TikTok, New York Times, Charlatans & the Nobel Prizes
I have been busy researching two long pieces, which have my mind going in many directions. I need to calm down and start writing. But up until then, enjoy these random bits I have accumulated on my blotter. They are bits of data, quotable quotes, and stuff worth reading. And just me thinking out loud.
While Mark Zuckerberg fiddles in the metaverse, in the real world, his social platform burns. According to some Chinese media reports, ByteDance’s TikTok has surpassed 1 billion daily active users. Others in the billion-a-day club: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube. And WeChat. Just a reminder, TikTok’s global penetration rate is less than 20 percent. And it is also banned in India, one of the largest mobile markets.
Make what you may, the Chinese now own culture as well.
Ben Smith (formerly of Politico, Buzzfeed & The New York Times) has launched his new publication, Semafor. I am not sure I am in love with the design or the name. But I do like Ben’s reporting. And he didn’t disappoint in his first piece. In his crosshair: his former employer, The New York Times. It is a great piece about a company that is stuck in the past and has to confront it now. One of the bombshells in the article was a comment by opinion section editor James Bennett who was fired because he ran a very controversial opinion piece by Senator Tom Cotton. (Read more...)