Spotify is acquiring Kinzen, a startup that specializes in using machine learning to analyze content and report potentially harmful statements to human moderators. In a press release, Spotify says the acquisition is meant to help it “deliver a safe, enjoyable experience on our platform around the world,”
Spotify has already been working with Kinzen, claiming that it’s been partnered with the company since 2020 and that the startup’s tech has been “critical to enhancing our approach to platform safety.” According to Kinzen’s site, its tech is capable of analyzing audio content in several languages, and it uses data from the internet and human experts to figure out if certain claims are harmful. (It even claims to be able to spot dog whistles, seemingly innocuous phrases that actually refer to something with a darker meaning.)
It’s interesting that there is indeed software that not only spots misinformation, but also finds dog whistles (a term I didn’t know about until today). To add to this, I can’t help but think that Kinzen is forever going to be adding to the database of misinformation to ensure it’s the most up-to-date it can be.
According to their website, Kinzen uses “a blend of human expertise and machine learning to provide early-warning of the spread of harmful content in multiple languages.”
My issue here is: I’m not sure just how effective it will be to notify, or even eliminate, misinformation on Spotify. One of the biggest being Joe Rogan, who has come under fire after multiple instances of misinformation and dog whistling. Since all he got was a virtual slap on the wrist for his antics before, I doubt they will turn up the heat on their cash cow.
Twitter and Facebook have added misinformation notifications since Covid-19, but I’m honestly not sure how well they have thwarted people from believing the lies and deceit they see on their timelines. In fact, I think it may have caused anti-vaxxers and QAnon followers to flock to the flagged information.
The option of doing nothing, which is what Substack does, has become the go example of what not to do as a platform. While it gave Substack millions, it also created the ongoing problem of allowing harmful information to be shared as fact. In fact, it’s partially why I decided to leave the platform.
There isn’t an easy answer to deal with misinformation on media platforms, but I am interested to see what comes of this acquisition (if anything).
I’ve been thinking a lot about social media and it’s apparent lack of care for it’s users. To the platform you are a potential revenue maker. Selling you to advertisers and not putting in controls to stop hate and harassment.
I’ve been looking to remove myself from it, then it dawned on me. Why are we adding value to the very platform that doesn’t respect us? Wouldn’t it be better to build this content on our own platform. My platform is this blog, instead of sharing my thoughts on here I’ve been adding content to Twitter, something I’m going to be doing less of going forward.
When ever I get back on the blogging horse I invariably have the thought that I wish I stuck to a single platform. Had I done that it would have been easier for people to view all of my work in one spot, and on my platform no less. Who knows, maybe it would have even grown my readership, or at the very least retained more people. I have tried my best to migrate my work every time I move platforms but I am sure there are plenty of things that fell through the cracks over the years.
I decided a few months back to hide the Twitter app from my home screen and turn off notifications. I can say without a doubt that it has absolutely limited my Twitter usage. Now, I spend more time in Reeder looking at the blogs I have followed for years and seeing what they have to say on their platforms.
Even places like The Verge has made it a point to link out to other publications and blogs, which I feel is a refreshing take on how “news” should be shared.
Our goal in redesigning The Verge was actually to redesign the relationship we have with you, our beloved audience. Six years ago, we developed a design system that was meant to confidently travel across platforms as the media unbundled itself into article pages individually distributed by social media and search algorithms. There’s a reason we had bright pink pull quotes in articles and laser lines shooting across our videos: we wanted to be distinctly The Verge, no matter where we showed up.
But publishing across other people’s platforms can only take you so far. And the more we lived with that decision, the more we felt strongly that our own platform should be an antidote to algorithmic news feeds, an editorial product made by actual people with intent and expertise. The Verge’s homepage is the single most popular page at Vox Media, and it should be a statement about what the internet can be at its best.
So we sat down and thought about what was really important to us and how to make our homepage valuable every time you open it. We also thought about where we came from and how we built The Verge into what it is today. And we landed on: well shit, we just need to blog more.
So we’re back to basics with something we’re calling the Storystream news feed, right on our homepage. Our plan is to bring the best of old-school blogging to a modern news feed experience and to have our editors and senior reporters constantly updating the site with the best of tech and science news from around the entire internet. If that means linking out to Wired or Bloomberg or some other news source, that’s great — we’re happy to send people to excellent work elsewhere, and we trust that our feed will be useful enough to have you come back later.
I am not saying that blogging is getting a new resurgence. What I am saying that as someone that thinks a lot about platforms it’s cool to see more people to care less about going viral on Twitter and care more about making their corner of the internet the best it can be.
After getting my Blot theme shared on Do By Friday, I thought it might be fun to share my most used shortcut. This Shortcut will automatically resize, upload, and create a markdown image link for you to paste in your favorite text editor.
You can get the shortcut here and make it your own if you want.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
I love video games, and I love some mobile games (Alto’s Odyssey, Holedown, Grindstone, Golf on Mars, to name a few), but we all know that those games aren’t what Mobile Games are all about. Mobile games are a shit industry with shit companies making shit games that don’t exist to entertain, they exist to extract as much money as possible from a few whales who will spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
Fun is not the point.
Compare this to the top selling non-mobile games of May 2022.
This is why I roll my eyes when someone says, “actually, iOS is the biggest platform for video games because the most money is spent on mobile.” Okay, fair enough, but it’s the absolute worst part of the industry, even if it is profitable. I really appreciate game-makers who avoid the Mobile Game B.S., but they’re few and far between, and all the mainstream stuff is whale hunting junk.
I could not agree more with Matt here. There are a number of games I do play (mostly Zach Gage games). Aside from a few handful of games, the large majority of games for iOS and iPadOS are just shitty cash grabs.
It’s rare to find a productivity app that does everything perfectly—no matter what kind of app. There will always be pros and cons to each. For example, I recently have been in the market for a notes app, and my journey involved 11 different apps and dozens of hours of seeing what worked best for me. I have finally found a system that allows me to write three issues of Clicked a week. So here is my workflow for capturing content, making notes on them, and using those notes to create original content for Clicked.
What I Need in My System
The first thing I did to find a notes app that works with me was figure out a system. I wanted a place to save links to read later, a place to save ideas and thoughts, and a way to make connections with the permanent notes I make.
When it came to picking a place to save links for reading later, I decided to go with Pocket; it is a read later app I enjoy using, and it has never been an issue for me at any point. Instapaper and Matter are also good options, but Pocket has been my read later app of choice for years now, and I decided to stick with what I knew and focus on other things with this system. So any articles, media, or tweets I like, I send to Pocket either on my phone or my Mac. Thanks to the Share Sheet on iOS and Pocket’s web browser extensions, it’s super easy.
Anything I save in Pocket is not in my notes system, and for a good reason. Not everything I save deserves to be a permanent note in Craft. For me, notes are kept for only things written in my voice. I don’t want to copy and paste someone else’s words into my notes because it doesn’t allow me to comprehend the writing thoroughly.
Also, I only create notes when I feel they can be used for future ideas and projects. For example, a short article about a new Apple rumor will likely not make it into my notes system because it is an unfounded rumor and will be less relevant as time goes on. My goal when I create a new note is that it adds to my overall knowledge and insight into something rather than being just a timeline of things that happened.
I have also found a daily note to be critical to me. When I have a fleeting thought, task, or idea, I just put it in my daily note so that I have captured that thought in a trusted system to be later processed. Then, I try to process those ideas and fleeting notes made throughout the day to keep things organized and limit the backlog to a minimum.
Fleeting notes have proven to be the buffer I need between an idea and a full-fledged note. As David Allen, creator of the GTD system, says,
Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.
- David Allen
Finally, having everything in Craft allows me to make connections and link back to other notes or ideas as a way to have new ideas and things to write about possibly.
Thanks to backlinks, I can also see the links I have made to the note I am in. For instance, if I am looking at a note about podcasting, I can see all of the notes I have made linked to the podcasting note at the bottom. This allows me to see connections I might not have seen otherwise.
What I Learned
After trying numerous notes apps and tweaking my system, there are a few things that I have learned, and feel can be helpful for anyone getting started in content creation.
Just Pick a Notes App
I chose Craft as my notes app, but there are a ton of other options that I think can work for someone looking to make their own a system. Among the apps I tried, these are some of the ones I felt were great but not the best option for me.
- Roam Research
- Evernote (note linking isn’t impossible to do, but it isn’t great)
If I am being honest, there are things that some of these apps do that are better than Craft; but as a whole, I chose Craft because it fits the most of my needs and wants in a notes app, and I let its shortcomings fall to the wayside. The same thing could be said about any of the note apps above because — like I said — there is no perfect app for storing and organizing notes.
Also, stick with your notes app because a note-taking app is only as valuable as what you put in it. If you don’t stick with a notes app for long and hop from one to another, you are losing the actual value of a notes app. The value isn’t the features or the bells and whistles it has; the important stuff is the content you bring to that app. That content and those connections you make with them are exponentially growing in importance every time you add to that notes system.
So once you pick an app, dedicate yourself to it for at least six months to a year. I put my money where my mouth was and paid for a year of Craft Pro. That $48 a year I spent locked me into this app because I invested my hard-earned money, and I want to get my money’s worth out of it.
Final Tips and Further Research
I hope this has helped you understand how I work on Clicked, and more importantly, I hope it has helped you know what a note-taking system can be.
If you want to learn more about the features a notes app has or compare different apps to choose what is best for you; I highly recommend going to NoteApps.info; it is a beautiful site to use to find and compare features in a notes app.
If you want to learn more about Craft you can read my article Why Craft is the Note Taking King.
Until then, I will see you Wednesday, June 8th, with links from the past week I found to be interesting, entertaining, weird, or all of the above.