The Mario Blog
Three things that caught our eye

It is Tuesday and a good day for writing about three things that have caught my interest in the past two days or so. Hope you enjoy them, too.


An image I like

Getty Images / John Paczkowski

If the purpose of an illustration is to grab our attention, awaken our curiosity and want to read more, then this one by John Paczkouski, for Getty Images, accomplished its mission.

The story: On Monday morning North Korea’s foreign minister told journalists near the United Nations that president Trump’s recent tweet about North Korea were a declaration of war against his country. Ever since Trump became a candidate, the fear of what his tweets could cause has been discussed often. The illustration makes the point quite visually.


Trump’s “they won’t be around much longer!” tweet and North Korea’s interpretation of it are the latest in a series of escalations between the two powers that have set the international community on high alert. Since Trump made the remark on Twitter, today’s comments from North Korea also raise the question: does a threat that leads to a declaration of war violate the company’s opaque rules for conduct and its prohibitions against harassment and incitement?



Biden curates the news

The former vice president has launched a new daily podcast-like program called “Biden’s Briefing” in which he shares the articles he’s reading.

He’s partnered with a new startup called Ground Control to create the audible programs, which are between 3 to 15 minutes long. Topics range from healthcare and climate change to the economy.


Learning from Bezos

If you are like me, you like the efficiency of Amazon. I buy everything from laundry detergent to paper towels and vegetable soups from Amazon: as a resident of New York City, I do not own a car in the City (and happy about that), but I also do not wish to be carrying many bags of groceries up to my apartment thru the busy streets of New York. Amazon solves the problem, and gets me most things to my doorstep within two days.

For that I thank the genius of Jeff Bezos.

As an avid reader (and admirer) of The Washington Post, I also benefit from what I am sure is Bezos’ influence, especially with that newspaper’s constant experimentation, and scoops.

Now a piece highlights three reasons for Bezos’ success.

I particularly like one of those three reasons best: Release Ideas at 70% and Then Iterate


For most decisions, after a certain point, information and time provide diminishing returns.

As a general rule of thumb, the longer you take on something, the less you have to gain from taking that time, and the more you have to lose from falling behind. This doesn’t apply to every situation, but generally speaking, improvements become redundant after a while.

For example, if you’re a creator or a maker of any kind, the creation is almost never going to feel perfect. Dwelling on the minor tweaks before sharing that work will eat up way more time than the yield of the potential improvements is worth. It’s far smarter to let go before you’re ready, and then iterate and improve based on the feedback.

My take:

I have always thought that you have to launch projects short of when you feel they are at 100% completion. Whether a book, a redesign or a new idea for a television show, put it out there when it’s about 80% cooked. Works for me. In today’s digital environment of constant experimentation this makes perfect sense: do a little bit of rehearsal in public.

Apparently Bezos agrees!


And this was funny too

The Economist  never fails to surprise!



Digital Media North America



This two-day event, organized jointly by WAN-IFRA and the News Media Alliance (NMA), will provide a unique opportunity for North American news media executives to hear and discuss digital revenue strategyfrom the world’s most advanced media companies.

I will be one of the speakers for this conference in New York City.


Finalists in the Digital Media contest 2017



Mario’s Speaking Engagements

Oct. 19, WAN IFRA Digital Media North America, New York City

Nov. 16-19, WAN IFRA Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina


TheMarioBlog post #2706



Blog Post01.22.2018—1am
Are we using better photos today?
Blog Post01.19.2018—1am
The challenge of that fold
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The Washington Post: another profitable year
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Did I really read that much?
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The Guardian changes more than just the format
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Are vulgar words now part of a journalist’s styleguide?
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The new New York Times campaign
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The good news about paying for content
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Prof. Miguel Urabayen (1926-2018): Tribute to a grand maestro
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Fire & Fury: Here’s a cover that tells more of the story
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End of print edition for Montreal’s La Presse
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Happy New Year…..I am back, sort of
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My prediction for 2018: we will write, edit & design for mobile
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Best wishes for the holiday season!
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Every year should be year of the audience
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The Post Most: curated content as easy as 1-2-3
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The power of a comic
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Those European ePapers Continue Growing
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Journalism students and print (not a romance)
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The nuances of using ragged right type
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Monocle’s habit-forming daily briefing
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2018: More digital everything, more of the Trump factor
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That time of the year to think what next
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Apple goes romantic
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E-mail newsletters can be a real seductive hook
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An e-newsletter with visual appeal
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So 2017 was really NOT the year of video……
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The New York Times: the Spanish weekly
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Paywalls, storytelling highlight Latin American conference
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In Argentina: the hot topic is “paywalls”
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The NY Times’ Jobs Classified: Really?
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At The New York Times: a kids section on Sunday
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“I read it on Facebook.”
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The flow of a breaking new story in the mobile era
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When content hits the spot
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When hierarchy makes a statement
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When the advertising wraps around
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New Hebrew fonts from Typotheque
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Favorite branding logos? No surprises
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A New York terrorist attack on the front pages
Contact us with speaking requests, questions or to discuss a project.