When personal computing got started, you could make pretty serious money by creating a good tool that people needed. Dave Winer did that with MORE. Dan Bricklin did it with VisiCalc. Mitch Kapor with Agenda. There were lots more. No guarantees, certainly, and some good and smart people never got the big payday, but it was a real possibility.
That’s gone. The real money in iOS software comes from writing frauds and manipulating sad psychological quirks; it turns out that just about nobody makes a living, much less a killing, designing great iOS software. …
“The Onion is now a Gawker blog,” Klinman says. “We’ve just erased the idea that things have had importance on the internet — that it’s important to have a home, that it’s important to have a place that’s distinct and is what your brand is. Instead, we’ve flattened everything out so that it will do well on Facebook’s version of the internet.” And on Facebook’s version of the internet, everything looks the same, making it difficult for individual websites to stand out and build a distinct reputation
I have avoided naming people who weren’t named in the press so far, but there is an acknowledgment of appreciation I want to make. In the early stages of this hitting, Jessica Guynn of USAToday called for comment, and when I mentioned that I appreciated her doing a call to fact check things, unlike many other journalists who had already run stories, she said, “Well, these days there’s a low bar [for fact checking].”
Online publications no longer care about doing actual journalism.
In order to make much money from the big mobile ad platforms, you need to be willing to embed multiple closed-source ad libraries in your app, you need to permit lots of questionable ads, and you need to design the app such that users are seeing and tapping on the ads a lot.
Sad but true.
I applaud the Hardbound team for creating a product that’s intended to better educate a mobile-first generation. Making news simple and compact is a move that will likely win over some people who would never have bothered to keep up with news before, or whose only news digest comes from reading headlines as they scroll their News Feed. Increased education is a good thing, but there’s more that Hardbound’s team can and should do.
The best news app I’ve seen in years.
A world without the Mac Pro
Linux can solve some pro needs, but not most. It’s a fantastic server OS but a miserable desktop one, and that will probably never change.
Microsoft is boldly experimenting with PC hardware, but Windows and everything around Windows is woefully inferior to macOS and the Mac software ecosystem. Even if Microsoft did everything right, it would take Windows at least a decade to catch up — and they won’t do everything right.
Google’s trying something, I’m sure, but Google is both terrible at consumer software and deeply, profoundly creepy. General-purpose computing must not require us to compromise our privacy and data for advertising.
Certainly not a world I want to live in.
The News Feed algorithm is a big reason why Facebook Squashed Twitter. Giving people what they want to see will always draw more attention than making them work for it, in rather the same way that making up news is cheaper and more profitable than actually reporting the truth.
Facebook is a haven for fake and hoax news.
It cannot take on the role of being the future. That belongs to the touch screen devices. It will not morph into a touch device any more than a teen’s parent will become cool by putting on skinny jeans. What it will do is become better at what it is hired to do.
The Times has also announced its intent to make subscriptions the driving source of its revenue, an acknowledgment that newspaper advertising, both print and digital, can no longer be counted on to finance the company’s journalism on its own.