people in the pre-Internet era didn’t read local newspapers because holding an unwieldy ink-staining piece of flimsy newsprint was particularly enjoyable; people read local newspapers because it was the only option. And, by extension, people don’t avoid local newspapers’ websites because the reading experience sucks — although that is true — they don’t even think to visit them because there are far better ways to occupy their finite attention.
Ben Thompson – The IT Era and the Internet Revolution.
I wonder sometimes if folks at media companies ever try clicking their own links from within social media like Twitter or Facebook, just to experience what a damn travesty of a user experience it is.
Facebook hosting doesn’t change things, the world already changed – Eugene Wei.
There’s no way to make a web page with a full-screen content-obscuring ad anything other than a shitty experience.
John Gruber’s comment on a linked list item about improving the mobile web. Related.
At some point (probably one we’ve already passed), weblog technology will be seen as a platform for so many forms of publishing, filtering, aggregation, and syndication that blogging will stop referring to any particularly coherent activity. The term ‘blog’ will fall into the middle distance, as ‘home page’ and ‘portal’ have, words that used to mean some concrete thing, but which were stretched by use past the point of meaning.
Clay Shirky writing in 2003. Pretty prescient considering that’s 12 years ago.
Publishers and the Smiling Curve. Astute analysis from Ben Thompson on the problems facing traditional publishing companies. The key issue is that they no longer hold an exclusive on creation nor discovery of content; the two most valuable ends of the curve.
What Is the Business of Literature?
the book is a technology so pervasive, so frequently iterated and innovated upon, so worn and polished by centuries of human contact, that it reaches the status of Nature.
Vox is publishing some of its stories and the interviews behind them in parallel:
But the difference really isn’t Chorus. The difference is that Vox is open to experimentation, it demands rapid iteration, and it puts technology-shaping people on par with word-shaping people. The difference is that, in many traditional newsrooms, changing the UI on a page like this one would have taken multiple meetings where the tech side’s knowledge would likely have been undervalued. It’s a corporate ethos and a permission structure that means good ideas don’t have to get bottled up. It’s being the kind of place that would build Chorus in the first place. That is Vox’s edge, and you can’t buy that off the shelf.
Paper vs digital reading is an exhausted debate:
Ebooks are here to stay because digital is, and quite shortly we’ll stop having this debate about paper vs ebooks because it will no longer make a lot of sense.
Full stack writing (and publishing). Craig Mod writes about Hi, which is now open to the public. I’ve used the beta a few times. It’s a neat tool.
I want an Instapaper-style app that connects to my blog and then tells me what percentage of articles I end up linking to.