Let’s talk about publishing. I define publisher as an entity whose only value proposition to users is content and only or main monetization model is display ads. The New York Times is a publisher. Facebook is not, because it offers value to users far beyond content. And it offers value to advertisers far beyond display ads. Whereas the New York Times can target advertising according to context, Facebook allows advertisers to target certain kinds of people.
Publishers are dead in the water. No one likes them. No one should like them. Ads are at best interruptive and unpleasant, and at worst malicious.
The Brave browser, like Facebook, is eliminating the need for publishers by monetizing content directly. We still need platforms, or ways to host and distribute content. We need Facebook and Twitter and Medium, not all of them, but sites like them. But we do not need publishers.
We do need nonprofits and think tanks (for now) like Reason magazine, whose best writer, ENB, won a Maggie this year for The War on Sex Trafficking Is the New War on Drugs.
Reason does good work, like this:
“There are thousands of people in America who have received outsized sentences despite very minimal connections to the crimes of others thanks to our country’s conspiracy statutes. These laws give broad discretion to prosecutors to charge just about anyone who ‘conspired to commit’ a crime.
“Being charged with a conspiracy means people are punished for drugs they didn’t sell, guns they didn’t possess or use, and bad behavior they may have had nothing to do with. Conspiracy makes small players look like big fish, and get mandatory minimum sentences to match. Judges know the difference but can’t do anything about it, unless Congress changes sentencing laws.”
I had the best weekend in Virginia Beach with my mom and fam. Hope yours was good too. Heading to Austin today. Might miss a few days of newsletters, but you’re in my thoughts my babies.