Welcome to ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ ᴡᴀʀs, an occasional column intended to keep a majority of ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ coverage in one easily avoidable place.
Here is something that is not quite missing but also not all the way present in stories about Fusion's all-star hiring spree: The money. It is not yet clear, from the outside, what Fusion is planning on doing with all its new hires, but they're getting very good people: Anna Holmes, Dodai Stewart, Felix Salmon, Jane Spencer. Yesterday The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal announced that he too would be joining. Madrigal in 2013: I am an Atlantic person. I love this place. I feel it in my bones. If I [...]
The Huffington Post, a publishing company worth hundreds of millions of dollars that is nestled within AOL, a media company that has a market cap of nearly three-and-a-half billion dollars, has successfully convinced people to donate forty thousand dollars to it, as if it were a charity in need of the largesse of its readers, in order to "to ensure on-the-ground coverage from Ferguson remains a part of the national conversation." It is truly a golden age of journalism.
In response to recent conversations regarding the public/private status of Internet Posts, a proposal for a framework for the sharing of Internet Posts:
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your Internet Posts, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered; anyone can do anything to your Internet Post. It can be placed in any context, including contexts which the rights holder does not like. It may be used to either glorify or humiliate its creator. It may be used to intentionally inspire threats of assault or death against its creator. Recommended [...]
"We are, absolutely, a page-view-driven site even though we don’t want to be," said Mr. Magnin of Thought Catalog. "Every writer wants to do well, and 'do well' means get more Twitter followers."
Imagine the day that the highly emotional new new internet completes its project to convert share metrics into the only acceptable form of currency. Go ahead, just revel in it. Renting this apartment requires forty thousand Twitter followers, with fewer than twenty-five percent of them being bots. The price for this dinner is a thousand Instagram followers and thirty-seven likes per photo. You can enter the Jeff Koons retrospective after sending Yos to six friends, three [...]
Everything's coming up ᴄᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ: Vinit Bharara made his fortune selling Pampers and Huggies. Now he wants to capitalize on a business fast becoming as commodified as diapers: digital content.
His new site, Cafe, will be "a mass publication that explores everything and anything," Bharara tells the Times, the most venerable content prospecting operation east of the Mississippi. "If I need to be practical, I’ll be practical." But for now? Diap up, it's time to hit publish.
Vice is continuing its interminable will-they-won't-they media sales tour, conjuring a $2.5 billion valuation in the pages of the Times business section ("Vice would also arrive [at Time Warner, Disney or [...]
If you want to know what the lonely kids are doing in any given year, watch the local news and listen to how anchors contextualize youth crime: The mother said that after hearing about the two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls allegedly stabbing their friend to please Slender Man, she thinks her daughter was under the same influence.
"We found things that she had written and she made reference to Slender Man. She also made references to killing," the mother said. "She even created a world for Slender Man in the game mine craft."
"So companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on an army of workers employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us. And there are legions of them—a vast, invisible pool of human labor. Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world’s social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to “well over 100,000”—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook."
"We’ve also gotten a steady stream of feedback from non-members (including Google) that our design makes the site look dated and neglected, and the information on the site may be untrustworthy as a result," says Metafilter's Matt Haughey, who yesterday announced the site's first new template in over a decade. Machines make unpleasant neighbors.
Near the end of Mike Isaac's boldly headlined piece on the fifty million dollars that BuzzFeed has raised from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and what it plans to do with it, he notes:
And the future of BuzzFeed may not even be on BuzzFeed.com. One of the company’s nascent ideas, BuzzFeed Distributed, will be a team of 20 people producing content that lives entirely on other popular platforms, like Tumblr, Instagram or Snapchat.
Right now, "75 percent of BuzzFeed's traffic comes from referrals from social sites." From a publisher's perspective, this is the ideal relationship between it and a "social site": It plants a stick of [...]
Children ask why the sky is blue, and there usually isn't anybody around to provide a satisfying answer. The sky is blue because… the atmosphere? And gases. The sky is blue because of the air and the Sun. The sky is blue because the sky is blue, and it's time to go to school. Maybe they'll tell you there.
But what kind of child would look at the sky today, when there's so much going on down here? The sky suggests infinity but the little screen on dad's phone seems to supply it. What is the answer, then, when a child asks: Why is the internet blue?
The blue at [...]
Credit to Amazon reviewer Sam_One, who noticed "something weird" going on back in May:
Something weird seems to be going on with Warner Bros. pre-orders. Loads of them are not available anymore, and all of them were removed pretty much at the same time (I had several of them in my "Saved for Later" list. This includes most releases of 300: Rise of an Empire, The Nutty Professor Box Set, The Man who knew too little, Looney Tunes Platinum Collection Vol. 3 etc. etc. All of them Warner releases, some of them pretty big.
Awl pal Matthew J.X. Malady weighs in on what the cognoscenti refer to as Balk's Law, or the idea that everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people.
Life according to wildly popular Twitter account @Uberfacts.
Part One: On Love
Love actually has nothing to do with your heart — It's all chemical reactions inside of your brain. Our brains love music the same way it loves food and sex — We download songs we enjoy because the mind perceives them as rewards. Its possible for someone to feel “addicted to love” — Sniffing cocaine and being madly in love affect the same areas of the brain. Falling in love produces the same type of high as doing cocaine. Falling in love can act as a potent painkiller. It only takes [...]
We will never forget. pic.twitter.com/7zJrh3ACWh
— Applebee's (@Applebees) September 11, 2014
Where was I? It was a clear morning on the conceptual plane where all brands exist, and I was staring into the blue, repeating my own name. It was like any other day. I don't remember who told me. Probably one of the people who constantly manifests me into media for a living.
They all seemed upset. So I mirrored their emotions back at them, with some added optimism and aspirational imagery, which seemed like the right thing to do.
According to a nice new tool called Blocktogether, I am blocking 16 people on Twitter. I was worried about what this tool would show me: Would it be 16 reminders of times I was wrong, or acted stupid, or engaged in some sort of petty feud? Would I be ashamed? Here is what it said: @monteiro (Mike Monteiro) @darth (darth™ ) @RyanHoliday (Ryan Holiday) @pmarca (Marc Andreessen) @gabestein (Gabriel Stein) @SteenKJW (Steen) @Max_Fisher (Max Fisher) @BorowitzReport (Andy Borowitz) @tomwolber (Tommy Wolber) @paxdickinson (Pax Dickinson) @WyanRilson (jack danielsaur) @DylanByers (Dylan Byers) @paulcarr (Paul Carr) @NYTFridge (NYTFridge) @ChristineTWang (Christine Tien Wang) @GlennF (Glenn Fleishman)
I don't remember blocking about a [...]
There's a new New Yorker website on the internet today, but one problem still hasn't been fixed: A good deal of that traffic can be credited to Andy Borowitz—the satirist and “Shouts & Murmurs” contributor whom The New Yorker hired in 2012 to anchor its newly introduced humor blog, and whose Boomer-liberal brand of humor regularly produces groans from younger, more web-native corners. According to Thompson, “The Borowitz Report” was responsible for six percent of all of NewYorker.com’s traffic last year.
My goodness is it difficult for people to talk about the Borowitz situation! Which maybe explains how it has been allowed to persist for so long. The Borowitz [...]
"John Cantarella used to run high-profile Web sites for Time Inc. Now he has a new job: Getting high-profile people to post things on Facebook."
Jessica Alba on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in March of 2001, summer of 2006, and again this month.
When I was a young and odd child, one of the oddest things I did was collect Entertainment Weekly. Our family, like so many middle class families, had always had a subscription to Time, and one day Entertainment Weekly began arriving with it. In those early days, it was called entertainment weekly, and in many ways, it resembled many of the entertainment websites (The A.V. Club, Grantland, Vulture) that dominate the field today. There were long, industry-oriented cover stories, buttressed by surprisingly non-banal interviews with stars, producers, directors, [...]