Archive for the ‘internet culture’ tag
Maria Konnikova pens a nice think-piece about virality on the internet. And while it’s fitting that the New Yorker would name a piece like it would be easy to digest and then not deliver, it is honestly annoying me a little bit that not only does the piece lack a list, but it even lacks something approximating it within the structure. But this is intersting:
First, he told me, you need to create social currency—something that makes people feel that they’re not only smart but in the know. “Memes like LOLcats, I think, are a perfect example of social currency, an insider culture or handshake,” Berger told me. “Your ability to pass it on and riff on it shows that you understand. It’s the ultimate, subtle insider signal: I know without yelling that I know. When your mom sees an LOLcat, she has no idea what it is.”
I’d not really thought about it, but it’s probably true. I type a lot less periods than I should for the amount of text I write, and this may well be the reason:
I’ve noticed it in my text messages and online chats, where people use the period not simply to conclude a sentence, but to announce “I am not happy about the sentence I just concluded.”
A good read about the perils of being a woman on the internet. Sadly nothing with which I wasn’t vaguely familiar, though the specifics drive the point home. The overview is pretty simply expressed by this point:
Abusers tend to operate anonymously, or under pseudonyms. But the women they target often write on professional platforms, under their given names, and in the context of their real lives. Victims don’t have the luxury of separating themselves from the crime. When it comes to online threats, “one person is feeling the reality of the Internet very viscerally: the person who is being threatened,” says Jurgenson. “It’s a lot easier for the person who made the threat—and the person who is investigating the threat—to believe that what’s happening on the Internet isn’t real.”
(via Next Draft)
Alexis Madrigal wrote a mini-history of the Reddit AMA format, along with some thoughts about what the form means. Most notable to me, the author’s fondness for a particular recent example:
Back to the two-penised guy.
You’d expect that particular Q&A to devolve into the worst kind of terribleness. I mean, it’s a guy with two penises answering questions on the Internet! What could go wrong? Everything, that’s what.
Ben Jackson spends some time with an under-regarded question: how does spirituality fit into internet culture? And while I understand your concern that all you’ll get on that topic at BuzzFeed is snark masquerading as value, but I’d encourage you to give him some of your time.
Religion was a pervasive theme during the panel, with Vasquez [of Double Rainbow fame] stating, “I need to bring spirituality to humanity.” He explained that his repeated cries of “Oh my god” were caused by the rainbow forming what appeared to him to be a giant eye, which he considered to be the eye of god.
I’m increasingly aware of how much I like random bits of non-conclusive pondering. It’s not that it’s better than a conclusion, it’s that it’s more interactive. In that spirit, I enjoyed Sam Anderson’s essay about reaction videos:
It’s no accident that all of this started on YouTube in 2007 — at a moment when, and in a place where, human experience was beginning very visibly to splinter. Watching thousands of people react identically to “2 Girls 1 Cup” (“Come on!” they invariably shout, and “Why!?”) feels like a comforting restoration of order and unity. Which means that the most disgusting and offensive video ever to go viral was ultimately, oddly, a force of togetherness.
This is a little more specifically “techie” than normal, but I agree so much with Marco Arment’s thoughts on having a solid persistent internet presence that I had to post it.
But all of these proprietary [social] networks that want to own and hold in your content are reversing much of the web’s progress in some other areas, such as the durability and quality of online identity.
A valid and undervalued point:
Force a writer to be brief and you force him to think clearly—if he can. No, I don’t think that “War and Peace” would have profited from being written in 140-character tweets. But I do think that our impatient age might just be getting the best out of a great many artists and thinkers who, left to their own devices, would never have learned how to cut to the chase.
Adam Gopnik does a laudatory job cataloging and categorizing the works of those who aim to explain our current relationship to technology. Offering blows against both the unbridled pessimism of Nick Carr (a “better-never” in Gopnik’s words), and the unbridled optimism of Clay Shirky (a “never-better”), he gives the critical distance all great literary reviews should. The third group Gopnik names, the “ever-wasers”, are the most interesting and least discussed. Consider this point:
Everything that is said about the Internet’s destruction of “interiority” was said for decades about television, and just as loudly.
(via Austin Kleon)
The premise of this piece — stop using the acronym “IRL”! — is thin, but its substance resonates with the way I use (and love) the internet.
8. When you spend your online time on what really matters to you, you experience your time online as an authentic reflection of your values.
9. When you embrace online conversations as real, you imbue them with the power to change how you and others think and feel.
This collection is fun. The internet needs more sites that make Danny Glover the default avatar.
Profane and brilliant.
(via Mr. Sullivan)
This is a bit old, but I enjoyed perusing Rob Beschizza’s attempt to highlight the hardware preferences of certain types of people.
Clay Shirky wrote this paper in 1997. His point is still sinking in:
The price of information has not only gone into free fall in the last few years, it is still in free fall now, it will continue to fall long before it hits bottom, and when it does whole categories of currently lucrative businesses will be either transfigured unrecognizably or completely wiped out, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
(via Andrew Simone)