There isn’t supposed to be much news in the last week of August.  This past week was different.

I intended to continue the discussion of information fiduciaries, but there were too many other interesting links on a different subject: media companies are continuing the trend of independence from tech platforms.

This week, Timehop builds their own ad server, Quartz starts a paid newsletter, Google’s ad tracking expands, a local newspaper group tries to raise its own capital from the public, and Twitter announces a political ad policy that’s (helpfully) different than Facebook’s.

One tiny piece of analysis on the last one.  Twitter is doing two interesting things: defining news organizations and recognizing that they have a different place in society than other commercial entities.

This is a Good Thing.

Happy Labor Day (to those of you in the U.S.), and, for those Minnesotans amongst us, regards from the Turkey To Go booth at the Great Minnesota Get Together!



  • Twitter exempts news organizations from its new political advertising registration policy.
    • Ren LaForme at Poynter has a good overview.
    • In doing this, Twitter has defined what qualifies as a news organization.
    • This is in direct opposition to Facebook’s policy.
    • My biggest question: what will Twitter do about single-subject news organizations covering a controversial topic in depth? (Think, for example, of a News Deeply property.)
    • Anyone going through the process?  Let me know.
  • Digiday’s Kerry Flynn profile’s Timehop’s decision to run their own ad serving platform.
    • This is another facet for a bonafide trend: control
    • Digital publishers are owning and controlling the two keys to their business: the audience and revenue streams from it
    • While it’s easy to see how big publishers can get this done, the desires of small players to do this will create an opportunity for someone to help them.
  • Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane shine a big spotlight on old news in Businessweek: Google buys credit card transaction data to link digital ads with brick-and-mortar purchases.
  • Sonoma West Publishers, a regional newspaper chain, started a direct public offering to raise capital.
    • Most interesting is the group’s plan for use of the proceeds.
    • I was surprised to see the plan calls for only $5,000 of spending on “new reader/community live event(s)”
    • We know how much these can drive revenue, and reach audiences.
    • I’m writing a piece on how else that money could be spent.  Know someone at Sonoma West?  Want to help me brainstorm?  Email.
  • Quartz creates a cryptocurrency newsletter… that is a paid subscription.  Very on trend.
    • Multiple revenue streams? ✅
    • Direct link to the audience? ✅
    • Focused on an audience that a distinct set of advertisers would like to reach? ✅


  • Apple AirPods are great… and they get disgustingly dirty.
  • Thanks to Working Paper reader Jonathan Friedlander for the tip: Blu Tack gets the detritus out.
  • The newly-clean earbuds sound much better, and have more volume.
  • Getting out the gunk is also remarkably satisfying. 😉


  • Hitlist has been turning up great fares from Chicago.
  • It alerts you when there are well-below-usual fares from your home airport.

I’m Reading

  • Sudomod. Online community doing really interesting hardware projects.

I’m Listening To