It turned out that the most important decision was not the choice (and removal) of the election, but the permanent ban of the former president through Twitter from the social network. Suddenly the temperature cooled, the new government went through the details of introducing the vaccine, and the second impeachment attempt ended with an expected outcome. Twitter’s move was non-partisan when the process wasn’t.
The other big move on Twitter was to acquire Revue, a Substack competitor, to whom we switch to produce the Gillmor Gang newsletter. It provides tools for dragging and dropping articles from Twitter, Feedly, and other newsletters, but most importantly, the ability to reorganize those blocks as the writing develops. I bet the newsletter container will take blogs, podcasts and streams into a reorganized media platform available to developers large and small.
This type of organic process development fits well with the newsletter model. It encourages more timely releases and an editorial feel that puts quality over quantity. As newsletters become more widespread, evaluating time over volume becomes of paramount importance. It is less of an eyeball pattern than a prioritization of what will not be selected and what will then be consumed or commented on with social recommendations. As with the Frank Radice Nuzzel newsletter the gang, the focus becomes less fluid and more authority or resonance.
I made the decision to only cover the media in “The Radice Files”. There are a lot of general news aggregators out there, and anyway, I’m just fed up with these stories. I hope you stay with me
In place of Trump without a break, the only political story in the revised Radice file is how Fox News cut off the house manager’s video for comment on the futility of reporting the violence as there are no votes for condemnation. This shadow dance happens not only at Fox, but also at other centrist or leftist networks like CNN and MSNBC. The slope is not interesting; The business model of networks and the subtle implications for media programming are there.
No wonder Silicon Valley’s newest unicorn, Clubhouse, is making an impact on streaming. The audio streaming podcast disruptor is marketed as a hallway FOMO conversation, with an onboard viral mechanism for Twitter’s social cloud that digs deep into your contact list and never lets go. Big ticket items like a keynote-like conversation with Elon Musk are overbooked from the first minute. I tried unsuccessfully to join this week’s follow up with Marc Andreessen and his VC partner Ben Horowitz but it sold out by 5000 after 30 minutes.
But I’m definitely drawn to getting notifications from people joining on various glitzy valley themes and creating spaces. That lively sense of chance and catching it as you can promises the possibility of a lightning bolt in a bottle, the feeling that history is being made, not just watched. Probably just an illusion, but it is reminiscent of the feeling we had when we put a record on the turntable and the artist (s) dared to be successful. I still understand that every time Miles’ Art of Blue is resumed, the awe with which time is reorganized at the atomic level.
People say a clubhouse can easily go from 1 to 5 hours. I think RSS was killed by the red unread mark indicator. Does the size matter? Probably if my college research suggests so. However, the ROI is more important than the length, and this is where the clubhouse effect fits the newsletter moment. The ingredients of both are intuition, choice, the organic breadcrumbs trail, and the payload.
Does this notification match the pattern I’m trying to spot right now? I love movies like Citizen Kane and North By Northwest for the illusion that they are projecting a universe determined by some biologically innate DNA. Sometimes we call it fate, sometimes stupid luck, but always the stupidest sentences: It is what it is. Only this time the illusion is: it is what it will be. And if something happens, yes, I knew it. Not specifically, but given the mood the planet is in, this could happen.
In a newsletter: The game is not about reading everything, just what and when and in what order. The prize is the analysis that rewards the reader with more material and the publisher validating the effects of the combination of choice (quotations) and context (writing). In the clubhouse it is in the room and what – to know when to deposit? For me, it escapes the inevitability of a podcast pointing out, or the business model filter, of what I’ll do next. If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press. May be…
There are a lot of choices: choice of room, people, time invested, moment of throwing good money at bad. Choice of what I get into – work, cable news, family fun, sleep. In the clubhouse, you can listen publicly, a broadcast that doesn’t give you the opportunity to lurk. But you can come closest to multitasking: doing the dishes, playing with the dog, monitoring. Cable news with the sound off, DJing for a private room, driving, etc. It’s the new radio, goddamn pandemic. Wherever you go you are still there.
Newsletter? People, Time Read, Research Replace, Subscription Development, Payment Mode (money, authority, trust), influence or eyeballs. The game swaps current media for future rebundlings, with new publishers, studios and artists growing.
Trail of bread crumbs
These choices create the breadcrumb trail, plowing under the old and furrowing the new. Newsletters are at the top of this refactoring, editing the memes, models, and markets according to the trends that go viral. The analysis of openings, email or web clicks, and notification triage is largely included in their signal. Harvesting these breadcrumbs requires the impact of new content created in response to previous data. Once you’ve identified a valuable consumer, your real work has just begun.
First of all, you look for the signature of exultation, the embedded essence of experience that a certain combination of intuition and action rewards the detective. Because that’s exactly what this new medium is: an information thriller that enables deep reading, listening and sharing. Each tagline – summarize the usual suspects, or we’re not the droids you’re looking for – represents overarching topics we long for to navigate a terrifying treacherous world. We are the droids we are looking for, and this new media represents possible parallel worlds in which we can not only survive but honor values of our choice.
In the movies it is referred to as a storyline. The clubhouse believes there is a story worth waiting for. The moments when we gain power by sharing reactions and decorating with clues as to which part of the same elephant we are investigating. We know intuitively that we are not going to learn trade secrets, but there is gold that can be obtained by participants if they share their sense of humor or lack of it, their rhythm, when they join, raise their hand, succeed at the Stage to be invited when they leave, see if they boomerang and just a little bit of what they actually say. The price for this is your breadcrumbs.
Clubhouse fascinates me as well, I’ve only entered or started a room twice. Once upon a time it was a fluke how I realized by clicking a link to see who was there. I found out. Another was a conversation about a Techmeme podcast by the podcaster and the popular hashtag Chris Messina. I was never able to get into the major A16Z attractions. Like Frank Radice’s newsletter pivot, I was particularly interested in the atmosphere surrounding Andreessen Horowitz’s media strategy. But that doesn’t prevent the constant feeling that something essential is going on here.
The media generally swallow their pride after the political nightmare we lived through. Notice that I am saying media, not mainstream media or social media. Smarter people than me can argue the distinction, but I think the difference between the two is overrated and, more importantly, not as indicative of the value these new media surges will bring. The voluminous writing that is filtered on Twitter, RSS (via Feedly), and aggregators like Nuzzel and Medium is increasingly important in approaching the key issues we are grappling with. These include traditional players such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Information, and the tech journals, who combine newsletter techniques with their extensive resources.
We are seeing a media merger, with consensus on value and weight being measured using new metrics. On television, it is the NewFronts that combine digital and linear television. In music, it’s at the song level, not the album. Streaming has shaken the old networks to the core, with a horse race between Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu as well as ABC, NBC and the old CBS. M&A swallowed Fox, Time Warner, FX and even an old studio, Paramount. And radio? You could say the usual suspects Apple, Google, Amazon and Spotify, but Clubhouse? Like Zoom, I think too. Twitter and Facebook have bigger fish to fry, but Apple Car and Glasses are the main platforms Clubhouse will play on if we get into autonomous work from anywhere. The payload is value, time management and notifications at the heart of the move to digital.
from the Gillmor Gang newsletter
The Gillmor gang – Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live on Friday, February 19, 2021.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
@radice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang
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