👓 Bloomberg's TicToc is starting to build a brand beyond Twitter | Digiday

Read Bloomberg's TicToc is starting to build a brand beyond Twitter (Digiday)
Begun as a Twitter network, TicToc now includes a podcast and newsletter and is developing a website.

👓 SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora, Creating World’s Largest Audio Entertainment Company | Pandora

Read SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora, Creating World’s Largest Audio Entertainment Company (blog.pandora.com)
You may have noticed that big things are happening at Pandora. Earlier today, we announced that we’ve entered into an agreement to be acquired by SiriusXM, in an all-stock transaction, valued at approximately $3.5 billion. Here’s what this means for our listeners, and why we’re excited: First...

👓 Cinematic train wreck, “The Room”, is now on YouTube in its entirety | Tech Crunch

Read Cinematic train wreck, “The Room”, is now on YouTube in its entirety (TechCrunch)
The Room has been ranked with Plan 9 From Outer Space as a strong contender for the “best” worst movie ever made — and it’s now available in its entirety on YouTube. Written, directed, and starring Tommy Wiseau, The Room belongs in the same category as Plan 9, and Coven (whi…

👓 Bob Greenblatt stepping down as NBC Entertainment chairman | Los Angeles Times

Read Bob Greenblatt stepping down as NBC Entertainment chairman (Los Angeles Times)
Bob Greenblatt has spent nearly eight years running NBC Entertainment, a period that saw the peacock network return to prosperity.

👓 Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook | Ars Technica

Read Sorry, Sony Music, you don’t own the rights to Bach’s music on Facebook (Ars Technica)
Public shaming forces publisher to abandon ridiculous claim to classical music.
When is the industry going to finally fix this issue of false positives like this. Surely in the case of Bach, it should be even easier?

👓 What Do They Want from Us? On the Return of Big Bookstore Chains | The Millions

Read What Do They Want from Us? On the Return of Big Bookstore Chains by Jon Roemer (The Millions)

Bookstores have become cultural Rorschach tests. After the past decade or so, you’ve either been traumatized by watching your favorite store go dark, or you’re fine with the coffee and craft cocktails now served alongside exquisitely curated books.

This fall begins a new era, or maybe a retro one, marked by the reemergence of national bookstore chains and two prototype stores opening next month. In New York, Shakespeare & Co. is growing to three locations, laying the groundwork for its national expansion, while Indigo, Canada’s largest bookstore chain, is opening its first U.S. store in New Jersey, staking its claim before growing west. Both believe there’s big potential in general bookstore chains despite wildly different ideas about how we buy books.

📺 MoviePass is using you to ruin the movies | YouTube

Watched MoviePass is using you to ruin the movies from YouTube
MoviePass announced a movie theater subscription plan that seemed too good to be true in 2018. As it turns out, it was. As the service bled cash, subscribers were actually the ones taking the hit, with their subscriptions being swapped, changed, or even revoked entirely. So while MoviePass isn’t the movie industry’s savior, it could illuminate a path forward for theaters to take control of their own destinies.

👓 MoviePass outage caused by company temporarily running out of cash | Business Insider

Read The MoviePass outage was caused by the company temporarily running out of money, and it borrowed $5 million in cash to turn the service back on (Business Insider)
Following a service interruption of MoviePass on Thursday, its parent company, Helios and Matheson, borrowed $5 million to bring the service back online.

👓 Soon There Will Be Only One Blockbuster Left in the United States | The New York Times

Read Soon There Will Be Only One Blockbuster Left in the United States (nytimes.com)
The upcoming closings of two Blockbuster video stores in Alaska will leave one store in central Oregon as the last one in the United States.

👓 Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff. What Happens When It Gets Called? | Daily Intelligencer | New York Magazine

Read Vice Media Was Built on a Bluff. What Happens When It Gets Called? by Reeves Wiedeman (Daily Intelligencer)
For almost 25 years, Shane Smith’s plan was that, by the time the suckers caught on, he’d never be stuck owning the company he co-founded.
A fantastic article.

This reminds me a lot of the recent Theranos stories and book. It’s sad how companies don’t do enough due diligence on potential investments like this. When I think about how much basic work and discussion Marcus Lemonis does for $100,000 investments, I’m appalled to hear what people are doing for multi-millions. It’s stunning that a company can get to this size and be worth nearly nothing. Using the relative size (ie number of employees) of business units like human resources and legal within a particular industry could be a reasonable guide for the internal management of a company.

This is also a good example that while investments may give a company a particular valuation, it can rarely be the actual potential present value of the company. As a result, workers who are working for near free plus stock should be paying closer attention to company internals to know that their stock portion is going to be completely worthless.

Worse, I’m always pained to hear that young people (rich or otherwise) are essentially giving away their work and sweat equity away for free to big companies that could easily pay them. Eventually the pendulum is going to swing back the other way and companies are going to need to pay more.

One of my favorite quotes from the piece:

“Shane would always say that young people are the No. 1 bullshit detector, which was annoying once you realized that the thing he mastered is getting young people to buy shit,” says a recently departed senior employee.

👓 MoviePass is no longer too good to be true | The Verge

Read MoviePass is no longer too good to be true by Nick Statt (The Verge)
Restrictions and no longer selling its one-movie-per-day plan, are bad signs
Sad to hear this is happening. Hopefully they can hang along to get the expected economies of scale they were aiming to get before they go under. Of course, somehow the market is going to equilibrate on them.

❤️ Microsub bridge by Ryan Barrett

Liked Microsub bridge by Ryan Barrett (snarfed.org)
If you’re familiar with much of my IndieWeb work, you probably know I’m drawn to building translators, proxies, and bridges to connect different protocols and services that do similar things. There’s been a lot of activity recently around Microsub, a standard API for feed reader clients to talk to feed reader servers. Many existing readers have APIs, so I’ve been thinking about a bridge that would translate those APIs to Microsub, so that reader clients like Together and Indigenous could use traditional reader services like Feedly and NewsBlur as their backend.
This article brings such warmth to my heart. It’s even beyond what I had originally envisioned in Feed Reader Revolution.

I’m salivating what this portends for the web and my ability to read it better in the future!

Facebook is Censoring My Notes

I don’t post “notes” to Facebook often, but I’d noticed a few weeks ago that several pieces I’d published like this a while back were apparently unpublished by the platform. I hadn’t seen or heard anything from Facebook about them being unpublished or having issues, so I didn’t realize the problem until I randomly stumbled back across my notes page.

They did have a piece of UI to indicate that I wanted to contest and republish them, so I clicked on it. Apparently this puts these notes into some type of limbo “review” process, but it’s been a few weeks now and there’s no response about either of them. They’re still both sitting unseen in my dashboard with sad notes above them saying:

We’re reviewing this post against our Community Standards.

There is no real indication if they’ll ever come back online. Currently my only option is to delete them. There’s also no indication, clear or otherwise, of which community standard they may have violated.

I can’t imagine how either of the posts may have run afoul of their community standards, or why “notes” in particular seem to be more prone to this sort of censorship in comparison with typical status updates. I’m curious if others have had this same experience?

We’re reviewing these posts against our Community Standards.

This is just another excellent example of why one shouldn’t trust third parties over which you have no control to publish your content on the web. Fortunately I’ve got my own website with the original versions of these posts [1][2] that are freely readable. If you’ve experienced this or other pernicious problems in social media, I recommend you take a look at the helpful IndieWeb community which has some excellent ideas and lots of help for re-exerting control over your online presence.

Notes Functionality

Notes on Facebook were an early 2009 era attempt for Facebook to have more blog-like content and included a rather clean posting interface, not un-reminiscent of Medium’s interface, that also allowed one to include images and even hyperlinks into pages.

The note post type has long since fallen by the wayside and I rarely, if ever, come across people using it anymore in the wild despite the fact that it’s a richer experience than traditional status updates. I suspect the Facebook black box algorithm doesn’t encourage its use. I might posit that it’s not encouraged as unlike most Facebook functionality, hyperlinks in notes on desktop browsers physically take one out of the Facebook experience and into new windows!

The majority of notes about me are spammy chain mail posts like “25 Random Things About Me”, which also helpfully included written instructions for how to actually use notes.

25 Random Things About Me

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

Most of my published notes were experiments in syndicating my content from my own blog to Facebook (via POSSE). At the time, the engagement didn’t seem much different than posting raw text as status updates, so I abandoned it. Perhaps I’ll try again with this post to see what happens? I did rather like the ability to actually have links to content and other resources in my posts there.