Dear Duolingo – I am doing fewer lessons since your "learning path" change on November 1

Dear Duo, I’m not sure your new “learning path” that you rolled out on November 1 is working quite the way you wanted it to. At least for me. You see.. yesterday I did not do a single French lesson! Why not? Simple… because now that you have forced users along a single path, I know that when I do the one lesson I have available for me to do, I will then be rewarded with a “15-minute double XP boost” (I will receive double the “experience points” (XP) for each lesson.) And during the day yesterday, I didn’t have…

Mastodon Grows To Over 8,000,000 Users (and probably more)

Boom! About six hours ago, one count of Mastodon users crossed over 8,000,000 users! The latest hourly count of the @mastodonusercount bot as I write this is: 8,015,904 accounts +2,333 in the last hour +54,536 in the last day +398,175…

The Ongoing Twitter Migration is a Reminder That on the Internet, There Are No Permanent Favorites

The ongoing Twitter migration highlights one of the characteristics of the Internet that colleagues wrote about back in 2012 in what they called the “Internet Invariants”: There are no permanent favorites. We remember MySpace. AltaVista. Friendster. And SO MANY others…..

#100DaysOfBlogging – Let’s Do This!

Joe Brockmeier, who I’ve known from back in the amazing early days of Linux in the early 1990s, recently posted to his Mastodon account: With the renewed focus on owning your content and DIY web / #IndieWeb ethos, I’d love…

FIR #300: Communicating Pay Transparency

In New York, pay transparency is required by law. It will also be a requirement in California after January 1. There’s a lot of good that can come from pay transparency, but for organizations with cultures unready for it, the consequences could be dire. Are companies enlisting their internal communicators to help lay the groundwork for this level of disclosure?
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FIR #299: From the Metaverse to the Fediverse and Back Again

Despite the forecasts of some pundits, it is still too early to predict Twitter’s complete collapse. Still, it is not outside the realm of possibility. (Since we recorded this episode on Saturday, November 19, CBS has halted its activity on Twitter, blaming Elon Musk’s “turbulent and potentially devastating moves following his takeover of the company,” according to Variety. It is worth considering the consequences of Twitter’s demise. How big a loss to society at large would it be? We can take that idea one step further. With Facebook experiencing its own declines and Gen Z demonstrating a preference for smaller social networks over broadcast-style social media, what would happen if social media completely faded into the background? Also in the November episode of The Hobson and Holtz Report:

  • Thousands of Twitter users are migrating to Mastodon, a Twitter-like interface with some important differences, the key being that it is not owned by a single entity. Instead, it is a federation of Mastodon “instances” (including one Shel has launched for communicators). The fediverse could be awesome, one report suggests, assuming we don’t screw it up — and average users are able to figure it out.
  • Gallup has released a study on how connected people feel to others, whether it’s in person or online. It’s a field of study that has gotten scant attention in the past and the results could be useful to marketers.
  • There’s some nation-building going on in the metaverse, with one Pacific island country building a digital twin to preserve its heritage as global warming raises sea levels, threatening to completely submerge it. Another country — a physical entity not yet recognized by the global community of nations — is working with an architectural firm to build a metaverse version that it hopes will be the primary place its citizens interact.
  • Whether you believe it is ethical or not, there is a fair amount of ghostwriting going on in the social media space, notably with ghostwriters cranking out LinkedIn thought leadership posts for executives. But there’s more than that, with one social media ghostwriter, for example, earning close to $200,000 so far this year writing mainly Twitter DMs for employees. We’ll dive into this emerging cottage industry.
  • Dan York’s Tech Report is a buffet of topics this month, ranging from the fate of Twitter Spaces to Walmart’s Augmented Reality effort, and from enhancements to TikTok Live to Google’s “Live View in Maps.”

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LEO Satellites for Internet—Why the Next Two Years Are Critical

Can Low Earth Orbit satellites that provide Internet access help close the digital divide, or will they create more challenges? Our paper explores these questions.
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FIR #298: Social Listening in a Post-Twitter World

While things are not looking good at Twitter, it is not yet time to characterize it as the social network’s death spiral. Still, speculation is fun (and inevitable), and one of the prospects about which some people are speculating is the impact a Twitterless world will have on social listening activities. Neville and Shel explore the possibility — along with some other potential fallout should Twitter shut down — in this short midweek episode of “For Immediate Release.”
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FIR #297: A Stirling Example of Augmented Reality

The Scottish city of Stirling is investing in the creation of Augmented Reality (AR) layers throughout the city, available on a free dedicated app, to become what they claim is “the first augmented reality city.”
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FIR #296: What Elon Musk Can Learn From Patrick Collinson

Twitter and Stripe both laid off employees last week. The contrast between how these layoffs were conducted is striking. One CEO went to great lengths to ensure the employees remaining post-layoff would feel the least amount of survivor’s guilt and be ready to move forward. The other didn’t seem to care how survivors felt. Neville and Shel examine these approaches and some of the other fallout from Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter in this short midweek episode of “For Immediate Release.”
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