Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
March 12, 2018 7:33 AM

The Long Tales - The Best In Business Innovation Content - Issue #2

Welcome to the 2nd edition of The Long Tales - the best in business innovation content.

If you believe that spending time reading and listening to great longform business content is one of the most powerful ways for you to think about how your brand can better connect with consumers, this may be for you. As a known Infovore, I am astounded by the vast amount of content out there on the topic of business innovation. With that, I'm even more astounded at just how average the vast majority of this content is. On a regular basis, The Long Tales will curate and comment on what has been happening in the world of business innovation... and why you need to care.

The double-edged sword of business today.

Technology is like fire. Fire changed the way humans evolved. It brought us warmth, the ability to cook food, boil water and more. Fire also burns down our homes and kills us. Technology can be the greatest thing... and the worst thing all at once. Cryptocurrency is a great technology that removes governments and traditional banking structures from currency. Cryptocurrency is also used for the most illegal of activities. Facebook has empowered billions of people to connect and get closer to one another. Facebook was also at the epicentre of fake news, it has been weaponized by governments, agents of propaganda, and takes bullying of our kids to a whole other level of terror. The brand imperative is clear: it's not just about how you use technology to better connect to your customers, but brands also have an ability to truly highlight the good. How can brands use technology and hold themselves to the highest of standards? It is a true and honest opportunity, where historically brands have used technology and the media as another engine of exaggeration, false claims and to spam. Technology (like fire) is agnostic. It can be used for good. It can be used for evil. Your brand can decide which side of history it would like to be on. I choose the good. What about you?  

Here are some of this week's best in business innovation:

  • How The New Yorker plans to double its paid circulation to 2 million - DigiDay. If you go back in time (like twenty years) and spoke to publishers of magazines and newspapers about the not-to-distant future, where advertising revenue would be dwarfed by the revenue they receive from their readers... well, you would have been laughed out of the newsroom. Of course, the internet changed everything that we once knew about the publishing business. If anything, the internet became a place for free content to spread, and an advertising model that was primarily driven by a scarcity model changed to one of abundance. This is where we are. Still, many traditional publishers have had to change, adapt and some died. Maybe too many have died (or are dying). The New Yorker is now in rarified air. The revenue they have from readers is now greater than their revenue from advertisers. Another way to look at it: The New Yorker makes money selling their magazine content directly to customers, instead of through channels like magazine and book stores. New models for paid content? New models for building a direct to customer brand? Read on...
  • Bitcoin: Boon or Bubble? - John Kay. What do you make of bitcoin and cryptocurrency? Candidly, I am struggling with it. I read, watch and listen to so much content about cryptocurrency - and the underlying blockchain technology that it sits on - But, I'm not sure that I am informed enough to make any real recommendations. Is it that confusing? Don't look to the stock market for answers. To some, bitcoin feels like some kind of ponzi scheme, while to others it looks like more and more like the most important technological innovation of our time. Want some additional explanation and perspective? Read on...
  • The spread of true and false news online - Science. Don't just read the abstract of this article. Dive into the full text. It is science backed and it is fascinating. The net outcome is this: Lies spread faster than the truth. It's not because of technology. It is because of people like you and me. So, while we can say that we're all deeply concerned with how Facebook is dealing with fake news and the publishers of it, maybe we also need to look more intently in the mirror - at who we are, how we consume media and what we're really like? This is not just supposition. It is now backed by science. We like to spread the bad as far and wide as possible. We also like to consume it. Surprised? Read on...
  • How To Fix The Future With Andrew Keen - Six Pixels of Separation Podcast. Last week, I featured an in-depth conversation that I had with Andrew Keen. He takes some real shots at me... and he was right to do so. It used to be a lot easier to call him a contrarian to everything that was happening in Silicon Valley. After all, his bestselling books, The Cult of the AmateurDigital Vertigo and The Internet Is Not The Answer earned him the dubious title of "the anti-Christ of Silicon Valley." His latest book, How To Fix The Future, is still controversial but it's more optimistic (if we do something with the contents of it) about how this might all play out. And, it is an incredible read about how the biggest brands are selling nothing but our information. Welcome to "surveillance capitalism." Sure, Andrew is happy to take a victory lap, by pointing out how right he was in his previous books... but here we are. How does technology our culture and digital media push forward with so much creative destruction and the problems that have arisen as we all connect? Listen on...

Now, go get busy making innovation happen today.

By Mitch Joel

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