Week 47: Living buildings, commercialised genomics and the battle for publishing

Weekly web missives from the Friday strategy team. A selection of this week's encounters with design, business, trends and culture. 

News & publishing

The Guardian’s effort to bolster grassroots support rather than instituting a paywall has paid off: last month, financial support from readers officially surpassed advertising revenue. The key has been to tap into how passionate readers feel about the brand and its journalistic values. Values which, whether one subscribes to them or not, are effectively described in this long form piece by editor-in-chief Katharine Viner.

Know the difference between Misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation? For those interested in information crosschecking and its impact on journalists and their audience, this report offers valuable lessons from a project fighting disinformation during the 2017 French Presidential election. 

Is digital media done? Chasing scale hasn't turned out so well with Google and Facebook on the scene, sucking up all of those sweet sweet advertising dollars...

Networks

On social platforms you will often hear the platform owner claim "it's too hard to moderate at this scale". People are starting to push back on this excuse, and demand more from these platforms.

Design

A design overview of the Kindle's 10-year history. One of those articles where the early prototypes and products look like something out of a 1970s space sci-fi show...

Health

Helix DNA fitness advice proves to be less than revolutionary. A really interesting look at where commercialised genomics could prove useful for the individual (hereditary diseases) and where, to date, it is proving to be a pretty low driver for behaviour change (diet and exercise habits), and a harbinger for I-knew-that-about-myself-already scientific 'discovery'.

The built environment 

Should every building have a "digital twin"? To effectively adopt AI into the built environment will require some pretty accurate data about materials, infrastructure and performance of each building – in real-time. 

Meanwhile, advanced materials like self-healing concrete and temperature-regulating walls are basically creating living buildings...

Want to receive each issue in your inbox? Sign up to our weekly reads with TinyLetter 📬