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LanceLetter - Revue and Twitter; EVs Difficult Future; Google vs Australia

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LanceLetter

February 1 · Issue #215 · View online

Stuff that matters.


Written while avoiding digging out from Winter Storm Orlena

Oh, hey, Twitter
My worlds keep colliding. I’ve spent years on Revue and more than a decade on Twitter, and now they are one. Last week Twitter acquired Revue as part of its broader attempt to make Twitter “a better home for writers.” Now, as someone who loves to write and especially appreciates the challenge of compressing concise thoughts into 280 characters, I’ve always considered Twitter a home for writers. Still, I get the intention.
This newsletter, as it is in its “LanceLetter” (not LanceList) form, is about prose. I write longer bits about stuff that interest me. It’s also a bit like the buzzier Substack, a newsletter platform that encourages independent writers to build businesses around their missives.
Twitter and Substack have always had a close and strong relationship. It was easy to sign up with Revue through Twitter and its tools for blasting a Tweet out to promote my latest newsletter were solid.
What’s clear to me, though, is that Twitter bought Revue to compete with Substack. It’s even made a few changes to this platform to help jumpstart the effort. It killed Pro-level fees but is also making it easier to monetize your newsletter with subscribers.
I can’t wait to see what else Twitter does with Revue.
As far as what these changes mean for you, my dear subscribers, basically nothing. I plan to keep this weekly thought bomb up and might even try to grow it.
Why the EV future we want will take longer than expected
Tesla’s latest earnings call was chock full of information regarding product updates, progress on new battery technology, and insight into how close or far away we are from Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s long-term goal of accelerating sustainable energy. The company produced a half-million EV’s last year, but the number of all-electric cars in the U.S. is still around 1%.
The call didn’t mention the Biden administration at all, which is surprising since the new administration wants to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels. That could help Tesla and the entire EV market, but only if Biden does something about the still-lacking EV infrastructure.
A recent, excellent review of Ford’s new Mach-E, its first all-electric Mustang, highlighted the challenges established auto brands face when it comes to charging stations. There are multiple standards and not enough stations. Tesla is way ahead on this front but for us to shift away from Fossil fuels, we need a nationwide plan for supporting (read charging) all-electric cars.
Not a G’ Day, Google
Google and Australia are not exactly on speaking terms right now. Australia wants to change the rules on how ad services and search giants like Google compensate sites they link to, alter the algorithm and prioritize local results. Google is complaining the new rules are unworkable (the U.S. appears to agree with Google.)
Now Google is threatening to pull the popular search engine from Australia. In a twist, Microsoft, according to Australia, has offered that its Bing search engine could fill the Google gap. I like Bing well enough, but there are two problems here. 1) Bing is simply still not as good as Google (I use Microsoft Edge, which defaults to Bing and inevitable switch back to Google on every install), and 2) Only a tiny fraction of Aussies even use Bing. Would all Australians be happy with the switch?
As for who’s right, I’m of two minds. Google does wield enormous power or who and what you find, though most modern publishers know their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) well enough to work the system. However, I also know that Google encourages publishes to use its AMP system, which republishes their original content on clean web pages (almost no ads) and, I believe, undercuts publisher traffic and ad revenue in Google’s favor.
Overall, I hope the Australian Government and Google stop with all the saber-rattling, come to the table, negotiate, and work out a deal that benefits the Aussie public.
Please send me a letter with one of these stamps
ICYMI on Medium:
Stay warm
Stay well.
P.S. It’s February
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