my prediction for 2015 is that people will still read books that are over 500 pages long and discuss them in tea salons wearing fine silks
— Rachel Syme (@rachsyme) January 6, 2015
Just after Christmas, Elizabeth Spiers wrote a great blog post about the common mistakes new digital media projects tend to make. It’s full of valuable insights from a smart veteran of online media, so no one who needs to pay attention to it ever will. Instead they’ll read Sarah Lacy’s auto-encomium claiming that to be a successful media owner, you have to be an asshole. Evan Williams, one of the targets of her criticism (a word I use very loosely here to mean “accusation of not being an asshole”), responded to Lacy pointing out that her claim that journalists “turn combative on a dime” hasn’t been his experience (nor has it been mine). “I’ve known a lot of journalists (and employ a few) and mostly they’re curious, pleasant, respectful people. I like having dinner with them,” says Williams. I can think of at least one reason people quickly turn combative with Sarah Lacy and not with Evan Williams.
Williams also posted a smart critique of the definitions and metrics we use when measuring success for social media services and websites. Like Spiers, when he takes the time to write something like this it’s worth paying attention to. Not worth paying attention to is financial Chaos Muppet and newly self-appointed Twitter Board chair Jim Cramer, who grandiosely announced that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo can keep his job, a move hailed as “bold” by the four retirees who accidentally wound up watching CNBC instead of the reruns of Murder, She Wrote they were looking for.
@matthewbaldwin OMG “on fleek” is just some stupid phrase and not a social network. I assumed it was a new social network. Now I feel old.
— D5AA96 (@D5AA96) January 6, 2015
Herrman made his 2015 media biz predictions, and the very same day, Andy Carvin announced Reported dot ly, a new First Look project publishing solely on Medium and social media, which is the ))<>(( of our billionaire-funded journalism future. Then the next day, New York Times International desk digital deputy Amy O’Leary left the Grey Lady for Updog. Tomorrow, presumably, Yahoo will buy CNN, and we’ll get through the rest of them by February, then we can shut it all down and take the rest of the year off.
Today in The Outrage Cycle: The Baffler just published an appropriately baffling personal essay by William Giraldi about how he wasted his ten months of paternity leave becoming an alcoholic and it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s reprehensible, but that is Giraldi’s wheelhouse. Previously he wrote a mean-spirited review of Alix Ohlin that was garbage and whined about being compared with Cormac McCarthy, which, to be fair, is certainly an undeserved comparison. So Giraldi, as a person and as a writer, clearly just is what he is. The question is why do we keep publishing him?
Please do not compare William Giraldi to Cormac McCarthy. Instead compare him to a landfill, or a golem crafted from garbage.
— Joseph Fink (@PlanetofFinks) January 6, 2015
Why Can’t Dads Have It All: When did we start having it all, exactly? Shaq on Apps. After being pregnant for, like, a hot artisanal second Blake Lively has reportedly had the baby, which was delivered directly into a bedazzled Mason jar. Emotional Heat Check: Kanye West. Today in Dads. The day after Christmas in Dads. Jazmine Hughes runs everything. This will definitely work. Bodybuilders arguing about how many days there are in a week is an all-time Best of the ‘Net thread. CES is garb.
It’s a snowy day in New York and Bijan doesn’t have to get out of bed before 3pm so I’m expecting the Full Bijan for our intern tab today!
There it is. Hell yeah.
Did You Know? The Internet Archive has 2,386 browser-playable DOS games
Today’s Song: No Age, “Life Prowler“
~Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a tab.~