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Humanist technologist. Equality and adventures.

I co-founded Elgg and Known, worked on Medium, and now invest in innovative media startups to support a stronger democracy at Matter.

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ben@benwerd.com

 

for

The amazing people I get to have in my life
The opportunities to do amazing things that I’ve improbably been given
People who don’t hide their politics, and fight and shout and act for social justice
All the beauty in this world, which belongs to all of us.

 

Things I’ve read about the UK this morning:

It’s about to have the greatest fall in living standards in 60 years

MPs voted that animals can’t feel pain

Scottish cities are losing their ability to receive European cultural designations

What’s going on over there? (Rhetorical.)

 

In 2017, we apparently call keyloggers "user research". http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-42065650

 

I believe in web principles as a symbol of freedom online (although the web as a technology needs to continue to evolve and change). Gatekeepers should not be the future. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/15/tim-berners-lee-world-wide-web-net-neutrality

 
 

I appreciate this distinction - and I just added a new word to my vocabulary. https://theestablishment.co/christianists-want-dominion-over-america-and-its-not-rude-to-say-so-b03a...

 

I hereby give each and every one of you permission, should I ever start another consumer open source startup, to slap me in the face.

 

Thinking about: how can the transition from a one-directional content publishing business to a bidirectional membership community with network effects be made easier? Or is there another route to long-term growth / sustainability for companies creating great, focused journalism?

 

Playing with Known this morning, because, hey.

 

Purple is thinking about starting an SMS notification service for the Mueller investigation. Would you use this? (I would.) https://getpurple.typeform.com/to/lfLjqt?r=benwerd

 

If the tech industry can’t collect data responsibly and be good stewards of user privacy, government may step in. https://www.wired.com/story/al-franken-just-gave-the-speech-big-tech-has-been-dreading

 

We've been releasing Matter Seven's Demo Day stories every day on the podcast. Don't miss The Establishment: https://medium.com/matter-driven-narrative/the-drunken-walk-matter-seven-demo-day-special-the-establ...

 

Interesting statement from Sean Parker. This is going to become a bigger and bigger issue. https://www.axios.com/sean-parker-unloads-on-facebook-2508036343.html

 

"We're not just designing software anymore, we're designing minds." http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/marketplace-phones-1.4384876

 

If you have an election in your area today, please vote. The world needs you.

 

‪“Building something amazing by introspectively using my skills & creativity in a psychologically safe and sustainable way!” > “Crushing it!”‬

 

The last thing any of us should care about is making rich people feel comfortable with their wealth. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/sunday/what-the-rich-wont-tell-you.html

 

"The system is complicit in the abuse." How YouTube is used to abuse children: https://medium.com/@jamesbridle/something-is-wrong-on-the-internet-c39c471271d2

 

I’m part of a team that invests in startups changing media for good. Ask me anything. https://medium.com/urbanama/join-an-ama-by-ben-werdmuller-of-matter-nov-6-2017-on-urbanama-517bb9837...

 

In a world where white supremacy and religious fundamentalism are emboldened by our leadership,
Where corporations build platforms that serve as backdoors for democracy,
Where financial growth is valued over ethics and humanity,
Where people of color are being murdered in the streets by those sworn to protect us,
Where we still don’t believe women,
Where we continue to abuse and pillage other societies for resources and political gain,
Where we bomb people in far off countries using robots for talking to the wrong people on the phone,
Where people spend their lives protecting oil companies instead of ecosystems,
Where the civilization anchored in information we thought we were building has turned out to be a hall of mirrors,
Where oppression itself is enabled by technology,
Where the actions we take and the principles we stand for are the most important things of all,

How can I be the most effective?

 

A reminder that tax increases can actually be great, if they lead to better infrastructure and a higher quality of life overall.

 

Super-cool! We survive as a community. https://bsos.umd.edu/featuredstory/3347

 

More than a technology, a platform or a marketplace, the web is a movement. A place free of corporate control, for all voices. Even now.

 

The growth team at Twitter knew about, and refused to take action on, fake Russian accounts. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-03/former-twitter-employee-says-fake-russian-account...

 

Someone told me the other day that it’s very rare to have an open source / data person be an investor. That’s sorta true. Make use of me.

 

There’s no substitute for having the primary copy of your work being in a space you control (and, ideally, own.) https://twitter.com/christi3k/status/926228598712950784

 

People are so much more interesting than technology. It’s about how we can give them superpowers, not about device fetishism or consumerism.

 

"You see, the web wasn't meant to be a gated community. It's actually pretty simple." https://www.neustadt.fr/essays/against-a-user-hostile-web/

 

"If you feel you are being watched, you change your behavior. Big data is supercharging this effect." http://www.socialcooling.com/

 

iOS 11 is a complete shitshow. It’s a good thing nobody pays insane amounts of money for the devices now immobilized by it.