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Weekly Review #62: AI assistants, effective #contentstrategy, and the death of email?

OMG Meiyu is a Youtube channel where a perky blonde American woman with pitch perfect Chinese teaches Mandarin speaking youth about American slang, leading to hilarious spurts of English between torrents of Chinese. Her channel doing the reverse English to Chinese lessons is less mesmerizing but way more educational.

Startups include Tenderfoot, which keeps you in touch with acquaintances met while traveling, and Clara, an AI personal assistant that schedules meetings for you via email just like a secretary. At 600$ a month, though! Surely we’re closer to the Singularity than that…

This Ancient Viking Chess Game is apparently a favorite of war strategists the world over – it’s asymmetrical, with one player starting outnumbered in the middle of the board bent on escape and the other on blocking him.

Sahil Lavinga of Gumroad offers advice on keeping a company flat – ‘it’s all about achieving trust and clarity without bureaucracy’. Belle Cooper’s must have iOS apps of 2014 is a cool rundown of many apps I had never heard of before. And Nathaniel Ellison spells out Why News is a Waste of Your Time far better than the nascent blog post I had in my head ever could – I dare you to prove him wrong!

Great case study on app marketing from an interview with Tamara Steffens of Acompli fame- she offers countless priceless insights on the marketer/developer/user feedback loop and on getting the word out. Seriously, this article is insanely helpful.

Speaking of marketing, Citibank’s clever #incredouble campaign crowdsources ridiculously photogenic activity combinations and then hires youtube star DevinSuperTramp to film them. They get marketing, Devin gets work, and we get wrecking ball pinatas! Win-win-win.

Then we have some great resources on content marketing4 fundamental blogging tips from a former Buffer writer, and a rundown of 40 highly shared company blog posts from 2014.

The Verge claims that Slack is killing email, and shows some serious stats to back it up. The founder makes a point that most email today is from people we barely know, or marketing automation services, so why not makes high touch inter-office communication more like instant messaging? Sure, that works for small millennial companies, but what about the enterprise grey hairs? Email is immortal in my mind – though it is certainly in need of supplanting for certain communication needs.

Then there’s Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who only invests in surefire late stage companies in order to 10x his million dollar investments. Now there’s an interesting strategy!