Welcome to Semafor Media, where newsletter signups are the new traffic.
I’m in the waning phases of what used to be called a book tour, and is now a podcast marathon, for my new book, which is called “Traffic.”
It’s been strange to return to the utopian days of early internet media at another moment of dramatic change. And I was more than ready to turn my attention back to the splintering, wildly different present.
But this week’s column is about the great survivor of that earlier era, Neetzan Zimmerman. He hovers around the edge of my book and is now in the center of a new media venture called The Messenger, which has gotten a wave of puzzled and mostly negative attention for its obsession with quantity over quality.
Neetzan is the internet media cult figure behind that, the key to understanding both what they’re doing and what traffic even means now.
ALSO this week, Linda Yaccarino considers a trip to Cannes; the climate newsletter one5c finds a new home; and a great British journalist explains that country’s enduring American obsession.