Before anybody throws himself off a bridge over things written on the Internet, let's clear a few things up regarding Tom Scocca's essay, "On Smarm," which was the occasion of a grand hullaballoo last week. I love this essay: it crystallizes so many things, so elegantly and so hilariously. Its central premise is a little blurry, however, in a way that has sown confusion and grief in certain quarters. Freddie DeBoer, contributor to The New Inquiry, lost his muffin in its entirety; unable to confine himself to writing one zillion comments on the article itself, he wrote a blog post about it too. DeBoer claims that smarm vs. [...]
Let this be a reminder that whatever you put a photo of on the Internet, there will be people who fantasize about fucking it, and that starts with your babies and pets, even the ones that aren't super-attractive. Maybe the lesson is don't ever put anything on the Internet. We could give that a shot for a little while and see how it turns out, right?
I am prepared to offer an extremely valuable free service. Why would I do this crazy thing? Just to make the world better. And, more selfishly, to save myself from being bombarded by nightmarish tabs.
For free and for nothing, I will speed-read your Medium draft and warn you of any dangers it might present. Yes! I will be like "HEY THIS PART IS RACIST" and "NO 'MISANDRY' ISN'T A REAL THING" and also maybe "LOL you have no idea what you're talking about here." And then you will be happier, I will be happier, and the Internet will be happier. (Yeah. Mostly these tips are for men. Most of [...]
Before he goes to sleep, between 11 and midnight, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, typically checks in by e-mail with the same reporter: Mike Allen of Politico, who is also the first reporter Pfeiffer corresponds with after he wakes up at 4:20. A hyperactive former Eagle Scout, Allen will have been up for hours, if he ever went to bed. Whether or not he did is one of the many little mysteries that surround him. The abiding certainty about Allen is that sometime between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m., seven days a week, he hits “send” on a mass e-mail newsletter that some of America’s most influential [...]
"I realized in life there’s only two ways for a girl to go, and that’s to be a dumb bitch or just a bitch. I decided that from now on I’m just gonna be a bitch, ’cause at least from now on guys would be intimidated by me. At least I would have the upper hand."
—Feeling okay about the kids today and social media? WELL DEFINITELY DON'T READ THIS THEN, OH JESUS, IT'S REAL BAD OUT THERE. Also who knew that Ask.fm was a hotbed of teen viciousness? (Teens. Teens knew. Teeeeens.) Oh man, poor teens. :(
I moved to New York City, and I needed to make money. I wasn’t having luck getting a job. It's a common tale.
My solution was to grab my typewriter that I bought at a yard sale for 10 dollars and bring it to a park. I’d write stories for people, on the spot—I wouldn’t set a price. People could pay me whatever they wanted. I knew that I had the gift of writing creatively, very quickly, and my anachronistic typewriter (and explanatory sign) would be enough to catch the eye of passersby. Someone might want something specific; they might just want a story straight from my imagination. I [...]
The 113th Congress: do they blog? They do, a little! And here we review their blogs. First up, gay former schoolteacher Mark Takano, of California's 41st district—that's Riverside County and San Bernardino County—who entered the House of Representatives in January of this year.
Who: Mark Takano (Rep-D, California) — There Will Be Charts
What: A mix of shout-outs, Vines from the Hill, and realpolitik disguised as the occasional flight of fey.
Design: 7.5/10. The buttons are big, the tags are big, and the header is kind of terrifying. Why are the letters in 3D? It’s like the page is shouting at me in a low, throaty whisper. I [...]
On a recent five-star November afternoon, I decided to visit Trinity Church Cemetery in northern Harlem. Starting at the plateau on Amsterdam Avenue and 154th Street, I followed the winding paths down through a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves and crumbling crypts, which, glowing in the western sun, appeared almost transitory. As one tends to do in cemeteries, I contemplated the end of all things. Lately, I had heard murmurs about “the death” of the internet, and though inclined to dismiss such speculation as a form of insipid nostalgia that often clings to any recollection of the past—and really, what is the internet if not an infinite collection of memories?—I [...]
PT Cruiser is a user of Twitter, but not your average user. When online, she tweets a rapid stream of consciousness, at least in part to meet her goal of 300,000 tweets by year's end. She is also now an author. Her first book, cruisin to the finish line: speed secrets, was self-published last month, under the name "tcot," or Top Car on Twitter. This fall she gave a rare interview, explaining that she lives about 45 minutes outside of New York City, wakes up very early to go to work unpacking freight, and only watches VH1 Soul. She also blogs irregularly on the [...]
"Several photogenic felines from the five boroughs are featured in the traveling 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival, landing in Brooklyn Friday."
We have new rankings in the Wow This Website Is Abominably And Panderingly Stupid list—with a huge upset in the number one slot!
9. Gawker Dot Com 8. Probably a tie between The Bustle and The Daily Caller and The Blaze and Tumblr 7. Twitter Dot Com 6. Twitchy Dot Com 5. The Traffic-Getting Half of BuzzFeeᴅ Dot Com That Is Manipulative And Gross (Well?) 4. Elite Daily Dot Com 3. Weather Dot Com 2. Upworthy Dot Com 1. Viral Nova Dot Com
It's a crazy day when Business Insider can't even make this list. Thought Catalog? MORE LIKE PULITZER CATALOG.
Congratulations, Viral Nova! You're HORRIFIC, [...]
UM. So long, Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book! Because:
the creators of the two accounts, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, will prove that they are indeed human, appearing in a performance that is the final flourish in this suite of conceptual-art pieces, weaving together Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book
HOLY SHIT, WE ARE ALL DUPES. I don't understand anything. NO NO NO. We thought Alexey Kouznetsov was @horse_ebooks? And that… IDK BuzzFeed something something has dirty hands into this? UGH. *climbs into hole screaming* OH NO:
Bear Stearns Bravo
— Horse ebooks (@Horse_ebooks) September 24, 2013
Publications from the Guardian to USA Today ran premature obituaries for the still-living Tina Brown, who will be 60 this November, on the last day of Scorpio—not long before her contract at The Daily Beast ends.
In the obituaries, she predeceases the publication she founded, the future of which is currently hazy, if not actually smoky. Backer Barry Diller may or may not have a plan for it. There is a great case to be made for keeping the old Beast! Without Tina, after all, it can make money.
Though there have been some glitches. The site will be five years old this October. The Beast had 19 [...]
1. The guy mistaken for a game developer
@jeb I think I found a bug when ever i open an enderchest it opens and closes continuously
— specialkplaysmc (@specialkplaysmc) August 26, 2013
He’s also one of the unlucky people who happens to share his Twitter name with someone or something else that people tend to tweet at on accident.
The other-world Jeb that Boniakowski is often confused for isn’t even called Jeb. Well, he is, after a fashion. Jeb is [...]
"Over the last few years viral news has been co-opted by advertisers, pranksters, political operatives and others looking to sell something. When he can, Mr. Zimmerman tries to note when a story looks fishy and might harbor some ulterior motive. But telling the truth kills virality, reducing traffic. 'Once Internet culture eats itself, will I be able to do my job?' he wonders. 'When speaking truth to Internet culture doesn't result in traffic … when that happens, I may lose my edge and I'll have to find something else to do.'"
Yes, getting to Peak Troll—the state in which everything on the Internet is the worst it possibly could be—is a concern. But let's look at the facts—the facts of climate change! When the future of the Internet is graphed against sea level projections, it all works out okay. Most of us will likely die before Peak Troll completely ruins everything forever. Knock wood—and stay at sea level. Better to go out with the coasts than survive and live through what the Internet will be like in 100 years.
The PRConsultants Group (slogan: "National Strength. Local Power.") has declared October 22nd to be "Snark Free Day." We emailed with the members behind the endeavor—Atlanta-based restaurant publicist Melissa Libby, of Melissa Libby & Associates, and Louisville-based Nicole Candler, of Nic Creative—about their hopes and dreams for the national discourse.
What started all this? Nicole Candler: The idea developed out of a discussion among our PRCG Directors. Melissa and some others were commenting on how ugly online communication has become and the role that PR consultants must play in helping clients prevent it, monitor it and respond (or not respond) to it.
Melissa Libby: It kind of [...]
Always instructive to find where you might agree with people with whom you disagree, and here's that big Antonin Scalia interview which appears now for no reason:
"I’m nervous about our civic culture. I’m not sure the Internet is largely the cause of it. It’s certainly the cause of careless writing. People who get used to blurbing things on the Internet are never going to be good writers. And some things I don’t understand about it. For example, I don’t know why anyone would like to be 'friended' on the network. I mean, what kind of a narcissistic society is it that people want to put out there, [...]
The 113th Congress: do they blog? They do, a little! And here we review their blogs. Hey here is the Tumblr of Alan Grayson, the Democrat in the House of Representatives from a crazy central stretch of Florida.
Who: Alan Grayson (Rep-D, Florida) — Alan Grayson’s Emails
What: A Sorkinesque salad of high, low, and high-handedness through diatribes, transcripts, remembrances, and Don McLean references.
Design: 4.812/10 The blog is basically basic; its basicness announces itself with every post, every one set against and surrounded by a white background. But the function of design is functionality, and the lack of design pairs potently with the lull of the [...]
In late July, we ran a piece looking at a website called Elite Daily. Around the office, we'd been calling the story "Who Is Eddie Cuffin?" That's because one thing that had captivated our attention was the bylines of Elite Daily's writers, which, the more we looked, turned out not to be real people. So Eddie Cuffin is not "the most interesting man in the office," as per his Elite Daily bio, because he does not exist.
The more we looked, the more we disliked the site. We talked about this in the piece, and that whole fake writer thing, and that the site itself glamorized a grotesque version [...]