Friday, December 25, 2015

Best Of This Blog: 2015

Tis the season to look back at the year that was, and for many that may also mean asking ‘what was I thinking?’. 

Actually, I have a pretty good idea what I was thinking this past year, because a good portion of it has been captured here on the blog.

And what a year it was. 2015 was the year this blog broke 100,000 page views, a milestone I could never have imagined when I started this experiment of thinking made visible just under 3 years ago. 2015 was also the year I started teaching at York University and the year I returned to Austin, Texas for SXSW after a gap of 17 years. Not coincidentally, both of these events play a role in the ‘Best of this Blog 2015’ list that is the point of this entry. So let’s get down to business and crunch the year-end blog stats, not audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers (you’ll just have to trust me), and look back at the year’s most popular posts. And because I believe in delivering just a little extra to readers of this blog, I’m not serving up a Top 5 of the year, but a Top 6. Let's get this party started.


One of a handful of posts I wrote about YouTubers, those new faces of the Internet famous. In the early days of YouTube it was anti-heroes and weirdos with one-off videos gaining popularity in the then new, non-broadcast realm. But YouTube is now ten years old, and as is the case with so many things as they get older, to a sizable extent the weird is being supplanted by the commercially friendly on the video free-for-all that is YouTube. In this post we took a look at some popular YouTubers in 2015 and find out that building personal brand is now as big a part of the game as the provision of online content.


This one is a post that originated in a bit of classroom kerfuffle, when debate broke out during a session I was teaching on the impact of digital technologies on the creative industries. What happens when disintermediation gets dissed? Find out by clicking here.


Here we have a post – one of two on this list -- that comes from conference sessions I attended at SXSW Interactive in Austin in March 2015. This one is the story of Buzzfeed, truly a media company for the 21st century. Their content gets about 5 billion views per month, and 95% of those views come not from their own website, but on OPP (other people’s platforms). See the whole post on Buzzfeed and the wisdom of decentralized media here.


Coming in at the third most popular post of the year it’s Tai Lopez. Who? You know, this guy:

And be honest, who among us didn’t encounter this ‘get rich like me’ pitchman this past year, barging onto our screens as we tried to watch videos on YouTube. And as annoying as he was, the guy had an ineffable something. Blog readers seemed to agree. To read this year's third most popular post, about the man who reimagined the infomercial for the YouTube era, click here.


Now it’s time for the runner up, and it’s the story of platform capitalism, the concept that explains how companies like Uber and AirBnB can be worth billions, without owning a darn thing. For the full post on platform capitalism aka why your parents don’t understand the Internet, aka the WTF economy, click here.

And now, the most popular post of the year, one that also originated at SXSW Interactive 2015.

This widely shared post looks at the shift in PBS’ strategy from owned and operated to distributed media, a hallmark of this era of attention trumping brand, broadcaster, and many of the other logics of the old media world.


Where attention goes first is where the content follows. And it's not just digital native companies like Buzzfeed that get this, but also traditional broadcasters like PBS. Read the full post here.

And there you have it, the top posts of the year here on the Demassed blog. Thank you, as always, for your clicks, thumbs ups, and assorted endorsements of this blog. I’m undecided as to how things will take shape in 2016, now that I’ve written well over 100,000 words on the topic of digital disintermediation and the creative industries, and technologies, form factors, and marketplaces continue to evolve, but stay tuned. Like they say on the big box, more news as it happens.

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