/Tag: tech

Attack of the OEAs.

Maciej Cegłowski, the guy who created Pinboard, with a (positive) retrospect on his interactions with fandom.

Probably some chuckles in here for anyone who’s ever been involved with any kind of fandom project, and has experienced the overly earnest deluges of enthusiasm that can sometimes accompany them. Also interesting to see an outsider’s reaction to what, from inside fandom, seem like Entirely Normal Tagging Conventions…

One of the things I think it’s very easy to forget, is that fandom is just as full of, say. Data scientists and librarians and coders as it is with any other profession. People bring in norms and conventions from their day jobs—or make up new, better ones in reaction to things they’ve seen done poorly—and they get adopted by other fans and normalized. To an outsider, I suppose it can seem like some kind of spontaneous, magical, wisdom-of-crowds thing—given that fandom identifies as Fandom, not as Profession—but… it’s really not. It’s just a lot of people with a lot of different experiences and skills and knowledge, all coming together to find the most efficient way of producing and consuming poly tentacle sex pollen fics featuring their favorite characters from film/TV/et al.

2019-02-05T12:02:43+10:0017th July, 2019|Tags: fandom, tech|


Ads sold by Amazon, once a limited offering at the company, can now be considered a third major pillar of its business, along with e-commerce and cloud computing. Amazon’s advertising business is worth about $125 billion, more than Nike or IBM, Morgan Stanley estimates. At its core are ads placed on by makers of toilet paper or soap that want to appear near product search results on the site.


In addition to knowing what people buy, Amazon also knows where people live, because they provide delivery addresses, and which credit cards they use. It knows how old their children are from their baby registries, and who has a cold, right now, from cough syrup ordered for two-hour delivery. And the company has been expanding a self-service option for ad agencies and brands to take advantage of its data on shoppers.

Karen Weise on Amazon’s next product.

(Hint: the Product is You.)

2019-02-05T11:17:26+10:0014th July, 2019|Tags: advertising, privacy, tech|


But I’m struck by how one primary reason a fiasco like Fyre Festival could happen, or indeed how many of the worst aspects of influencer culture can happen, is because of the very real emotional effect of the Fear of Missing Out. It’s especially true because FOMO is a designed, intentional result of using most modern social media apps.


The stakes are so much higher now then back when we just worried that social media would make us feel bad about missing a party. Yes, that’s still a cause of stress, but far worse is social media enabling grifters to profiteer off of innocent people’s credulity. How can we fret about missing our friends when the emotional manipulation of social apps has warped every institution in our entire culture?

Anil Dash on missing out.

2019-02-05T10:53:32+10:0013th July, 2019|Tags: culture, social media, tech|

280 nonsense.

A conversation with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey can be incredibly disorienting. Not because he’s particularly clever or thought-provoking, but because he sounds like he should be. He takes long pauses before he speaks. He furrows his brow, setting you up for a considered response from the man many have called a genius. The words themselves sound like they should probably mean something, too. Dorsey is just hard enough to follow that it’s easy to assume that any confusion is your own fault, and that if you just listen a little more or think a little harder, whatever he’s saying will finally start to make sense.

Whether Dorsey does this all deliberately or not, the reason his impassioned defenses of Twitter sound like gibberish is because they are.

Ashley Feinberg @s Jack.

Wo-oo-oo-ow, lol.

2019-04-29T12:06:40+10:008th July, 2019|Tags: social media, tech, twitter|


As someone who, was indeed, “building it themselves” in 1999 (where “it” is “a blog”), I am totally all over this retrospective on early social media

(Also, man. DreamBook and Pitas… I’d totally forgotten about DreamBook and Pitas!)

2019-02-04T11:13:17+10:006th July, 2019|Tags: blogging, internet, pop culture, social media, tech|

Automatic previews.

Using automatic website previews to generate feature images for OpenGraph metadata.

I really like this idea a lot, and stole it for my own little plugin that adds the OG meta to the top of link posts.1

  1. Including this one, in fact. []
2019-02-04T09:02:55+10:003rd July, 2019|Tags: internet, tech|


The web isn’t a cool geek playground any longer. It is a vital part of everyday life. And decades of trying to find a way to monetise something open and decentralised took their toll. When I look back at when I started publishing on the web there was a genuine “build it and they will come”. Or, to be more precise, “write it and they will come” – as good content, structured in a clear way, was the big winner. To a degree, it still is, but the question is who will come.


Good content still gets you found. But it also invites a lot of people to quote, steal or find some other way to associate their – often terrible – products with it.

Christian Heilmann on the new web.

… Yeah I admit it. I just like the irony. Definitely go read the rest of the article, though, particularly you oldskool DIYers out there.

2019-01-25T09:17:11+10:0030th June, 2019|Tags: internet, tech|