Wednesday, July 02, 2014

7/2 Wednesday USMNT Hangover Quickie

*It was fun while it lasted. I think most people are bummed more because the ride is over, not because we actually lost. And that's totally OK. In fact, that was the inevitable feeling.

*Can't say enough about Tim Howard. (And can't lament enough that missed shot by Wondo with just minutes to play in regulation.)

*The big question: What changes? I think our expectations for 2018 change -- we're now in the "quarterfinals or bust" tier, which is not necessarily ideal (see Spain, Italy, England).

*I'm not sure we see a surge in popularity of soccer in the US -- more people caring about MLS, more people caring about Premiership. Maybe more interest in USMNT games like the Gold Cup.

*This wasn't about soccer, per se. This was about socialization. Not in a "social media" sense -- in the sense that this had so many unique conditions that made this work as an "Everyone Cares" event:

(1) Total dominance of the sport -- no other sports on the radar... (2) uber coverage/access from ESPN... (3) it lent itself to social viewing: midday games... (4) soccer is super-easy to comprehend.

*The thing that made it so amazing -- the Togetherness -- is also what makes it unlikely to be either sustainable or something that advances the sport, itself, by a step function in the U.S.

*That doesn't diminish how amazing the past few weeks have been. Soccer snobs ("real" fans) might not like to hear it, but the non-fan Bandwagon is precisely why this was as huge as it was.

*The nation of bandwagoneers are the team to be celebrated, even if they don't pay attention for another four years.

-- D.S.

Monday, June 30, 2014

6/30 Monday Quickie

*I'm a huge fan and avid consumer of email newsletters. For most of this year, I've been thinking around the idea of starting one, largely to replace writing here (I'd republish everything here anyway).

*The reason it's on my mind is because the NYT's David Carr is a similar newsletter fan and wrote about it today. If you aren't familiar, you should give it a read.

*FWIW, here are a few on my list:

*Jason Hirschhorn's MediaREDEF (media + tech + pop culture)
*Quartz (media, technology, business)
*NiemanLab (media and news)
*Alexis Madrigal's "5 Things" (serendipity)
*SB Nation's "Good Morning, Let's Basketball" (NBA)
*The Wire (news-feature discovery)
*Product Hunt (start-up discovery)
*American Press Institute (media and news)
*StrictlyVC (venture capital deals)
*Dan Primack's Term Sheet (VC news)
*The Skimm (clever news digest)
*Skift (Not even for its news on the travel-industry but as a model for how email newsletters can work.)

The ones I open most frequently/reliably are the ones where I'm not already getting their links on Twitter. For example, I love REDEF and NiemanLab, but some days, I don't need to open them because they are two of the Twitter feeds I pay most close attention to. Madrigal's "5 Things" probably gets my most reliable daily open, because he doesn't necessarily tweet out those links.

*Benedict Evans (mobile industry)
*Monday Note (media)
*TheWirecutter and TheSweetHome

*Joe Sheehan's Baseball Newsletter

(That last one should be interesting to anyone who aspires to turn an email newsletter into a paid-subscriber-based business, as Jason Hirschhorn does.)

*I wish very much that 10 years ago I had focused more on turning the Daily Quickie into a daily newsletter -- to be honest, the technology to do it has been less-than-easy. That includes MailChimp, which I looked into when Quickish launched. TinyLetter feels like the closest thing to frictionless.(It's worth noting that TinyLetter is a product of MailChimp -- a very smart little productization.)

*I know Hirschhorn's basic business model is to develop a couple of high-audience vertical newsletters, then sell subscriptions to get them, but I think his ultimate upside is opening REDEF's platform to let anyone create a paid-subscriber newsletter, then taking a percentage of that revenue.

*I know it'll seem derivative and herd-following, but don't be surprised if I spark up a daily email newsletter in the weeks after the July 4th weekend.

-- D.S.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

6/29 Sunday Quickie

*Impossible not to feel for fans of Chile. That was as loaded of a sports event as you'll ever watch.

*If Jason Kidd is a fool (and he is), then what does that make the Bucks for wanting to hire him?

*Guess Miami's Big Three is sticking together at a discount. More power to 'em.

-- D.S.