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Mar 16, 2018

4% of users own 96% of Bitcoin

At least that was the case in Sept 2017, and I see no reason why that should have shifted dramatically. Just wanted to throw this out there. This would mean that the wealth disparity in bitcoin would be worse than that of FIAT currency.

Shifting attention from Facebook video to YouTube

Personally, I still believe that we#re talking different ballgames, at least as long as Facebook watch is not a real competitor - to me, Facebook dominates discovery, while YouTube has a large amount of intentional visits - people go there explicitly to watch video, often even with a certain channel in mind. Achieving this on Facebook, where people go to see what's up, often with the intention to kill time, 2 minutes here, 5 minutes there, will be very hard. This article explains why House of Highlights (Bleacher) didn't even consider Facebook to expand their strong Instagram footprint.

Democratize big data

I keep saying (here in German from 2011) that my purchases on Amazon or my searches on Google or my likes on Facebook should be mine - just because I happen to cause them on an application built by someone else, who said that the data should be owned by those offering the application? To me, this is a fundamental flaw in how we built the internet (and my hope in blockchain is that we may fix this in a "crypto web 3.0"). Here's an interesting piece in the Guardian - with a longer version that will be published soon in an interesting magazine called "Logic" - about another way to democratize big data, proposing a "data dividend", coming from a more societal perspective on data ownership and governance:

Mining data of taxi rides in NYC

There's so much stuff hidden in data, and so much to learn - it's simply amazing: NYC's government released data of over 1bn cab rides between 2009 and 2014. One student analyzed trips between big banks and the Federal Reserve, and there's a statistical correlation between the number of rides and major decisions taken by the Fed. You can't prove illegal arrangements just by taxi rides, but at least there's another argument the public availability of non-personalized data.

Mar 13, 2018

John Oliver explains "blockchain"

There are hundreds of not thousands blockchain explainers out there. But there is none like John Oliver, so here's some entertainment around Bitcoin, Ethereum and blockchain involving Chicken McNuggets and weddings at Burning Man. Enjoy.

Mar 12, 2018

We are far away from (knowing how to gain) control over fake news

No major election, less discussion about fake news - but we haven't achieved much yet. Facebook's strange introduction of "meaningful social interactions" and a two-question-survey about trusted publishers is borderline ridicolous. Currently, I heard this from FB directly, meaningful social interactions (MSI) are defined as comments and shares. Guess which stories get the most of these - "refugee ate a 4 year old blond kid". A German stat about interactions revealed a high climb for right wing publications in January and February. While established publishers are at a level they were 30 months ago (in interactions), (not linked on purpose) climbed 147% in Jan/Feb. I guess MSI at its current state can't be the answer, Facebook. A number of studies have been conducted, and they all draw a dark picture - we have no clue how to deal with the fact that every part of society creates their own reality, one the want to believe is true.

Fake news spread faster than real news:

Largest ever study on fake news:

What if Publishing and Advertising do not need each other anymore?

I think journalists have a bright future. I really do, and always have to emphasize this when I give talks about digital publishing, AI generated story summaries and how technoogy will be a bigger source of competitive advantage than quality of journalism. I am not so very sure about the profession in newsrooms and publisher organizations, but I am sure about the fact that we all need and want storytelling, and I am sure that many, many companies will hire journalists in order to tell their stories - distinct from creating campaigns which will still be done by advertising agencies. 

Background is that any company could be their own publisher nowadays. The barrier to entry is so low, 14yo kids become global publishers. So here's one simple, but fundamental thought: what if publishers and advertisers wouldn't need each other any more? I just stumbled upon this 15page PDF, published in a joint effort by Harvard Business School and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism from Columbia Journalism School from October 2017. It's a very interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking read, you can download the PDF from this page here:

Google AMP Overview

With Facebook sending less traffic to publishers, Google's accelerated mobile pages (AMP) are getting even more popular than they were before already. This article is insightful yet not at all in favor of AMP - its tone is basically "the next desaster to happen to publishers", mainly adressing an often voiced, seldomly heard or discussed criticism of AMP handing over too much control to Google. New to me is that AMP's experienced fast load reportedly doesn't come from its actual design but from pre-loading:

Another view worth sharing is this from The Verge about AMP as a new web standard: