Felix Salmon

Adventures with primary documents, sustainability-analysis edition

By Felix Salmon
February 21, 2012

gdp.jpg

This chart, from the European Commission’s debt sustainability analysis of Greece, has been doing the rounds today. I posted it last night, and it got picked up by Joe Weisenthal as his chart of the day; it’s a very striking visualization of the degree to which the Greece bailout plan lies somewhere between optimistic and delusional.

Gawker Media jettisons its porn blog

By Felix Salmon
February 17, 2012

Back in November, Nick Denton put Gawker Media’s Fleshbot up for sale. The official announcement, here, is NSFW due to the ads surrounding it — which pretty much explains why Fleshbot was being sold: its customers — porn sites — are very, very different from the brand advertisers who supply the money to all the other Gawker Media properties.

Target, Google, and privacy

By Felix Salmon
February 16, 2012

The most interesting part of Charles Duhigg’s story about corporate “predictive analytics” is the reaction of Target’s PR department when they found out he was writing it.

Journalism’s welcome longevity

By Felix Salmon
February 14, 2012

This week, Significance magazine (“statistics making sense”) reprinted a three-year-old article of mine about the Gaussian copula function. That story has had an impressive shelf life, and I’m incredibly happy that it will continue to be read for years to come. Sometimes it will be read in print publications, like Significance or book anthologies. But many, many more people will read it online. That’s great for Wired, both in terms of ongoing ad revenues (which are pretty small at this point) and in terms of its reputation for printing high-quality journalism with lasting value. (That value isn’t just journalistic, either: Wired’s parent, Conde Nast, is being very inventive in terms of monetizing old content.)

Quality vs quantity online

By Felix Salmon
February 12, 2012

At about the same time that Michael Kinsley’s hilarious response to a blog post of mine hit the web, The Atlantic also uploaded to its website Kathleen McAuliffe’s excellent story about how parasites shape our behavior.

Elizabeth Spiers and the reinvented New York Observer

By Felix Salmon
February 6, 2012

There are three main reasons that I like entering into bets with people. The first is, simply, that it’s fun. The second is that I love to win bets. And the third is that I love to lose them. I don’t ever trade the markets: all of my investments are strictly buy-and-hold, with a time horizon measured in decades. That rule has saved me a lot of money over the years, not that I ever had much inclination to trade in the first place. But it has also prevented me from learning the kind of lessons that all traders learn early and often.

NYT paywall datapoints of the day

By Felix Salmon
February 2, 2012

Ken Doctor has a very smart and interesting take on the news that the NYT now has 390,000 paying digital subscribers — plus another 16,000 at the Boston Globe. It’s unambiguously good news, on many fronts.

How sharing disrupts media

By Felix Salmon
January 23, 2012

I’m at DLD in Munich, where David Karp of Tumblr and Samir Arora of Glam Media helped me understand the way that media and publishing are evolving these days, and the way in which creating, editing, and publishing are increasingly separate things which interact with each other in fertile and unpredictable ways.

Will fact-checking go the way of blogs?

By Felix Salmon
January 18, 2012

Lucas Graves has by far the best and most sophisticated response to NYT ombudsman Arthur Brisbane’s silly question about “truth vigilantes”.