Friday Wrap #27 – Unsocial news

Facebook and Instagram do not have Canadian news anymore. Cue the sad trombones. In my day job, this is annoying as looking after our social media channels is part of my job and… I work in Canadian news. My Thursday morning routine of posting the week’s stories became a mess of broken links and Facebook asking me if I want to buy an ad. That’s pretty rich in my books.

There are a lot of questions about Bill C-18, and a lot of detailed, heavy explanations about it. To simplify, I’ll use this analogy:

Say I tune into a radio station with my tape recorder and record all the Bob Segar songs played on the air that day. Taking that tape, I make copies, and sell them in the park for $5 each. I make profit and my only cost is the time to record, and the blank tapes.

Social media companies like facebook and instagram, and search engines like Google are doing just that. Media companies post our links on their platforms, these companies scrape the content, post the links and content, and also serve ads around the content. For example, a look at my newsfeed shows a link to a UK Football post, an ad for a concert in September in Picton, and an ad for a retirement investment company. Facebook makes money from those ads, sandwiched between legitimate news content. Advertisers pay, we provided content, social media companies make money from ads. None of that is passed on to the content providers.

That, in nutshell, is what happens.

Honestly, given the shit on social media, I’d be happy if it all disappeared. Good bye facebook posts, groups, and the keyboard warriors.

Thanks for reading Wanderings – Selected writing by Phillip Blancher! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

Three things:

Something to read – Indigo financial results (https://stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2023/08/10/indigo-reports-fy24-first-quarter-results) – Essentially Indigo/Chapters can’t figure out how to get you to buy books. Adding more giftware and less book selection has worked well so far, it needs to.

Something to listen to – I’ve posted this before, but given the news of Robbie Robertson’s death Wednesday, it’s worth repeating.

Something to watch – You can just listen too… but you want to watch this. Another legendary guitarist, but one who is unappreciated (like Jeff Lynne). Mick Ronson. Played with Mott the Hoople, David Bowie, and others. Plus did his own solo work. This is a video of the performance of Heroes by Bowie at the Wembley tribute concert for Freddie Mercury.

Watch Ronson with the Ebow on his Les Paul guitar. Amazing stuff.

Final word — I stumbled across this Theodore Roosevelt quote the other day.

“The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

This sounds a lot like the USA now. Maybe Canada a bit less. Definitely the US though.