Visions of Johanna

(are you experienced)


Just when you thought it was over for the new wave of social media, signs of consolidation and competition suggest help is on the way. There are many who don’t care about resuscitating social media; some of my best friends turn off their webcams when the letters NFT echo throughout the cryptosphere, while others sing the praises of nextgen trustlessness as a harbinger of who knows what. I would be on the fence if I cared more, but bitcoin and Company and the fiat stock market show very little merit of distinction at the moment. Both markets merge in the story of the Musk Twitter deal or no deal. So here’s the rollup:

Twitter made noises a few weeks ago about backing away from some of its recent forays into social audio and newsletters. According to the Wall Street deep staters, if Clubhouse was toast, then Twitter Spaces had no reason to take up bandwidth better suited to propel the move from ad-based treading water to the greener pastures of subscription services. Also implicated in no particular logical order was Twitter Revue, a subscription (cough) newsletter tool, which has showed no signs of activity while Substack has rolled out gambits like video, podcasts, and an iOS reader app that spits out fascinating metrics as the company goes multi- or omni-channel beyond email into media, notifications, and whatever else falls out of the postbubble socialsphere. Big fish in bigger ponds are beaching themselves on the shores of metasphere and AR/VR Buy One and Get One Freeware.

But here’s Twitter consolidating Revue as the text editor for the new TwitterWrite 2500-word max object type, going after both Substack and Wordpress for the beachhead of social landing pages. It looks at the moment like Musk is more simpatico with whoever’s holding down the fort until the deal clears. The Street doesn’t buy it, but since when have they anyway? No one’s asking me, but if Musk can find a way of breaking even or close to it on this deal, it’s not bad for a platform that turned him into the world’s richest man, even with the current haircut. By the way, if Clubhouse is down and Twitter Spaces is whatever, then why is Spotify adding video? Maybe because video adds advertising inventory and podcasting needs to merge with streaming. Looked at from afar, as in not yet TikTocked, the data spinning off the Trumpless megalith looks ripe for being the glue that holds the missing streaming TV Guide together. Not only can I not remember the weekly drop dates for my streaming diet, but the newsletter bundle is coming soon to a home theater near you, me, and Bobbie McD. The BBC seems to be way ahead of us with a mandatory app tax, but apparently Glastonbury is one fine bundle. Pay the tax; work from anywhere.

And speaking of Dylan, the project he and his producer pal are working on sounds like an NFT project, but the NFT part is scrubbed from the long T Bone Burnett interview in Variety detailing what is actually going on: an enhanced acetate only playable on a proprietary player and only one physical object per initial project. It may be counter-marketing away from the current market crash, but these are real recordings of the artist’s catalogue owned not by the incumbents but the artists. They’ve already sold off the publishing and the synchronization rights in these 360 deals, so it looks suspiciously like a combination of Bowie’s and Warhol’s early visions of the art world.

Which is to say that there’s sure a lot of churn for something so apparently roadkill as live audio, crypto, or media reboot. Churn as in chum in the water attracting new whales and old masters. The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, and the wind cries Mary.

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