Tag Archives: New York Times

Response to "Twitter Trap"

A few weeks ago I made a visit to the New York Times newsroom. Walking past a cubicle, I was introduced to Bill Keller, the Editor-in-Chief. Upon learning I work at Twitter, he said back, “I’m actually writing a piece about Twitter right now.”

“Go easy on us,” I joked.

His piece,  The Twitter Trap, came out yesterday.

Here is my response, which I wrote personally and not on behalf of Twitter.

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The New York Times and the 20-Somethings

Robin Marantz Henig’s piece in the New York Times today, ‘What Is It About 20-Somethings?‘ left me with an abundance of thoughts.

The article starts out by describing what the ‘milestones’ of adulthood are: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. And since numbers show my generation hasn’t hit those yet, or is approaching them in a different order, she suggest this means we “slouch towards adulthood.”

While I appreciate the amount of research and thoughtfulness that went into this, I feel compelled to offer the other side.  While some of my peers may appear to be ‘slouching’ towards adulthood, some of them have accelerated towards it, building new milestones that might set the next generation’s bar. Milestones like being your own boss, traveling the world, paying for your own health care. Milestones that positively help our generation to worry less about how we stack up against the past, and more about how we can contribute to the new, emerging American future.

20-somethings, as noted by Henig, also have something else going for them – a sense of possibility. One that has been considered ‘romantic’ and fades in time. Yet from my perspective, that sense is one of the qualities driving innovation, new models of business, opportunities for growth. Far from romantic, it’s a new reality.

Now that deserves to be a milestone.



What Is It About 20-Somethings? – The New York Times, 08/20/2010

Why Can’t Twenty-Somethings Grow Up? -The Atlantic, 08/20/2010

My Afternoon with the Newspaper

Saturday I took a step back – from my laptop – to catch up with the newspaper. I chose the New York Times and forked over $2.12, a small price to pay for what turned out to be three hours of reading, writing and ideating. Each time I wanted to pull out my iPhone, I dug deeper into Sections A and B, determined to have an uninterrupted afternoon with what Devin Coldewey, a CrunchGear blogger, called “delayed media,” aka the ink newspaper.

Delayed media is 1/3 of the concept that is part of the “present media triumvirate” theory coined by Coldewey. Helen Thomas once told me that the benefit of the print newspaper is that you end up reading much more than you would have if you were searching for something online. I found that to hold true during my experiment. I read about how labor shortages in China will make their exports more expensive and I learned that Citigroup is about to launch a PR campaign aimed at revamping their image with Wall Street and Washington. Neither of which I got from my Twitter feeds and the cable news loop that I typically keep on during the days.

While I love the newspaper (I starting delivering them in fifth grade), they haven’t kept up with the pace of the web and so they haven’t kept up with me. Even though I have worked to keep them in my life, I know that the average newsreader hasn’t. And I don’t blame them. But I am trying to figure out a way to apply the best of traditional media (epitomized by the delayed media) and combine it with the best tactics and tools of the new. Continue reading

Decade of the Underdog: Are Gay Rights Next?

Last Friday my iPhone made the usual buzz from the back of my desk. I had a hunch it was a New York Times Mobile Alert because those are the only text I get during the day. I know, such a tool.

In any case, the Mobile Alert was a sore subject. I joked the day before that the Times was beginning to abuse their text privileges. It seemed every afternoon I got another “breaking news,” alert. Or should I say, a 200 character doomsday report.

But this day was different and my fingers found a different notice of news. Iowa had struck down an amendment to ban gay marriage. It was huge.

ia-gay-marriage-04-06-09According to a spokesperson for Lambda Legal, a national gay rights activist group, Iowa was the perfect first move in a strategic game to start winning states over – one by one.

“There is a tradition of independence and willingness to stand up on issues of fairness [in Iowa],” Jennifer C. Pizer, marriage project director for Lambda Legal told the New York Times.

Another advocacy group that no doubt took this ruling as a stripe in the win column is Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD).

If you remember, (which I didn’t but Google is great), Massachusetts voted to allow same-sex marriage in 2004. After that 26 states turned the other way and approved Constitutional bans on the same thing. With the passage of Prop 8 that banned gay marriage in California last November, it seemed the voters were sending a message. Not Yet.

But with the win of Iowa and a strategy to win six more states by 2012, it just might be the decade of the underdog.