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Industry News

Catch up on interesting new discussion and industry news.

    The social values of artificial intelligence

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jan 2, 2019
    A lot of words are being written about AI and machine learning these days, so it’s sometimes hard to know what to pay attention to. M.C. Elish and danah boyd’s Don’t Believe Every AI You See is one of those essays that I would consider essential reading on the topic. On the ethics of artificial intelligence:

    When we consider the ethical dimensions of AI deployments, in nearly every instance the imagined capacity of a technology does not match up with current reality. As a result,...

    The problem with Instagram alternatives

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Jan 1, 2019
    I’ve been a long-time subscriber and fan of Craig Mod’s newsletter. In the latest edition he has some really interesting thoughts on Instagram, and social media in general:

    Instagram will only get more complex, less knowable, more algorithmic, more engagement-hungry in 2019.

    I want to have a place very far apart from that, where I can post photos on my own terms. Not have an algorithm decide which of my posts is best. And I don’t want to be rewarded for being anodyne, which is...

    New Year Day Logos & Themes From Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Sogou & More

    by rustybrick
    Jan 1, 2019
    Happy New Years everyone - here is to an awesome, successful, healthy, happy and consistent 2019! See what I did there? Anyway, today is New Years and to celebrate, the search engines have special logos and themes up.

    A 2019 manifesto: analog over digital

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Dec 31, 2018
    I’ve been thinking about Cal Newport’s post called Join Analog Social Media all day, especially as we get to the end of another year:

    The dynamic at play here is that digital activities that are mildly positive in isolation, combine to crowd out other real world activities that are potentially much more satisfying. This is what allows you to love Twitter in the moment when you discover a hilarious tweet, but at the end of the day fear that the app is degrading your soul....

    Filling our empty moments with sound and noise

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Dec 30, 2018
    In Filling the Silence with Digital Noise, Kate Moran and Kim Flaherty share some research-based findings on how people use digital background noise to make sure it’s never quiet around them:

    While many participants reported feeling the need to have some sort of audio in the background during their silent moments, others reported a more intense version of this phenomenon: the need to fill all the empty moments in their lives with some activity to avoid boredom or downtime. This...

    Data-driven vs. data-informed decision-making

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Dec 29, 2018
    The Netflix Data War is a very interesting post about the internal discussions that happen between Netflix’s content team and their data team. In short, data isn’t everything:

    […] in almost any decision-making situation involving data, there is some non-zero percentage of the process that involves “gut”. The reason is because not all information about a process can be incorporated into a data analysis, and it’s important for data analysts to realize that.

    That’s an important...

    Best Practices for Building and Managing a Remote Team

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Dec 28, 2018
    The Doist team makes some great points in their article Best Practices for Building and Managing a Remote Team, including something we’re embracing very strongly at Wildbit as well:

    Managing a remote team effectively is not about monitoring the amount of time your team members spend online (in fact, that’s a great way to kill employee autonomy and motivation). It’s about building and supporting a team that doesn’t need to be micromanaged in the first place.

    We wrote more about...

    The SEO Elevator Pitch - Whiteboard Friday

    Dec 27, 2018
    It's a question every SEO has had to answer at some point, whether to your family members over the holidays or to the developer who will eventually implement your suggestions. If you don't have a solid elevator pitch for describing your job, this is the Whiteboard Friday for you! Learn how to craft a concise, succinct description of life as an SEO without jargon, policing, or acting like a...

    Sundar Pichai: Google Has Over A Thousand People Working On Core Search

    by rustybrick
    Dec 27, 2018
    Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai, testified before congress not too long ago (as you may remember) and one thing that he said that stood out to me was that Google has over a thousand people working on core search. It wasn't clear if those were just engineers or it also included contractors, designers, Doodlers, etc.

    The future of books is how they’re created, not what they are

    by Rian van der Merwe
    Dec 26, 2018
    In The ‘Future Book’ Is Here, but It’s Not What We Expected, Craig Mod writes that after years of believing books will fundamentally change in the digital age, it’s simply not happening:

    I think we can agree that, in an age of infinite distraction, one of the strongest assets of a “book” as a book is its singular, sustained, distraction-free, blissfully immutable voice.

    What has changed, instead, is how books are created:

    Instead, technology changed everything that enables...