Six Links Worthy of Your Attention #705

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (Solve for Interesting, Tilt the Windmill, Interesting Bits, HBS, chair of Strata, Startupfest, FWD50, and Scaletechconf; author of Lean Analytics and some other books), Hugh McGuire (Rebus Foundation, PressBooks, LibriVox) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see.”

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

  • Pipe Dreams – The Life And Times Of Yahoo Pipes – Retool“I’d forgotten about Yahoo Pipes until this showed up in my feeds. Yahoo‘s codeless platform was way before its time. It let everyone string together Internet services to make custom maps, notifications, and filters tailored just to them. Put an RSS feed of parties through a geofilter to see what’s happening near you? Get a list of news stories about trains? Pipes let you build that by dragging different blocks around and connecting them. This all ran in the cloud, and it got very popular very fast. 18 years later, we forget that Yahoo was kind of a pioneer in its day; this is a great trip down memory lane, and some context for how we got to today’s cloud-based services.” (Alistair For Hugh).
  • A Fortnight In Fortnite Court – The Verge. “Generally speaking, there are two ways to pay for our online world: Ads, and subscriptions. Apple has been going after advertising, locking down privacy in ways that make it harder to track and influence buyers. And both Apple and Google make serious money – at very real margins – by running app stores that take a cut not only when an app is sold, but when a user subscribes or buys something within the platform. Fortnite is a free-to-play game that makes billions a year from virtual purchases, and it doesn’t like sharing. Fortnite’s publisher, Epic Games, lost in court against Apple, but won against Google, a decision that is likely to have tectonic effects on how we monetize the Internet. This Verge writeup is the best recap I’ve found, even though it was written before the verdict came in.” (Alistair for Mitch).
  • 2023 In Social Media: The Case For The Fediverse – The Verge. “Our mutual friend, Evan Prodromou, has been working on the federated social sphere for years, and is co-author of ActivityPub, the specification that should allow feeds from different social networks to interact – so you could, eg, read your X feed on Facebook and vice versa. This always seemed like a ‘good idea’ but most efforts to make this happen at any kind of scale seemed to stall out, since your chosen social network worked hard to build a self-contained ecosphere. Facebook wanted you in Facebook and X wanted you in X. The incentive was minimal for these platforms to make things work. But people (me for instance) are growing disillusioned with these platforms. X in particular has seen a mass exodus in my socio-professional sphere. Especially since Elon Musk‘s takeover, people I know are quitting X in droves. And yet the underlying want/need of ‘light’ digital connection remains. I lament the loss of the ‘old Twitter’ from my life. Could a vibrant federated social network system – that allows us to get what we want – and not the all the other stuff be possible? Maybe it’s time has finally come?” (Hugh for Alistair).
  • “Make Them Care About What You Think” and Other Writing Advice from Nora Ephron – LitHub. “If ever there was one piece of advice to writers (or podcasters, or musicians, or sculptors or PowerPoint makers or anyone who makes things) that supersedes all it is this: ‘You better make them care about what you think.’ How is always the hard part, but your prime objective as a creator is to make people care.” (Hugh for Mitch). 
  • What’s in My Bag, 2023 – Matt Mullenweg”I pride myself on both how light I can travel and optimizing every component to be useful, light and as small as possible. My everyday carry is a source of pride and I do spend time – every month or so – looking for new gadgets to make the time away from home as convenient as possible. I also take personal pride in knowing that if my speaking bureau called right now and asked me to be half way around the world tomorrow for an emergency, I could easily pick up my bag and head to the airport without concern. It turns out that Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) cares about this about as much as I do. This article was like being able to compare notes with a kindred spirit. I should probably (at some point soon) create my own ‘What’s In My Bag’ article, and share what I’ve learned over close to decades of business travel and nearly two million miles flown ‘up there.’ Until then, here’s a great primer (with some great tech suggestions) on what it takes to be a digital nomad.” (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Reading Books Is Not Just A Pleasure: It Helps Our Minds To Heal – Psyche. “This is the time of the year when my reading goes into overdrive. My two week vacation is a return to my Kindle love affair. This year, it’s stocked with some of the books (both fiction and non-fiction) that I have been saving for this holiday vacation. I find it soothing. Naturally, the title of this article got me thinking… and I do find this to be true. Take your social media feeds, your newsletters, your podcasts, your articles and whatever other forms of media you love (and make no mistake about it, I love them all too), but I would shudder them all for reading a book. I’ve said it before… but this article says it again (and better)… it’s beyond pleasure… and I still can’t put my finger on it. Reading a book changes my brain… or, according to this article, it heals it (and who doesn’t need some mind healing in this day and age)? So, what’s on your bookshelf/Kindle? Start reading… and let the healing begin.” (Mitch for Hugh).

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on XFacebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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