But Nextdoor has gradually evolved into something bigger and more consequential than just a digital bulletin board: In many communities, the platform has begun to step into roles once filled by America’s local newspapers. “Anecdotally, Nextdoor has gone from being kind of sub-Facebook to actually being the main platform you hear people discussing as a vector for local news and events and discussions,” says Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
Eventually, Colbert got around to asking about the campaign, recalling that Biden had said recently that he wasn’t sure if he is “emotionally prepared” to run for President. Biden looked up at the klieg lights and gave a jut of the chin. “Look, I don’t think any man or woman should run for President unless, No. 1, they know exactly why they would want to be President. And, No. 2, they can look at folks out there and say, ‘I promise you have my whole heart, my whole soul, my energy, and my passion to do this.’ And, and, I’d be lying if I said that I knew I was there. I’m being completely honest. But nobody has a right in my view to seek that office unless they are willing to give it a hundred and ten per cent of who they are.”
Fascinating breakdown here…
With the change of administrations comes a new website, and this morning the all-new Whitehouse.gov debuted. Like its predecessor, the site is powered by WordPress – but this version carries […]
We finished up with our science lesson this morning and sat down at the kitchen table for a snack. This is usually when the five-year-old has “tablet time” (we’re not the type of parents that abides by the “Screen Time!” mantra or severely restricts device usage…).
As I was putting snacks out, I noticed he was playing Pac-Man. PAC-MAN. “Wait, you’re playing Pac-Man?” I asked in that sort of parental stunned manner that even a five-year-old recognizes as a question that warranted an immediate response. “What is Pac-Man?” he responded. I’d loaded a few classic games on his tablet a few weeks ago but didn’t think he’d necessarily take to any of them just yet.
“You’re playing it!” I said. “Oh, he said… I call it Bubble-Eater.” Fair enough.
I sat down and we enjoyed some Pac-Man together. He’s almost better than I was as a middle schooler emptying quarters into the Pac-Man machine at our local skating rink on a Friday night. It’s been a while.
This all makes me reflect on how we often put emphasis on things that really don’t matter in our marketing. Our son doesn’t care about the name “Pac-Man” but enjoys the experience, the music, and the sound effects. If you’re of a certain age, you can close your eyes and imagine those sound effects right now.
Often when I’m working with clients on a new project, there will be unlimited amounts of time and energy spent on seemingly massive details that in the end only matter to the actual organization (or more often, specific committee members).
In reality, it’s the sound effects that stick with people and transcend generations. Focus on the details that matter and not the ones that you think matter. “I know my business better than anyone” is often the death knell of a marketing campaign.
This is the death knell of PACs for tech companies with activist employees,” one source told Axios. “This is the final straw.”
This is a really fascinating development. First Microsoft and now Facebook are suspending PAC (Political Action Committee) spending in Washington. They’re joining financiers Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Citigroup, along with Marriott, Blue Cross Blue Shield (caveat — our insurance co), Boston Scientific, and Commerce Bank. Bank of America (caveat — one of the banks we do business with), Ford, and AT&T, CVS, Exxon Mobil, and Wells Fargo are considering pulling their political monies.
This hits politicians where it really hurts.
For years, many of us in the “tech world” have decried these PACs and looked at them as a unnecessary evil that needed to be banned or done away with for a number of reasons.
Here are my personal convictions:
- The PAC system reinforces the existing system of graft and corruption that so many Americans claim to abhor.
- PACs favor the privileged both socio-economically and relationally. It’s a blight on a Democratic Republic and shouldn’t be seen as a “necessary evil” to doing business in the United States. Whatever your sector.
- Tech boomed in the late 90’s and then again in the early ’00s because it was seen as a disruptor. From Google to Tesla to Uber (well, maybe they aren’t a great example but they did usher in a transportation paradigm shift) to even Twitter, the tech sector excited us with the promise of something different and more democratic to challenge the status quo. However, as the going got weird, the weird turned pro and put on suits. I want a return to the weird disruption tech that spurred creativity and a hope for a better representation to the powers that be. We’re not so far gone that it can’t happen in light of #metoo, BLM, LBGTQ+, trans rights, accessibility emphasis, and recognition of differently abled persons. Real revolutionary tech that can change the world… I still believe. PACS stand in the way of that.
So as we continue to process and deal with the terrorist insurrection on our Capitol last week, let’s take a second to recognize what these companies are doing by restricting or redirecting their PAC monies and how we can all do our part to not just “unify and move forward” but to cause real change.
As the world responded to the epidemic of 1918-1920 and recovered from World War I, Yeats penned this… seems fitting for us to consider a century later.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Every Friday and Saturday night, we run client website updates focused on speed, security, and just general maintenance. It’s become a ritual of sorts for me over the years to check-in on how things are progressing.
It’s completely nuts to say, but I look forward to these late-night updates as a time to watch the percentages tick upwards as each of our client sites get updated (we’re well over 100 at this point) and dip into a few of them to see how they are progressing.
The typical process takes a couple of hours and allows me time to look back on our business and our relationships with our clients. It spurs thoughts about follow ups I need to take or new pitches I need to do or new services I need to offer to our client partners.
In a weird way, “update time” as I mark it down on my calendar, is a sacred time that is about improvement and reflection. It’s literally that way in regards to the updates and maintenance we’re providing each week, but it’s also an update in terms of the individualized service we offer for our hosting.
There’s such a limited understanding of what website hosting means these days in this era of DIY website building. But for the people that have reached out and become our client partners, it’s something I truly treasure and enjoy.
Donald Trump Jr is tweeting about how “big tech” is cracking down on “free speech” after his father was booted from Twitter, FB, IG, YouTube etc over the last few days as a result of the Jan 6 terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol.
What’s interesting here is that Trump Jr is using Shopify to sell books and bulk up his newsletter subscriptions after Shopify moved to also ban Trump-related sites this week:
Shopify does not tolerate actions that incite violence. Based on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause,” a Shopify spokesperson wrote in a statement to TechCrunch. “As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.Shopify statement
Regardless of your politics of late, I urge you to build on your own property. Own your own domain, own your own intellectual property, own your own content, and don’t rely on third party providers to host your digital presence, one of your most important assets.
This was a fantastic conversation with Dave Maxfield last week on the Thinking podcast. I’m not a huge fan of “business” podcasts, so I intentionally try not to make them. But the last few conversation episodes, especially this one with Dave, have been applicable to all of life regardless of age, stage, or chosen profession.
Go have a listen:
This is an inspirational and aspirational piece from Douglas Adams in 1999 that I return to from time-to-time. Partly out of appreciation for Adams’ prescience and partly out of my own selfish need to remind me that this internet we’re building (21 years later) is still a thing of beauty and promise.
What Adams points to here has seen realization on social media platforms that originate with younger populations and then spread out to the wider groups of us older people either for various reasons. I first wrote about this five years ago here.
The same thing is happening in communication technology. Most of us are stumbling along in a kind of pidgin version of it, squinting myopically at things the size of fridges on our desks, not quite understanding where email goes, and cursing at the beeps of mobile phones. Our children, however, are doing something completely different. Risto Linturi, research fellow of the Helsinki Telephone Corporation, quoted in Wired magazine, describes the extraordinary behaviour kids in the streets of Helsinki, all carrying cellphones with messaging capabilities. They are not exchanging important business information, they’re just chattering, staying in touch. “We are herd animals,” he says. “These kids are connected to their herd – they always know where it’s moving.” Pervasive wireless communication, he believes will “bring us back to behaviour patterns that were natural to us and destroy behaviour patterns that were brought about by the limitations of technology.”
We are natural villagers. For most of mankind’s history we have lived in very small communities in which we knew everybody and everybody knew us. But gradually there grew to be far too many of us, and our communities became too large and disparate for us to be able to feel a part of them, and our technologies were unequal to the task of drawing us together. But that is changing.
Interactivity. Many-to-many communications. Pervasive networking. These are cumbersome new terms for elements in our lives so fundamental that, before we lost them, we didn’t even know to have names for them.