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Big Revolution - Rudderless

Welcome to the last full-fat Big Revolution edition of the week. – Martin
January 18 · Issue #321 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to the last full-fat Big Revolution edition of the week.

Last call for the survey
The Big Revolution reader survey is still open. Come tell me what you think – it doesn’t take long.
Big things you need to know today
  • Microsoft has conceded virtual assistant dominance to Amazon and Google. Its Cortana assistant is set to become more of a skill within Alexa and Assistant, rather than a rival.
  • Facebook staff have been caught giving five-star reviews to its Portal video chat device on Amazon. Portal launched to a muted response late last year, and it seems even some of its fans are rather biased. Facebook has asked them to remove the reviews.
The big thought
Credit: Marten Bjork on Unsplash
“A conversation with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey can be incredibly disorienting. Not because he’s particularly clever or thought-provoking, but because he sounds like he should be.”
That’s the verdict of the Huffington Post’s Ashley Feinberg after she interviewed Dorsey. The interview is worth reading as it perhaps explains why Twitter as a product has moved much more slowly to counter abuse and antisocial behaviour – and simply to evolve its product – than many believe it should.
It seems Dorsey can’t communicate a clear direction for the company, which is concerning for anyone who roots for Twitter’s success because they use the platform so much.
But maybe Dorsey is, to an extent, representative of the age we live in. Twitter – so important in many countries to the democratic process due to its heavy usage by politicians and journalists – seems to be as rudderless as many governments right now.
The US is muddling through a government shutdown, with a deeply unpopular and unpredictable president, while the UK is paralysed over an issue that exposed deep divisions in the country’s population. There’s no clear end in sight to either situation.
Even countries with more stable leadership are witnessing potentially dangerous fissures emerge, caused by a breakdown in the way things have worked internationally for 30 years, and rising inequality.
Twitter, like the world its users document in real-time, needs stronger and more decisive leadership. And you’d think it would be easier to solve a social media service than it is to solve Brexit – but maybe not, eh?
One big read
After GDPR, The New York Times cut off ad exchanges in Europe - and kept growing ad revenue After GDPR, The New York Times cut off ad exchanges in Europe - and kept growing ad revenue
If, like me, you’re annoyed that some American publishers choose to block European visitors rather than comply with GDPR, here’s proof it doesn’t have to be that way.
One big tweet
So that’s what it is!
.@SlackHQ Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
12:45 AM - 17 Jan 2019
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with a weekend edition packed with good reads. Don’t forget, if you’d like to support Big Revolution coming to you every day, you can become a member.
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