Blogging — at one’s own custom domain, as opposed to scribbling away over at Medium or penning an email newsletter — is cool!
Seriously, is it 2014, or 2004?
There’s a bit of a renaissance of real personal blogging here in NYC. Two of the original NYC bloggers have, after years of writing professionally and editing others, returned to their own blogs.
It started with Lockhart Steele, the founder of Curbed, Racked, and Eater, who started that media business on his personal blog.
Then the next day, Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor/blogger at Gawker, dusted off her blog and started writing on it again.
There is something about the personal blog, yourname.com, where you control everything and get to do whatever the hell pleases you. There is something about linking to one of those blogs and then saying something. It’s like having a conversation in public with each other. This is how blogging was in the early days. And this is how blogging is today, if you want it to be.
It feels so good to link to both of them.
I’ve heard blogs classified as a type of social media. Maybe that’s true, and maybe not — I don’t care.
What I do care about is that my blog isn’t part of a system where its usefulness is just a hook to get me to use it. It works the way I want to, and the company running the servers (DreamHost) doesn’t care one fig what I do.
My blog’s older than Twitter and Facebook, and it will outlive them. It has seen Flickr explode and then fade. It’s seen Google Wave and Google Reader come and go, and it’ll still be here as Google Plus fades. When Medium and Tumblr are gone, my blog will be here.
The things that will last on the internet are not owned. Plain old websites, blogs, RSS, irc, email.
I knew if I waited around long enough, blogging would be the hot new thing again: Sippey, Steele, Spiers.
I have been blogging consistently here at Newley.com since January, 2002.
Streaks are important.
Twitter’s global head of revenue, Adam Bain, told me in an interview that the company will be opening an office in Jakarta in the next three to six months.
Our story today is online here.
As I wrote in the piece, the move underscores the importance of fast-growing, emerging markets for Twitter.
About 75% of the company’s 271 million monthly active users are outside the U.S. But Twitter derives a much smaller proportion of its revenue internationally.
Tapping markets like Indonesia — which has 240 million people, many of whom are under the age of 30 — will be crucial for Twitter’s future growth in users and advertising revenue.
Having an office in Jakarta will help Twitter work more closely with advertisers and marketers, Bain said.
Update: Embedded above and online here is video of a chat I had with WSJ Live’s Ramy Inocencio.
Anthropologist Christine R. Yano, who has studied the history of Sanrio’s Hello Kitty:
“I was corrected — very firmly,” Yano said. “That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”
Hello Kitty may not be a cat but she has a surprisingly specific backstory: she is British, her real name is Kitty White (no relation to Breaking Bad’s Walter White), and she’s the daughter of parents George and Mary White. She has a twin sister, is stuck in time as a third grader (even though she turns 40 this year), and lives outside of London. She has a horoscope sign, too: she’s a Scorpio.
There’s more from the Los Angeles Times here.
Via my colleague @shibanimahtani, who summed up, in this tweet, what I’m sure has been a common reaction to the story:
There is something oddly calming — despite the underlying menace — of this Death Star ambient audio, which lasts for no less than 12 hours:
This is the classic Death Star sound from Star Wars for 12 hours. Perfect for imagining that you are a Jedi working towards justice in deep space. Also great for meditating, relaxing, sleeping, or drowning out other annoying sounds.
Oh, and YouTube user crysknife007 has more where that came from. Check out the “Extended Star Wars Sounds” playlist.
Can free Frappuccinos, deals on hotel rooms, and apps offering localized content keep users hooked on Samsung’s smartphones as the company loses market share here in Southeast Asia?
The South Korean electronics giant is betting that the answer is yes.
That’s the focus of a story I wrote that ran on the front page of the WSJ Asia and in the U.S. paper yesterday.
You can find it online here.
In addition, embedded above and online here is a WSJ Live video in which I talk a bit more about the issue.
And here’s a separate post on our Digits blog about some companies that are gaining ground at Samsung’s expense: local smartphone makers little known outside the region, like Advan Digital, Smartfren, Ninetology and Cherry Mobile.
Joel Mokyr, a Northwestern University economist and author, in a WSJ op-ed:
There is nothing like a recession to throw economists into a despondent mood. Much as happened in the late 1930s—when there was a fear of so-called secular stagnation, or the absence of growth due to a dearth of investment opportunities—many of my colleagues these days seem to believe that “sad days are here again.” The economic growth experienced through much of the 20th century, they tell us, was fleeting. Our children will be no richer than we are. The entry of millions of married women into the workforce and the huge increase in college graduates that drove post-1945 growth were one-off boons. Slow growth is here to stay.
What is wrong with this story? The one-word answer is “technology.” The responsibility of economic historians is to remind the world what things were like before 1800. Growth was imperceptibly slow, and the vast bulk of the population was so poor that a harvest failure would kill millions. Almost half the babies born died before reaching age 5, and those who made it to adulthood were often stunted, ill and illiterate.
What changed this world was technological progress. Starting in the late 18th century, innovations and advances in what was then called “the useful arts” began improving life, first in Britain, then in the rest of Europe, and then in much of the rest of the world.