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I work and write at the intersection of technology, media, and society.

I've been a startup founder, mission-driven VC, engineer, and product lead. Right now I'm Chief Technology Officer at The 19th.

Follow me on Mastodon or subscribe via email.

benwerd

benwerd

werd.social/@ben

19thnews.org

 

For a while I was deeply into the podcasting universe, but these days I really just want text that I can consume in my own way, at my own pace, using my own imagination. Call it impatience. But I love that podcasts exist and that so many people make and listen.

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Which sales enablement tool powers all those template-driven follow-up-heavy cold emails? I hereby petition that we yeet it directly into the sun.

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Few things terrify me more than yoga, which is really a terror and dissatisfaction with my own body. I would like to fix that.

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I’m worried I have delayed onset long covid. I’ve had very strong fatigue, shortness of breath, congestion, and muscle aches for weeks. I can tell that having these symptoms while taking care of a baby is not going to be a walk in the park. Really hoping I can overcome them.

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What’s the last book you read and loved?

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Finding that the cognitive load of plugging into Mastodon is approaching the cognitive load of being plugged into Twitter. It's not the content of the conversations; it's the river of content itself. I'm going to give myself a break today and see how it feels.

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I think it's a fair question to ask why the Washington Post is laying off journalists right now. Other orgs have activist investors or fragile bottom lines; it has Jeff Bezos. Given that layoffs don't really work, what's the point beyond optics?

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I'm not sure how "centrist" became equated with "reasonable". In a place where the entire political spectrum (and Overton window) is shifted to the right, the center is still right. Is that truly reasonable and equitable? Or is it just comfortable to powers that be?

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Speaking loudly about ethics in tech and media is more important than it's ever been. And it'll only become more important as time goes on. Use your voice - please.

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Would a journalism venture studio work? Why / why not?

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It should be entirely uncontroversial that gas stoves emit gas and that induction stovetops are completely awesome new technology.

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People talk about "San Francisco values" being liberal, but for me it's started to mean, "conservative libertarianism, but make it casual". It's going to be a problem. Ayn Rand in a hoodie is not going to invent the future.

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Moose Munch should be a business school case study: how something made with very cheap ingredients became a premium product.

I love Moose Munch! But I'm also in awe of its chutzpah.

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Pet peeve: sites that add content to the clipboard when you try and copy and paste. All it does is add friction to people sharing your stuff. Stop it.

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It's becoming clearer and clearer that what seemed like a very expensive option is actually going to reduce costs across the board. It's funny how that happens.

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I wish there was a single place I could list my email address so that every political candidate knew that I work for a newsroom and am banned from making political donations. I'm hitting "unsubscribe" an awful lot lately.

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The idea that profit is what primarily motivates people says more about the people who say this than anything else.

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America’s long-held restriction on people who lived in the UK during the vCJD epidemic giving blood and donating organs has been lifted. I’m a registered organ donor - as everyone should be - and, this year, I’m going to give blood for the first time.

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Because this was my birthday weekend, my 2023 properly starts tomorrow, as is tradition.

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This is maybe silly, but I’ve never really understood how angel investors who are also software developers with non-FAANG day jobs made their money and have enough to invest. I’ve always assumed they (1) came from wealthy backgrounds (2) somehow made giant salaries?

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I love traveling, and I love seeing new places, but I have less than zero desire to go to space. I want to be where the people are.

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Simply put: if you think critiques of racism and systemic power imbalances need to be hidden away and shouldn't be openly talked about, we can't be friends.

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Happy new year to everyone who celebrates it today!

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cPanel is such an awful piece of software that I think it may be holding the entirety of the independent web back.

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It's such a Windows ME thing to do, but I've set my desktop to rotate through pictures of my mother every 30 minutes, and I love it. Every time I quit an application or lock my computer I see a photo that makes me happy. Highly recommended.

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