Heavy multitaskers have reduced memory

Well, this explains a lot. I always thought the internet was making me dumber, but now there may be science to back that hunch up:

In doing that analysis, Wagner noticed a trend emerging in the literature: People who frequently use many types of media at once, or heavy media multitaskers, performed significantly worse on simple memory tasks.

Here’s the story: Heavy multitaskers have reduced memory

Google search losing some advertising business to Amazon, agencies say

Amazon’s growing success could pose a rare threat to Google parent company Alphabet, which generated $95.4 billion in ad revenues last year, 86 percent of its total revenue. Google is the dominant digital advertising platform in the U.S., and will take in an estimated 37 percent of digital ad budgets in 2018. Although Alphabet does not disclose the breakdown of its ad revenue, most estimates believe the vast majority comes from search ads — approximately 83 percent in the year to date, according to research from eMarketer.

via Google search losing some advertising business to Amazon, agencies say

Beliefs into Action: Fähren Events & The Community

tl;dr: Leaders should lead by supporting the communities they work in

When Joe and I started Fähren, one of our foundational beliefs was we needed to be good supporters of the Twin Cities business community. More specifically, we wanted to put our beliefs into action by creating the events, ideas and connections that spark the insights that innovators need to keep growing.

We can help spark those ideas through our words, our writings, and the conversations we have with our clients and partners. And, we can do it by bringing together other exceptional thinkers to share their work and experiences and ideas.

Tonight, Fähren is hosting a unique group of strategists who are on the front edge of the next wave of consumer, digital experiences. Our event is called Voice is the Interface: UX Lessons Learned Designing for Voice and the speakers will include folks i know and trust to share some hard-won insights from the early days of figuring out what happens we stop clicking and swiping, and start talking to our computers.

The move to voice-only or voice+screen is going to be seismic, a transformational change. But it will take years to generate best practices and trusted design patterns. The work to figure out which practices are “best” vs “good” will take lots of conversations, collaboration, trial and error and sharing between practitioners. It will take a community effort.

Why are we putting on an event about leading edge UX stuff?

Reason #1: Fahren is a talent company focused on business leadership. We’re in business to help leaders drive change, faster. So, we see it as our responsibility to support the leaders and the thinkers who will invent, test and advocate for those design patterns, methods and best practices so we can get to the future faster, together.  One of my favorite business leaders helped me understand the truth in the saying, “All of us are smarter than any one of us.”  Sure, its good business, but it’s also just good.

Reason #2: We see innovation opportunities and we want to help figure those out. As long-time digital nerds, we’re really interested in how the computing environment will change our behaviors as consumers (and how fast businesses will have to move to keep up) when voice becomes the primary interface. It’s going to be as fascinating and fun as the move from desktop “programs” to web “pages” to mobile “apps”. Creative destruction is on the horizon, which means creative opportunities for innovators.

We’re excited about our role in the business community and we’re looking forward to the conversations ahead. We’re working on our 2019 event plans now.  Let us know what you’re interested in and if you’d like to join us as we put our event and community plan together!


Jason Hairston KUIU founder has Passed Away

I love great brands and KUIU has been one of my favorites since Jason Hairston founded it a couple years ago.  I also love football and athletes. And, i love entrepreneurs. When you combine the three, Hairston was an entrepreneur i followed closely.

He passed away by suicide earlier in the month after dealing – openly, transparently – with the effects of CTE from playing football.

I’m sad for his family. I’m sad for his co-workers and the people who love the company. I’m also sad because this is another tragic example of what football can do to a man’s brain. As difficult as these stories are to hear about, its important to listen. Something’s gotta change in football. We need some radical changes or the sport will die off .  We can’t keep sacrificing players for our weekend enjoyment.


via Jason Hairston death: former 49ers LB, KUIU found dead Wednesday | SI.com

Economy Signal: The Next Farm Crisis May Be Happening Now, Right in Front of Us

I try not worry about the economy too much, but articles like this one (about college debt), and now this one about the potential impending farm crisis make it hard not to worry.

While the big farms have been able to absorb losses and weather ups and downs—at least until recently—the many farmers who have not gotten big or gotten out have struggled day-to-day for decades. Seventy percent of farmers make less than a quarter of their income from farming and only 46 percent have positive net income from their operations.

via Is the Second Farm Crisis Upon Us? | Civil Eats

Signal: Podcast Marketplace is starting to mature

Panoply just decided to get out of the content business. This seems like a clear signal (albeit from one company) that the space is starting to mature. For a while, they were all over the place, strategically. Creating content, distributing, creating a paid app, etc. But, as the market grows and goes from “interesting” to “real”, they are focusing their strategy to zero in on monetizing via ads and adtech. It’s their way to win in a market that could be analyzed via what Ben Thompson would call “aggregation theory

Media Innovation: The Texas Tribune

Because – for a while – i was essentially the publisher of a couple very, very large websites in the food/food culture space, i started watching how the news publishers were (or weren’t) innovating. My thought then was that they would be early adopters of tech, methods and approaches that could be useful to us in the food space. Since then, it’s become more than a hobby and i’ve turned into a guy that reads MediaGazer, CJR, and Neiman Media Lab just about everyday. I follow the space as closely as i follow the CPG space.

I’m particularly interested in community driven and community funded journalism like what we’ve got in Minnesota (Minnpost), or new membership models like The Athletic.  And, i’m really curious about the more premium, tightly vertical pubs that cater to very, very specific audience (like The Information) or are driven by an excellent analyst or curator (e.g. Kottke.org, Stratechery,  or even Lance Armstrong‘s Wedu) .

So, it was really cool to read this take on the Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan, community-focused journalism site that was started in 2009 and has grown quite well. So well in fact, that they just updated their strategic plan for 2025.

AS SMITH AND RAMSHAW saw the 10th anniversary of the publication approaching—the site turns nine on November 3 of this year—they realized it was time to think about the next decade. “I don’t think that there was any one thing where it was like, ‘Oh, shit, we gotta do something,’ Smith says. “I don’t think we’ve ever, at any time we’ve been in business, felt panicked or felt like somehow we woke up and we were like, ‘What did we do last night?’”

Instead, the anniversary was what Smith calls a clarifying moment, a chance to make a bold statement both internally and externally.

You can read the strategic plan here, and it’s worth a read if you are a fan of a) interesting media models and b) strategic plans.

via A decade in, the Texas Tribune pursues the rest of its audience – Columbia Journalism Review

For The Music Biz, Community *is* the biz now

Long take on how the music industry is increasingly about the fans vs. the artists and their products. A good development overall. Wish the author would have explored how artists are thriving now on the back of the idea best encapsulated by Kevin Kelley’s 1000 True Fans.

Social media opens up nearly endless ways to engage with an artist: following their tweets or Instagram stories, or watching them goof around on Twitch.  Community can’t meaningfully grow without new content, and that content can be teased and promoted in ways that play directly to fan dynamics….. With a surplus of music available, the “community” itself, or rather the sense of oneself as participant, is increasingly the point.

via Show Tunes — Real Life