4 Articles Worth Reading This Week

We’re all busy.

When time is short, reading often falls to the bottom of the list. But here at Cardwell Beach, we try to make time each week to digest the news, dig through think pieces and scan new research so that we can present intriguing insights about the way we live, think and buy now.

Papal appeal: New York governor Andrew Cuomo praised Pope Francis— in town for his first US visit— as a new kind of religious leader who put “universal” and “humanitarian” values first. Cuomo credited Francis’ appeal to the pope’s clarity, saying Francis had stripped away the “complications, the bureaucracy, the rules, the sanctions” that had scared away many Western Catholics. Sound familiar? We had a similar take, as well as thoughts on what brands can learn from Francis, earlier on the blog. [Read more at NY1]

The rise of ad blockers: When Apple announced it would begin supporting ad blocking apps on its mobile browser, the ad-supported web collectively shuddered. But it proved to be an unexpected moral dilemma for some developers, including Marco Arment, whose ad-blocking app Peace was on the top of the charts until he pulled it late last week. In a blog post, he explained that it “just doesn’t feel good” having such power over online publications and other ventures that rely on ads for their survival, since Peace required an “all-or-nothing enforcement” that banned ads on all sites. Instead, he argued that the solution must be more subtle and recommended other options. [Read more at marco.org]

Finding readers where they are: By his own admission, Jeff Bezos didn’t know much about newspapers when he bought the Washington Post last year. But the Amazon.com kingpin has proven to be inventive in getting eyeballs back to the paper. One of his most visible goals is to get the Post content shared as widely as possible to places where readers actually are, rather than waiting for traffic to arrive at the paper’s site. In doing so, he’s sharing Post stories all across the digital ecosystem, from Apple News to Facebook, where the company will now publish all its daily stories as Instant Articles. Whether the strategy will drive traffic back to the Post and sustain its business is an open question, but Bezos’ embrace of the web’s “walled garden” platforms will undoubtedly shake up the industry. [Read more at The Verge]

A social network for any interest: On Monday, rapper Snoop Dogg announced that he would back a social network for marijuana fans called Merry Jane, which is expected to launch in October with 420 users. [Read more at Adweek]

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