6/13/2022 – Here’s what’s new and what caught my eye this week:
Avatars and More Come to TikTok: You need a digital persona today – and hopefully one that will transcend services intelligently. And now TikTok has gotten into the avatar game with a bitmoji-like way for you to express yourself. Although cool, it feels a bit two dimensional. Still, I expect my FYP to be full of these over the next few weeks. Fad or sustainable? We’ll have to see. Also, double T added new screen time controls, ostensibly to get you to put your phone down and step into the sunshine. Good intentions, but another feature that I’m skeptical will truly make a difference. Also not sure how I missed this, but TikTok has a neat trending page where you can find out all sorts of cool info about who, what and hashtags on the move.
Creator Economy Layoffs Continue: Jellysmack’s the latest to succumb to economic pressure, laying off 8% of its global workforce and pulling back from its aggressive international expansion. Oddly, even though roughly 80 people were laid off, as of Friday there were still 77 open positions on Jellysmack’s job page. Emerging creator economy startups in India are also under pressure as a global malaise takes hold. Expect more right sizing – although hiring continues at other startups in our space. Oh and Clubhouse laid off a bunch too – but you can’t blame the economy for that one.
CodeMiko and Me Live on Stage: Want to see how animation will be democratized – or maybe just get a peek into your future avatar? You won’t want to miss my crazy interview with Twitch streamer and Vtuber CodeMiko onstage at VidCon next week. She’ll interview me for a few minutes and then we’ll lift the curtain and look at the tech behind the scenes – and the amazing vision behind the upcoming MikoVerse. Could this be animation’s iPhone/YouTube moment? Find out with me – buy your ticket to VidCon today.
Bad Day for Binance as US Feds Crackdown on Crypto, Meme Stocks: Last week we talked about insider trading at OpenSea – a practice that many in the crypto industry call “going to work“. Looks like the SEC is waking up to more, with Binance’s BNB token under the microscope, and a new Reuters expose piling onto bad Binance news. Add in the crackdown on meme stocks and payment for order flow, and it looks like an activist SEC has emerged. Why should creators care? Because heightened scrutiny of tokenized communities, NFT drops and other “valueless” mediums of exchange means aligning objectives now requires aligning your legal team as well. Even if they are classified as commodities instead of securities, the wild west will still be tamed. Maybe we all would be better off just selling physical merch instead.
- Neat analysis of the 7 different Mr. Beast Thumbnail Types – oh and don’t forget Mr. Beast is sharing his secrets Friday at VidCon!
- Nice interview with influencer marketing pioneer (and VidCon advisory board member) Gabe Gordon.
- Meta launches new editing tools for Reels – nice to see competition spurring innovation.
- Love this creator economy success story, as @kolimarksmedia shares how she paid off her debt thanks to TikTok.
- Belated spotlight on AIR Media Tech, a fascinating company that helps creators and brands connect, go global and hopefully change the world.
- Self-documenting and self-branding are becoming basic to all forms of work, Sophie Bishop writes in Real Life.
- YouTube taps into the world of tarot.
- Need another excuse to come to VidCon? Brian Morrissey explains why events still matter.
- A more corporate look at solving the identity crisis – Rex Woodbury spotlights his investment in Persona.
- What it’s like dining with a TikTok Foodie.
- Some NFT influencers want you to ignore the hype.
- NFTs, copyright, and what you really own (mostly nothing).
- A useful framework for evaluating crypto projects (Ponzi, Pyramid, Tulip, Living or Dying).
- Another good Web3 analysis focusing on the power of permissionless databases. Made me realize that a “block” is just an immutable and mutually agreed upon data record combined with a stored procedure.
- Ouch. Vice says that Web3 will hurt people.
- Practical lessons from building a DAO.
Programming Spotlight: It’s the age of the multiformat creator! Hear from YouTube’s new Vice President of Americas, Tara Walpert Levy, and YouTubers Rosanna Pansino and Ian Boggs on Fri 6/24 at 12:05 PM (PT) as they talk through the benefits of multiformat and the unique ways businesses are built only on YouTube. Check out the session details here and buy tickets now so you don’t miss it!
What We’re Watching:
- AI image generator DALL-E 2 imagines Kermit the Frog starring in a variety of movies
- The team at Vox tracked what happens after TikTok songs go viral.
- YouTube CBO Robert Kyncl answers Shorts questions (it’s not really an AMA, but still worth the 2 minutes).
- Have you seen Top Gun: Maverick? Director Joseph Kosinski breaks down a scene from the newly released film.
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