The Podcast Business Model


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Is Luminary going to be Netflix of podcast?

This is a natural evolution of the podcast model. Podcasts began as free content for, you guessed it, iPods. The idea is that the content could be ‘cast’ to the ‘pod.’ In fact, today, podcasts may be the only linguistic use of the ‘pod’ term left (well if you don’t count Tide). Those podcasts then got ads and then it turned out that the ads were effective which was great news for startups like Gimlet that had built themselves off a long tradition in audio content, including innovative ads, brought about by This American Life.  (Gimlet was recently acquired by Spotify for a purported $200m).

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Joshua Gans — Digitopoly

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The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America


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Have you wondered what life would be like for a Facebook or YouTube moderator?

It’s a place where, in stark contrast to the perks lavished on Facebook employees, team leaders micromanage content moderators’ every bathroom and prayer break; where employees, desperate for a dopamine rush amid the misery, have been found having sex inside stairwells and a room reserved for lactating mothers; where people develop severe anxiety while still in training, and continue to struggle with trauma symptoms long after they leave; and where the counseling that Cognizant offers them ends the moment they quit — or are simply let go.

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Casey Newton — The Verge

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How Silicon Valley Made Work More Stressful


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Lyons: This is a very cynical take, but all of that superficial stuff was really this bright, shiny object that they dangled in front of employees, while on the side they were sweeping away a lot of the more fundamental stuff like job security, the chance to get promotions, the chance to develop your career inside an organization at the very lowest level, to have health benefits. It’s amazing how many people in their 20s I talked to who said the one thing they really want and they’ve never had is a job with health insurance.

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Knowledge@Wharton

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How the tobacco industry targets young people with social media influencers


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The tobacco industry never backs down.

Social media detective work started to reveal a few consistent themes. Whenever Marlboro branding appeared in the frames of otherwise innocuous pictures, the hashtag #IDecideTo would too, slotted in at the bottom of the post. Similarly, any picture prominently featuring Lucky Strike would be equipped with #LikeUs_Party. They also appeared to be region-specific, with the most common hashtags in, for example, Brazil –  #AheadBR, #Quemtepira, #TasteTheCity and #Readytoroll – used by British American Tobacco to advertise Kent, Dunhill, and Lucky Strike.

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Francisco Garcia — Dazed

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The world’s most unproductive entrepreneur


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Over the next few years, Low and his conspirators would use 1MDB to borrow billions of dollars from global capital markets, and would simply take much of the proceeds for themselves. To achieve all this required Low to do constant networking, set up immensely complicated financial and legal arrangements, and splash out tens of millions of dollars along the way to win friends and influence people. Low in fact worked hard at his corruption, and displayed unmistakable entrepreneurial flair–a huge amount of effort deployed to make his country poorer not richer.

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Andrew Batson’s Blog

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FINANCIAL MARKETS WERE NOT DESIGNED TO MANAGE THE PLANET


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Take the case of a farmer who is trying to decide on an investment strategy for the future of his farm: should he be planting new fruit trees, purchasing new equipment, increasing (or decreasing) his livestock, or investing in new buildings? Recall, now, that our hypothetical farmer gets his grain from wholesalers who themselves bought it at prices set on financial markets, and it becomes all too clear that excessive uncertainty surrounding the price of grain will leave him unable or unwilling to experiment with new strategies. The industrialist on whom Hayek based his own reasoning is likely to suffer from a similar paralysis.

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Nicolas Bouleau — Public Books

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Johnson & Johnson Knew Their Baby Powder Contained Asbestos for Decades


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This is a sad one.

J&J’s effort to protect its iconic Baby Powder franchise by shaping research was led by physician and scientist executives. An early 1970s study of 1,992 Italian talc miners shows how it worked: J&J commissioned and paid for the study, told the researchers the results it wanted, and hired a ghostwriter to redraft the article that presented the findings in a journal.

The effort entailed other attempts to influence research, including a U.S. government study of the health of talc workers in Vermont. J&J’s Windsor Minerals Inc subsidiary, one of several mine operators involved in the study, developed a relationship with the U.S. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health researchers to “even influence the conclusions” through suggestions of “subjective interpretations,” according to a 1973 Windsor Minerals memo.

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Lisa Girion — Reuters

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