How to Know its Time to Update Your Slide Deck

You can take out some slides in 30 seconds if you need to.

Earlier this week, I heard a presentation by a well-known analyst and author who is an expert on topics related to customer service and the technology used in that field.

One of her examples of customer service related to an experience in which a friend of her’s was amazed by a service provider’s customer service phone support. He was blown away by the simple integration of two data points that enabled him to not have to repeat his issue multiple times. “Oh, I see you were just on our website,” the customer support person said.

I would be impressed by that technological breakthrough, myself.

Unfortunately for the presenter, the company was United Airlines and the audience reacted to the example with laughter.

They were not impressed.

You’ve got to admit it: using an example about customer service in the context of massive coverage about how a customer of their’s had been beaten up and dragged off a plane because they were oversold is being far too loyal to one’s presentation deck than necessary.

A New Yorker Cover That Magazine Wonks Will Love

Magazine lovers can look at this cover and understand why print will stick around for a few more decades, at least.


“Every once in a while, there’s a perfect storm to produce an image.”

Françoise Mouly
New Yorker’s art editor in interview with the Washington Post


The March 6, 2017, New Yorker provides a great example of how the magazine uses the web to promote its print version. A few days before the print magazine is released, an image of the cover is released. Often, the image goes viral among the readership of the magazine–and those who don’t actually read it, but love to drop references to the magazine at cocktail parties.

More importantly, it’s an example of how a contemporary magazine–some would argue, the best contemporary magazine–can pay homage to its heritage (the 1925 cover on the left is iconic) in a way that readers understand, but non-readers won’t get–an “insider” effect. (The cover for next week’s magazine is explained in the Washington Post today.)

Most importantly, the cover breaks every rule in the “top ten reasons to buy this magazine” cover design book so effectively that “having” the magazine is more important to “reading” the magazine to a big percentage of its subscribers. And that’s more than okay with me.

Magazine lovers can look at this cover and comprehend why print magazines that matter to their readers — their collectors and lovers — will be around for a few more decades, at least.

Update: Another story about the cover via MediaPost.com


Flashback: I wrote a similar post nine years ago.

Employment Trends in Newspaper Publishing and Other Media, 1990–2016

From the U.S. Labor Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics

458,000 | 1990 | People employed in newspaper publishing industry
183,000 | 2016 | People employed in newspaper publishing industry

30,000 | 1990 | People employed in internet publishing and broadcasting
198,000 | 2016 | People employed in internet publishing and broadcasting

Quote from Bureau of Labor Statistics

“Two other industries similarly affected by the Internet are radio broadcasting, where employment declined from January 1990 to March 2016 by about 27 percent, and motion picture and video production, where employment rose from about 92,000 to 239,000 over the same period, an increase of nearly 162 percent.”

Via | BLS Economics Daily
HT | CB Insights @CBinsights

Stuff I Learn Only From The BBC World Service

The BBC is a great example of a vast media empire that uses its resources to add context — history programming, for example — into the current flow of news.

I just heard two early-morning episodes (Central Time) of the BBC series called, “The Why Factor.” One was about how America sees itself (followed next week by how it’s seen by the rest of the world) and the other on why people have different preferences in the types of music they enjoy. (More on that one in a second.)

I’ve written before about my fascination with contextual content (the hows, whys, data, background and how-tos) — as much as I am fascinated with the chronological content we news and info-junkies plug in to. The BBC is a great example of a vast media empire that uses its resources to add context — history programming, for example — into its constant flow of current news.

For example, here is a factoid I just learned on “The Why Factor” episode about music.

According to research conducted by Spotify,the generational difference in music preference between Millenials and Baby Boomers boils down to Skrillex vs. Roy Orbison. (Meaning, the music you’d least likely find any overlap among people who are teenagers vs. 60+.)

I’m convinced (but I’ll note I’m in neither camp):

On Gigaom

Gigaom ceased operations with a post on its front page last night.

On first glance. the front page of the influential tech news site, Gigaom, appears like yesterday was merely another day at the office: Coverage of the Apple Watch announcement, coverage of the upcoming SXSW Interactive. But then, in what appeared on Twitter to be a surprise to even its employees, Gigaom ceased operations with a post on its front page saying this:

Gigaom recently became unable to pay its creditors in full at this time. As a result, the company is working with its creditors that have rights to all of the company’s assets as their collateral. All operations have ceased. We do not know at this time what the lenders intend to do with the assets or if there will be any future operations using those assets. The company does not currently intend to file bankruptcy. We would like to take a moment and thank our readers and our community for supporting us all along.

Read more “On Gigaom”