people’s work? Not to be mourned.
- 🤷🏻♀️ This is one of the more interesting exploration of context collapse on Twitter I’ve come across. I should write more about context collapse.
- 🤥 YouTube has a long way to go on dealing with misinformation — according to professional fact-checkers.
- 🎙 I am in love with the look of this microphone. Will I buy one and do a review? I will!
- 📺 Social video time now equal to TV consumption time. US figures, but the trend is clear.
- 🕺🏽And TikTok got more traffic than Google.
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- 👣 If you’re a prominent woman in media, you might want to avoid putting photos of your feet on Instagram…
Satire is not dead
Two men called Smith are off to launch a new media venture. This isn’t the press release — but it might as well be:
In so many ways, the global news industry is failing its audience. It’s time for a bunch of people currently occupying the highest echelons of that industry to reinvent it from the bottom up.
And, finally, read Charlie Beckett’s take on it all.
- 🇬🇧 Lovely multimedia feature of Britain from above
- 🦞 Whatever happened to lobster guy Jordan Peterson?