Cellos, weed, and content management systems.

Greetings from New York City, where we’ve managed to keep (most of) our succulents alive despite the single-digit temperatures (okay, that was one day, but it scarred us) and we’re drinking plenty of mulled wine to 1. keep warm and 2. pretend we’re in some sort of idyllic European festive market and not an office. 

Our succulents’ continued existence isn’t the only exciting thing happening over at LHCHQ. We moved into a bigger office, and Charlie is especially loving the extra roaming space. We also have a new hire! Tallie Gabriel has joined us from Contently, and she’ll be helping with social media, blog posts, and anything else we throw her way. She doesn't own a dog, but she IS a cellist in a super cool band, so while our canine population is flat, our hipster credibility is up like 100x. 

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On to the #content: 

Mediapocalypse now (but maybe less so, later)

If you're not following Kyle Chayka, you're missing out on one of the more perceptive voices about the modern media landscape; a writer who understands better than most the invisible digital hands that shape what we read, what we listen to, and by extension how we think. 

When we last checked in, he was writing about the tyranny of algorithms; and most recently he's written a long-form story about Content Management Systems (CMS), which is somehow not only fascinating and perceptive, but also a well timed look at a media industry that's just undergone another painful round of layoffs driven by the increasing obsolescence of its ad-based business model. 

To be overly reductive: digital advertising increasingly takes place on Google and Facebook, which makes things very hard on media outlets that rely on ad revenue. And you know shits real when AOC is weighing in: 

But as Chayka writes, some media companies have been making strides towards alternative business models that are less dependent on ad revenue: subscriptions, affiliate campaigns, and crucially, content management systems:  

 "(If) the largest digital-media companies can become software providers, then they’ll be well-positioned to ride out the death of print, the bursting of the new-media bubble that claimed companies like Mic, and the inevitable plateauing of social networks as user growth stagnates."

This won't help everyone, and certainly is cold comfort to the people who just lost their jobs, but as businesses from grocery stores to cell phone makers move to subscription software models, existing and new digital media companies would do well to take note.