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Newsletters Are The Opposite of Procrastinating
Welcome to People vs Algorithms #73.
I look for patterns in media, business and culture. My POV is informed by 30 years of leadership in media and advertising businesses.
Sometimes it’s nice to read in the browser.
Ya, I’ve been a bad, bad newsletter person. My summer respite turned into something more protracted. As I ponder the future of this thing, some quick Thursday thoughts for the team.
THINGS THAT ARE TRENDING ABOVE ANY STREAMING PROGRAM IN MY HOUSE
We like NYT puzzles, maybe more than News That Is Fit to Print. The crossword is an obsession of some, Wordle remains popular, but Connections is the new crowd pleaser in this domicile. Goes without saying, games are fast becoming the most important and cost-effective engagement / subscription weapon for this brand in the demand-driven news era. Others will scramble to keep up.
Speaking of, platform shifts mean rethinking competitive adjacencies. In a post cable world, CNN’s competition isn’t MSNBC, it's the Times.
I thought Mark Thompson’s CEO appointment at CNN made good sense given his experiential venn of NYT and BBC. Some in the industry are perplexed by the appointment of a 66 year old dude, even if his skill and experience seem tailor made. I am sure he will be better than the previous dude. You can discuss.
OTHER THINGS TRENDING IN MY HOUSE
Yes, it’s The Weirdos Living Inside Our Phones. Brian Jordan Alvarez is a genius and I don’t care what you say. Sitting is often better than standing, that fo sure. A legion of tributes are equally good.
Speaking of non-linear ascents, this character of Brian’s is another banger.
His viral ascendance is a welcome counterpoint to the prior populist explosion of Oliver Anthony’s Rich Men North Of Richmond, a phenom that went from obscurity to the first question asked at the last GOP debate. Both left and right want that juice. Culture comes from the apps, not the shows.
Strangely… I brought up both of these at dinner last night. My lovely dinner companions had no idea what I was talking about. New culture is not evenly distributed, it seems.
THE HAT, WE FORGOT TO TALK ABOUT THE HAT!
There are plenty of things to admire about what Bryan Goldberg and co have built over at Bustle. This week on the PVA podcast we invited a guest! Bryan joined us to discuss why the scale era wasn't so great, why we are all in the service business, how he’s embracing print, why his events are better than yours and more. Listen through for his quality impressions of yours truly. Terrific episode. Seriously.
YOU'RE SOAKING IN IT
AI is quickly seeping into all of your surfaces. Meta will see to that. Happening now, Meta’s Connect 2023. AI is making its way natively into chat interfaces on FB, Insta, WhatsApp, Messenger, now with added appeal of celebrity-fronted chatbot personalities - Snoop is your Dungeon Master, Tom Brady your sports bro, Mr Beast is Zach, your smart-ass big brother.
Image manipulation, sticker creation, everything AI powered.
Live stream on new Ray-Ban / Meta Smart Glasses for $299.
Net, net… an unimaginable amount of content everywhere, media extends seamlessly from life, profesh media faces existential competitors for your time and attention.
Who wants one of these Kei trucks… I do, I do.
Have a great weekend…/ Troy