Hello, everyone. I hope you had a great summer. I took the most extended summer break I’ve had since university (20 *cough* years ago), and am feeling both recharged and slightly intimidated by my return to the frontline.
With a little distance, it's easy to see just how the internet has become a battleground for ideas and minds, as different groups wage InfoWars on each other (pun intended). Tracking and understanding that, and then figuring out what role journalism has to play in it is at the heart of where my research and work is right now - but everybody should be aware of it.
People are out to manipulate us in ways we've never experienced before, and we need a dose of health scepticism more than ever. In the end, the battle against "fake news" won't be won in a tech company or a newsroom, but in homes and coffeeshops and educational institutions, as people learn to challenge what they read.
Congratulations on being amongst the noble few who are prepared to sit back, read deeply and enjoy some good old artisanal hand-crafted links.
An interesting read from a former social media editor on a national newspaper. I think she confuses the fact that she had a shitty, undeveloped version of the job with an inherent problem with the process — but there's still stuff to learn in here.
‘It’s our time to serve the Motherland’: How Russia’s war in Georgia sparked Moscow’s modern-day recruitment of criminal hackers
Fascinating long read on how Russia's culture of state-sponsored hacking grew - and some suggestions of how that developed into the culture hacking we're seeing.
An insight into how a toxic culture can get established within a company via "edgy" messaging from the very top.
Twitter is edging ever closer to being a broadcast medium rather than "social media". This is an interesting exploration of that.
The haunting animated video simply known as Johnny Johnny Yes Papa was around for years — on YouTube, Reddit, 4chan, you name it — but how much longer will stick around?
Many years ago, when the internet was young and so was I, I was a property journalist. And I used to write quite a bit about the potential impact of the internet on our urban centres. Much of what I wrote has come true, but over a longer timescale than we expected. Here's three dispatches from the aftermath of that.
You can never go home, as the saying goes. He tried.
An interesting take on the inherent problems with the digital nomad lifestyle. I think it pushes a bit too far - this lifestyle will only ever suit a subset of people. But it's a good challenge.
And Instagram has a part to play (big OM&HB post on the impact of Instagram outside digital coming soon…)
The addictive seductions of technology are limiting our creativity and potential , instead of enhancing it. Author Amber Case suggests how we can fix this by reclaiming human time, and keeping our phones in their place.
Some good advice on lengthening you attention span and making the most of your reading time.
A fascinating profile of Corbyn from someone outside the UK media bubble. Perhaps a more balanced account than the British press are capable of right now.
No massive revelations in here, but an excellent contextualisation of recent events - and a growing clarity around the fact that Zuckerberg may be psychologically incapable of fixing the mess Facebook is in.
Best of me
This is essentially a set of notes from how I've been trying to reshape my work and research.
Really serious stuff - but are we looking for easy solutions to a complex issue?
Infuencers are a real phenomenon, but it's a terrible name and the concept is prone to cargo-culting. We need to get more sophisticated in our understanding of this.
I was brought up in Scotland, and this makes me really nostalgic for those long-off days. Also, I want to buy a drone. It's a business expense, right?