The Slack revolution
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The Slack revolution

Source Code

Your five-minute guide to the best of Protocol (and the internet) from the week that was, from the ways Slack and Discord have changed tech companies to the good, bad and ugly ways to fix Facebook.

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The best of Protocol

How Slack and Discord became tools for worker revolt, by Lizzy Lawrence and Anna Kramer

  • One of the original promises of the internet was that it could connect people who share interests, concerns, whatever, without any intermediary or watchful eye. Workers using anonymous accounts and free tools like Slack, Signal, Discord and Reddit are proving just how real, and how powerful, that really is.

What Frances Haugen's SEC complaint means for the rest of tech, by Issie Lapowsky

  • Tech regulation is a mess right now. But the SEC? The SEC has moves, even over tech companies, as it tries to protect investors. Frances Haugen's work with the agency could open the door to much more transparency, but only if the SEC decides it's material.
  • Also, don't miss Ben Brody's piece on what Facebook might look like if Frances Haugen got her way, and why it might not solve everything after all.

'It's going to get worse before it gets better': Inside the lucrative corporate data struggle, by Joe Williams

  • Data is the new oil! Said everyone, everywhere, for a while. But now, as Joe writes, data is more like the new gold, and everyone wants to be the company selling shovels and pickaxes. Right now, that means there's a race to be the company that helps companies figure out what the heck to do with all that data.

Site allowing you to 'skip the interview' launches, then promptly shuts down, by Lizzy Lawrence

  • Your "Well, that didn't work" of the week: Skip The Interview, which asked people to pay money to help their co-workers get new jobs. Weird, right? Turns out, most people agreed: The site barely launched before disappearing again, and the company's off to "talk to a lot more people before moving forward."

These are the blockchains that want to take down Ethereum, by Tomio Geron

  • Solana, Avalanche, Cardano, Flow: Everybody's gunning to be the Next Big Chain, and they all have to get past Ethereum to do it. All over the decentralized crypto world right now, the only way to win is to be big and fast, and that's not easy to do.

Tech companies are feeling the pressure to offer more flexibility, by Allison Levitsky

  • Amazon was one of the companies most committed to bringing people back to the office. Now, it's softening its stance and allowing more remote work. And the longer the pandemic goes on, the harder it'll be for any executive to tell people when and where they have to work.

On the schedule

Global payments: Challenges and opportunities (Wednesday, 10 a.m. PT)

Business is more global than ever, but cross-border payments remain mired in older systems. Can new technologies leapfrog the past? Protocol | Fintech will bring together experts in consumer and business payments to discuss the challenges and opportunities ahead.

The new benefits package (Thursday, 10 a.m. PT)

What are the perks of the new workplace? Rather than spending a fortune on snacks for the mini-kitchen, where should you be investing to keep your team happy and keep hiring the best? We'll talk to HR people, executives and investors to see what it takes.

A MESSAGE FROM PROEDGE, A PWC PRODUCT

Target critical skill gaps and close them with engaging and personalized employee learning. Empower your people with ProEdge, the single solution that can upskill entire organizations and help keep them ahead of the ever-changing demands of the digital world.

Learn more

The best of everything else

Revealed: Facebook's secret blacklist of "dangerous individuals and organizations" — The Intercept

  • The kind of list you don't get to see very often: 100 pages of all the groups, people and topics that users aren't allowed to talk about on Facebook. It's an interesting look at what Facebook considers problematic — and how hard it is to police such a sprawling platform.

The untold story of how Apple built a retail empire on trial and error — Fast Company

  • An excerpt from "Make to Know," a new book by Lorne Buchman, this is a good look at how Apple's stores — which seem so curated, so thoughtful, so intentional — actually came to be. Turns out, it wasn't quite so simple.

Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show — Reuters

  • This, along with an investigation from The Markup into how Amazon ranks its own products above its sellers', is the kind of thing that will come up a lot in congressional hearings and legislative proposals. It's also about as perfect an example of Big Tech's all-seeing, all-knowing power as you'll ever find.

Slackers of the world, unite! — The Atlantic

  • Do you ever feel like Slack (or Teams or whatever you use) has changed your company forever? It has. And in ways we're only just beginning to understand. But one thing's for sure: It has flattened companies in powerful ways, and that's not going to change anytime soon.

Lawmakers' latest idea to fix Facebook: Regulate the algorithm — The Washington Post

  • A good take on what regulating Facebook looks like, and why it's harder and weirder than most of the involved parties want to admit. "How do we regulate algorithms" is a fundamental question in government circles right now.

What useful unknown website do you wish more people knew about? — Reddit

A MESSAGE FROM PROEDGE, A PWC PRODUCT

Target critical skill gaps and close them with engaging and personalized employee learning. Empower your people with ProEdge, the single solution that can upskill entire organizations and help keep them ahead of the ever-changing demands of the digital world.

Learn more

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to david@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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