Today I have some news on Ev Williams’ new social media platform, a bunch of LGBTQ news and an AI-heavy links roundup.

As always, feedback on this newsletter is very helpful, keep it coming! 🙏🏼

—Nick Wolny

The founder of Medium has a new social network

Maven

What would happen if a social media platform didn’t have likes or followers? A new startup backed by Medium founder Ev Williams wants to find out.

Maven is an aspiring new social network that combines the forum-driven nature of Reddit with AI technology that can cross-pollinate topics, helping to break down silos. Users can’t become influencers because there are no likes or followers. In fact, the app’s tagline is “Follow interests, not influencers.”

The lead investor is Ev Williams, who founded Medium, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is also an investor.

It’s an interesting value proposition, particularly in a world in which most algorithms are built on tangible engagement, which automatically tips the scales toward certain categories of content and encourages behaviors like “retention editing.”

We’ve seen this idea before, though; Artifact, an AI-assisted News app created by the co-founders of Instagram, shut down earlier this year.

It begs the question: Do people actually want just information? Or has information + personality become our new normal for consumption? Matthew Hutson explores in this piece for WIRED.

🔗 Read at WIRED

Google’s Search Generative Experience goes mainstream

SGE in action.

The biggest announcement from last week’s Google I/O conference for creators was Search Generative Experience.

SGE is a technology that required opt-in for the last year, but is now available to everyone who uses Google search (Which is… most people who are looking for answers online). In SGE, Google’s AI summarizes the answer to a question, further reducing the need to click over to other websites.

The updates will change how users gather information. For publishers and creators, we’ll have to be smarter than ever with how we get the word out. And users will begin to change where they get their information from, which will have cultural implications.

Nerd out on this technology and how it works with this deep dive from Search Engine Land.

🔗 Read at Search Engine Land

Reading is fundamental

Pexels

Online business and content marketing

The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Freelancing Business. Brennan Dunn and Zach Swinehart of Double Your Freelancing have been doing great work for years. (Double Your Freelancing Blog)

How to free up space in your Google account. (Zapier blog)

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MAMAA (Meta, Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Amazon)

The forthcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max will likely have a new battery that could last longer. It’s not for your convenience, silly; it’s to comply with new EU regulations for battery replaceability. (Apple Insider)

The EU opened a probe into Meta and whether it does enough to prevent children from slipping into addictive Instagram usage. (Ars Technica)

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LGBTQ

The first legal same-sex marriage in America was performed in Massachusetts 20 years ago this month. (History Channel)

GLAAD released a fact-check of Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker. Some good refreshes here on why terms like “gender ideology” are political dogwhistles. (GLAAD press room)

Liechtnstein became the 22nd European country to legalize same-sex marriage. 15 to go! (LGBTQ Nation)

18 states are suing the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying its new guidelines to protect transgender employees are a form of government overreach. (LGBTQ Nation)

Rupaul’s Drag Race alum Nicky Doll carried the Olympic torch in France this week. (LGBTQ Nation)

A letter from The Trevor Project’s interim CEO on why their 2024 mental health study on LGBTQ+ young people matters. (the Trevor Project blog)

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Money

Child Care Is Now More Expensive Than Rent for an Average American Family. (Bloomberg)

The Dow closed above 40,000 for the first time. Lots of media buzz about this benchmark, but the DJIA only covers 30 U.S. corporations, so it doesn’t mean much. And although the S&P 500 is also at a record high, the middle class continues to be squeezed by inflation. (AP News)

The salary you need to be considered middle class in every U.S. state—it’s close to $200,000 in 2 of them. Good data, but a bad headline; for two states, the top end of the range for middle class was around $190K, not the median or average, which was closer to $60K. Down with bad headlines! (CNBC)

5 thoughts for new college grads seeking to find the right balance between meaningful work and making money. (The Conversation)

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AI

OpenAI signed a deal to bring Reddit content to ChatGPT. (Reuters)

ChatGPT now lets you import files directly from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive. (VentureBeat)

ChatGPT can talk, but OpenAI employees sure can’t. Inside the company’s ultra-restrictive lifelong NDA for employees. (Vox)

The ChatGPT Desktop app for Mac will let you share your screen when asking a question. Huge for troubleshooting and summaries on the go. I’m covering AI links every week because this technology is evolving quickly. (OpenAI press room)

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Odds and ends

How Barbie became the future of Airbnb. Founder Brian Chesky explains the company’s move into IP-driven offerings. (Fast Company)

I'm a New Mom. Here's How I'm Getting Fit in This Postpartum Reality. Beautiful multimedia cover story from my colleague Giselle at CNET. (CNET)

Digestif

Adding value doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

We’re often told to “add value” to our network, and we make it harder than it needs to be. What if it was easy?

Like a post. Leave a thoughtful comment. Share a newsletter you found interesting.

Little acts of generosity can help you build your network, and they really do add up over time.

Let’s make it a great week!

—Nick