You may wonder, say the Talking Heads. What does this thing work from anywhere? Or, as Google says, work from here in the office. As the vaccines get rolled out, some of us just aren’t ready to go back to normal. On this edition of the Gillmor Gang, office is a state of mind, served by Zoom and Clubhouse. It sounds like Clownhouse, with unlimited fungible bozos on the menu.
We are surely coming out, the elections recalled, floating in a vat of VC alphabet soup. PSPCs are everywhere and nowhere, water-cooled conversations masquerading as big ticket conferences, right-wing lunatics seeking general pardons. And we ask for permission to stay at home in our digital workshops? Yes, it’ll probably work for a hot second, but when will research measure what’s really changed? After a year of living a nightmare, some of us are ready for anything but the rest of our lives.
The other day on Clubhouse, they celebrated the life and times of Hal Willner, an extraordinary record producer who died suddenly of COVID at age 64. My Gang colleague Michael Markman sent me a Clubhouse notification suggesting I might want to listen, and I did. I knew Hal a bit, worked with him on a number of his projects and made the mistake we all too often make by assuming he or she would be there for the duration. So I clicked on the link and found myself in a room full of people who knew him much better. It was cathartic to hear them try to describe the guy, his life’s job, his daytime job on Saturday Night Live, and his magical series of projects involving the strangest artist combinations you couldn’t even imagine. But he did.
So when we start to understand this new world we’ve been propelled into, the normal we shape from the clues the virus has left us about what’s important, we all knew Willner and the playful glint in his eyes just right. enough to wish for just a little more help now. His friends were on safer feet in this crazy clubhouse, literally ringing from all over the world. Some saw him as a mentor, others as a collaborator, I with a pang of regret that I had not been brave enough to appreciate the brief window on this gentle giant for the luck of the encounter. I knew he was special, I knew it didn’t matter how or why we all got there at some point, and here’s Clubhouse serving up a human experience only possible because people like Hal grabbed those moments of the passing days. .
Yet it’s easy to say that these new builds are being built like a house of cards, that the hype will wear off, the economy will atrophy, the big one will get bigger. This may all be true, but what part of the really big Clubhouse, Medium, or Substack idea is really vulnerable? This is where it becomes as much political stance as anything. Just because the current or pivoted business model is suspect doesn’t mean success isn’t just around the corner. If the world is suddenly toxic, does that rule out the idea that adjustment to the emergency can produce new realities that can improve the nature of conventional reality?
Take Medium for a second. The writing platform announced a flashback to blogging, blogging, as a new feature to amplify affection signals for favorite authors. Medium analyzes are used to project an organic update list of favorite follow-ups informed by recent author updates. For readers, it’s a practical hybrid of social and flow; for editors, an incentive to gain in a timely manner in the community of what we call Twitter the social cloud. Its execution is simple but its purpose is deep, as it encourages you to post on Medium. The platform has recently moved away from funding original content after moving away from eyeball-focused advertising, but this new feature could be a way to let the existing architecture fund the growth of strategic analytics. . The more signal you provide to the follow-up notification stream, the more you prime the pump with claps and time to click metrics, increasing the strength of the blogroll signal and so on.
You may ask yourself, what does this have to do with working anywhere? Well, the idea that you can nurture a self-healing community of colleagues through digital technologies is right at the top of the list of things we want to do to support the new economy. While audio is considered subtractive from video, it is additive in terms of expanding the user base beyond the so-called creators to the so-called actors, the people who move the products and services of the company. ‘one place to another. It’s radio, a companion stream of information, music, soapbox, ideas, alerts, reminders and coffee breaks that powers the day and lights up the night. It’s digital and pop mom.
of the Gillmor Gang newsletter
The Gillmor Gang – Frank Radice, Michael Markman, Keith Teare, Denis Pombriant, Brent Leary and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live on Friday March 26, 2021.
Produced and directed by Tina Chase Gillmor @tinagillmor
@fradice, @mickeleh, @denispombriant, @kteare, @brentleary, @stevegillmor, @gillmorgang
Subscribe to the new Gillmor Gang newsletter and join the backchannel here on Telegram.
The Gillmor Gang on Facebook… and here’s our sister show G3 on Facebook.