Checking In On the Road

Just a quick love letter to Foursquare/Swarm after their move this week to focus less on "check-ins"
M.G. Siegler
Checking In On the Road
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #90
Just a quick love letter to Foursquare/Swarm after their move this week to focus less on “check-ins” as a social utility, and more on being a personal diary to record and remember where you’ve been. 
While I started using Foursquare the day it came out (actually, a bit before as I wrote about its launch back in 2009) and its spiritual predecessor, Dodgeball, before that, my own use case definitely shifted from social to journal as time went on. Once the check-in portion split from the app and became Swarm, I knew a bunch of people who stopped using that aspect (many simply wanted the recommendations which were now served up by the new Foursquare app), but I kept going. Now I feel very good about that, as the new Swarm has validated my usage
I find it far more valuable, far more often than you might imagine to have a tool to look up where I’ve been. One recent example: the other day, I was at a bar in an area of San Francisco that I haven’t been to in a while and I wondered how long it had been since I’d been there. I checked in on Swarm and I had the answer: 6 years. A nice moment of nostalgia. 
The next step I would love to see Foursquare/Swarm take is to allow me to quickly select a few places I’ve checked into and save them to a list (a feature of Foursquare) to send them to people. I can’t tell you how many times Megan and I still do this for recommendations – and it’s still almost always over email. In 2017. Madness.
While I’m asking: also please give us lists that two or more people can contribute to! :)

Mouse House
Disney’s Channels: Children Are Tuning Out
Joe Flint and Ben Fritz:
[ESPN’s] struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing media landscape has garnered much of the attention from investors and analysts. Meanwhile, Nielsen data show ratings have fallen significantly at Disney’s biggest brands reaching children, teens and young adults, led by Disney Channel and Freeform.
Each of those two channels has lost about four million subscribers over the past three years, bringing them to about 90 million apiece, according to SNL Kagan, an industry consulting firm.
While all the headlines point to the troubles at ESPN, this masks the fact that there are troubles all over Disney’s – and everyone’s – television empire. The shift to go direct to fans is probably the right one, but it’s going to be painful for a while.
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John Lasseter's Magic Formula For Creativity
Christian Sylt and/or Caroline Reid (unclear who actually wrote this post – typical Forbes web nonsense, sorry for linking to their interstitial in advance, but the content is good) talk to Disney/Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter:
“I just love learning and finding things out. My wife always says ‘how do you know that?’ and I say I just read. I look things up. Thank god for Steve Jobs inventing the iPhone because to me 99% of what I use it for is not social media, texting or phone calls, it’s looking stuff up and reading. Wikipedia is my best friend. I love looking stuff up and reading.”
And this is probably how Jobs thought the iPhone would predominantly be used. (Remember, no third-party apps to start! And we all know Apple’s social track record, so…) Also:
Lasseter adds that he “changed the name immediately from Disney feature animation to Walt Disney Animation Studios because I wanted everyone there to see that Walt Disney’s name is going to be on the front of this picture. I said ‘We have make films that are worthy of Walt and worthy of that name’.” It had the magic touch.
Giphy Break
Good Reads
It’s impossible to root against Mozilla’s efforts here – it was Firefox which saved many of us from the Internet Explorer nightmare – but it’s also hard to see a clear path forward. Yes, this “war” was over once, and they entered and took over (before Google did the same thing with Chrome years later), but mobile is more important than desktop in this fight now. And it’s even harder to battle the defaults there. (Though I must say I do love Firefox Focus, because it’s so fast to launch and search from.) 
A great, poignant ready by Ray Allen:
One question keeps repeating over and over and over in your mind: How can human beings do this to one another?
If you want to read something about the “Google manifesto”, read Xoogler Yonatan Zunger’s take.
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Fun Reads
As always, the best satire has more than a little truth to it. 
See also: Facebook’s recent announcement that they will give preference in the Newsfeed to pages that load faster – read: sign up and keep using Instant Articles, or die. That’s fine, but it’s never once stated in their announcement. Just be transparent about it.
Petr Knava, a 29-year-old public-health worker and longtime Samuel Smith’s patron, promised to unleash a barrage of blasphemy at the pubs to protest “this shitmonkey of a decision,” which he calls “arse-backwards twattery.”
That’s one way to put it. Another way: Bollocks.
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500ish Words
Ahead By A Century
How we’ll view Donald Trump in 2117. And how we’ll be viewed…
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M.G. Siegler
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