Friday 5 — 5.15.2015

By Friday Five

facebook instant

  1. The big news for publishers this week was Facebook Instant Articles. The New York Times and Buzzfeed were among the first publishers on board, reaping the benefits of reach, fast-loading articles, revenue sharing, and data access. While some fear it’s a deal with the devil, Poynter is more measured in its assessment.
  2. What do Facebook Instant Articles and the $4.4B Verizon-AOL deal have in common? This Stratechery post draws the thread of the important shift in digital advertising that underlies each development.
  3. Launched in 2012, Quartz is a business site that’s reshaping digital news — and along the way has prompted its competition to raise its game in data visualization. 10 million monthly readers and a daily email with a 42% open rate are data points in a successful overall strategy described as “Quartz can go anywhere our readers are, in whatever form is appropriate.”
  4. Many of us are obsessed with workplace productivity hacks and smart filtering as our days are besieged by internet distraction. Here’s an alternative take: embrace your digital overload.
  5. I bought the Apple Watch early for fun, and have been pleasantly surprised by its workstream utility. Text messages and Slack notifications pop in usefully and unobtrusively, and can quickly be dismissed. Walt Mossberg offers his cautiously optimistic take on “a fledgling product whose optimal utility lies mostly ahead of it.”

Weekend fun:
 Self-congratulatory splash pages with tedious descriptions of user benefit are the calling card of website redesigns like this or this. Thankfully, The Onion used its redesign to mock all other redesigns and their self-congratulatory explainers.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective pointers to compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally. Try out the Friday 5 archive, or sign up for a weekly email.

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