Subscriptions might save local news

Most local newspapers are simply not worth saving, not because local news isn’t valuable, but rather because everything else in your typical local newspaper is worthless (from a business perspective). That is why I was careful in my wording: subscriptions will not save newspapers, but they just might save local news, and the sooner that distinction is made the better.

A sustainable local news publication will be fundamentally different: a minimal rundown of the news of the day, with a small number of in-depth articles a week featuring real in-depth reporting, with the occasional feature or investigative report. After all, it’s not like it is hard to find content to read on the Internet: what people will pay for is quality content about things they care about (and the fact that people care about their cities will be these publications’ greatest advantage).”

The Local News Business Model (Stratechery)

I’m bullish on local news. It’s just taking a while for the next generation of local news properties to pop up. Thanks to projects like Newspack, Substack, and others, I think we’re going to get there soon. Hopefully.

Facebook isn’t a community

There’s no such thing as a 2.2BN+ “community” — as the company prefers to refer to its globe-spanning user-base. So quite how the massive diversity of Facebook users can be meaningfully represented by the views of a last resort case review body with as few as 11 members has not yet been made clear.”

Meet Facebook’s latest fake (TechCrunch)

Facebook talks about community but they outsource moderation. In turn, there’s no room for nuance or subjectivity in their content policies, but that’s exactly how a community governs itself.

Facebook — sorry, FACEBOOK — isn’t a community. It’s a database marketing platform. It’s a behemoth repository of personal information with a handful of apps running on top of it to gather more information for the database.

Are FB’s apps useful? Absolutely. But the app users aren’t customers and they sure aren’t a community. FACEBOOK’s advertisers are their customers and, arguably, more of a “community” than the users.

FriendDA

WHEREAS I possess a bright idea that I am choosing to disclose to you, The Advisor, with the mutual understanding that you are my friend and that you will not screw me.

Termination of this FriendDA can be executed by either party, but don’t be a douche.”

FriendDA

Hat tip to my colleague Chris Carfi for sharing something that came with the FriendDA attached. First I’ve heard of it. And I love it.

Digital literacy across generations

” Technology is changing faster each year. Digital literacy can vary between ages but there are lots of ways different generations can work together and empower each as digital citizens.”

Empowering Generations of Digital Natives (WordPress.org)

Last week was Digital Citizenship Week and I had absolutely no idea that this was even a thing. (Oops.)

There were a few good posts published last week from Yvette Sonneveld, the marketing team rep for Make WordPress. They cover an intersection of WordPress and digital citizenship and are worth skimming, at the very least:

We’re putting some of this advice into practice through our local WP Durham meetups. I also touched on some of it in my talk at WordCamp Niagara last week.

These community events — meetups, WordCamps, unconferences (sup PodCamp Toronto?) — are all facets of digital citizenship. They take the online offline, offering in-person experiences to complement what we do on the web.