• Predictions 2017: A Chain Reaction

      This is my 14th annual predictions post. And as I look back on the previous 13 and consider what to write, I’m flooded with uncertainty. That’s not like me. Writing these predictions is something I’ve always looked forward to – I don’t prepare in any demonstrable way, but I do gather crumbs over time, filing them away for the day when I sit down and free associate for however ...

      John Battelle's Search Blog- 47 readers -
    • We Must Fix This Fucking Mess

      Here are the caveats for the rant I am about to write. The fact that I am writing this on Medium will cause many of you to dismiss me for hypocrisy. Don’t. Read to the end. I will be saying the word “F*CK” a lot. If that bothers you, time to depart for calmer waters. This post will be subject to dismissal due to charges of high nostalgia — I will be accused of living in ...

      John Battelle's Search Blog- 39 readers -
  • Data Concentration In Platforms – A Modest Proposal

    image (I’ve been writing on NewCo Shift for the most part, but I wanted my Searchblog readers to know two things: One, I’m working on getting this site totally redone, and will be posting here in the New Year. And two, Over the past few years I’ve been looking for a grand unifying theory that explains my growing discomfort with technology, an industry for which I’ve been a m ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 4 readers -
  • Amazon’s HQ2 Isn’t a Headquarters. So What Is It?

    Crossposted from NewCo Shift. Everyone’s favorite parlor game is “where will Amazon go?” Better to ask: Why does Amazon needs a second headquarters in the first place? It’s the future! Rendering of Amazon’s new Seattle HQ. The first and original one. Why does Amazon want a new headquarters? Peruse the company’s RFP, and the company is frustratingly vague on the question.

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 13 readers -
  • This Is What Happens When Context Is Lost.

    (Cross posted from NewCo Shift) Facebook and Google’s advertising infrastructure is one of humanity’s most marvelous creations. It’s also one of its most terrifying, because, in truth, pretty much no one really understands how it works. Not Mark Zuckerberg, not Larry Page, and certainly not Russian investigator Robert Mueller, although of the bunch, it seems Mueller is the ...

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Social- 15 readers -
  • The Data Deal Is Opaque. We Should Fix It.

    I wrote this post over on NewCo Shift, but it’s germane to the topics here on Searchblog, so I’m cross posting here… What Did You *Think* They Do With Your Data? Admit it, you know your data is how you pay for free services. And you’re cool with it. So let’s get the value exchange right. Topping the charts on TechMeme yesterday is this story: So as to be clear, what’s going ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 16 readers -
  • No. Social Terrorists Will Not Win

    A small group of social terrorists have hijacked the rational discourse led by society’s most accomplished, intelligent, and promising organizations. (cross posted from NewCo Shift) Let’s start with this: Google is not a perfect company. It’s easy to cast it as an omniscient and evil villain, the leader of a millennium-spanning illuminati hellbent on world subjugation.

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Google- 19 readers -
  • My New Column – Please Sign Up!

    Hi Searchblog readers. I know it’s been a while. But I’m writing a new column over at NewCo Shift, and instead of posting it verbatim here every other day (it comes out three times a week), I figured I’d let you know, and if you’d like to read it (my musings are pretty Searchbloggy, to be honest), you can get it right in your inbox by signing up for the NewCo Daily newsletter right here.

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 12 readers -
  • Uber Does Not Equal The Valley

    Now that the other shoe has dropped, and Uber’s CEO has been (somewhat) restrained, it’s time for the schadenfreude. Given Uber’s remarkable string of screwups and controversies, it’s coming in thick, in particular from the East coast. And while I believe Uber deserves the scrutiny — there are certainly critical lessons to be learned — the hot takes from many media outlets ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 22 readers -
  • Is Humanity Obsolete?

    image Upon finishing Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus, I found an unwelcome kink in my otherwise comfortably adjusted frame of reference. It brought with it the slight nausea of a hangover, a lingering whiff of jet exhaust from a hard night, possibly involving rough psychedelics. I’m usually content with my (admittedly incomplete) understanding of the role humanity plays in the uni ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 16 readers -
  • The Internet Big Five Is Now The World’s Big Five

    Back in December of 2011, I wrote a piece I called “The Internet Big Five,” in which I noted what seemed a significant trend: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook were becoming the most important companies not only in the technology world, but in the world at large. At that point, Facebook had not yet gone public, but I thought it would be interesting to compare each ...

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Google Facebook- 21 readers -
  • Dear Facebook…Please Give Me Agency Over The Feed

    (cross posted from NewCo Shift) Like you, I am on Facebook. In two ways, actually. There’s this public page, which Facebook gives to people who are “public figures.” My story of becoming a Facebook public figure is tortured (years ago, I went Facebook bankrupt after reaching my “friend” limit), but the end result is a place that feels a bit like Twitter, but with more opportun ...

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Social Facebook- 18 readers -
  • Ads. Grrr.

    (Cross posted on Medium) I honestly didn’t want to say this, but. I did have other things to do tonight than write about advertising. Again. But g’damn, folks. Can we get our shit together? I know Google thinks it is doing something about it. But that Chrome feature you call ad blocking? Well, OK, there’s some good in it — it even addresses the issue I’m on about right now, sort of*.

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 25 readers -
  • Please, Let’s Not Go There Again

    Here’s a top-of-my-head rundown of all the shit going down that promises to take us forty years back, to a time when, well…you decide what kind of time it was. Women had to fight for basic rights. Anyone remember “women’s lib”? That movement found its voice in the 70s, and made steady if punctuated progress for forty years. Now Trump’s promising to repeal the iconic 1970s Roe v.

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 12 readers -
  • Pick Up the Phone and Call.

    (cross posted from NewCo Shift) People in business who like to Get Shit Done fall in love with each version of The New. When I was a kid, new was the the Apple II. Then the IBM PC, digital phones and voice mail, the Mac — oh God, the Mac! — word processing, email, the cell phone, the Internet — mmmmm, the Internet! — and then the iPhone — oh…the iPhone! Well damn the iPhone, ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 20 readers -
  • Bad Policy Makes Us Sick. Business Must Lead Us Back.

    (Cross posted from NewCo Shift) Walking around Disneyland with my daughter the other night, I found myself face to face with one of our country’s most intractable taboos. (Disneyland is still awesome for me, as a kid from 1970s LA. Truly magical.) If you’re an observer of crowds, one of the more prominent features of the Disneyland crowd is how generally overweight our coun ...

    John Battelle's Search Blog- 16 readers -
  • It’s Time For Facebook to Start Making Media

    There’s only one company that can possibly spin media gold on Facebook. And that’s Facebook. Round and round and round goes the debate — Facebook’s not a media company, Facebook’s not a traditional media company, Facebook’s a new kind of media company. Facebook’s gonna pay media creators to make stuff on Facebook! Wait, no they’re not. Wait, maybe they will make it themselves! Gah.

    John Battelle's Search Blogin Social Facebook YouTube- 16 readers -

John Battelle's Search Blog

Thoughts on the intersection of search, media, technology, and more.

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