Friday reading #1

 by Martin Belam, 4 May 2012

I used to keep a regular daily linklog, but that has rather gone out of fashion. I’m trying an experiment for a few weeks to gather together some reading material for the weekend. I’d welcome feedback if you find it useful...

Friday reading

“The scarcest resource at startups is management bandwidth” - Mark Suster
“Each additional complexity you add before you’re ready decreases your probability of being truly excellent at the things you want to do extraordinarily well. Instagram didn’t rush to Android. They also didn’t do video. They were truly excellent at what they did do. What do you want to excel at?”
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“Facebook Timeline for brands: Think like an editor” - Kohlben Vodden
“Brands have spent the last few years and a lot of money learning how to become journalists. They’ve struggled with how to originate content that will resonate with their consumers/readers and how to capture their audience’s attention with creative headlines/status updates. But with the introduction of Facebook Timelines it’s time for another big shift in how brands behave in social media...When planning to update their new Facebook page brands need to view it through the eyes of a glossy magazine editor and ask themselves the same questions that an Editor does when they plan their next publication.”
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“Can an algorithm write a better news story than a human reporter?” - Steven Levy
“Most news stories, particularly about subjects like sports or finance, hew to a pretty predictable formula, and so it’s a relatively simple matter for the meta-writers to create a framework for the articles”
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“Gatekeepers need to find new value when the fences have blown away” - Steve Buttry
“The gatekeeper days of journalism were fun. But they’re over. And they weren’t as good as we remember them...Nostalgia is not going to lead us to a better future.”
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“Why you can’t trust the tech press to teach you about the tech industry” - Anil Dash
“In tech financial coverage, there is a focus on valuation, deals and funding instead of markets, costs, profits, losses, revenues and sustainability. In tech executive coverage, there is a focus on personalities and drama instead of capabilities and execution. In tech product coverage, there is a focus on features and announcements instead of evaluating whether a product is meaningful and worthwhile.”
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“Inside Storyful – How social media puts us all on the front line” - Markham Nolan
“The nature of the footage, and how it came to be uploaded, was completely new. It was war reporting by civilians and activists holding camera phones inches away from other bleeding civilians and activists. It was completely unfiltered, first-hand footage, uploaded to YouTube unedited and in near real time. Their images showed women and children eviscerated in the street by shrapnel, bombs landing in normal neighbourhoods in Libya, Syria, Yemen and Egypt. YouTube, and other platforms like Bambuser, came alive with graphic, uncut imagery from the wars.”
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94 Elements
“There are 94 naturally occurring elements, from Hydrogen to Plutonium, and together they make up everything in the world. The stories of the elements are the stories of our own lives, revealing the details of our personal lives, the patterns of our economies, and our relationships with our natural resources. 94 Elements is a new global filmmaking project, exploring our lives through the lens of the elements. The project is producing a collection of stories by different filmmakers about the endless ways the elements touch our daily lives. Each filmmaker takes one element as the basis for a film around how it's used. The films are surprising and moving human stories – this is not about science, but about our human relationships with our mineral resources.”
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