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Clubhouse’s strategic path; orality’s crusades; and the voice interface

In Da Club(house)

One part radio phone-in; one part conference call; and one part massive online open TED Talk. That’s essentially the formula for the latest, hottest consumer app on the market, Clubhouse, which officially launched in April 2020 before hitting escape velocity in January 2021.

Right now, Clubhouse is live, unrecorded, audio only, and only on iOS. Some participants talk in these pop-up rooms, but most people listen. And, if its iOS exclusivity weren’t enough, the app is also invite-only.

While it may sound more like a Country Clubhouse at the moment, this app — and particularly this medium — has enormous…


The following highlights were provided by Annotote: Don’t waste time and attention, get straight to the point. All signal. No noise.

If you’re interested in the voice interface start here

by Annotote TLDR 2018.12.27

The Gutenberg Parenthesis: Oral Tradition and Digital Technologies

by Thomas Pettitt (via MIT Comparative Media Studies) 2010.04.14

Is our emerging digital culture partly a return to practices and ways of thinking that were central to human societies before the advent of the printing press? […]

The concept of a “Gutenberg Parenthesis” — formulated by Prof. L. O. Sauerberg of the University of Southern Denmark — offers a means of identifying and understanding the period, varying between societies and subcultures, during which the mediation…


Disney’s latest reorg as an entree to the future of entertainment — video, gaming, and the fusion thereof

In case you missed it, The Walt Disney Company just announced a pretty major “Strategic Reorganization of Its Media and Entertainment Businesses”:

In light of the tremendous success achieved to date in the Company’s direct-to-consumer business and to further accelerate its DTC strategy, The Walt Disney Company today announced a strategic reorganization of its media and entertainment businesses. Under the new structure, Disney’s world-class creative engines will focus on developing and producing original content for the Company’s streaming services, as well as for legacy platforms, while distribution and commercialization activities will be centralized into a single, global Media and Entertainment…


The other side of the Coin(base); Big Data’s conscience; and Karp as Keyser

After a week in which Coinbase controversially vowed to keep politics out of its workplace, it’s hard for me to not dig into Palantir, which is an inevitably political — albeit promising — private business that just went public via direct listing on Wednesday…


Information theory and the social pillar of content moderation

Back in 2018, the chief supervisor of Europe’s GDPR, Giovanni Buttarelli, mentioned the following in “Tim Cook’s Magnum Opus”:

[T]here is an urgent need for regulators and indeed societies to agree on and establish “a sustainable ethics for a digitised society… The paradox is that we have not yet learned how to navigate the new possibilities and vulnerabilities opened up by rapid digitization.”

We certainly have fallen behind-the-times. That’s why, in the first part of this series, I discussed both the legal shortcomings and workable remedies for moderating the “rapid digitization” of today’s content commons:

Herein, I will tackle the…


User data, user experience, and diminishing returns

‘My cup runneth over with data’ — Sundar Pichai (paraphrased)

In case you missed it, Big Tech CEOs from Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google testified in front of Congress last week at an antitrust hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. There’s been plenty of coverage about the hearing itself, including my own. Furthermore, I’ve already spilled-a-lot-of-ink about tech and antitrust over the years:

So, today, I want to discuss something a bit different…

In the Q&A portion of the hearing, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai made a few comments about the diminishing returns-to-scale that incremental data collection yields unto Google’s ad revenue, which he was careful to distinguish from its…


The pandemic’s prevailing call-to-arms wasn't an OpEd, it was a litmus test

‘A Rorschach Test for our sensibilities’

In case you missed it, Marc Andreessen recently penned an essay entitled “It’s Time to Build”. If you’re optimistic, it was a call-to-arms for a country and a world that have been ravaged by COVID-19 and its downstream effects. If you’re cynical, it was, well, as one anon noted:

An alternate headline could be Man Whose Entire Career Has Been In Software Thinks Other People Should Invest In Physical Businesses… it’s pretty odd to see a guy whose firm invests in scooters & crypto believes other people should be leading the way into lower margin, way higher friction hardware businesses.


Breakeven costs of production, synchronicity, and vertical social networks

“I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break it.” — Dany

Simply put, Netflix needs a social network and we need it now! Here’s why…


It’s not that you’re not welcome anymore, but I will survive

No lines, no checkouts, just walk out 😏

Considering the competitive dynamics, it’s hard for me to hold these two thoughts in my head at the same time, but here they are: Amazon’s cashierless shopping offers a glimpse of an inevitable future, but it’s not the present.

In case you missed it, Amazon Go was the tech giant’s first stab at cashier-free shopping, from TechCrunch:

[In] Amazon Go convenience stores, shoppers first use the Amazon Go app to scan in as they enter the store, then shop as usual. Cameras and sensors track the items removed from the shelves which are then added to the shopper’s virtual cart…

Anthony Bardaro

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