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The Sublime and Silicon Valley

“The sublime—whether a feature of the natural world, or of UFOs, or of religious experience—is a sense of our own vanishing smallness before something impossibly vast: a mountain range, a churning ocean, the universe, God. What we get in return for being so existentially demeaned is freedom from the tyranny of our own personalities, a sort of liberating oblivion. But data-extracting platforms don’t sublimate our personalities; they multiply and magnify them. And the Data Sublime, …

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Does Your Nonprofit or Church Need an Alexa Skill?

Anyone can create a trivia game and share it on the Alexa store. Source: Amazon opens up Alexa store for anyone to create and publish custom skills – The Verge Nifty new capability now for anyone to script out an Alexa Skill. I’ve been telling clients that they should really consider “voice first” capabilities when thinking about their messaging and marketing. It’s not a bad idea to really think about the possibilities for churches and …

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United States of Amazon

“The company’s focus on Washington as its most lucrative customer was reflected in its decision earlier this year to choose nearby Arlington, Virginia, as one of its two new US headquarters, along with Long Island City, New York. “Amazon wants to be the interface between all government buyers and all the companies that want to sell to government, and that is an incredibly powerful and lucrative place to be,” Mitchell said.” Exclusive: Emails show how …

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Alexa, go buy me some milk.

In the shadow of Amazon’s offices in downtown Seattle, people enter a tiny grocery store, take whatever they want, and then walk out. And nobody runs after them screaming. This is what it’s like to shop at Amazon Go, the online retail giant’s vision for the future of brick-and-mortar stores. There are no checkout clerks, or even checkout stands. Instead, a smartphone app, hundreds of regular and infrared cameras on the ceiling (black on black, …

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Voice Isn’t the Next Big Platform

This piece is originally from Dec 19, 2016, but interesting to revisit as we enter the home stretch of 2017 (and what a year it has been): In 2017, we will start to see that change. After years of false starts, voice interface will finally creep into the mainstream as more people purchase voice-enabled speakers and other gadgets, and as the tech that powers voice starts to improve. By the following year, Gartner predicts that …

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Echo Chamber

A friend asked recently what I thought of the Amazon Echo and whether or not I was concerned by privacy issues surrounding the platform. The friend knows we have a number of the devices in our home. The issue goes along the lines of the the Echo being able to “hear” at all times since it is listening for the wake word (ours is currently set to “Computer” since I’m a Star Trek nerd). As …

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How to Read Your Kindle in the Bathtub

Never forget… I’ll tell you what I do. I take a one-gallon Ziploc bag, and I put my Kindle in my one-gallon Ziploc bag, and it works beautifully. It’s much better than a physical book, because obviously if you put your physical book in a Ziploc bag you can’t turn the pages. But with Kindle, you can just push the buttons. Source: Book Learning – The New York Times

Amazon Kills Shelfari

Live by the Amazon sword, die by the Amazon sword… The worst thing about the whole “merger” is that Amazon is giving Shelfari members just two months to move all their data over to Goodreads. I actively participate in two Shelfari groups that have been operating since 2008/2009 and have thousands of discussion threads, challenges, and games. The move will likely kill one of those groups completely and severely impact the other. So two months just …

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Are Affiliate eBooks Easy?

Realistic look at eBook creation and publication with lots of detail from a particular detail (don’t agree with him about Amazon though): E-books Are Not That Easy: “E-book publishing is not as easy as writing a MS Word document and pushing a button, no matter what the bloggers say. Even if you spend a couple of thousand dollars (I know somebody, not me, who spent over $4K on his e-book) it doesn’t guarantee much of …

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Seth Godin on the Kindle (And Why I Still Love Mine)

I love my Kindle. Just this morning, I was in bed watching my favorite program on TV (and about the only thing I watch on TV these days), MSNBC’s Morning Joe. There was a fascinating exchange between show pundit Pat Buchanan and economist Jeffrey Sachs on the topic of energy independence and offshore drilling. Sachs fired back against Buchanan’s typical conservatism (and nativism) with clear and coherent points about the future of energy production and …

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Thoughts on New York Affiliates Situation: Industry Org Needed?

Michael Vorel posted an interesting tweet this morning: I am concerned many NY affiliates will loose interest in affiliate marketing, solutions? which was followed up with a tweet from Shawn Collins: @vastplanet I think it could help to publicize Amazon’s battle and try to bring grassroots blog pressure on NY to get more mainstream media The back and forth refers to the developing situation surrounding recent legislation in New York state that seeks to collect …

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Market Like a Dandelion

I’m a huge Cory Dotorow fan. So, when I read this, I immediately thought of the affiliate community and the lessons we could learn by thinking of our content production in terms of dandelions instead of our typical mammalian (reproduction and production are very costly and should be protected) point of view… Locus Online Features: Cory Doctorow: Think Like a Dandelion: I know this for a fact. I review a lot of books on Boing …

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