What we read this week (22 November)

Our favorite articles of this week. Have a great weekend.

Articles of the week

  • What Screens Want
    Brilliant web essay by Frank Chimero, and not only because he features James Burke and The West Wing. I bet that this one will come up in a lot of conversations in the next months.
  • Prada Revolutionaries
    “Bright Green has become the left's version of right-wing transhumanism: an excuse to not solve today's problems, because tomorrow's technology will fix them for us.”
  • Tom Armitage » Driftwood
    “Driftwood is a talk I gave at Playark 2013. It was meant to be a talk about leftovers (the theme of the conference being ‘reclaim’), and about Hello Lamp Post. In the writing, it turned into a broader overview of my own work – on six years of projects around cities and play.”
  • Meet The ‘Assassination Market’ Creator Who’s Crowdfunding Murder With Bitcoins – Forbes
    “Assassination Market, a crowdfunding service that lets anyone anonymously contribute bitcoins towards a bounty on the head of any government official–a kind of Kickstarter for political assassinations.”
  • Ross Andersen – Humanity’s deep future
    "When we peer into the fog of the deep future what do we see – human extinction or a future among the stars?"
  • Bitcoin As Protocol | Union Square Ventures
    “There is no other widely used protocol in the world today that accomplishes this: with bitcoin anyone can make a statement (a transaction) and have this be recorded in a globally visible and fixed ledger.”
  • Content economics, part 4: scale | Felix Salmon
    "It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of the CMS when it comes to the question of who’s going to win the online-publishing wars."
  • InMoov » Project
    "Here is “InMoov”, the first life size humanoid robot you can 3D print and animate. You have a 3D printer, some building skills, This project is for you!!"
  • Apple and Google Maps, and Defaults | Matt Mullenweg
    “If Microsoft did this a decade ago we’d call for the DoJ to reopen their investigation. Apple has the best phone, best tablet, and in many ways the best operating system — we should not give them a pass for this blatantly self-interested and user-hostile stance.”
  • Instagram and Youtube — Benedict Evans
    "WhatsApp and Instagram are not in different categories – they're direct competitors for time and attention." – This spot on.

Week 79 & 80

In this two-weeknote, we focus entirely on content. We’ve been producing plenty of reading material for you, so here’s an overview to find the best stuff easily.

So I get back from a beautiful vacation in a land full of bizarre and yummy things, all recharged and ready to go, and the first thing I notice is: The crew has been at work producing content like crazy. Combined with our client work, this took up most of the time over the last two weeks, so allow me to use this two-weeknote to give you an at-a-glance overview of the things we’ve published:

Content, content, content

  • Social Media Strategy Framework:
    The biggest chunk of a 7-part series on the social media strategy framework we developed is live by now, starting here. Besides this overview article, we cover all aspects of getting your strategy right, including goals, people, content and platforms. Over the next few days, we’ll wrap it up with posts on analysis and the organizational aspects.
  • New Aesthetic:
    James Bridle’s notion of The New Aesthetic has been heavily discussed over the last few weeks. We collected the must-read list for The New Aesthetic, and are glad to announce that James Bridle will be in town for one of our tracks at Next Berlin.
  • Location-based services:
    Johannes gave an introduction presentation on location-based services and put the slides online (mostly in German).
  • The Essential Third Wave Reader:
    To make it easier to find the most relevant content on our blog, we compiled an overview of the most popular, most discussed and our personal favorite blog posts, aka The Essential Third Wave Reader.
  • Weekly Reads:
    And of course, there are the regular Weekly Reads.

Also, Johannes joined a workshop of different experts on Saturday that worked on defining the future for the Zollverein School for Business Design and Creative Leadership at the Unperfekthaus in Essen. Besides all the great conversations there, it was once more interesting to see how difficult it is to plan for a different future then just to expect the future being a continuation of what’s happening right now.

And on that note, I’ll let you get back to reading all this stuff. Hurry up, there’s more to come!

What we read this week (25 Nov)

Payment isn’t the future of NFC, Facebook is ruining sharing, privacy online is hard (so here are a few pointers), the US are building a firewall and Amber Case shares her mind-blowing tech setup. Enjoy!

  • Why payment isn’t the future of NFC
    Janne Jalkanen knows a things or two about NFC. Before becoming the CTO of the up and coming Finnish startup Thinglink, he worked for Nokia and was there known as ‘The Godfather of NFC’. Here he muses about why mobile payment is by far not the most interesting way to use NFC and what he hopes for that will come out of this technology. (➟ Instapaper)
  • CNET: How Facebook is ruining sharing
    Molly Wood share a very good analysis of the new “frictionless” sharing mechanisms in Facebook. They might not be such a good idea after all, and it’s obvious already that they make us more hesitant to click on links inside the social network. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Facebook is Gaslighting the Web. We Can Fix It
    Anil Dash with a scathing analysis of Facebook’s content sharing policies: Facebook has moved from merely being a walled garden into openly attacking its users’ ability and willingness to navigate the rest of the web. The evidence that this is true even for sites which embrace Facebook technologies is overwhelming, and the net result is that Facebook is gaslighting users into believing that visiting the web is dangerous or threatening. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Debating Privacy in a Networked World for the WSJ
    Researcher Danah Boyd shares indepth insights into the way privacy works online, and gives pointers for companies to get it right. (➟ Instapaper)
  • NYTimes: Firewall Law Could Infringe on Free Speech
    Rebecca MacKinnon, founder of Global Voices, summarizes the damage the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act would have – a bill discussed in the US House of Representatives that would emulate China’s system of corporate “self-discipline,” making companies liable for users’ actions. The burden would be on the Web site operator to prove that the site was not being used for copyright infringement. The effect on user-generated sites like YouTube would be chilling. (➟ Instapaper)
  • The Setup of Amber Case
    True geeks that we are, we love to learn how our peers set up their technology infrastructure. UseThis asked UX Designer and Cyborg Anthropologist Amber Case about her tech setup, and it’s absolutely fascinating. Mind=blown. (➟ Instapaper)
  • HBR: The Question That Will Change Your Organization
    Polly Labarre with a great reminder why questions rule. (➟ Instapaper)
  • Everything is a service
    Service is kinda big these days, nothing new here. But Dave Gray of Dachis Group has written a big article, connecting a lot of dots and giving a great overview about the change in our economy. (➟ Instapaper)
  • HBR: What I Learned Building the Apple Store
    Ron Johnson, CEO of J.C. Penney and former senior VP for retail at Apple, about how you don’t need Apple products to be successful in retail. (➟ Instapaper)
  • On Systems and Strategy
    Clay Parker Jones, another brilliant mind at Undercurrent, “explores the features of adaptable systems and puts forward four key things that will help you design strategies that don’t suck.” He looks at a lot of real world systems and how their creators try to fail proof them (sometimes without success). (➟ Instapaper)
  • Luddite legacy
    Technology is now killing jobs faster than it’s creating new ones. And more and more, the machines don’t even need workers to operate them. The only way to create new jobs today is to go for the things that “make people human”. (➟ Instapaper)

Btw. we really like what Evernote has done with Clearly, a Chrome extension that, similar to Readability, allows you to read content on the web in a much more comfortable fashion. If you read the articles above in Chrome, we highly recommend using Clearly.