Xayn, Knight Center MOOC, Yahoo India, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, August 30, 2021


TechCrunch: Xayn launches a desktop version of its ad-free, privacy-safe search. “Berlin-based Xayn, which as we reported last year is doing ad-free, personalized, privacy-safe search as an alternative to tracking and profiling adtech giants like Google, has expanded its product offering — launching a desktop version (in beta for now).” It’s an open beta so I spent a few minutes playing with it. Gotta say I’m intrigued.


Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas: Join thousands of journalists learning about ‘product thinking’ in Knight Center’s new free online course. “Six thousand people from around the world have just started the Knight Center’s newest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to learn about ‘product thinking,’ an emerging discipline in journalism that has had an impact on media outlets that have moved from being mono-product to multi-product companies. ‘Product Strategies for Journalism: How to align editorial, audience, business and technology,’ began on Aug. 23, but there’s still time to register and catch up!”


The Register: Yahoo! India! shuts! down! news! operation!. “Yahoo!’s Indian outpost has stopped publishing news – even news about cricket. ‘We did not come to this decision lightly,’ states an FAQ about the shut-down, adding ‘However, Yahoo! India has been impacted by changes to regulatory laws in India that now limit the foreign ownership of media companies that operate and publish digital content in India.'” Not surprising considering the regulatory situation in India, but also not great.


StarTribune: Twitter rejects blue check mark verification for former Viking, Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page. “A spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a seat on Minnesota’s highest court and a shiny medal symbolizing the nation’s highest civilian honor. Apparently Alan Page needs to work a little bit harder to achieve the ‘notability’ that Twitter requires before it bestows one of its coveted blue check marks signaling verification of authenticity.”

Bloomberg: Who Runs Twitter’s @Twitter?. “For most of its existence, the company used its formal Twitter accounts the way you’d expect a large, public-facing company to use its Twitter accounts. Tweets were long, and the language was formal. Then in late 2018, the company adopted a more conversational approach. Twitter’s tweets got shorter and wittier. They were suddenly topical, and sometimes downright funny. Twitter took on a voice that was noticeably self-aware, as was the case with Fleets.”

Washington Post: An army of veterans and volunteers organizes online to evacuate Afghans, from thousands of miles away. “On a quiet, tree-lined street in the Bay Area, Jon Reed’s computer screen swam with maps of Kabul, chat threads and text messages from Special Operations forces, other service members and civilian contractors inside and around Hamid Karzai International Airport. A former Green Beret, Reed is one of thousands of veterans, active-duty service members, former government officials and civil servants working online to help Afghans flee Taliban retaliation.”


Techdirt: PSA: Universal Music Group Has Copyrighted The Moon. That is All.. “I know, I know, you’re thinking, ‘The moon? Is Timothy having another stroke while writing a post?’ First off, my personal health is none of your concern. And secondly, nope, because a video recording of the moon as seen from Greece, which included no audio, was blocked all over the place due to a copyright claim made by Universal Music Group.”

Educause: Beyond Social Media: The Full Context of Section 230. “On July 23, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), a trade association for companies that provide the technical infrastructure and services through which the internet operates (e.g., data centers, web hosting companies, domain registrars, and cloud infrastructure providers), held an online panel discussion to explore what Section 230 liability protection means in relation to how the broader internet functions.”


Poynter: 3 ways news organizations can improve accessibility right now. “Almost every news organization relies on social media to share information, yet they often overlook accessibility best practices. This leaves out a portion of the population from receiving significant information…. By changing the way they post to social media and considering how people navigate the digital world differently, news organizations can connect with their audiences in a more compassionate way.”

ZDNet: Facebook is the AOL of 2021. “The 1990s had a word for being trapped inside a manipulative notion of human contact: AOL. Facebook and its ilk are the rebirth of that limited vision.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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