Photo 07/30: iPhoneX, ISO 20, f4, 1/200th of a second.
Photo 06/30: iPhoneX Portrait mode, ISO 25, f2.4, 1/30th of a second.
The Outline, an often forgotten but exciting web publication, exposed a widespread practice at publications such as Mashable, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Huffington Post and Forbes, wherein freelance writers were taking payments in exchange for favorable coverage. It doesn’t surprise me — when publications pay as little as $25 per post; the freelancers are going to be wide open for exploitation by marketers. But the problem is much larger and insidious and goes beyond these payola like tricks. The whole ecosystem of information is highly compromised, thanks to a need for cheap page views, fast.
The sad part is that tomorrow or the week after, we will move on. It will soon be forgotten, and the digital marketers will be back in the swing of things. We will never ask the question — why is this happening. So, to understand the why, let me share a story from recent history.
Right there on the corner of Brannan and Fourth Streets, there is a billboard advertising some marijuana brand, saying “Hello marijuana, goodbye stress.” It got me thinking about stress and what is that is making people stressed out? Also, what does it say about people living in this tech town — are we so stressed, because of work?
The other Sunday, I was sitting in Sightglass, chatting with a friend and having coffee. It is what I usually do on the weekend, talk to friends in real life. He stepped away for a few minutes and all I heard between the strains of rock music, the constant rhythmic noise of the belt of the coffee roaster. It was a very mechanical and sweet sound. It was only a few seconds, but I was immediately taken back to when I was six years old.