Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Entrepreneurship in books, business, and life | Joanna Penn Interview



How can artists and authors make a living off of their creative work? What does it mean to self-publish your own books? How do readers discover new books and how can new authors reach them? If you're both a writer and the CEO of your own publishing company, how do you stay focused and build a successful business for yourself? How does being an entrepreneur impact the rest of your personal life? What does it mean for your loved ones, spouse, etc.?

Joanna Penn is a New York Time and USA Today bestselling author of supernatural thrillers and nonfiction for authors. She's also a professional speaker and was voted as one of The Guardian UK 100 creative professionals 2013. Her Creative Penn blog and podcast have some of the most insightful and respected pieces on indie publishing out there today.

I was absolutely delighted to talk to Joanna. She's humble, brilliant, and down-to-Earth. The conversation went deep. We wrestled the serious impacts that entrepreneurship has on founders' personal lives and how to move through those obstacles. I think you'll really enjoy what she has to say.

We tackle these questions and more:
  • What are the biggest mistakes that first-time authors make? 
  • What's the most counter-intuitive thing you've learned about writing? If you could go back and give yourself advice on day one, what would that be?
  • How can first timers go about finding their first true fans?
  • How do you balance your content creation between fiction, non-fiction, podcasts, speaking, etc.? How do you make sure you continue to delight your true fans? 
  • What does book discoverability mean? How is it different for fiction and non-fiction? Why is discoverability for fiction broken? What does this mean for readers and writers?
  • What's something about publishing or storytelling that you believe in but most people disagree with?
  • What have you learned as an author that informs your work as an entrepreneur and vis versa? What are the deepest doubts and fears that keep you up at night as an artist and business person?
  • What's your creative process like behind-the-scenes? 
  • What are the best books you’ve read recently?
  • What’s the most important question I’m not asking?
Books and links we mention:
For more interviews with top entrepreneurs, creators, and investors, join the 700+ friends in my Inner Circle by entering your email below. I'll also hook you up with reading recommendations, startup tips, and book updates.




Gina Kane also transcribed detailed notes on the show for your reference:

JOANNA PENN’S BACKGROUND (1:11)

To any cubicle slaves out there; Joanna spent 13 years working as a business consultant in large corporates across Europe and Asia Pacific.  She did a stint implementing accounts payable into big companies. She was never happy doing that.

She, like many entrepreneurs started a scuba diving business in New Zealand. She started property investing before the crash and she has a masters degree in Theology from Oxford. It comes very much into her fiction. She writes a bit like; Dan Brown.

Joanna has been a full time entrepreneur for about 3 years and just made her 200th podcast episode!

What Was It Like To Be A Full Time Author?  (3:11)

Joanna was earning very good money.  After 3 years, she is not making as much as she was. She thought of it as she had climbed one ladder for 13 years, she was starting to climb another ladder.
She hated working and would cry, so her and her husband  sold everything. They put things in place so she could be a writer.

It is difficult to go from the top of one ladder to the bottom of the next ladder; your self esteem drops, your income and the way people perceive you. It was a difficult shift, and the best thing she ever did. Now she writes, sells books, speaks internationally and loves it.

She thinks there is a personality type that suites entrepreneurship. You have to have an underlying independence and dislike people telling you what to do.

What Are The Similarities To Writing and Running a Scuba Diving Business? (7:15)

She tells us, thankfully not very much. To own the business you have to own things, be in one physical location, have employees and be at others beckon call.

It taught her, she doesn’t want to be location and weather dependant and all for very low margins.
Now, her cost is her time and her profit margin is much higher with publishing directly. She publishes in 58 countries.

Self Publishing and Publishing  (9:43)

Prior to the influx of kindle, any author, such as Cory, are very happy having someone publish for them. The people that are not selling well or have not built up an audience yet, Self Publish.
We have x amount of hours in our day. Someone such as Cory can use that time to have someone do it all for him, in exchange for money.

Once Joanna gets to the point the publishers are coming to her and offering her good money, she may very well take it. She thinks it is best to learn how the business works. You get designs, template and upload it, and then you realize that nobody cares.

What if the real challenge is learning marketing and deciding what to do with your life?

Share: "What if you book is your business card?"

Marketing (15:50)

She writes both fiction, (under a pen name),  and non-fiction as Joanna Penn. You market them differently. When you write non-fiction it is much easier. You can use social media, blog and all the entrepreneur tools.  Joanna wrote a book, How To Market A Book, and it comes up #1 in Amazon if you type in How To Market A Book, and she did keyword research to achieve this.

She changed the name on a book based on SEO and then sold 10 x’s as many books.
Amazon is the number 1 or 2 search engine, and it is very key in selling books. If your keywords don’t drop down, then no one is searching for those things.

You can read her blog,  http://www.thecreativepenn.com/. She had a podcast, youtube channel, and she talks about the topics that go into her book. They relate to her platform and sells those books.

Fiction, is harder and easier. It is pluming hard to build up an audience because you can’t use key words. The categories are often filled with famous authors. You can do giveaways, but you go up and then back down.

Two things that work are; write more books and start an email list. She has found most of the other techniques that work for nonfiction do not sell fiction.

You need two or three books, so you can put the first on promotion. Once they like you, it gets easier. As Joanna wrote more fiction, her writing became darker. She is influenced by Steven King, and she is finding her voice and getting into her stride.

Eliot shares a helpful tip, that email is an open door on communication and a way to let people know when a new book is out.

Share: "What if you write a book and no one cares?"

Email (22:29)

Fiction writers struggle with this. With Joanna Penn’s fiction list, she sends a monthly. It has a nice banner for brand management and her author picture. It includes a more personal touch, she will share research. Recently she was in Barcelona doing research. She shared pictures, excluding her husband in the newsletter. This gives more of a personal connection to her as a writer.

She uses it for giveaways. She does author interviews, with authors that her fans may like. She hopes they will share the interview as they are in similar categories.

She sends a separate email for new books to a street team of super fans. They will do reviews for you if you ask them to. It is really important to have reviews for your book, as it gives you visibility. You give your street team free copies of your book, and they will post reviews within the first week.

She has a smaller list of about 50, she uses to communicate with, and they share pictures and more personal details with her.

Crossover (26:59)

Only about 5% of her fiction fans crossed over to her nonfiction. She recommends you decide what you are going to write about, because you need different platforms for each. She markets differently and makes money from different sources.

Share: "Fiction never ages. Nonfiction becomes obsolete."

The Perfect Publisher (31:15)

She would give up her rights for print as well as her foreign rights, but she will keep her ebook rights in English. She went to a film and screenwriters festival, and would take an option deal on her film and screen rights. She would be interested in looking into options for gaming rights.

Outsourcing (33:26)

You need to decide what you really love to do. She loves the speed of digital publishing. She can upload it to Amazon and it is for sale in 4 hours; she is paid in 60 days. There are options to get paid for having it made into an audiobook as well.

Most people don’t believe that authors should or can be entrepreneurs. She doesn’t call herself a, “self-published author”, but an “indie author”. She has 11 contractors, so she is not doing this alone.

She only needs her readers to tell her she is doing well, and doesn’t think all these things are rocket science.

Share: "Decide what you want out of life, take control, and say no to the rest."

Books Joanna Reads (36:54)

She reads an awful lot. She finished Stephen King’s It. He wrote it in 1982 and is still loving it, fiction never ages. Nonfiction becomes obsolete as things change. She reads a lot of business books and listens to a lot of podcasts.

Eliot recommends:

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer

Children (42:03)

Joanna chooses to be without children. You may want to listen to hear all the conversation about this. She recommends:

Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur by Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor

Joanna Penn shares a very intimate detail, that she was married once before. She shares that all the stress from running the scuba diving business, and many reasons,  broke them up. Her husband now is very supportive, as she quit her high paying job to be a writer.

She tells us to decide what you want out of life, take control and say no to the rest.

Decide what you want for your whole life. Most people gloss over that. Think about where you want to live, who you want to do it with, and think about, what can I do towards my body of work today? Be generous and helpful, it is also being a part in the community; reach out and make connections!

CONTACT INFORMATION

Website: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thecreativepenn

For more interviews with top entrepreneurs, creators, and investors, join the 700+ friends in my Inner Circle by entering your email below. I'll also hook you up with reading recommendations, startup tips, and book updates.



Friday, December 5, 2014

You sent Uncommon Stock to #1 on Amazon!

Wow! I mean, I was excited for launch day but... seriously?! I've got a crazy story for you. But before we dive in...

Today is the last day to grab your free copy of Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 on Amazon, click here to get it.

Uncommon Stock: Power Play released on Wednesday has a 4.9 star average rating on a base of 34 reviews. If you haven't yet, click here to snag a copy. I'll follow up with a full launch report later but we had a ton of fun press coverage and the book immediately shot into the top 100 technothrillers and top 10 hot new releases on Amazon. That's especially cool because it's a sequel. New readers need to start with the first book, Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0.

And that's where the plot thickened. We decided to make Version 1.0 free on Amazon yesterday and today only to celebrate Power Play's release. That way, readers new to the series can take the story for a test drive. Yesterday we watched with baited breath as Version 1.0 climbed the Amazon charts. #35. #17. #9. #6. #4. #3... #1!!!!!


Version 1.0 is the #1 bestselling technothriller on Amazon's Kindle Free Store. Not only that, it's #50 overall in the entire Kindle Store. That means thousands and thousands of new readers are joining Mara and James on their adventure of a lifetime.

Power Play continues that adventure and I'm humbled by how folks are describing it:

"The perfect book for anyone who wants a thrill ride through the world of tech startups."
-David Cohen, Founder and Managing Partner at Techstars

"It's rare that a sequel really ratchets up the story and takes the things you loved about the first book to a whole new level. Power Play does so brilliantly!"
-Josh Anon, founder and CEO at Visioneer Studios

"Must read. But be prepared to stay awake until finished. Eliot's first book was a one-session page-turner, now this second installment is, if anything, even better. Somebody should pick up the rights and turn this into a House of Cards style series."
-Keith Teare, founder at Chat Center, Partner at Archimedes Labs, co-founder at TechCrunch

I can't wait to hear what you think of Power Play. If you haven't started the series yet, grab that free copy of Version 1.0. Oh, and let your friends know this is the last day to get it for free!

You guys, my friends and readers, are the people who sent the books to the top of the lists. I couldn't be more surprised or grateful.

Want to to be on the VIP list to be the first to know about my next book? Join the 700+ friends in my Inner Circle by entering your email below. I'll also hook you up with reading recommendations, startup tips, and fascinating interviews with entrepreneurs, investors, and artists.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Uncommon Stock: Power Play launches today!


I can't believe the day is finally here. I'm scared, excited, and slept badly last night. When you pour so much of yourself into something, there's really no way not to stick your neck out. So here we go:

Uncommon Stock: Power Play launches today!

The story survived the roller coaster of the rough draft, the red ink of editorial, the vagaries of design, and the pressures of production. The writing process is pretty solitary but many hands have already helped along the way: my editors, beta readers, the team at FG Press, and more.

When I said I plan to publish two books a year for the next ten years, people told me I was crazy. Well, here's my second book in 2014. Power Play is the sequel to Uncommon Stock: Version 1.0 and I hope to close out the trilogy next summer. The stakes are rising higher and higher for Mozaik. Mara and James are hitting a serious startup growth curve and getting ever more tangled in the dark conspiracy that seems to shadow them everywhere. Jeremy Shure summed it up nicely in the first press review of Power Play yesterday:

"I read Uncommon Stock: Power Play in one sitting. Actually, three sittings because I needed bathroom breaks, diaper changes, and coffee. Shady venture capitalists? Desperate founders? World-changing technology? The entrepreneurial roller coaster threw flaws into sharp relief and left no character's life untouched. I highly recommend it."
-Huff Post Books

Authors may inhabit the ivory tower (or, in my case, the Craigslist-furnished home office) but books don't launch alone. As a new author with an indie publishing house, I don't get a stretch limo or a black AmEx. There won't be any TV ads, international book tours, or magazine spreads. But that's all okay with me. Why? Because I have you: my friends and readers.

I need your help. Books thrive on word of mouth. I read dozens of books a year and almost every single one I find because a friend recommended it, not because I saw an ad somewhere. Word of mouth is entirely grassroots. But how does that word of mouth engine get started? How does the proverbial grass find fertile ground to spread its roots?

That's where you come in. So, how can you help?

1. Click here to grab a copy of Power Play on Amazon and start reading it today. Miss Cyber Monday? Gift it to a friend or stuff it in a stocking. Books that start with strong launch day sales get featured in "hot new release" lists that help introduce new people to the story. If you email me a copy of your launch day Amazon receipt, I'll randomly select one winner to get a free limited edition signed copy of both Version 1.0 and Power Play, plus a coffee mug from the infamous Laughing Goat cafe in Boulder.

Haven't read Version 1.0 yet? No problem, we're running a limited giveaway on Amazon tomorrow and Friday to celebrate Power Play's launch. Click here to get your free digital copy tomorrow or Friday.

2. Share it with your friends. This could be over a seasonal latte, a craft cocktail, or after a yoga workout. Recommendations from friends and fans are how good books find new readers. It may sound silly but it really moves the needle. You can start simple by letting folks know on your favorite social network and directing them to this link: http://amzn.to/1vizliS

E.g. "Can't wait to dive into the new tech startup thriller Uncommon Stock: Power Play! Late night binge reading ahead...  http://amzn.to/1vizliS"

3. Once you've read the story, let me know what you think in a review on Amazon or wherever you discover books. Reviews make a huge difference. I always read them before choosing to purchase a book. Plus, I'm right at the beginning of my writing career and have a lot to learn in terms of craft. I read every single review and take your feedback extremely seriously.

Letting a new book into the wild is a crazy feeling for any author. Reading and writing are intimate acts. It's pretty much the closest thing to mind melding we've got. I'm not going to lie, it's scary. But it's also exhilarating. I got an email two days ago from a stranger in Ireland who reached out just to let me know how much the story meant to him. Those are the special moments that get me so excited to get up in the morning and write.

I'm no literary master. The Uncommon Series is meant to be a fast-paced adventure chock full of entertainment value. You'll get a taste of what it's like for tech startup founders struggling to achieve success against all odds (and, in this case, against organized crime as well). Hopefully the books will make you think and the characters will make you feel.

At the end of the day, storytelling is a simple craft. I like to imagine myself telling a tale to my Inner Circle around a campfire. You are the people I'm writing for. You are the person I'm writing for.

Thank you for all your help, support, and inspiration along the way. Now, I have work to do. Book three won't write itself after all...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Managing talent in the networked age | Chris Yeh Interview


The best talent is hard to find and harder to keep. Top performers are snatched up in competitive bids that look like the NFL draft while new grads struggle to kickstart their careers. How can companies attract, manage, and retain the best talent? How can job seekers optimize for the entire arc of their career in every step along the way?

Chris Yeh is a coauthor of The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Network Age (with Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha). Chris is a seasoned writer and entrepreneur and works with tech companies around Silicon Valley. The Alliance draws heavily from Reid's experience as a cofounder of LinkedIn and reframes the entire social contract between employer and employee. Chris generously agreed to walk us through what that means for companies and folks on the job market.

Here are some of the questions we tackle:
  • How is the employer/employee relationship different today than it was 50 years ago?
  • What’s the biggest mistake employers make?
  • What was the most counter-intuitive thing you, Ben, and Reid learned writing The Alliance?
  • What new talent management tools are best suited to this new world? 
  • How should employees think about their own careers? What kind of alliance can they form with their managers?
  • What's your creative process like behind-the-scenes? How is collaborative writing similar or different than solo?
  • Why should busy people make time to read literature? What is the value of fiction?
  • Are their any novels you recommend to entrepreneurs?
  • What crossovers have you discovered between your work as a writer/entrepreneur/investor? Any tips for writers/artists who want to make a living with their work?
  • What does it mean to focus on off-the-radar deals?
  • With so many balls in the air, how do you achieve work/life balance?
Links and mentions from the interview:
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Monday, October 27, 2014

How to become a successful freelancer | Paul Jarvis Interview


Ever dreamed of ditching the cubicle to work from home? Trying to build a business as a solo entrepreneur? Turning your passion into a paycheck? Freelancing may be all the rage but not everyone is Boba Fett.

Paul Jarvis is a leading freelance designer and bestselling author of The Good Creative. He just launched a new course on freelancing called The Creative Class that lays out the systems he's used to do consistently successful projects for top clients. I'm a big fan of Paul's writing on creativity and entrepreneurship (here's an example), so I was thrilled when he agreed to share some of his hard-earned lessons. I've been self-employed since grad school, so the topic is close to my heart. Any freelancer would do well to learn from his down-to-Earth perspective.

Here are some of the questions we tackle:
  • How did you go out on your own and start freelancing? What role do designers play in the big picture of technology in society?
  • Why has freelancing gone from being a weird hobby to a serious career path over the past 15 years? How does it compare to other forms of entrepreneurship? What does the future of work look like?
  • How do you balance research and production on design projects? How do you go about understanding what you are designing for? At any given time, are you working on many small projects or a couple of big ones?
  • What are the biggest mistakes that freelancers make? Where are the elephant traps?
  • What's the most counter-intuitive thing you've learned about freelancing and design?
  • How can I become a better freelancer?
  • What tools or resources do you recommend for freelancers? What's something about freelancing/design that you believe in but few people agree with?
  • What is survivorship bias and how does it impact freelancers/entrepreneurs trying to find success? If we can't use role models as models for success, what should we think about instead?
  • How do authors build and inspire audiences?
  • What's your creative process like behind-the-scenes?
  • What are the best books you’ve read recently?
  • What’s the most important question I’m not asking?
Paul's reading recommendations:
For more startup tips and interviews with top entrepreneurs, creators, and investors, join the 700+ friends in my Inner Circle by entering your email below. I'll also hook you up with reading recommendations and book updates.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

How to turn customers into champions | Brant Cooper & Jeremiah Gardner


Branding is so old-school: Superbowl commercials, Maddison Avenue, platinum-plated advertising budgets. Isn't branding a waste of time for a tech startup? Isn't it the opposite of the lean startup approach? Aren't products supposed to speak for themselves?

Not if you want passionate customers, according to Brant Cooper and Jeremiah Gardner. Brant is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lean Entrepreneur and Jeremiah is an agency veteran who's built brands for startups and Fortune 500 companies. In their new book, The Lean Brand, Brant and Jeremiah lay out the new-school of branding by applying lean principles to audience building. They kindly agreed to share some how-to wisdom based on case studies with top tech companies to help you turn your customers into champions.

In the interview, we tackle critical questions like:
  • What does “brand” mean anyway?
  • Why should entrepreneurs care about branding? Don’t they have more important things to worry about?
  • What’s the biggest branding mistake that companies make?
  • How do you find and inspire passionate customers?
  • In all of your interviews and case studies for the book, what was the most counter-intuitive thing you learned?
  • What differentiates The Lean Brand approach? What makes it “lean”?
  • What tools can entrepreneurs use to optimize their brand? Can you give a specific example of a company successfully applying that tool?
  • What’s something you present in the book that few people agree with you on? Why do others disagree and why is your position true?
  • What inspired the book? What was your creative process like?
  • How are you applying the lessons from The Lean Brand to launching the book itself?
  • What have you learned as entrepreneurs that informs your work as authors and vice versa?
  • What are the best books you’ve read recently?
  • What’s the most important question I’m not asking?
Some books we mention:
For more startup tips and interviews with top entrepreneurs and investors, join the 700+ friends in my Inner Circle by entering your email below. I'll also hook you up with reading recommendations, book updates, and exclusive content.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Where to find high-quality journalism on the Internet | Jeff Campagna Interview


Jeff Campagna is an author, journalist, and co-founder of independent startup publisher Compass Cultura. His stories have appeared in The Daily Beast, Smithsonian Magazine, Vice Magazine, The Atlantic's Longreads, Narrative.ly, and many other publications. Compass Cultura is a subscription-based publisher of high-quality, in-depth stories. Everything I've read there so far has been top notch.

I came across a great story by Jeff on the future of travel publishing on Medium (which in itself is an example of the future of publishing). His perspective nailed how the Internet is changing the nature of reporting, news consumption, and journalism's business model. As an author, this is a topic that fascinates me to no end. I reached out to Jeff and he was generous enough to a share a number of insights on what's really going on behind the scenes.

Why is the internet packed with top ten lists, link bait, promotional content, and other crappy stories? Where did all the good stuff go?

I don't think it went anywhere. It's still there. It's just buried. I'm not quite sure what the origin of Internet drivel is. Maybe it's because it's easy to consume. Like candy. Like pop music. Maybe because it's just more entertaining than journalism and informative writing. Maybe it's because, as a species, we are losing our desire to learn. But, good reading is still out here. And good readers are too. And it's not a case of ridding the internet of all the drivel so that the good readers can find the good reading. It's about forging the Internet in such a way that users can find the content they want with ease, whatever that content may be.

What does the future of journalism look like? How is technology shaping that future? What is driving the shift?

This is a massive question. I may be a journalist, and also an independent publisher, but I certainly don't have the qualifications or the expertise to predict the digital outcomes of either. I hope journalism will maintain a certain standard of quality, objectivity and accuracy in an age of speed, anonymity, and openness. Technology is obviously shaping the future of journalism (and everything else for that matter). Users are reading more on their smartphones than on their desktops. This is crazy to me.

How can writers monetize stories? How is this changing? How does business model impact the quality and process of reporting?

There are many ways writers can try to monetize their stories. Patreon, Beacon Reader and Contributoria are all examples of audience-funded (and sometimes even audience-edited) publishers who are embracing the implementation of open journalism in the digital age. I think what they are doing is great. Though I'm not sure if it's the answer. As a journalist, I still tend to rely on the old system of selling a story to an editor who then packages it for the readership of his or her outlet. I guess I still believe in the old-school approach of branded curation. But not because it's the best approach. I'm not sure if anyone in the digital publishing world has really gotten it right, yet.

What is Compass Cultura up to? Who are the other top players and what are they doing?

At Compass Cultura, we are doing our best to offer people higher-quality international and travel-based journalism in an easy-to-read, advertisement-free environment. We're trying to maintain a very tight focus. People have asked us if we license our platform to other publishers (in the way The Atavist licences their platform through The Creatavist) but the truth is, we're not a start-up tech company. We just want to tell great stories. Compass Cultura uses a sub-compact philosophy. We're not the first to do so. BKLYNR is another great example of well-executed sub-compact publishing. We are simply applying new trends in digital publishing to the travel-based journalism sector.

Is there an analog for people writing fiction? What new challenges do they face? What new solutions are out there?

Fiction is a very different animal. The Internet is a perfect vehicle to bring back the phenomena of 19th century serialized fiction, but it's not really being done yet—certainly not by any mainstream authors or publishers. But I think someone should give it a go. The closet relative to sub-compact publishing in the fiction world would probably be Kindle Singles. And some mainstream authors have had success with them. But, fiction is a tough nut to crack.

At the end of the day, what does this all mean for readers? For writers?

At the end of the day, what we are all working towards is a sort of democratization of publishing. Putting the power in the hands of the reader. For the first time in history, publishers can analyze exactly how exactly their readers are interacting with their content. With the invention of the Internet, web analytics and mobile apps, the relationship between content-provider and content-consumer has shifted from being a monologue to being a dialogue. Instead of publishers pushing content to readers, readers are sort of pulling it to them. But, this tool can be used for evil. I mean, web analytics are almost entirely responsible for the horrible state of digital advertising. Clicks, clicks, clicks. Time on site. Bounce rate. These metrics could (and should) be used to improve content quality, not increase ad revenue.

Does your experience as a writer/journalist inform your role as a founder at Compass Cultura and vice versa (i.e. creative <--> business)? Have you learned anything counterintuitive so far?

My journalism background absolutely informs my role as Compass Cultura's founder and creative director. In fact, my experience in journalism was the fountainhead for the project. Though it sounds crass, we publish the kind of content on Compass Cultura that we ourselves like to read. And I do the same as a journalist. I look for, and write, the kind of stories that I enjoy reading.

What's the best story you've read recently?

Well, I may be biased but, the best piece of journalism I've read recently is, without a doubt, Francesca Borri's article on the remnants of life in Aleppo, Syria. She is a very important journalist and her way of educating readers is honest and poetic—in my opinion, the two requirements of great journalism.

What important question am I not asking?

I think an important question to ask, and not just of me but everyone, is: what kind of Internet do we want? It's our choice. Though sometimes the internet feels like such a big place, it can't possibly be controlled. But it can. Do we want an Internet where deceiving native advertising is commonplace and corporate agendas are fed to us without even knowing it? Or do we want an internet that works for us, and not them. An Internet where content is king and high-quality products are easy to find. Of course, both Internets will always exist in some correlation or another. But, to me, the Internet is a castle that you are either building up or tearing down.



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