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A blog about making culture. Since 1999.

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I am the answer to The Sexual Tension Puzzle

Listen, I'm not the one making this assertion. It's Vulture's daily 10x10 crossword puzzle for May 17th, entitled "The Sexual Tension Puzzle", in which I am, apparently, a clue. (Sorry to spoil the answer to 25 Across!) Don't believe me? Check it out for yourself. Thanks so much to Malaika Handa for this delightful absurdity!

Everything You Think Is True

The Webby Awards have recognized Kevin McCoy and I with their Lifetime Achievement Award this year, for "developing a blockchain powered way for artists to own and monetize digital work, which laid the groundwork for what would be known as Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)". I have a lot of complex feelings about this specific recognition, and about awards...

The content moderation battle is a really just a failure of innovation

If a company is debating whether a user's account should be suspended, they've already failed to build a modern platform that follows best practices. Why are today's billionaires competing for control of tech that’s broken by design?It’s unusual to see the most powerful people in tech all bickering about who can control bad, broken technology. But that’s...

A Web Renaissance

Thanks to the mistrust of big tech, the creation of better tools for developers, and the weird and wonderful creativity of ordinary people, we’re seeing an incredibly unlikely comeback: the web is thriving again.If you had to pick the unexpected breakout consumer tech hit of 2022, you could make a pretty strong case for Wordle. In a matter of weeks,...

Community Safety and Ignoring the World

Security reports from other sites are welcome. Why aren’t safety reports?One of the most fundamental triumphs of the last few decades of open source culture is the open sharing of bugs and how to fix them. There are mature, effective systems for responsibly reporting things like security issues, and entire ecosystems of players that coordinate on getting...

That broken tech/content culture cycle

Here’s how you do it.Build a platform which relies on cultural creation as its core value, but which only sees itself as a technology platform. Stick to this insistence on being solely a “neutral” tech company in every aspect of decision-making, policy, hiring and operations, except for your public advertising, where the message is entirely about creativity...

You have to start with the principle.

You can't win unless you know what you're fighting for.Many of the most important and valuable milestones of progress in society have been achieved through compromise and incrementalism. It's no surprise that idea of negotiating a brokered future in collaboration with those who might disagree with your views has become so appealing that there's an almost...

How Stevie Celebrates A Birthday

Though he’s one of the most gifted and important artists to have ever created popular music, Stevie’s legacy as a tireless and fearless advocate for justice may he even more powerful, and is too often overlooked. We should heed every word he says.On April 4th, 1968 at 7:05 p.m. central time, Dr. King’s life was cut tragically short. 50 years later a...

Tech I'm Watching in 2022

Each year, folks ask me for predictions about what's going to happen in tech in the coming year. Generally, what they're really asking is what I hope/expect is going to happen to the five or six biggest companies in the tech industry. That matters, especially in the context of policy and social impact, but in reality, very few of the conversations about...

On "inventing NFTs" and how we don't have any good way to talk about tech

I've been blogging here for more than 20 years, and the only organizing principle behind what I write here, if anything, is a fascination about how we make culture, and especially how we make culture around, and with, technology. Nothing has exemplified the complexity of that conversation more than my attempts to engage with the current hype cycle around...

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