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Cluetrain at 20

Doc Searls

The Cluetrain Manifesto went online for the world o n March 26, 1999. “People of Earth,” it began. Nothing modest about it. . Chris Locke and David Weinberger both had newsletters with real subscriber bases ( Entropy Gradient Reversals and JOHO , respectively).

Ad blocking passes 2 billion worldwide

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GlobalWebIndex ‘s Global Ad-Blocking Behavior report says 47% of us are blocking ads now. It also says, “As a younger and more engaged audience, ad-blockers also are much more likely to be paying subscribers and consumers. Ad-free premium services are especially attractive.”

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Where public radio rocks

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Where does public radio rock—or even rule? And why? To start answering those questions, I looked through Nielsen ‘s radio station ratings , which are on the Radio Online site.

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The Spinner’s hack on journalism

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The Spinner* (with the asterisk) is “a service that enables you to subconsciously influence a specific person, by controlling the content on the websites he or she usually visits.” ” Meaning you can hire The Spinner* to hack another person.

GDPR will pop the adtech bubble

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In The Big Short , investor Michael Burry says “One hallmark of mania is the rapid rise in the incidence and complexity of fraud.” ” (Burry shorted the mania- and fraud-filled subprime mortgage market and made a mint in the process.).

Toward no longer running naked through the digital world

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We live in two worlds now: the natural one where we have bodies that obey the laws of gravity and space/time, and the virtual one where there is no gravity or distance (though there is time).

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing

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Let’s start with Facebook’s Surveillance Machine , by Zeynep Tufekci in last Monday’s New York Times.

Wanted: Online Pubs Doing Real (and therefore GDPR-compliant) Advertising

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This is what greets me when I go to the Washington Post site from here in Germany: So you can see it too, wherever you are, here’s the URL I’m redirected to on Chrome , on Firefox , on Safari and on Brave. All look the same except for Brave, which shows a blank page.

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The real problem is Decoy News (and decoy content of all kinds)—and the platforms can’t fix it

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The term “ fake news ” was a casual phrase until it became clear to news media that a flood of it had been deployed during last year’s presidential election in the U.S.

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New York lights

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I had a bunch of errands to run today, but also a lot of calls. And, when I finally got up from my desk around 4pm with plans to head out in the car, I found five inches of snow already on the apartment deck. Another five would come after that. So driving was clearly a bad idea.

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Data is the New Love

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Personal data, that is. Because it’s good to give away—but only if you mean it. And it’s bad to take it, even it seems to be there for the taking. I bring this up because a quarter million pages (so far) on the Web say it “data is the new oil.”

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Please let’s finally kill logins and passwords

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How would you feel if you had been told in the early days of the Web that in the year 2018 you would still need logins and passwords for damned near everything. Your faith in the tech world would be deeply shaken, no?

Making sense of what happened to Montecito

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Note the date on this map : That was more than a month before huge rains revised to red the colors in the mountains above Montecito. The LA Times also ran a story a week before last, warning about debris flows , which are like mud slides, but with lots of rocks.

On Amazon, New York, New Jersey and urban planning

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In a press release , Amazon explained why it backed out of its plan to open a new headquarters in New York City: For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long-term.

Geology answers for Montecito and Santa Barbara

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A miracle of flight

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That was the view to the south over center of Greenland a few hours ago: a late afternoon aurora over a blue dusk. I departed London about four hours before taking this shot, and am writing this in Santa Barbara.

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Let’s get some things straight about publishing and advertising

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[Because it’s too @#$% hard to edit a long piece in WordPress (especially when one’s vision has not fully recovered from recent surgery), the latest edits of this are over here in Medium. Thanks.].

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Fake ad sources on Facebook

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Nearly all the ads I see on Facebook are ones like these two, next to Mark Zuckerberg’s latest post : Besides being false and misleading clickbait, they are not from espn.com. They’re from [link] , and bait for a topic switch:to pitching a diet supplement called Alpha Fuel.

A dark review for United’s Boeing 787

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I’ve been wanting to fly on the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” ever since I missed a chance to go on an inaugural junket aboard one before Boeing began delivery to the airlines. But three days ago I finally got my chance, aboard United Flight 935 from London to Los Angeles.

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How True Advertising Can Save Journalism From Drowning in a Sea of Content

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Journalism is in a world of hurt because it has been marginalized by a new business model that requires maximizing “content” instead. That model is calle d adtech. We can see adtech’s effects in The New York Times ’ In New Jersey, Only a Few Media Watchdogs Are Left , by David Chen.

The problem for people isn’t advertising, and the problem for advertising isn’t blocking. The problem for both is tracking.

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In Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking , @JuliaAngwin and @ProPublica unpack what the subhead says well enough: “Google is the latest tech company to drop the longstanding wall between anonymous online ad tracking and user’s names.”

#RectangleBingo

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This is a game for our time. I play it on New York and Boston subways, but you can play it anywhere everybody in a crowd is staring at their personal rectangle. I call it Rectangle Bingo. Here’s how you play.

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Google vs. Bing

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In search , Google has a 90%+ share worldwide. But I’m not sure that makes it a monopoly, as long as it has real competition. With Bing is does. For example, recently I wanted to find a post Andrew Orlowski wrote for The Register in the early 00s. I remembered that it was about The Cluetrain Manifesto (which he called “Candide without the irony”—a great one-liner I can’t forget), and also mentioned John C. Dvorak , another Cluetrain non-fan.

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Idea: Woodstock vs. TED.

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So I just read about “a 50th anniversary Woodstock celebration that would include TED-style talks.” ” Details here and here in the Gothamist. This celebration doesn’t have the Woodstock name, but it does have the place, now called the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

The new together

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I want to point to three great posts. First is Larry Lessig ‘s Podcasting and the Slow Democracy Movement. A pull quote: The architecture of the podcast is the precise antidote for the flaws of the present. It is deep where now is shallow.

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Venus, Moon, Jupiter and Mercury in the dawn’s early light

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Walked out on the front deck this morning and grabbed a photo set of the Moon between conjunctions with Venus (that was yesterday), Jupiter (tonight and tomorrow) and then Mercury (Saturday), before passing next to the Sun as a new moon on Sunday. More about the show at EarthSky.

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On cryptocurrencies, blockchain and all that

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Take a look at this chart : CryptoCurrency Market Capitalizations. As Neo said , Whoa. To help me get my head fully around all that’s going on behind that surge, or mania, or whatever it is, I’ve composed a lexicon-in-process that I’m publishing here so I can find it again.

A meteor miss

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So yesterday evening, not long after sundown, we drove out to our usual spot in the countryside west of Santa Barbara to watch a big launch of a big rocket — NROL-71 — from Vandenberg Air Force Base. The launch had been scrubbed three times already, the last one only seven seconds from ignition.

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For privacy we need tech more than policy

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Nature and the Internet both came without privacy. The difference is that we’ve invented privacy tech in the natural world, starting with clothing and shelter, and we haven’t yet done the same in the digital world.

How the personal data extraction industry ends

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Who Owns the Internet? What Big Tech’s Monopoly Powers Mean for our Culture is Elizabeth Kolbert ‘s review in The New Yorker of several books, one of which I’ve read: Jonathan Taplin ’s Move Fast and Break Things—How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy.

Is this a turning point for publishing?

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Publishing and advertising both need to bend back toward where they came from, and what works. I see hope for that in the news today.

Some new ways to look at infrastructure

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Nothing challenges our understanding of infrastructure better than a crisis, and we have a big one now in Houston. We do with every giant storm, of course. New York is still recovering from Sandy and New Orleans from Katrina.

Separating advertising’s wheat and chaff

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Advertising used to be simple. You knew what it was, and where it came from. Whether it was an ad you heard on the radio, saw in a magazine or spotted on a billboard, you knew it came straight from the advertiser through that medium.

Credit where overdue

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The original pioneer in space-based telephony isn’t @ElonMusk (though he deserves enormous credit for his work in the field, the latest example of which is SpaceX ‘s 7,518-satellite Starlink network, and which has been making news lately).

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Requiem for a great magazine

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Linux Journal is folding. Carlie Fairchild , who has run the magazine almost since it started in 1994, posted Linux Journal Ceases Publication today on the website. So far all of the comments have been positive, which they should be.

Really?

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It’s misses like this that have people thinking there’s nothing to fear from AI. adtech Business marketing AI ml pinterest

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Saving High Mountain

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I’ve long thought that the most consequential thing I’ve ever done was write a newspaper editorial that helped stop development atop the highest wooded hilltop overlooking the New York metro.

A Qualified Fail

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Power of the People is a great grabber of a headline, at least for me.

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Remembering Bob Kauffman

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When the Los Angeles Clippers open their first game at home this season, I want them to pause and celebrate their first franchise player: Bob Kauffman , the team’s all-star center for its first three seasons, when they were the Buffalo Braves. Bob died on July 27 at age 69.

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When a thunderstorm appears right on top of an airport

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This is the situation at Newark Airport right now: Those blobs are thunderstorms. The little racetrack in upstate New York is an inbound flight from Lisbon in a holding pattern. Follow the link under that screen shot.

Brands need to fire adtech

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Two days ago, the New York Times said AT&T and Johnson & Johnson are pulling their ads from YouTube. They’re concerned that “Google is not doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to offensive material, like hate speech.” ” Yesterday, Business Insider said “more than 250” advertisers were bailing as well.

Have we passed peak phone?

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I should start by admitting I shot this picture with my phone. Also that on my rectangle with the rest of these people through most of this very typical subway trip yesterday. I don’t know what they were doing, though it’s not hard to guess.

On renting cars

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I came up with that law in the last millennium and it applied until Chevy discontinued the Cavalier in 2005. Now it should say, “You’re going to get whatever they’ve got.” ” The difference is that every car rental agency in days of yore tended to get their cars from a single car maker, and now they don’t.

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