15 years later, lessons from the failed AOL-Time Warner merger

The deal should remind investors to take a closer look at today’s hottest tech startups, says Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath.

via 15 years later, lessons from the failed AOL-Time Warner merger.

The commentary correctly identifies that AOL’s business model was connectivity. But I take it step further: it did not value it’s customers as a community.

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The beginning of the end of Facebook’s traffic engine » Nieman Journalism Lab

In 2015, then, the winners of the Facebook attention lottery are going to be more videos, as well as genuinely native, in-app content from advertisers. The losers are going to be external websites who have become reliant on the Facebook traffic firehose. That traffic is going to start falling, in 2015, for the first time. And the repercussions are likely to be huge.

via The beginning of the end of Facebook’s traffic engine » Nieman Journalism Lab.

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The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry | PROOF

Kenji Yamaguchi’s shop could be mistaken for Sid’s workbench from Toy Story, a place where mangled lenses and broken shutters crowd out bare areas of his workspace. His office is tucked away in the basement of National Geographic, behind a grease-covered floor filled with drill presses and electric saws. Surrounded by robotic motors, modified macro lenses, and custom flashes, Kenji builds contraptions that can’t be bought. When a photographer needs to fasten a camera onto a thirty-foot pole to capture a bird in her nest, or build a wide-angle macro lense to identify pollen on a flower with mountains in the background, he’ll call Kenji.

 

The Magic Starts Here: Kenji’s Workshop of Camera Wizardry | PROOF.

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Outside Magazine’s Rape Story is Journalism Done Right

I spent some quality time with one of my very favorite publications this weekend, Outside Magazine. In their December issue, the same month Rolling Stone published their UVA story, they published this incredible piece of powerful journalism, done well and done right. It goes after a powerful organization with a culture of silence and shame.

The central figure in the narrative not only gives her full name, she’s photographed. And the story’s narrative clearly discusses how her story came out over years, and how it changed as she came to terms with the psychological affects of her experience. How she rationalized it, how she changed it into different scenarios to make it more acceptable, and how she finally came to terms with the whole gory thing, came forward, and began her pursuit of justice to protect others like herself. And how the establishment is fighting her in that pursuit.

As far as I can tell, the story has gotten virtually no attention by other media, scholars and critics of Rolling Stone, and the wider public.

I share it for all those who joined in our discussions here and elsewhere. Journalists, pass it on.

The Sex-Abuse Scandal Plaguing USA Swimming | Swimming | OutsideOnline.com.

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H.P. Lovecraft Gives Five Tips for Writing a Horror Story, or Any Piece of “Weird Fiction” | Open Culture

Prepare a synopsis or scenario of events in the order of their absolute occurrence—not the order of their narrations.

This is a practice adhered to by writers from J.K. Rowling and William Faulkner to Norman Mailer. It seems a an excellent general piece of advice for any kind of fiction.

Prepare a second synopsis or scenario of events—this one in order of narration (not actual occurrence), with ample fullness and detail, and with notes as to changing perspective, stresses, and climax.

Write out the story—rapidly, fluently, and not too critically—following the second or narrative-order synopsis. Change incidents and plot whenever the developing process seems to suggest such change, never being bound by any previous design.

It may be that the second rule is made just to be broken, but it provides the weird fiction practitioner with a beginning. The third stage here brings us back to a process every writer on writing, such as Stephen King, will highlight as key—free, unfettered drafting, followed by…

Revise the entire text, paying attention to vocabulary, syntax, rhythm of prose, proportioning of parts, niceties of tone, grace and convincingness of transitions…

And finally….

Prepare a neatly typed copy—not hesitating to add final revisory touches where they seem in order.

via H.P. Lovecraft Gives Five Tips for Writing a Horror Story, or Any Piece of “Weird Fiction” | Open Culture.

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As Start-Up Strategies Evolve, So Does Role of a Business Plan – NYTimes.com

“You may not need a business plan if you’re six Stanford engineers in Silicon Valley who have an app that’s got a million followers, because you’re going to be acquired so you can be hired,” said Ms. Abrams, author of “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies.” “But if you’re starting a cafe in Des Moines or a graphic design business in Phoenix, you really want to plan. It doesn’t have to be a big document, but you get to make your mistakes on paper, rather than in real life.”

via As Start-Up Strategies Evolve, So Does Role of a Business Plan – NYTimes.com.

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