“ One way to think about a subculture is simply as a group of people gathering together to tell each other that they matter. ”
Digiday has an informative article about how different media companies use data/metrics in the newsroom.
- The Verge and News Corp won’t show traffic numbers to reporters.
- Buzzfeed gives all staffers a personal dashboard that shows how much traffic is going to their stories.
- Mashable’s home-grown metrics platform is called Mashable Velocity. It tracks what people are talking about online (so it can tell what is about to go viral), and this informs story assignments.
- Forbes ties metrics to staff compensation. Writers get bonuses based on 8 categories, including how many stories they’ve written. There’re also bonuses for how well they engage with readers. Non-staff contributors are compensated based on the number of unique visitors to a page.
“ The drive-thru is even more important to McDonald’s than the Big Mac. The fast-food chain generates as much as 70 percent of its sales from hungry drivers… ”
“ [Buzzfeed’s] slight problem is that an overwhelming majority of that mobile traffic goes to BuzzFeed’s mobile website instead of its app, where the average visitor tends to read for longer and share more… ”
1) It’s weird to live in a world where a VC matter-of-factly declares an interest in investing in companies who’re working on curing death.
2) It doesn’t feel good to know that as the rest of our species grapples with the existential implications of merging man and machine, we appear unable, as a country, to keep the lights on for 24 hours in a row.
I’d reverse this though: It doesn’t feel good to know that the tiny richest sliver of the population who control an obscene proportion of the worlds limited resources want to spend those resources on extending their already probably quite long life span and merging their brains with computers rather than helping keep the lights on for, like, entire countries.
Not to mention the blanket assertions about what constitutes an acceptable level of public spending on healthcare. And a whole bunch of other stuff too. Grrr.
Completely with you that it would be silly to consider any of this uncritically! Just wanted to point a finger at the very odd sensation of being increasingly unable to tell the difference between a Vernor Vinge novel and a TechCrunch article.
Also with you that we aren’t talking enough about the assumptions that come bundled with VC money. How does VC money alter incentives and definitions of success? That stuff is important to keep in mind because the way a thing is funded comes embedded with scripts that influence what it becomes.
In Sam Altman’s defense, though, the article really does come from a place of “These are big hair problems for most of the species - education, food access, energy. If we solve them, we really can lift all boats.”
Again, it’s an open question as to whether venture capital is the right way to do this.