Words of the Year – Fast Company

by Steve Watson in December 2011
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It didn’t seem fair to put all those editors on the spot and not come up with a favourite article of the year myself. But it’s harder than I thought it would be, and not because I haven’t read good things this year.

My first thought was Holiday, Gerard Donovan’s incredibly tense short story in Zoetrope – I read that at the start of the year and it’s stayed with me ever since. At the other end of the year was the bizarre story on sinkholes that I read in the first issue of Matter – I only read it a couple of weeks ago but its lightness of touch mark it out as one of the best things I’ve seen all year. There were also stand-out stories in The Wire, Fire & Knives, Delayed Gratification and lots of the other Stack magazines, but none of the ones that came to mind put their content online so I can’t share them here.

Instead I’m plumping for a Fast Company article by Farhad Manjoo. Little White Lies editor Matt Bochenski first put me onto it, and it’s a fascinating overview of the tech war brewing in 2012. I’d been vaguely aware that Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple were encroaching on each other’s territory, but Manjoo’s thorough, thoughtful assessment shows exactly where the battles will be fought and gives a sense of which of the giants are likely to triumph. Very exciting, and kind of alarming.

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