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You Need to Hear This Extremely Rare Recording 

Things are no longer rare; they are either popular or unpopular.

Rarity itself has become very rare.

All it takes is one digital file to create infinite inventory. Hence the paradox of ‘rarity’ in the digital age.

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The term “social media” is way overused

If you don’t know the people, or don’t care, it’s probably not social media. It’s just media. It doesn’t matter if it’s created by an individual or a corporation.

This goes back to Twitter’s resistance in describing itself as a social media platform and instead, presenting itself as a media network, which also means it’s full of a lot of noise.

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Crafting link underlines on Medium

The perfect underline should be visible, but unobstrusive — allowing people to realize what’s clickable, but without drawing too much attention to itself.

The hyperlink obviates the underline. The slight hue (such as on my site) allows the user to read uninterrupted with the option to find out more.

Click.

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Shoulda coulda woulda

MTV could’ve been Youtube.

Moleskine could’ve been Evernote or Paper FiftyThree.

iMessages could’ve have been Snapchat if Apple had just built a social network around it.

But it turns out that taking an existing business model online is easier said than done. Only a few people like Ev Williams have mastered the art of digitizing human needs.

When you’re so focused on incrementalism in the present, you become blind to innovation for the future.

Opportunities are there awaiting initiative. The longer you wait the less likely you’re to do it. That goes for companies and for individuals. Replace the arrogance of coulda with done.

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Here’s what’s happening in the content industry now

So here’s a quick summary, the rise of internet provided a fair playing field for everyone to start building their audience; pageviews got diluted; new genre of curated sites optimized for pageviews was born; internet reach increased; and videos rose as a new medium for content. All, compete with media outlets for pageviews. At the same time, they cannot find a way to go over ad blocking technologies.

In addition to more native looking ads, we also need better writers.  

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Ev Williams’ Medium is Blogging for the 9%

“Medium occupies the space in-between WordPress and Tumblr.”

Medium is a great publishing platform for the occasional blogger. I actually enjoy writing in its minimalist environment more than I do publishing on it.

But I feel the same way about Medium as I did when I first started Twitter. I get it and I don’t get it at the same time.  That intuitive nature is what makes it feel obvious.  

“Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company…Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.” CEO Ev Williams, Medium

Medium is just another platform hosting what people already enjoy, i.e. expressing themselves in more than 140 characters but not as a long as a book or Long Read.

The main reason I like writing on Tumblr is that it’s a creative platform for blogging original content, and curating and consuming stuff you like. Meanwhile, Medium is Tumblr with a focus on original text.  

Online writing platform succeed because people want to express themselves.  And at the end of the day, people want to share where users already are.

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Twitter Founder Reveals Secret Formula for Getting Rich Online

“Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company…Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.”

Keep it simple. Build a business around people’s extant needs and just leverage digital technology and the Internet to make faster and with fewer barriers as possible.

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7 articles to read this week

Below are some interesting articles that I caught this week:

A Novelist Who Made Crime an Art, and His Bad Guys ‘Fun.’  Elmore Leonard passed away but left us with some great writing tips along with his books, most notably, “Try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.”

The War on Wordsmiths.  Author Ali Eteraz explains why we still need words in the age of photographs.   

How You Can Conquer Any Deadline.Designer George Lois breaks down how to get shit done.  It turns out it’s pretty simple:  Do it now and if you can’t figure it out, you’ve probably got a problem.  

Enough with the ROI. Just follow your curiosity.  Ian Sanders explains why you should just do something for the sake of interest.  Curiosity is also a currency; fiat money isn’t everything.  It’s all about learning and driving new experiences. 

How the Coffee Cup Sleeve Was Invented.  It turns out that the coffee sleeve was originally known as the “Java Jacket.”  Here’s also some best practices for working from the coffee shop

When Apps Modify Behavior.  MG Siegler examines how apps like FrontBack and Instagram make us think more creatively about our surroundings.  

Now it’s ruined.  Seth Godin blogs about the impact of technology in equalizing creativity.  Everyone is an amafessional with a computer palette in their pocket.  But the best stills stand out. You might want to work on your attitude as well.      

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Enough with the ROI. Just follow your curiosity.

“If you follow your curiosity to the smallest corners, you’ll find tremendous light there”.

Test and learn > Revenue

Word to the wise.

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Brain Porn

The brain is elastic. It acts as a fortified dome yet gets easily duped into submission. It can be excited, bored, and fearful all at the same time. The brain can also toggle between nostalgia and dreams.

Like a social network, the brain uses its synapses to connect the likeliest and unlikeliest of friends. Neurons bloom. The opportunity to meet or follow new people lights up the brain masking the task at hand.

The Internet makes it easy to avoid here and now, to live vicariously through data rather than through touch. People interconnect but hide behind a screen of invincibility. Everyone hyperbolizes their true physical self.

The ability to self-promote and receive “likes” through fabricated stories glues every one of us to each other, making it impossible to let go. Reality is less addicting than it’s ever been.

(added to The Future of Social Media series on Medium)