We should have seen this coming: The restlessness. The Great Resignation. The Great Reshuffle. Whatever you call it and whatever you’re feeling, we knew subconsciously it would come.
But a lot of leaders got caught up in the hope and energy we all felt this Spring (i.e. “In visions of post-pandemic life, Roaring ’20s beckon again”) and missed the part where we stubbed our toes on the burnout, the reckoning around inequality, and the fact that “going back to normal” was never going to be possible or practical.
“Normal” changed forever as most Americans emerged from lockdown to find the shift to white-collar remote work wasn’t all bad, service job burnout isn’t solvable without raising wages or rethinking immigration, the culture wars reprioritized where we want to spend our time, technology has accelerated our ability to work smarter not harder, and there’s a common agreement for most that “normal” wasn’t so great after all.
I personally have 35 working days left in 2021 thanks to holidays, a long weekend vacation, and chaperoning my son’s field trip up north. I’m in a lot of meetings where folks are still talking about “tackling things in Q4,” but the truth is Q4 is over. It’s already 2022. The end of the year is here.
So I’m already thinking about what changes I want to make in 2022 and changes that my teams and clients will want to make when those “January blahs” really hit. Just because you white-knuckle it through December 31 doesn’t mean that that first week back at work in January is going to be any different if you don’t start making changes today.
This TikTok video has been extremely helpful for me to think about re-recruiting my people and what changes I would end up having to make (for them and for myself) in 2022 that I should go ahead and make now instead.
What changes am I making? I’m not ready to share those quite yet, but I’m actively working on it. Are you?
My Long Read on Cruel-Posting
Over the last two weeks I’ve been writing a 3400-word post about “cruel-posting” and some signals I’ve been tracking around the content we consume online, how that shapes our offline behavior, and how that behavior impacts the content we consume online. The result is a 14-minute read that is a bit of a bummer, but so it goes when you’re studying social signals sometimes. You can read it here…
The Good Tweets
😱 Google’s Frightgeist is LIVE
Google’s annual Frightgeist trend tracker is live. The mini-site tool outlines key costume trends, based on search volume, from across the US. It includes a costume wizard, which recommends costume ideas based on your region, desired style (‘classic’ or ‘modern’), as well as ‘uniqueness’ and ‘spookiness’ level. Top costume nationally as of right now? Witch. Top costume searches in MSP as of right now? Dinosaur. Check out your market here.
🎶 Have You Noticed Songs are Shorter?
The mainstreaming of music streaming services matched with the consumption habits of social media apps like Instagram and TikTok have changed music consumers’ behavior. Data analysis shows that the preferred duration of a song is becoming shorter and shorter with respect to the popularity of a track and the overall success of a release.
Key quote: “The downward trend of songs’ durations highlights a clear pattern of the falling attention span of the average music consumer. It also suggests that shorter songs are possessing a higher chance of reaching more listeners and grabbing their attention. As a result, it can be seen how using shorter songs can increase artists’ chances to maximize outreach and revenue. It allows releasing more material, which can be spread out over a higher number of shorter songs… as Spotify’s AI determines a song’s traction and popularity by using metrics such as finish rate and skip rate, it becomes quite obvious that songs with longer duration would be losing out as opposed to shorter material, which has a higher chance of being listened to fully….By now an emphasis on lower song duration became normality across the majority of genres.”
😎 The Latest in Teens-Who-Answer-Surveys Trends
A new survey of 10,000 young people from investment bank Piper Sandler has lots of signals worth noting: Teens spend 32% of their daily video consumption on Netflix followed by YouTube. Snapchat is the favorite social media platform (35% share) followed by TikTok (30%) & Instagram (22%). 52% of teens cite Amazon as their No. 1 favorite e-com site. Venmo ranked #1 with teens for payment apps. 9% of teens claim to have traded cryptocurrency (78% of these teens are male). 14% of teens consume plant-based meat with Impossible Foods as No. 1 (40% share) & Beyond Meat No. 2 (31%). And their favorite celebrity is Adam Sandler thanks to Netfix (no, really). Download the full PDF report here.
👓 Read the Room – Virtually
You know how it’s super hard to know how people on video calls are responding? Are people engaged? Are they frustrated? Are they feeling productive? There’s a company called Read that just announced a $10 million seed round for its software that measures engagement and sentiment of participants on video meetings. Today’s version works as a plugin on Zoom and gives real-time data on engagement, sentiment, talk time, and more. You can sign up for the beta here.
🛩 Is the Wait for Flying Cars Almost Over?
After years of development, the BlackFly personal aerial vehicle will soon be on sale. CBS News reporter John Blackstone set out to see how someone with no flying experience could manage behind the controls, and the result was jaw-dropping. Flying cars will require new infrastructure, regulations, laws, policies, air traffic control systems, and guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone, whether they are in the sky or on the ground. Uber, Hyundai, and Airbus are more focused on the idea of flying taxis, which may be a more realistic mid-term step in both infrastructure and consumer adoption. But holy crap you have to watch this. Let’s pool our money and buy one, friends!
📚 Weekend Reads
- ‘As seen on TikTok’ is the new ‘As seen on TV’
- What is Web3? The Decentralized Internet of the Future Explained
- How non-binary TikTok creators are helping a generation find their style
- White House science advisers call for an “AI Bill of Rights”
- YouTube cancels Rewind for good after years of everyone hating it
- Facebook launched Facebook Audio in the app to house podcasts, live audio, and short-form clips.
- Instagram launched Live Scheduling that lets you schedule your stream up to 90 days in advance and followers can set reminders to tune in.
- Canva added a ton of video capabilities.
- TikTok is helping an obscure language, Interlingua, find its new voice.
- HTC’s Vive Flow VR headset had press photos leaked, and the future is gonna look pretty cool, folks.
- Magic Leap announced it received $500 million in funding and will be releasing a new AR headset, too.
- Coinbase is launching an NFT marketplace.
- Twitter is testing ads in Tweet replies and released a new study on Gen Z Twitter habits.
- Cassettes are being produced and released at higher rates than they have in years.
- TikTok is coming to LG’s smart TVs in Europe via a firmware upgrade.
- App of the Week: Playlist Alert notifies you when songs are added to official Spotify playlists.
- Reddit of the Week: The One Butt Jeans.
- Twitterer of the Week: @jaythechou photoshops Paddington Bear into movie scenes
- YouTube of the Week: Can you tell the difference between a Kanye or Elon Musk tweet?
- TikTokker of the Week: @trailervobrent records custom voicemails for his followers.
- TikTok of the Week: This robot wrote out the entire dialog from Shrek.
- Unexpected Viral Video of the Week: Dinosaur Boxing Match.
See you on the internet!