Anxious Generation Study

Ted’s entire newsletter is a worthy read here, but this part about new research indicating that the current genertion of young people growing up in a phone-based culture (globally) is doing real harm and damage. It makes me think back to the tobacco industry trying to pretend that cigarettes don’t hurt people or the petroleum companies hiding the neurological effects of lead-infused gasoline and so on…

Crisis in the Culture: An Update – by Ted Gioia:

Haidt declared victory on social media: “There are now multiple studies showing that a heavily phone-based childhood changes the way the adolescent brain wires up, in many ways including cognitive control and reward valuation.”

We still need more research. But we can already see that we’re dealing with actual physiological decline, not just pundits’ opinions.

At this point, the debate isn’t over whether this is happening. Instead we now need to gauge the extent of the damage, and find ways of protecting people, especially kids.

TikTok Is the Last Social Media Platform

I know… let’s go back to blogging on our own domains (no, seriously)!

Clout world:

I don’t want to end this on a bummer note, but I do think it’s probably time to accept that we have reached the limitations of the social web as it’s currently constructed. It’s likely that TikTok was the last “social” platform and even more likely that all the behaviors that we can do on these platforms have been mapped out already. We can rearrange them and try them out in different orders and react to slight algorithm tweaks, but this is it. This is how people will behave as long the company’s that own and operate the web continue to do so. And it’s probably time to start imagining something else — no, not AI — before we forget how to do it.

The Museum of Me

The Museum of You – Herbert Lui:

I see a lot of discussion on how people miss blogs, and RSS, and internet culture before what we call Web 2.0 (social media, platforms, ecommerce, etc.) came along and wiped it away. 

The best way to pay homage is to bring it back—to set up our own blogs that we control, to preserve our own libraries of content in multiple places so they don’t disappear with social media, to actively document our lives the way we miss and the way we would want to be remembered. We can choose a responsibility, every day, to collect the best of what came before us, to embody it, and to preserve it by sharing its charms with other people.

Much agreed, and this is one of the reasons I’ve kept my own blog and podcast here since 2006. I thought back then, “What if these awesome new tools like MySpace (or early Twitter) somehow go away or fall into the hands of the wrong leaders?” 

I read previous posts and thoughts here occasionally and marvel at how naive, bold, brave, or afraid I was at various points in my life. Now looking back on this Museum of Me, I can glimpse previous iterations of my own self and perceptions and not just remember but learn. 

Blogs like this, however silly they may seem in the face of social media apps, are powerful places!

Start Your Own Blog

Even Facebook gets it…

Meta unspools Threads – The Verge:

It’s an almost unthinkable reversal from Meta’s extremely lucrative walled-garden strategy, which it has employed for its entire history as a company. But Mosseri told me that decentralization is the future of social networks — even if it means that someday a disgruntled Threads user will be able to take the following they build in the app to another network, never to return.

What Happens to the Web Now?

Artificial Intelligence might usher in something like a return to curated web experiences. This article is presented in a very “anti-AI” posture, but it also raises the idea that what happens to the web after AI completely saturates online content (and discovery through search and googling, etc.) is a realization that humans are pretty good at curating stuff for other humans. 

Hence, making a Spotify playlist for someone special is still just as engaging as when we used cassette tapes in the 80s and 90s to do the same. 

My personal wish is that we all go back to the notion of personal blogging or at least small and niche online communities with things like guestbooks (go sign mine… just set up today!) and Blogrolls to point us in interesting directions rather than relying on TikTok’s algorithms…

AI is killing the old web, and the new web struggles to be born – The Verge:

This is the same complaint identified by Stack Overflow’s mods: that AI-generated misinformation is insidious because it’s often invisible. It’s fluent but not grounded in real-world experience, and so it takes time and expertise to unpick. If machine-generated content supplants human authorship, it would be hard — impossible, even — to fully map the damage. And yes, people are plentiful sources of misinformation, too, but if AI systems also choke out the platforms where human expertise currently thrives, then there will be less opportunity to remedy our collective errors.

How You Frame Content Determines How You Perceive It

I do love Epictetus’s Enchiridion!

τῶν ὄντων τὰ μέν ἐστιν ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν, τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἐφ᾽ ἡμῖν should be the opening line of every textbook, Driver’s License manual, Facebook user agreement, and marriage certificate as we move through life. It’s the opening lines of Epictetus’ Handbook (“Some things are up to us, and some are not up to us.”).

Plato, TikTok… skydiving? Yale’s Gendler gives ancient texts a modern spin | YaleNews:

We spent about half a class discussing a pair of images, both of which featured the Serenity Prayer: one was a delicate ceramic plate where the text was surrounded by morning glories and puppy dogs, and the other was the same text in the form of a bicep tattoo surrounded by American flags and tanks. Epictetus’s point is that how you frame content determines how you perceive it. And here we had, with the text of Epictetus, two cases of literal frames, one of which made the text seem gentle and available to those who might feel soothed by it, and the other of which made it seem macho and available to those who self-conceive in that way. So that conversation offered three different weavings of meta in the same place.

Reddit Pointing Out Why Personal Blogs Are Better

There’s no denying that social media has made it easier to post online, but if you want to make sure that your own voice is being heard, get a domain, then purchase some web hosting and start a blog…

Reddit is introducing controversial charges to developers of third-party apps, which are used to browse the social media platform.

But this has resulted in a backlash, with moderators of some of the biggest subreddits making their communities private for 48 hours in protest.

Almost 3,500 subreddits will be inaccessible as a result.

Source: Reddit blackout: Subreddits to go private on Monday – BBC News

Bringing Back Personal Blogging

Anyone who has read my writings and ravings here since 2006 will know I feel this exact way.

Buy that domain name. Carve your space out on the web. Tell your stories, build your community, and talk to your people. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be fancy. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It doesn’t need to duplicate any space that already exists on the web — in fact, it shouldn’t. This is your creation. It’s your expression. It should reflect you.

Bring back personal blogging in 2023. We, as a web community, will be all that much better for it.

Source: Bring back personal blogging – The Verge

Good read.

I had something happen along these lines when I lost my Instagram and Facebook accounts after being compromised through a connected service with a bad password. There was no recompense or way to gain access to those networks that had been built up and maintained over years and years. Luckily, I had backups of the actual content, but all of those connections and gardens of interaction were immediately plowed up. I had been gardening on someone else’s land.

It’s yet another reason I’ve been focusing more on content and actual thoughts here and using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc, for more tertiary purposes. This domain and blog are my canonical place on the web.

Go and do likewise.

Planning Out Social Media in 2023

I’m constantly on the fence about pre-planning or pre-scheduling too many marketing posts ahead of time on social media. It’s handy, for sure. However, given that events happen without warning, there are real risks that could make whatever you’re trying to do look incredibly out-of-touch.

However, there is a benefit to having a month (or week) long agenda of posts to help keep you or your team on track. Social media is a platform that often rewards spontaneity, and you should be building that into marketing efforts. But it would be best if you had a foundation on which to grow, and a good plan can get you there.

For example, I stumbled upon a free monthlong planner for social media posts in January 2023 from Plann. There is any number of these out there. Still, the benefit is that these calendars take away the guesswork and produce dozens of content pieces that can be used across social networks, promotional materials, videos, recaps, etc. 

So spend some time thinking and planning while allowing your marketing efforts to remain responsive and flexible in 2023!

Facebook Advertisers Panicking over Apple Tracking Options

Retargeting was fun while it lasted, right? … interesting time for online marketing.

Facebook advertisers, in particular, have noticed an impact in the last month. Media buyers who run Facebook ad campaigns on behalf of clients said Facebook is no longer able to reliably see how many sales its clients are making, so it’s harder to figure out which Facebook ads are working. Losing this data also impacts Facebook’s ability to show a business’s products to potential new customers. It also makes it more difficult to “re-target” people with ads that show users items they have looked at online, but may not have purchased.

Source: Facebook (FB) Advertisers Impacted By Apple (AAPL) Privacy iOS 14 Changes – Bloomberg