Smaller, organic, human-scale competition.

Each new generation provokes a massive explosion in the volume of the thing it helped create. The large social networks, e-comm companies, media companies, dating apps, and meditation apps will continue to succeed. But many of their users will be systematically poached by smaller, more organic, human-scale competitors.”

Check Your Pulse #34 (Sari Azout)

Yes. Please bring back the long tail of small, successful, indie ventures.

Managers: Learn, teach, liberate, innovate, imagine, challenge.

We want managers to become truly human again: to be people who love to learn and love to teach, who liberate and innovate, who include others in the process of thinking imaginatively, and who challenge everyone around them to create a better business and a better world. This will ensure that organizations do more than simply update old ways of doing things with new technology, and find ways to do entirely new things going forward.”

The Role of a Manager Has to Change in 5 Key Ways (HBR)

I’m thinking about team leadership & management way more often. As I do, I’m thinking about the managers I liked working with versus the ones I haven’t, and their traits I valued versus the ones I didn’t.

My favourite managers were reactive instead of prescriptive. They checked in regularly without micro-managing, offered guidance rooted in experience. They gave me freedom to experiment and learn and iterate on how I did things.

I know that what worked for me won’t work for others. Everyone’s different. But I figure, I need to start somewhere, so why not here, with what works for me?

Community changes how we engage with customers

“Something I have been consistently hammering on about for a number of years is that communities are going to change how we build businesses and engage with customers. […]

Communities provide an incredible environment to not just build relationships between customers and companies, but between customers and customers too. These kinds of communities can generate enormous value, very tangible results, and deliver fulfilling, lasting experiences.”

Community as a Competitive Advantage (Jono Bacon)

Running the gauntlet of content moderation

“Peter, who has done this job for nearly two years, worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. But he worries that he will not be able to find another job that pays as well as this one does: $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year.

“Do you know what my brain looks like right now? Do you understand what we’re looking at? We’re not machines. We’re humans. We have emotions, and those emotions are deeply scarred by looking at children being raped all the time, and people getting their heads chopped off.””

The terror queue (The Verge)

A Renaissance for Online Communities: My session from PodCamp Toronto 2020

Note: The following is a companion post to my session “A Renaissance for Online Communities”, presented at PodCamp Toronto 2020 on February 22nd.


A community is not a single place or platform. A community is a connected group of people with something in common.

Communities form around different things. There are communities of place, like your local neighbourhood. There are communities of profession, like web design. And there are communities of interest, like the communities that form around podcasting.

People don’t identify as community members straight away. Showing up at a community event doesn’t mean you’ll feel like a member. At first, we often feel like an outsider, someone dropping in uninvited.

To feel like a community member, we need to achieve a sense of belonging. That sense of belonging grows through participation in shared experiences, both online and offline.

Keep reading…A Renaissance for Online Communities: My session from PodCamp Toronto 2020

The draw of taking part in something bigger

“We all know audio is seeing a resurgence in news media, with publishers experimenting with podcasts and daily briefings on smart speakers. The New York Times is taking it even further, with their “participatory podcasts“, aka conference calls. […]

These calls have been successful in drawing in usually several hundred subscribers, with a broad mix of demographics — including international subscribers. The Times could easily just release these conversations as podcasts but that would miss out on the community-building aspect. […]

By being live, and taking listener questions, these calls foster a sense among subscribers that they are part of something bigger than themselves. This is one of the reasons more and more media organisations have been trialing membership programs; it helps to increase retention as well.”

Unexpected ways publishers engage readers (Twipe)