Goodbye, Oyster.

“Looking forward, we feel this is best seized by taking on new opportunities to fully realize our vision for ebooks. With that, we will be taking steps to sunset the existing Oyster service over the next several months. If you are an Oyster reader you will receive an email personally regarding your account.”

Source: oysterbooks

Hmm… never a good post to make on a Friday night before Halloween… I wonder if it was poor uptake, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, or just market economics of the ebook subscription model?

This is the perfect opening to a scifi novel…

“With the help of James Jubilee, a former American arms control officer and now a senior science and technology coordinator for health issues in Kazakhstan, Dr. LaPorte tracked down Mr. Dey through the State Department, and his images and documentation quickly convinced them of the earthworks’ authenticity and importance.”

Source: NASA Adds to Evidence of Mysterious Ancient Earthworks

Get to writing, someone. I want to read this book and how humanity is shaken to its roots by startling revelations about our species’ history…

Charity has changed (listen up, churches).

“One thing is clear: Giving has changed, says JoAnn Turnquist, president and CEO of the Central Carolina Community Foundation. “People want to feel ownership of how their dollars are being used,” Turnquist says. Previous generations, Turnquist says, “were brought up to give to institutions, organizations that had secured the community’s trust,” she says. “The donors trusted that their dollars would be used appropriately.” “Move forward to 20- and 30-somethings that are tech savvy, get their information differently, from peers and online — they are motivated more by peer influencers,” Turnquist says.”

Source: Flood Shows How Charity Has Changed –

And churches wonder why “giving” is down among members and supporters? It’s because churches aren’t keeping up with the “how” part of stewardship and giving and being inflexible.

“Turn off that phone and do some real work.”

“In our constantly developing world, we have to learn to adapt to change. The fact that we are so dependent on the internet is scary. But the fact that you, as an adult, are struggling to keep up with us and the internet, does not give you the right to say that the way we are learning and growing up and socialising is wrong and we need to go back to how you used to write letters to your friends or call them using the home telephone. Neither way of living and socialising is better, just very different, which I think is the main cause of the older generation not tolerating the use of our phones.”

Source: Dear old people: why should I turn off my phone?

Anecdotally, I’ve always found that it’s the people / teachers / ministers etc who complain the most about “young kids always being on their phones” that leave their phones’ ringers on (at full volume) and have no problem answering a call (after a few rings, of course) and having a very loud conversation despite the context or their situation.

Google Bringing Podcasting to Android and Play Music

“But Google isn’t just trying to create more Serial fanatics on Android. No, it wants to reach people that have never listened to podcasts. And it wants to broaden its media offerings in the fight with Apple, the frequent go-to platform for media producers.”

Source: Google Brings Podcasting to Play Music Streaming Service, Android | Re/code

I’m excited to see podcasting continue to expand into the “mainstream” of public consumption. Hopefully, NPR doesn’t suck all the air out of the room.

If you’re a business, group, church, school etc… you need to be podcasting. Get in touch if you need help (we’ve set up and continue to manage many podcasts for clients).

And support indie podcasters for a healthy podcasting ecosystem… like the fine folks at Thinking.FM.

Your phone’s homescreen is dead; or how native advertising wins in the post-mobile world


“Part of this will entail  a shift in advertising to permission-based advertising:  asking the consumer whether she wants to see an ad — which would be asking her if she wants to receive information — for a particular brand at the current time. The consumer will have the choice: yes, I’m in the supermarket and I want to see the weekly specials; or no, I’m driving and I only want to receive breaking news that’s relevant to my family. She would no longer be forced to page through or scroll through irrelevant ads to reach what she needs.”

Source: Notification: The Post App World Revealed – Ad Tech Daily

I’ve been doing a ton of work and research in what comes “after” mobile… meaning, what advertising and marketing looks like now that our mobile devices are being used more than our laptops and desktops.

Your iPhone will look dramatically different in a few short years. I don’t mean the physical part. I mean the part you’re interacting with at the level where you once opened an app to check your latest Facebook Like notifications or new emails. There will be little-to-no reliance on that grid of apps that you belovedly call your homescreen.

I’ve been using my iPhone and Android phones this way the last few weeks and it’s been transformative. I could never go back to relying on opening apps from a homescreen to receive, process, or even create information (more on that soon).

Google, Apple, and Facebook all understand that the “future” (as in the next few years) will be dominated by notifications.

Just to think, Twitter had it right with Track all those years ago. Shame they double clutched the ball.

Native / content – advertising / notifications win… adblockers plus notifications plus better ad technology means branding and advertising will conflate. It’s going to be wild. Put on your VR helmets!

Discovery marketing = notifications.


Go Read Ezra and Nehemiah

dura-ezra“This story came out of nowhere and had me looking at other resources for answers. First, I didn’t really know that Ezra and Nehemiah were. And now, Nehemiah — a name I couldn’t spell in my notebook without writing out each letter looking at the Bible — and he was speaking to me. I flew through the pages.”

Source: A Catholic reads the Bible, week 22 –

Whatever your religion, non-religion, perspective, or theology… go read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

People often look at me strangely when I tell them they are two of my favorite things in the Bible, but when I taught Old Testament at the college level we’d always spend way too much time with these books. Both (once the same) are very overlooked yet important for understanding our current situation, the development of Judaism, early Christianity, historical geography, and broader issues of colonialism.

What’s good (and bad) about Amanda Palmer’s style of marketing?


Amanda Palmer did an AMA on the /books subreddit yesterday on the topic of her book The Art of Asking, so the Thinking.FM hosts pulled a Superfriends on Friday night and recorded 90 minutes of thoughtful discussion about Palmer’s tactics and the nature of the artist in an age of self-promotion.

I think it’s an interesting conversation that anyone seeking to go out on a limb and chart your own path (whether as a businessperson, artist, speaker etc) should consider:

“On this special episode of Thinking, Sam is joined by Elisabeth, Thomas, and Merianna (the other Thinking.FM podcasters) for a roundtable / Superfriends discussion of whether or not Amanda F. Palmer is a marketing genius. Along the way, they discuss the right and wrong ways to promote yourself whether you’re an artist, musician, author, professor, or civilian.”