Published at 13/02/2021

Weekly Summary 2 - air pollution; Twitter; leadership; what is Clubhouse.

Air pollution claiming more and more lives

Air pollution is a serious problem around the globe. Even though pollution levels fell during the first lockdowns in 2020, they mostly rebounded right after lockdowns ended. To quote research published by the US National Library of Medicine in 2020 “the observed variations and improvements in air quality are temporary as the concentration level of studied pollutants has gone up again in cities where lockdown was lifted.”

According to research published on 9th of February, deaths attributable to PM 2.5 (particles more than 20 times smaller the diameter of human hair) ranged in 2018 from 3.2% in Australia and Oceania to 30.7% in Eastern Asia. That’s nearly 1/3 of all deaths in Eastern Asia!

The research clearly shows that our enormous reliance on fossil fuels is not only killing us all slowly (Global Warming), but also literally killing some of us. If it won’t kill you, it may make you seriously ill with exposure to polluted air contributing to chronic diseases and cancer.

There is hope, however. More and more governments pledge to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, and more and more power we use is generated using renewable sources of energy.

As citizens, we can, and have to, pressure our representatives to make the change faster. As customers, we can vote with our wallets only purchasing products and services from companies committed to reducing or eliminating their carbon footprint. To be safe at home there are also devices that filter air, and masks that filter out the tiniest of pollutants for when you have to go outside.

Twitter considers a subscription model as a way to become less reliant on ads

After the news of Twitter acquiring Revue we now know the social media giant is considering charging for their “Tweetdeck” service (a service dedicated to Twitter power users), and/or charging for ‘advanced user features like “undo send” or profile-customization options.’

Time will tell whether this is a good move or not; financially it seems appropriate for the company to find a new revenue stream - it’s too reliant on ads from which the revenue fell by 23% last year.

Starting to charge for Tweetdeck might not have the expected impact, however, as most of professional Twitter users use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer anyway, therefore bypassing the paywall. Breaking integrations with aforementioned sites would be something the platform cannot afford to do, yet it’s something that has to be done for people to use Twitter’s service for pros more widely.

Women Score Higher Than Men in Most Leadership Skills

However surprising this conclusion may seem, I can’t say that I am surprised - we have known for a long time, that the fact that women are not present among senior leaders is not attributed to the lack of skills, but to bias - be it subconscious or conscious.

The research published by Harvard Business Review only continues to prove there’s no actual reason for the underrepresentation of women in senior leadership roles - women score higher than men in all but two key leadership capabilities. For a full table, see this article, because the list of competencies women score higher than men is too long.

What’s more is that, women, on average, have more years of education (1.5 years more to be precise) yet are less likely to be hired at all.

BONUS: Clubhouse - what is it, and why am I hearing more and more about it?

Clubhouse is an invitation-only app for calling your friends. Currently it’s only available on iOS (optimised for iPhones only), and possibly, what makes it cool is that you need an invitation to be able to use it.
If you do get a chance to register, you will see different topics that you can follow to get recommendations. By following a topic, you will see people interested in it, so the more topics and people you follow, the higher are your chances of finding a room dedicated to something you want to talk about.
Now each room is temporary - they are started and ended by individual users. The limit for maximum people in a room is a staggering 5,000 (!), and the rooms are audio-only, so the only thing you will see are profile pictures of people inside the room. Don’t worry, however - not everybody can speak at the same time. To be able to speak, the moderator of a room have to figuratively give you a microphone - they have to let you speak.

Overall, people describe the whole experience as listening on a phone conversation, yet the concept itself is definitely interesting. We are to see if the popularity of the app will remain high after opening up to the general audience.