Best of the Web: Eulogy for Twitter

A eulogy for Twitter. Adrienne LaFrance and Robinson Meyer argue in The Atlantic that the social media platform is dying. Although Twitter added 14 million new users for a total of 255 million, the pair say Twitter’s users are less active than they once were. “Twitter says these changes reflect a more streamlined experience, but we have a different theory: Twitter is entering its twilight.”

 

According to France and Meyer, the question is – did Twitter change or did we?

 

“Twitter used to be a sort of surrogate newsroom/barroom where you could organise around ideas with people whose opinions you wanted to assess. Maybe you wouldn’t agree with everybody, but that was part of the fun. But at some point Twitter narratives started to look the same. The crowd became predictable, and not in a good way.”

 

Uber cab confessions. As Uber attempts to upend the Australian taxi market it’s worthwhile taking a look at Mickey Rapkin of GQ’s take on spending a week as an Uber driver. Uber is pricier than your standard taxi. So what’s the hook? Instant gratification, a hint of glamour, even some sex appeal.

 

“Uber capitalizes on what economists refer to as ‘slack resources’ or ‘underutilized capacity’,” Rapkin says.

 

“Translation: Why let your car sit idle in the driveway when you can turn it into a cash machine? The future is all about monetising downtime.”

 

Gap alums rule the fashion world. In SFGate, Maghan McDowell writes about the Gap retail program which is known as the Harvard of retailers.

 

“If you’re trying to develop a career in retail, you have to do this program,” says Stanford graduate Jessica Lee, who chose Gap over Google’s Associate Product Manager Program, then under Marissa Mayer, in 2008. “You’re not just applying to a job. You’re being fostered, and they’re basically paying you to learn.”

 

But as McDowell discovers, while Gap seems to have no problem attracting and training top talent, holding onto them after they reach middle management seems a more elusive endeavour.

 

“The program remains renowned among retailers, but former Gap trainees have moved on from Gap to lead other companies – or to start their own. Call them the Gap Mafia. They’re steadily influencing retail at boundary-pushing brands gaining recognition all over the world.”

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