Here’s Pete Williams one year ago almost to the day, after the Supreme Court heard arguments on Obamacare:
“I think it’s very doubtful that court is going to find the health care law constitutional,” NBC’s Pete Williams reported after watching the two hours of oral argument before the high court. “I don’t see five votes to find the law constitutional.”
Here’s Pete Williams today, after the Supreme Court heard arguments on Proposition 8:
After the oral argument, Pete Williams of NBC News reported that it seemed “quite obvious” that the court is not prepared to issue a sweeping ruling declaring that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry.
Pete Williams, meet grain of salt.Pete Williams on Twitter.
Here’s how to do it:
Get in and then get the fuck out.
Hire great writers and great show runners and give them two seasons. Or three. Tell them they’ve got exactly that amount of time to tell a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Here’s the important part:
Don’t be a dick and tell them they’re out of time at any point before the end and don’t be tempted to let popularity extend a show beyond the end.
Get in, get the fuck out.
Do this, and you’ll have two things:
- A constant supply of fresh content.
- Customer loyalty.
Number one is obvious. A clean exit strategy leads to more new content. Everything that inevitably goes bad about some of the best programming can be traced back to a lack of an exit strategy. Don’t fall into this trap.
It happened to Lost. It’s happened to virtually every sitcom that has ever aired on network television. Do not let it happen to your content.
Get in, get the fuck out.
Number two should be obvious but apparently isn’t. People aren’t giving new content a chance because at times it seems we’re more invested than the networks are. I’m tired of starting (and sometimes loving) content that won’t last beyond a few episodes, let alone an entire season. Don’t waste our time.
Commit and viewers will flock to your content.
Get in, get the fuck out.
This is your new mantra if you want to out-HBO HBO.
It’s a sentiment so lazy and so without thought (and so common) that it’s probably best ignored but, well, low hanging fruit and all that:
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era did Apple enjoy such a wide base of popularity?
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era did Apple have as large a share of the market as they currently have in the mobile era?
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era did Apple have a minority share of the market but rake in the vast majority of the industry profits?
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era did Apple have over a hundred billion dollars cash on hand?
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era was Apple dominating its competitors on a device for device basis? (In other words, when was any one product in Apple’s Mac lineup consistently outselling every competing PC on the market?)
- At what point in the “Mac vs. PC” era was Apple so successfully entrenched in multiple product categories?
“Mac vs PC” as an argument against Apple in 2013 is intellectually lazy. To make it, you either have to be a troll, an idiot, or both.
A few days ago, information activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide.
Way back in 2011, Aaron Swartz was indicted on charges of data theft, and was facing up to 35 years in prison and one million dollars in fines.
You probably read about that on similar sites — way back in 2011.
Now, Aaron Swartz is dead and tech blogs are eager to tie his suicide to an overzealous prosecution. That’s great, except…
…where were the investigations in August of that year? In September? In October? November? December? What about 2012?
That brings us to today.
Aaron Swartz’s case — assuming it was indeed shaping up to be a gross miscarriage (or misappropriation) of justice — was just as outrageous in each of those months. The story was just as compelling.
Except a story that isn’t ever written isn’t a story at all.
Gizmodo in July of 2011:
Gizmodo in August, September, October, November, and December of 2011 and all of 2012:
Gizmodo in January of 2013:
Read/Write in July of 2011:
Read/Write in August, September, October, November, and December of 2011 and all of 2012:
Read/Write in January of 2013:
ArsTechnica in July of 2011:
ArsTechnica in August, September, October, November, and December of 2011 and all of 2012:
ArsTechnica in January of 2013:
TechCrunch doesn’t seem to have a useful search feature — I couldn’t find anything from 2011 relating to Aaron Swartz and sorting “by date” inexplicably turns up no results even though sorting “by relevance” turns up plenty — but the results I get do include this insightful article…
…written in January of 2013:
What the fuck happened, here?
My main recollection of the earlier story (the way back in 2011 version) was boorish fact-checking about whether or not Swartz was “actually” a Reddit co-founder or just an early Reddit employee. Truly, hard hitting investigative journalism when you consider that over a year later, bloggers are coming out of the woodwork to describe his genius and the travesty of justice he had been facing (alone, apparently) ever since.
My takeaway is this:
The bread and butter of tech blogging (or just plain ol’ blogging blogging) is reactive journalism, and very rarely (too rarely) does anyone exhibit any form of proactive journalism. That’s hard work. It’s long nights and dead ends and patience and possible failure. It’s trust and reputation, which comes from sources first and follow from readers second.
As often as not, these are values that are seen as anathema to keeping it real as a tech blogger. Too traditional.
And, anyway, who wants to face dead ends when you can just wait for dead kids?
That’s where the real page views are.
Not long ago, Apple was paying Google a license fee to use Google’s mapping data for its iOS mapping solution, even as Google withheld turn-by-turn navigation as a competitive advantage for Android.
If rumors hold true (UPDATE: They’re true) Apple’s decision to cut Google off and release it’s own maps app (which isn’t really bad at all, in my experience) will result in Google releasing a native iOS version of Google Maps with turn-by-turn navigation — and Apple won’t have to pay a license fee for the data.
So, 1) those who usually can’t shut up about competition being great for consumers should stop bitching about Apple’s decision, as iOS users will soon have more choices than ever before and 2) in hindsight, at least, this seems to have been a pretty smart move by Apple.
Two months ago, Forbes declared Google the winner in the maps war and predicted Apple would crawl back to Google to re-license the mapping data. Instead, Google rushed to prep a native App (in fairness, they probably had to buy a lot of buckets for all the ad revenue they’re about to rake in) and Apple gets its own solution as well as a new-and-improved solution from Google — free of charge — and consumers get more choice.
Win, win, win.
Congratulations to all who turned out to support bigotry and discrimination on 08/01/12: You had your day and you’ll likely have many more.
The chicken sandwiches and waffle fries were delicious, I’m sure.
Your impassioned defense of free speech won the day but then, this was no Islamic mosque, and it wasn’t JC Penney celebrating a lifestyle that you do not agree with. It wasn’t Jeff Bezos pledging his support for same.
Free speech, but only for the right cause.
Keep in mind, though: Meaningful, inevitable change is nothing if not patient, and you’re going to have fewer and fewer victories as the months and years go by. Not much more than ten years ago Modern Family — a wildly popular TV show prominently featuring a proud, loving, adoptive gay family as part of the new normal — may not have been a multiple Emmy award-winning phenomenon. Five years ago the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell seemed unthinkable.
Yet here we are.
Eventually this hateful wave of institutional bigotry will pass us by. Anti-gay sentiment and discrimination will be to the next generation what passive racism is to this one: An embarrassment that is awkwardly laughed off as a generational failing.
A relic of the past.
The worst of you will die off sooner than the best of you, and I can only hope that the best of you live long enough to remember with shame a time when you weren’t as compassionate and understanding as you eventually grew to be. A time when faith in a supposedly loving God dictated the horrible, dismissive way in which you treated the happiness and dreams of your fellow citizens.
A day that you celebrated all that by eating chicken.
We launched Lendle just over a year ago. Amazon had just begun to embrace digital lending and we knew we could build a great social experience for millions of Kindle owners.
We love being part of an industry on the move and taking on some of the tough issues surrounding ownership and digital content, but our primary goal has always been to create the best social-lending site we could build.
That has always meant a site that focuses on lending above all other considerations.
At its core, we’re a matchmaking service for Kindle owners. Our Lendlers list the books they’ve purchased, which in turn provides the foundation for our library of lendable content.
When someone requests a book, we make that request available to the Lendle community.
We’ve introduced several new features over the last year, but they’re all designed to drive and improve the core lending experience.
- We have fulfilled over 70,000 loan requests.
- Our community has added nearly 50,000 unique (lendable) titles.
- All told, Lendle lists 330,000 books available to borrow.
We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve built, and we think Lendle has been an amazing success.
With all that said, we started out as a team of three, and we remain a team of three: We’ve not outsourced the design, the troubleshooting, or the customer service, and we’ve accomplished all of this without accepting a single penny of outside funding.
Lendle has always been a huge undertaking, and as our community has grown, so too have our responsibilities.
On top of all that, two of the three of us have full time jobs outside of running Lendle, and various other “living life” priorities that we would like to focus on.
We don’t want any of that to get in the way of the customer service we expect of ourselves, and we don’t want our additional workload to have an effect on potential new features or the overall Lendle experience, either.
With that in mind, we’re looking toward the idea of selling Lendle to someone (or a group of someones) who is interested in building upon our successes, and taking the community to the next level.
Such a sale would involve:
- The Lendle brand, including all associated trademarks.
- All associated code.
- Day-to-day operations.
Lendle means a lot to us. We’ve put over a year of our lives into growing a great community and implementing new features and we’ve done our best to put a unique spin on social-lending to ensure that Lendle stands out amongst the competition.
Even so, there’s still a vast untapped market for social-lending that is millions of potential Lendlers strong, and we think a nimble and innovative home for Lendle can only lead to great things.
As competition in the ebook space heats up, we expect to see more and more acceptance of digital lending amongst publishers, authors, and retailers. Already, TOR Books — an imprint of publishing powerhouse Macmillan and one of the largest publishers of Science Fiction and Fantasy novels — has announced that it will drop all DRM from its collection in early July 2012.
In addition, Amazon is moving into publishing more and more, and we expect this to increase the lendable content available to Lendlers. Most recently, Amazon Publishing bought the publishing rights to the entire James Bond backlist.
The best is yet to come.
If you’re interested, get in touch!
It’s being reported that over 600,000 Macs are now infected by the Flashback trojan, a “drive by” piece of Malware that doesn’t need administrator privileges or even a password prompt to successfully latch on.
The PC pundits couldn’t be more excited. Finally, they say, the inevitable has happened and smug Mac users are finding out what it’s like to be a PC user.
“It was only a matter of time.”