One thing liberals and conservatives agree upon

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Photo Credit: The Social Habit, by Edison Research

Recently, Edison Research (my company) published the first data from our new syndicated tracking study of social media, The Social Habit. Entitled “Twitter Before and After Trump,” the report took a snapshot of social media usage immediately before January 9th, 2021 (the day after President Trump and approximately 70,000 other accounts were banned from Twitter) and immediately after, to see if there were any short-term changes in usage or behavior associated with Trump’s removal.

Among social media users ages 18+, the percentage who say they currently ever use Twitter went up over 20% in the two-week period after Jan 9th…


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You’re going to ruin Clubhouse.

If you haven’t used Clubhouse yet, feel free to skip this post. This is not a “Clubhouse is going to fail” prediction. I actually think it’s awesome for very small group conversations. I’ve fired up rooms on my morning walks and had some delightful, quick encounters with people I used to see at conferences. Weak threads, perhaps — but they all hold us up, don’t they? There are probably some incredible use cases for intra-corporate communications, all-hands meetings, and the like. And it’s a great place to go to hear a specific speaker you are…


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I live just a couple of blocks from the historic Park Street Church, in Downtown Boston. If you’ve ever gotten off of Boston’s subway, the T, at Boston Common, you were within sight of the tiny house in the sky I call home. What you may not have known is that you were also within a few steps of a veritable stronghold of capitalism, the sword-bearer of a new generation of wealth creation, the seed of a million entrepreneurial dreams. Last night I went for a post-prandial stroll and almost walked right by it. …


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This morning, I took a walk through Barnstable, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. I’m here on a family vacation — a vacation that is taking place just 60 miles from our Boston home — because our state still has a 14-day quarantine for returning from out-of-state travel. The Cape Cod tourist economy is operating well under its normal end-of-June levels. The house we rented — normally booked all summer long — was unused until we rented it just before the July 4th holiday. It’s clear from day one that there are a lot of insects in the house. By day three…


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By Jorge Cortell — Imported from 500px (archived version) by the Archive Team. (detail page), CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87729840

I’ve worked in statistics for 25 years. It’s my avocation and my occupation. With the advent of COVID-19 and daily CDC updates, my sistren and brethren of the craft seem to be welcoming a burgeoning number to our ranks. People on both sides of the re-open/don’t reopen debate (yes, both sides) are using statistics like a drunkard uses a lamppost: for support, not illumination.

When it comes to the primary charts and tables released daily by the CDC, I have scrutinized every base, every legend, and every label. …


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Photo by Tom Webster

No one is coming.

A simple phrase, but one that is rich with meaning. Three of those meanings weighed on my mind this morning while I took my morning constitutional around Boston Common.

My friend Jen Iannolo has an entire manifesto built around the phrase, “No One Is Coming.” Jen’s use of the phrase is empowering — exhilarating, even. We do not wait for our future. We create our future. To realize that no one is coming to help you achieve your dreams is to kick you in the ass to go get what you want however you can with…


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By Cultpsy — Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40209182

I miss a lot of things right now that I didn’t think I’d miss so much. Airplanes. Hotels. But most of all, I miss bars. I don’t miss drinking. (I mean, I don’t miss drinking because I still drink.) But I don’t go to bars because I like to drink. I go to bars because I love bars. Oak, brass, copper, and glass. Gleaming tiers of bottles. Too many kinds of vodka. Never enough kinds of scotch. And not dive bars, or cheap bars, either. No, I love grand bars. Flagship hotel bars, especially. …


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I spent some time chatting with podcasters at Podcast Movement Evolutions this week. I came back not energized, but a little disturbed.

Podcasting is increasingly being segmented broadly into two camps: “Big Podcasting” — centered around monetization and advertising attribution — and the independents, who are centered around something else. I’ll get to that.

Some of this came to a head on Friday, when a consortium of podcasting interests led by Wondery, Stitcher, NPR, and several others announced the foundation of The Podcast Academy, an entity designed to promote “awareness and excitement” for the medium. …


This is, and isn’t, about magic. Stick around.

Last week I took my friend Robert Rose to my happiest place on earth (sorry, Mickey), The Magic Castle, a private club in Hollywood that is the world’s epicenter for magic. I’m starting to lose count of how many times I’ve been, but I think at least a dozen by now.

While having a cocktail between shows, we had a wonderful conversation about Hollywood, screenwriting, and of course, magic. I go very deep on magic. I’ve read a hundred books, watched thousands of videos, and even done a few tricks myself every…


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By Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Scalable Grid Engine — Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83244198

Last week, at the VOICE Summit at CES in Las Vegas, I presented the results of the latest Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research. For the past three years, as a part of this ongoing series, we have fielded a national study during the week between Christmas and New Years Day to determine how many Americans got a new smart speaker (Alexa, Google Home, etc.) under their Christmas tree/Menorah/Pagan Present Pole, in order to issue an updated national projection of ownership and usage. …

Tom Webster

SVP, Edison Research. Co-author of The Infinite Dial, The Podcast Consumer, The Social Habit, and other widely cited studies. Other half of @tamadear.

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