Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Other people write about digital media

The paradigm shift from offline to online media has thrown a lot of people.

That’s okay. They’ll just be left behind. It isn’t my job to drag the stragglers along—thankfully because it’s a slog of a job that isn’t paid nearly enough.

Here are some people saying interesting things about the messy transition we’re in.

Of course, some things don’t change.

How to tell whether you're a writer: 1) Write something. 2) If it took far too long and you now hate yourself, you're a writer.

— Tom Freeman (@SnoozeInBrief) May 26, 2015

i love writing projects, they concentrate the highest number of crippling insecurities over the longest period of time possible (@beep)

And people have to keep pointing out that when companies that do dumb things fail, that says more about the dumb thing than the industry they’re in.

This is why Re/Code failed and had to sell after merely 16 months. They were never an individual media company. They never understood what being an individual media company was about. From the first day, they tried to be a big traditional media company, with all the failings of such companies.

This is why they are in the situation they are today.

The Thing About Re/Code And Individual Media Brands by Thomas Baekdal (1858 words).

If a misspelled word ruins the message for you, the message was probably never going to reach you in the first place.

— LEFT (@LeftSentThis) May 23, 2015

Media companies are used to being able to treat the negative costs of ads as an externality (i.e. before the web the alternatives for news were either this here thing with ads or that there thing with ads).

Unfortunately this attitude doesn’t work in a world where you have competitors who don’t play by the same rules as you do:

  • Some treat their readers with respect and deliberately limit their ads.
  • Others create content as a complement to another business—the media is subsidised by something other than ads.
  • And then we have the few cough-cough who publish online for free because they’re just interested in the subject matter.

good job, content providers. the more you inject pre-roll video ads, the more i ask "do i really care about this content?" usually: no.

— getify (@getify) May 27, 2015

Thomas Baekdal regularly makes excellent points.

But, if we define print as a carrier of information, the trend is pretty clear. The future of the printed newspapers is dropping like a stone. 

What is the future of paper and print? Well, that depends on how you look at it by Thomas Baekdal (151 words).

Anyone who actually thinks long-form is dying haven’t been paying attention to what is happening on channels such as YouTube. (@baekdal)

Note to publishers: If your audience is leaning towards short snack-like videos, it means you have failed to influence them. (@baekdal)

Seven-year-old: “I have a question. But it’s really a statement.” Now I’m afraid she’ll become an academic. (@sarahkendzior)

If you’re thinking in terms of your backlist (i.e. preserving or leveraging it) rather than in terms of community and communication then you’re probably failing at digital.

It’s too easy for people to worry about their hoard of content things rather than the effectiveness of their communication. (@mulegirl)

The biggest holdover from the print publishing era is the idea that communication takes place in space, rather than time. (@mulegirl)

If you think of communicating as a series of things, that’s like hitting someone upside the head with a book instead of talking to them. (@mulegirl)

I really want this to happen. As a fan of the original DC multiverse and of the 90s Flash show (what can I say, I’m a geek) I really really want this to happen.

Next season, I want THE FLASH to travel a universe where the 90s Flash show is canon. Insert Gustin into an existing episode (a la DS9/TOS). (@arune)

The idea that books are a more reliable source of facts, information, and the truth in general is basically false.

What many readers don’t realize is that fact-checking has never been standard practice in the book-publishing world at all.

Book Publishing, Not Fact-Checking by Kate Newman (1637 words).

If you want the truth, read a good novel. If you want lies and emotional manipulation inspired by research and skewed by fact-free opinions, read non-fiction.

You encounter this a lot when you stand on the technical side of things in the media industry.

For instance, have you ever read journalists writing about the media business itself? For the most part, they have literally no idea what they’re talking about. They don’t know how marketing or circulation or advertising sales work; they aren’t familiar with the technology of their own publications; they certainly don’t understand the financing and ownership of their own publications. When their publications or publications they admire fold or are sold or are “sold,” they tend to print the story they are told rather than the story that is obviously true. This happens even at the highest levels; you can see media reporters at the New York Times relaying concepts or ideas or narratives that they don’t actually understand or possibly, if they took a breath, even believe.

I’m Graduating High School and I Want to Be a Journalist but Everyone Says I’m Nuts! by The Concessionist (1417 words).

And, as a finale, Baekdal again.

Today, our screens don’t get damaged by prolonged exposure, and we can get in and out of sleep mode in a fraction of a second. Thus, we don’t need a screensaver anymore. They no longer serve a purpose or solve a problem.They were workarounds to a problem that shouldn’t have existed in the first place.

It reminds me of the things we see in the world of media today.

Let’s do a little test this Sunday to see how long you have been using a computer. Remember the screen saver below? by Thomas Baekdal (261 words).

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