‘Facebook and New Colonialism’ and 5 other stories you should read

Here’s what you missed while you spent the week not understanding how gravitational waves work…

Chosen by Jordan Teicher, senior editor

Novel Valley of the Dolls predated my time. In fact, I never even heard of it until I read this article, let alone that it sold out 30 million copies after being rejected by the publisher.

Wealth stories like this tend to blur together — perseverance, good attitude, blah blah. But what makes this article interesting for me is the marketing. Fifty years ago, author Jacqueline Susann wrote a book about drugs, sex, and Hollywood, and then made sure everyone knew about it. Not only did she send 1,500 free copies to influencers, advertisers, and advertisers, but she and her husband drove across the country to get her books into unbooked stores.

Susann is generous and relentless – that’s probably why she’s so successful. As she says, “A new book is like a new brand of detergent. You have to let the public know about it. What’s wrong with that? ”

Chosen by Brian Maehl, director of talent development

“Cyanide and Happiness,” the popular Internet webcomic, is coming to NBCUniversal’s Seeso streaming channel. The channel usually focuses on nighttime NBC broadcasts such as Saturday Night Live , but it switches more to the original content — check it out. Although Internet shows with large fan bases have been used in this way before, like Special for Grumpy Cat .’s Holiday this announcement could lead to the acquisition of more Internet programming directed to streaming services, especially if younger audiences continue to cut the cord.

Chosen by Carly Miller, editorial intern

Content strategy is the top focus at New York Times editorial office where a string of new channels like podcasting, video and live news blogs have been tested Times’ Narrative Muscles .

After a few years of continuous production, headline ad editors are taking a step back from growth to develop a strategic plan. But what will that mean for the publication’s core 1, 300 – personal newsroom?

Chosen by Erin Nelson, Marketing Editor

It’s hard not to care about Beyonce’s “Formation” video, which, in the days following the Super Bowl, was seen as an artistic experiment and political manifesto. Bey fans celebrated, police protested, and Red Lobster profits jumped 30 percent.

Here, Moira Weigel reviews the photos that inspired the video set in Storyville, New Orleans’ historic red light district. The images, taken by EJ Bellocq, a wealthy man, provide the backdrop to Bey’s setting—a brothel—exploring what it meant to be a prostitute in New Orleans in the 1910S. Given the social stature of Bellocq and the inaccessibility of Storyville to those who wanted to document it, the existence of the images is surprising. What’s more surprising, Weigel notes, is how the women in the photographs come to life as the subject, not the victim.

Which brings us back to Bey. “The video captures the classic site associated with the abuse of women — the brothel — a place used as an excuse to police and patronize them, and reclaim it as a source of power.” If only Bellocq knew his pictures would be fit for a queen.

Chosen by Ann Fabens-Lassen, communications director

The famous theory of buzz and this technology is called Gartner’s hype cycle . Following the hype cycle, the “peak of inflated expectations” inevitably leads to the “bottom of disillusionment” (both have hilarious names, by the way).

While reading the article Times When I read this article about how struggling food delivery startups are, I was struck by how accurate this cycle of hype is. I’m not saying it’s always true, but almost every time an industry disrupts lives as we know it, people end up circle it to indicate how it failed. More importantly, I hope food delivery startups will quickly reach the “slope of enlightenment” because I have no intention of leaving my apartment to buy takeout.

Chosen by Dillon Baker, editorial collaborator

Earlier this week, influential tech VC Marc Andreessen posted a tweet bad . After the Indian government banned Free Basics — Facebook’s controversial platform built to provide free but limited Internet access to developing countries — Andreessen said the decision was a moral mistake. Germany, before making the big mistake of comparing Free Basics to colonialism.

While his tweets were blown up, the backlash — and Facebook’s immediate departure from the tech evangelist, who is also a Facebook board member — draw parallels between the company’s efforts Facebook and colonialism (as well as how much Facebook wants to hide them).

I disagree with every word of the article Atlantic about this controversy, but professor Emory Deepika Bahri’s list of similarities between Free Basics and historic colonial ventures like the East India Company hits hard:

1. Ride like a savior

2. popularize words like equality, democracy, fundamental rights

3. masking long-term profit motives (see 2 above)

4. justifies the logic of partial dissemination is better than nothing

5. cooperation with local elites and benefits guaranteed

6. accuse critics of being unscrupulous

As she said, “If it’s not a duck, it shouldn’t be wandering like a duck.” Perhaps Andreessen, who later tweeted that he was “ 100% opposed to colonialism ,” should consider the comparison more seriously.


By Nguyen Manh Cuong

Nguyen Manh Cuong is the author and founder of the nguyendiep blog. With over 14 years of experience in Online Marketing, he now runs a number of successful websites, and occasionally shares his experience & knowledge on this blog.