Mariano Viola

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This is a thematic break

Objectives, themes and format of this blog from now on.

This is a post that serves as a thematic break with everything I wrote until 2020. A shortened and public version of a document, in which I defined objectives, themes and format of this blog, from now on.

More than anything, solutions

After a few years of incubation, I feel the need to materialize the idea of a personal and independent space where I can talk about the technologies that make the media work. A space where I would like to propose mainly solutions, using a more sustainable version of the same means that, in the last 20 years, have put the information industry in crisis.

My intention is to be able to reach the people who believe in a recovery of the publishing sector and its fundamental role of democratic counterweight. I intend to contribute to this ambitious mission, with the subject I know best: technology. With the awareness that complex problems can only be solved with the comparison and contribution of different skills.

A few themes

Here is a list of macro-themes that I would like to address:

  • Certification. Traditional media will have an increasingly important role in the certification of information. In recent years, we have witnessed the use of blockchain in industrial processes of traceability and provenance in the food and luxury goods sectors. The challenge is to propose and create tracking systems in the news production process, transforming newspapers into information certification entities that are increasingly relevant in a context where plausible information can be generated and published by anyone.
  • Automation: Automation based on “self-managed” and sustainable deep learning models will give an advantage to:
    • the people who work in the editorial field, making it easier to transform existing content (e.g. summaries, corrections, translations, audio articles), to develop accessible and usable publishing tools and to analyze the performance of the content.
    • the readers, who will be able to use tools designed ad hoc by the publishers to answer their questions, using the informative archive of the publications as a data source.
  • Decentralization. A cross-cutting theme to give more technological independence to publishers, which involves different tools for: publishing, aggregation, promotion/analysis, membership/payment, discussion/moderation of content.

Three points on the format

  • The posts will be short, serial and with many relations between contents of different nature. A sort of public personal knowledge repository, whose contents will be published without a precise frequency but still ensuring a certain continuity.
  • For now, there are two main categories: “Research” and “Development”. The first one is dedicated to the exploration of new ideas and the collection of information and data, the second one instead will include the practical application of the knowledge acquired in the research phase, documenting the development of new solutions. In the near future, I would also like to introduce a “branded” category where I can focus on the reviews of editorial digital products and tools used to develop and run them.
  • For the updates, there will never be a newsletter (because I believe that it is no longer a sustainable tool for those who read and produce content) but, for now, there will only be an old RSS feed, the manual cross-publication on a social media that does not make me shiver and, maybe, one day there will also be an ActivityPub stream.