Recent quotes:

Adam Tooze, Crisis Historian, Has Some Bad News for Us - The Atlantic

Russia’s foreign-exchange reserves, for instance. One Tooze post examined how accumulating those reserves helped Vladimir Putin turn the country into a “strategic petrostate” bold enough to invade Ukraine and capable of countering Western powers. About 150,000 people, including some in the German chancellor’s office, read the essay. “I thought, Wow, this is worthwhile,” Tooze told me. “For somebody who comes out of an academic publishing background, where you’re lucky if 1,000 people read what you write, the numbers tick up so fast.” On Substack, his output also proved financially rewarding: “For anyone on a regular, white-collar, academic-type salary, it’s transformative.”’s Heather Armstrong was the “queen of the mommy bloggers.” Then her life fell apart. - Vox

In the time that Armstrong had been absent from her site, bloggers had been almost wholly replaced with social media stars who relied on Instagram to gain a following. The word “influencer” had taken over, and quickly. Bloggers had risen to fame thanks to deeply personal posts; Instagram personalities operated in a much more visual medium, relying on photos of cute kids and beautiful homes for likes. “The biggest stars of the mommy Internet now are no longer confessional bloggers. They’re curators of life. They’re influencers,” the Washington Post wrote in 2018. “They’re pitchwomen. And with all the photos of minimalist kitchens and the explosion of affiliate links, we’ve lost a source of support and community, a place to share vulnerability and find like-minded women, and a forum for female expertise and wisdom.” The rise of influencers has all but killed the lifestyle blog, as Quartz posited last year, and Armstrong says she disdains today’s influencer economy. On her blog, she describes it as “hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars.” She’s on Facebook and Twitter, but mainly to drive traffic to her blog, and she uses Instagram as a modern-day scrapbook of sorts for her family. (Her following is small, at 50,000 followers, as opposed to mommy mega-influencer Rachel Parcell, at more than 1 million.)

End of an era: Media buyers are ditching the much-hated RFP - Digiday

Driving the shift is that agencies are consolidating their spending with fewer media sellers so there’s less need to cast a wide net with the RFP. More buyers are pursing the mantra of “fewer but deeper” relationships with buyers, especially as bigger chunks of budgets are run through programmatic (and, of course, Google and Facebook) as the workhorse for campaigns to get reach.

Free content at Facebook

A neutral observer might wonder if Facebook’s attitude to content creators is sustainable. Facebook needs content, obviously, because that’s what the site consists of: content that other people have created. It’s just that it isn’t too keen on anyone apart from Facebook making any money from that content. Over time, that attitude is profoundly destructive to the creative and media industries. Access to an audience – that unprecedented two billion people – is a wonderful thing, but Facebook isn’t in any hurry to help you make money from it. If the content providers all eventually go broke, well, that might not be too much of a problem. There are, for now, lots of willing providers: anyone on Facebook is in a sense working for Facebook, adding value to the company. In 2014, the New York Times did the arithmetic and found that humanity was spending 39,757 collective years on the site, every single day. Jonathan Taplin points out that this is ‘almost fifteen million years of free labour per year’. That was back when it had a mere 1.23 billion users

Mommy Blogging jumped the shark

I hosted dozens of giveaways sponsored by brands wanting me to promote their products. I gained hundreds and then thousands of email subscribers, and social media followers, by requiring a follow in exchange for a giveaway entry. I used social media management services to connect with similar bloggers on twitter and instagram, and then unfollow those who didn’t return the follow. I paid a virtual assistant to post my links in round ups all over the internet, for back links and extra traffic. I joined blog directory sites, where asking readers for clicks sends you to the top of the list, and some PR intern googling “mom blogs” then finds you when they want someone to review their product. I sent out my media kit with embellished stats and highlights about my ‘targeted audience of mothers who make purchasing decisions for their household’ and negotiated my rates for free products and paid reviews. I made thousands of dollars during months I was focusing and working hard to dig through box after box of shitty as-seen-on-tv like products and share “my 100% honest opinion” about them, that weren’t at all influenced by the page after page of “key messages” the brand requested that I include in my review. You won’t find most of those posts on this blog today. They aren’t gone forever, and I do plan to revive some of them. But for the most part, they are dead and I want them to stay buried forever. Because, like 90% of the fake nonsense I used to share on the internet as a mommy blogger writing about my fake life and oh-so-happy marriage, they are pure bullshit.

BlogAds: Is There Life after Nov. 2? | News | TechNewsWorld

Moulitsas signed in December last year. DailyKos has done so well he quit his day job as a Web consultant and has finally been able to justify his blogging passion to his wife. "I owe [Copeland] everything," he jokes. "He saved my marriage." The question now is whether Copeland can save the blog business from post-election doldrums.

The DECK | The premier ad network for reaching web, design & creative professionals

In 2014, display advertisers started concentrating on large, walled, social networks. The indie “blogosphere” was disappearing. Mobile impressions, which produce significantly fewer clicks and engagements, began to really dominate the market. Invasive user tracking (which we refused to do) and all that came with that became pervasive, and once again The Deck was back to being a pretty good business. By 2015, it was an OK business and, by the second half of 2016, the network was beginning to struggle again. 1.0 RIP

My 2002 prediction that the social media (then basically the blogosphere) would some day “power knowledge-sharing far more profound than anything offered by current media” has proven true 1000-times over. Driven by Darwinian pressures, self-publishing has morphed and mutated to invade every existing media niche and create many new niches. Social media has speciated into one thousand different forms, forums and idioms…

Bernie's record online ads

The Sanders campaign spent more on digital advertising than all federal races combined in 2008. […]

Confessions of a social media exec on influencer marketing: 'We threw too much money at them' - Digiday

Social team is a bunch of millennials, so we’ll often find someone we like and we’ll throw it into a database with keywords. But usually it’s a CEO or CMO or whoever saying, “Oh, my kid likes this guy.” At this major car brand I worked for, we paid $300,000 for a few photographs because the CEO’s kid liked someone.

This woman created BlogHer, which sold for tens of millions

After two years of bootstrapping, steady growth, 150 bloggers and about 1 million views a month, they decided to raise external funding. While Camahort Page noted to Geektime that, “A lifestyle business is pretty awesome” and actually said she’s not sure she wouldn’t launch a lifestyle-type business if she were to start another company, she and her co-founders decided to scale.

Dooce burns out

Bloggers are on a hamster wheel which is going faster and faster and faster. I don’t know a single blogger who even enjoys it any more. There was a time when we loved every minute of it, we would gush and say oh my god, we love it. Now we say there’s times when we still love parts of it, but nobody sits down at the end of the day and pours a drink and says “Oh I had the most glorious day”. There are only now parts of it we still enjoy but there’s not that enthusiasm for the whole thing any more.

Mobile phones in 2002

In 2002, technology made another huge change in the history of mobile phones, putting a great full colour display and integrating camera to mobile phones, producing the world’s first camera cell phone. The Nokia 7650 shown here is on sliding mode, features a great colour display and a 0.3MP camera allowing you to snap pictures on the move.

Political tees off to a slow start?

Abdul Rashid, chief operating officer of Bayside, says that multiple candidates have ordered tens of thousands of tees, and one candidate—he won’t say who—has ordered over 100,000. When others join the fray, he continues, the process of ordering the shirts is easy. “We have millions of T-shirts in our warehouses, ready to ship." Pricing for the shirts vary widely. Rand Paul’s tee was easily the cheapest at just $20.75, including shipping and handling. Bernie Sanders and Rick Perry were the only other candidates whose shirts fell under the $30 threshold. Tees from Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz were the most expensive, by far—$36.69 and $36, respectively. For context, a graphic T-shirt from high-end retailer Steven Alan goes for $32, and Wal-Mart sells more than 20 graphic tees for less than $5.

Is launching an online advertising network a losing proposition? | Simon Owens

That’s not to say that there haven’t been successful ad networks. Blogads, a North Carolina company founded in 2002, has continued to be the little engine that could, floating mostly under the radar. It was first to the scene with providing an advertising platform for major bloggers like Daily Kos and Perez Hilton, and you can still see its signature ad slots at places like Marginal Revolution and Wonkette. I’ve always liked the concept of Blogads because its tool has always, like Facebook or Google ads, been programmatic, allowing everyday people to place ads without needing to go through a salesperson.
I do think there is a predilection for blogging among post-communist expats. In the early 1990s, Budapest and Prague attracted publishing renegades, a mini-generation of people who decided that life was too short NOT to join the adventure after the Wall came down. Once here, we couldn’t tap into any old-boy networks or climb any corporate ladders; we invented new structures, businesses and networks. We are, as a group, infatuated with revolutions. So blogging seems a natural fit for people like Ben Sullivan, Matt Welch, Ken Layne, Emmanuelle Richard, Nick Denton, Rick Bruner, you and me. Somehow, having lived outside the system, we were better able to see blogging’s unique applications. Rather than saying “gee, but this doesn’t match traditional media’s credibility or resources,” we were more likely to say “gee, but look at all the neat new things it does do.” We’ve all stayed in touch, we’ve learned from each other. I told Nick Denton about Google a few years ago and he told me about I’ll say semi-seriously that, in the long run, I think I got the better half of the trade. You take your friends more seriously than you take some case study you read in Business 2.0. Though I have to say I’m still astonished by the number of publishers, journalists, ad reps and professional writers who STILL don’t get the professional implications of the Internet. They use Google every hour, but they still don’t quite understand that nobody needs anyone’s permission to publish. A few publishers see this, but not many. I’d love to meet more publishers who get it.
Q: That’s fine, but can you really develop BlogAds into a business? At some point, we know these passionate blog audiences have to yield gold for advertisers, or the simple premise that has funded media for the last 300 years — exposure helps a business grow — has been false. Frankly, though that time has not quite yet arrived. We’ve got some very satisfied advertisers on blogs. We can see the synapses firing. But won’t push the thing hard publicly until we’ve rolled out what we regard as the complete feature set that will complete the circuit. We’re still tinkering with the ingredients. It’s kind of like watching one of those nascent slime molds — you can see the thing starting to respond to stimulus and flirt with swarming. So you tinker with the environment and see what are the right parameters, what’s the right amount of stimulus, what’s the critical mass?
We love everything about this event.
So it appears that the future of the office is to provide a spectrum of noise and openness and to allow people to freely move around in it, instead of plunking people down in an open room with hard surfaces and factory-like noise and no where to escape. Consider the ends of the spectrum. At one end, a café-like open area with a variety of seating options, food and drink, and perhaps even Starbucks-like music playing. At the other, a library-like quiet and heads-down solitary work environment, with no talking and no cell phones. And in between a variety of alcoves, offices, and meeting spaces suitable for different sorts of intermediate co-working activities, like one-on-one work sessions, meetings, brainstorming, and project scrums.