This Business of Art Fix #33: First Step Twitter Verification, Next Step Fame and Inevitable Fortune

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


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.

+ GLAAD is calling for increased and accurate media coverage of the murders of transgender people.

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.

+ A day in the life of Thrillist’s branded content manager!

+ Can someone just read this and then explain it to me.

Businesswomen’s Special

+ 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)

requiring employees to be cheerful isn’t just mean, it’s bad business

a workout you can do in your office

+ 49 best free websites and apps to learn something new

a four-step plan for Dealing With an Angry Coworker

+ to be a better leader, learn this fbi hostage negotiation tactic

+ what to wear to work when it’s crazy hot outside

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3202 articles for us.


  1. I mean, here for the links as always but also here to comment that I never realized what great guns Miss Fisher has

    I mean her arms, she has great arms

  2. does everyone remember where they were when they found out Riese was verified on twitter? i was in the senior editors channel in slack!

    • This is a bogus or hoax article at best.


      Don’t waste your time. You won’t be verified, but receive the following message from twitter:

      “Thanks for your request to verify @xyz We reviewed the account, and unfortunately it is not eligible to be verified at this time. Please visit our Help Center for more information about the types of accounts we verify.”

      Unless you are a big US corporation, or major media firm (who PAY Twitter to get verified) it’s not going to happen. Example: Notice how every Hollywood movie gets verified on Twitter. Everybody else won’t, motto: “You pay, you stay!”

      A complete waste of time and energy.


      Have a nice day,

      Ilse Koch

        • Like hi Ilse, we are real readers of a real website with real writers and fucking rad summer camps and the creator of this goodness who spends all her time keeping queer indie media alive got verified on Twitter and that was what that part of this article was about. Just FYI.

  3. Re the Google AMP article: from what I can understand, Google is making available a format for web pages that are optimized for mobile (AMP). When you do a search on your phone, AMP-ready pages are indicated with a lightning bolt. Click on that and you get the page content but in a faster mobile format (like the Food Network example, which is just straight-up the recipe, no other stuff).

    Imagine if AS had an AMP site where all you’d have is the article title, the content, and maybe the comments. No ads or sidebar or other links. And then when people search for AS content on their phone via Google, that AMP version is the first to show up in the search results.

  4. I would to add this entry as the 50th free website that teaches you to do things: SOURDOUGH BREAD ! You too @queergirl can learn to master the art of sourdough for free!

    (I’m sorry ok I just couldn’t resist)

  5. Ok, first let me say that I understand the problem with Ad Blocking for independent sites like AS, but nobody think it’s time to move the conversation a little more forward? Because the constant thing about money can get a little tiresome.

    Anybody remembers the 90’s, that big issue about the music industry and piracy? The big arguments at that time was that piracy was destroying music (the correct thing is that it was destroying the music industry business). Let’s be honest, that didn’t happened, no? And I think we all know why; the industry decided to change the way they made business.

    So, maybe a change is needed in the marketing industry?

    PD: to be safe, I don’t use any Ad Blocking here on AS.

    • I think the problem with ads/ adblocking is that most of us learned to block them at the beginning, when they were this big, OBNOXIOUS pop-up practice, with autoplay sound and flash and ads that would cover the whole content of the page for X seconds before you could go back to reading your article.

      Some websites still do that (FUCK THEM), but websites and advertisers alike have learned to make ads less intrusive (like they are on this website for example). I don’t have much problem with THESE ads to be honest. I think neither do most people using adblockers, it’s just we never UNLEARNED to protect ourselves from the horrible ads that don’t exist anymore. My ad blocker has been turned on for 10 years now on Firefox then Chrome, to the point that I forgot it exists. It’s only when websites like Autostraddle gently remind me “hey we kinda need the money” that I remember to look for the extension button and whitelist the website.

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