Welcome to the 33rd “This Business of Art / Media / Web Fix,” in which I share with you things I read that I loved relating to the work I do here — online media, business, entrepreneurship, women in tech, start-ups, journalism, publishing, management, queer visibility, and so forth.
People Who Have Finally Been Verified On Twitter
+ RIESE BERNARD, AKA @AUTOWIN, HAS FINALLY BEEN VERIFIED ON TWITTER AS AN IMPORTANT PERSON.
I'M VERIFIED BITCHES
— riese (@autowin) August 1, 2016
The “verification” process began in 2009, and was launched to prevent laymen from creating accounts pretending to be celebrities. For many years, the magic blue check was pretty much only granted to “movie stars, pop artists, official government agencies, news publications, and the like.” And although the verification process switched from “invite-only” to “taking requests” two weeks ago, there are still heaps of journalists, NGO workers and foreign leaders unable to get their own blue checkmark, while teenagers with significant Vine followings are snatching ’em up:
By verifying a 17-year-old kid whose funny Vine posts have gotten him thousands of followers or a press mention or two, the company is making a determination that this is a person is worthy of the special privileges—and features—that such status entails. And when Twitter denies a freelance writer or a professor such privileges, the company assists the existing stratification inherent to these professions.
Do you remember those early days, though? The idea that a celebrity like Demi Moore or Lindsay Lohan would be on a public social media platform, communicating directly to the world without the filter of publicists or managers, was so ridiculous to consider that your first instinct on seeing a celeb on Insta was “oh that must be a fake.” Now we’re so used to public celebrity social media — Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter — it’s wild.
Sidenote: Autostraddle’s own twitter account remains unverified. :-(
This Business of Journalism
+ New York Magazine did a cover story called “The Case Against the Media, By The Media,” which was pretty cheeky but also full of interesting thoughts about this work we do and the myriad forces that inform our work beyond the force of “communicating relevant information.”
+ Journalists covering Trump are really struggling to stay neutral — and a blatant departure from neutrality might be exactly what the country needs to ensure the apocalypse does not actually take place. Like when Edward R. Murrow finally spoke out against Joseph McCarthy!
+ At The Washington Post: “Journalists’ most important role is giving Americans the information they need to cast their vote.”
+ The Columbia Journalism Review looks at the best and worst journalism of July 2015.
This Business of Online Media
+ “These little platform-incongruent Easter eggs give us blips of pleasure; they are like the marginalia of the internet, except they’re more than just notes — they’re little standalone works of art.”
+ Nick Denton has filed for bankruptcy shortly after Gawker was forced to do the same, due to Paypal founder Peter Thiel’s personal vendetta against the website which led to him funding the Hulk Hogan suit.
+ Ad Blocking has cost U.S. publishers an estimated $22 billion dollars so far this year. Facebook is killin’ it, though, but you’ll have to wait for the next segment to hear about that.
+ Storybench is a cool new website I just found out about this very day. It tells the story behind the story — currently, a look at how The New York Times prepared for the 2014 Olympics has been making the rounds.
+ Embedly is “joining the Medium family!”
The End Times
+ Facebook rules mobile: Facebook has continued winning the money game, which is unsurprising considering how many publishers it has convinced to rely on their platform instead of the publishers own. Mobile ads generate 84 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue. However, New York Magazine says that engagement is down on Facebook overall (and Instagram too) and people are posting less personal stuff (which we’ve talked about before.) And here’s how Facebook has managed to override ad-blockers, which are sinking the rest of the internet.
+ Can someone just read this and then explain it to me.
+ 9 Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women (this is a joke but it’s a good one and it speaks to me on many levels)