Quick Splits: February 7, 2017
— In Issue 53, I wrote about the supposed struggles of The Ringer, Bill Simmons’ latest digital venture, which, it turns out, is apparently doing just fine. “The one thing that’s not a problem for us is money,” he told Peter Kafka in a lengthy interview for recode.net. As those of you who have been reading the morning shakeout for at least a few weeks know by now, I’m a sucker for longform interviews (see: here and here), and I suggest checking this one out if you’re into the business and mechanics of media. It covers a wide range of topics from the evolving world of digital media, to monetization strategies—“You can’t monetize a site with just writing,” Simmons says. “You have to have multiple things.”—to launching The Ringer’s site on Medium, to how Simmons’ own relationship with writing has evolved after burning out on it at ESPN. “It’s just fun to do it,” Simmons says of writing. “I’ve been writing since I was eight years old. I just like it. I think you hit a point where you start getting in your own head a little bit when you’re a writer, no matter what you’re doing. I hit a point the last few years at Grantland where you feel you can’t win and you have to just keep topping yourself, and I was writing these 9,000-word mailbags. It was just stupid. There were so many things I would do differently.”
— Resilience is a topic I’ve touched on once or twice here before and it’s one I’ll likely keep coming back to from time to time. What is resilience exactly? It depends on the situation but for our purposes, resilience is the ability to keep your shit together when it starts to hit the fan and overwhelm you in different ways. It’s a skill I’m constantly trying to improve through a combination of experience and deliberate practice with suggestions such as these. “When times get tough and you don’t know how you’re going to stay resilient, remember not to trust the doom and gloom coming from that voice in your head,” writes Eric Barker. “The voice is an overconfident storyteller who exaggerates, not the ‘truth.’”
— I was only able to listen to a couple podcasts last week but this interview with Anil Dash, tech entrepreneur and one the internet’s earliest bloggers, was super interesting given the current political climate in the United States, along with the ever-growing influence of technology on various aspects of our culture. I recommend checking it out. “The single industry that is more responsible for creating culture today than any other, even entertainment or media, is tech. And part of it is because we’re the mediators for the entertainment and media world,” Dash told Debbie Milliman recently on her popular Design Matters podcast, in which they discussed politics, technology and culture. “It used to be the front page of The New York Times or Dan Rather doing the evening news or the movie that was opening in the cineplexes would affect culture. But you won’t even see that story on the front page of The New York Times unless Facebook decides you will, right? The majority of people’s consumption of media is at least majority moderated through technology platforms today.”
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