The urges of eternal desire or temptation

        
                

daido-moriyama

«No matter in what city or what country I happen to find myself, the outside world I observe as I wander the streets presents me with the exciting, the mysterious or the erotic; my eyes roam freely over these sights and I release the shutter whenever I feel the urges of eternal desire or temptation»

          

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What will matter in the next age of media

        
                

age-media

The Joshua Topolsky’s grocery list of what will matter in the next age of media.

  • Compelling voices and stories, real and raw talent, new ideas that actually serve or delight an audience, brands that have meaning and ballast; these are things that matter in the next age of media.
  • Thinking of your platform as an actual platform, not a delivery method.
  • Knowing you’re more than just your words.
  • Thinking of your business as a product and storytelling business, not a headline and body-copy business.
  • Thinking of your audience as finite and building a sustainable business model around that audience — that’s going to matter.
  • Thinking about your 10 year plan and not a billion dollar valuation — that’s going to matter.

Source: Your Media Business Will Not Be Saved by Joshua Topolsky 👾

          

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The struggle for the open web

        
                

rosencrantz

What if, one day, you discover that your fulfilling social media life was completely wrong? What if your castle of self gratification and instant connections, friends and followers, mobile power and desktop automation would fall apart? We do not need an incoming Apocalypse to ask the right questions, we just need to stop one moment and think.

I’ve been walking around in a kind of a daze for weeks and everywhere I go I find myself scribbling something down: open web first. Open. Web. First.

indiewc

The open web is the internet we build together out of the social media walls. It’s the post you write on your own blog, the note you take and share, the snapshot of a moment. It’s something you make for the whole web, out of Facebook, out of Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Medium and any other well engineered social media platform. Then you distribute it and link it as you wish.

Why do I care about the open web? Because it’s open. Because it’s the web itself.

It is a content distribution system one can control. For contents that you ultimately own and certainly you can share. Actually thinking “open web first” gives you the opportunity to share twice: 1) with the whole internet; 2) with any social platform and any restricted circle you desire. It’s something I can easily search and link, a liquid matter of knowledge we all can own and control at any time of our life. Not only a flash of a moment, an insta-something of truth you can miss just because you weren’t following the right dude at the right time.

Think about your social routine today: posts living only on Facebook, buried in endless timelines. It can be acceptable if you’re sharing the photos of your cat, but if you’re a communicator, in the public square, you should think “open web first” and get control of your content.

You can start reading about it following Dave Winer’s blog posts, or studying the IndieWebCamp wiki. They wrote about the open web better than me. Then you can rethink your paradigm, or keep going on, knowing even more.

Yes, we have a problem: open web should be for the masses, but now it’s not that cool to join. It’s 2016, social platforms are easy and beautiful and powerful: they can gather all your friends with a glance of an API, give you instant likes, compress your videos, make you an influencer. They gain value of your content, but - if you can use them, if you’re creative enough - they pay you back. They also can get closer to the open web we have in mind, check Medium’s latest efforts and you’ll understand.

An open web tool can be difficult, I’m learning the hard way trying that transition: you have to set up your own server, find a CMS, learn some coding, find your way to share your content after you publish, protect your vault. You can lose time and immediacy, you can swear and cry, make a mess and start again. It’s what we do when we change our daily habits and start living better. It’s what you do when you start eating healthy, put on a pair of shoes and start running your first mile, when you collect your garbage properly, when you discover you can even floss every day (never been able to do that). It’s good for you, it’s good for the environment. And, somehow, it’s also “shakespearesque”.

“There must have a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said – no. But somehow we missed it”.
- Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

Rosencrantz-Guildenstern

PS: easter egg, find the paragraph I totally stole from West Wing, S03E10, Bartlet for America.

          

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Purity non è un romanzo sull'internet

        
                

jonathan-franzen.purity

Non so ancora bene che cosa pensare di Purity, l’ultimo romanzo di Jonathan Franzen, pubblicato finalmente in Italia da Einaudi e tradotto alla grande da Silvia Pareschi (lei ne scrive anche qui). Non lo sapevo dopo aver chiuso l’ultima pagina e lo so ancor meno adesso che so che diventerà una serie tv con Daniel Craig. WTF.

Era un libro da cui mi aspettavo molto sull’Internet (tutto parte da una specie di Julian Assange) e che invece mi ha portato molto a riflettere su altre cose: il matrimonio, il rapporto madre-figlia, la costruzione di una reputazione. Poi dentro c’è l’ego di Franzen, ci sono i suoi dannati uccelletti (lo scrittore è un bird-watcher), i capitoli diario (già visti in “Libertà”), i diversi punti di vista, l’autoreferenzialità, l’ossessione sessuale un po’ da romanzo americano con la solita ragazza che la dà via “just because”.

È un libro, però, che offre tante sottolineature. Così, quando ho visto sul Post 16 battute dal nuovo romanzo di Franzen un po’ mi è dispiaciuto perché io sono mesi che meditavo di scrivere qualcosa, avendolo letto in vacanza l’ottobre scorso. Per fortuna, o perché io non ho capito niente, i nostri punti di vista non coincidono. Quindi, incollo qui quello che ho sottolineato.

purity-uk

Purity “sottolineato”

  • Sometimes you imagine something for so long, you find that you have no choice but to do it.

  • Do you know the Rolling Stones song ‘Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby’?” “‘Standing in the Shadow.’” “The very first time I heard it, on RIAS, I could tell in my gut that everything they’d told me about the West was a lie. I could tell it just from the sound—there was no way a society that produced that kind of sound could be as oppressed as they said it was. Respectless and depraved, maybe. But happily respectless, happily depraved. And what does that say about a country that wants to forbid that kind of sound?”

  • The world was overpopulated with talkers and underpopulated by listeners,

  • Her father had approved of her sneaking. He operated by Old World rules, the blurring of right and wrong into whatever you could get away with;

  • She felt loyal to a baby in her that hadn’t even been conceived yet. To a possibility.

  • She was remembering the old desolation and feeling it again now, the conviction that love was impossible, that however deeply they buried their conflict it would never go away. The problem with a life freely chosen every day, a New Testament life, was that it could end at any moment.

  • “You know,” he said, “it’s difficult to trust a person with no secrets.”

  • “Do you want to hear my theory of secrets?” “Do I have a choice?” “My theory is that identity consists of two contradictory imperatives.” “OK.” “There’s the imperative to keep secrets, and the imperative to have them known. How do you know that you’re a person, distinct from other people? By keeping certain things to yourself. You guard them inside you, because, if you don’t, there’s no distinction between inside and outside. Secrets are the way you know you even have an inside. A radical exhibitionist is a person who has forfeited his identity. But identity in a vacuum is also meaningless. Sooner or later, the inside of you needs a witness. Otherwise you’re just a cow, a cat, a stone, a thing in the world, trapped in your thingness. To have an identity, you have to believe that other identities equally exist. You need closeness with other people. And how is closeness built? By sharing secrets.

  • Naturally, I bore the brunt of this. A wrong word at the breakfast table or a distracting smell from something I was cooking (“Smell is hell,” she liked to say) could ruin a workday.

  • You have a right to be happy for yourself. If you’re with someone who can’t be happy, you need to think about what you’re going to do.”

  • Don’t talk to me about hatred if you haven’t been married. Only love, only long empathy and identification and compassion, can root another person in your heart so deeply that there’s no escaping your hatred of her, not ever; especially not when the thing you hate most about her is her capacity to be hurt by you. The love persists and the hatred with it. Even hating your own heart is no relief. I don’t think I’d ever hated her more than I did for exposing herself to the shame of my refusing to speak in Leonard’s voice.

  • You could cooperate with the system or you could oppose it, but the one thing you could never do, whether you were enjoying a secure and pleasant life or sitting in a prison, was not be in relation to it. The answer to every question large or small was socialism. If you substituted networks for socialism, you got the Internet. Its competing platforms were united in their ambition to define every term of your existence.

  • The apparatchiks, too, were an eternal type. The tone of the new ones, in their TED Talks, in PowerPointed product launches, in testimony to parliaments and congresses, in utopianly titled books, was a smarmy syrup of convenient conviction and personal surrender that he remembered well from the Republic. He couldn’t listen to them without thinking of the Steely Dan lyric So you grab a piece of something that you think is gonna last.

  • It seemed as if the Internet was governed more by fear: the fear of unpopularity and uncoolness, the fear of missing out, the fear of being flamed or forgotten.

  • Nature even on the most local of scales made a mockery of information technology. Even augmented by tech, the human brain was paltry, infinitesimal, in comparison to the universe.

  • Matter was information, information matter, and only in the brain did matter organize itself sufficiently to be aware of itself; only in the brain could the information of which the world consisted manipulate itself.

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Facebook is eating the world

        
                

Social media hasn’t just swallowed journalism, it has swallowed everything. It has swallowed political campaigns, banking systems, personal histories, the leisure industry, retail, even government and security. The phone in our pocket is our portal to the world. I think in many ways this heralds enormously exciting opportunities for education, information, and connection, but it brings with it a host of contingent existential risks

First, news publishers have lost control over distribution.

Second, the inevitable outcome of this is the increase in power of social media companies.

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