Gongol.com Archives: July 2023

Brian Gongol

July 21, 2023

Computers and the Internet A lost icon

Someone at the Chicago Tribune was, for a long time, the voice of "@ColonelTribune", a Twitter account that channeled the editorial voice of the paper as though it were a person -- lightly based on legendary publisher "Colonel" Robert McCormick. That account has been silent for more than half a year, suggesting its silence may be terminal. ■ And that is really too bad. The economics of mass media these days are generally a catastrophe: Weekday newspaper circulation is down by 40% -- since 1940. Disney loses money on consumer streaming. America's largest radio station owner has a $2.5 billion hole where its net equity should be. ■ Escaping that catastrophe isn't going to be easy on any front, but it definitely isn't going to be easier for those serving up mostly milquetoast unoriginality. Positioning an outlet with a personality and an editorial voice with something to say seems like the most viable path forward. The Tribune, for instance, has long seen itself as plucky and a little divergent from the broader editorial consensus among its peers. But it's also hard to maintain a voice worth reading on a drastically shrinking newsroom. ■ Sometimes, little things are just little things. But sometimes, they're symptomatic of big things. And it seems like an institution that would abandon the presence of an editorial voice with 615,000 followers-- even one synthesized to caricature a publisher from 50 years ago -- is the kind of institution that doesn't have the bandwidth to keep itself especially noteworthy and well-regarded for the long term.

Computers and the Internet A very reasonable hypothesis

James Palmer: "I would bet that it's going to turn out organized crime lost a bunch of money in crypto - because most of them are degenerate gamblers themselves - and there's going to be a whole spate of violence hitting the low-to-mid end grifters."

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