Off the Media

It’s War: Scale and Intimacy Duke it Out in the Comments Section

One of the ironies of American “high societies” is that some of its most prestigious institutions were founded by members of what was, at the time, one of the lowliest professions: journalism.

Take the Bohemian Club, the private refuge of many future and ex-presidents, billionaires and captains of industry. It was started by a bunch of dirty staff writers at the San Francisco Chronicle in the 1870s. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Candy Crush Is Going Public So Ruminate About That For A While

Candy crushed. (Photo: King)

John Thompson, the man who is responsible for picking Microsoft’s new CEO, doesn’t want the job. In an email to the reporter, he wrote “NO!” in response to the query. [Wall Street Journal]

Candy Crush’s parent company, King.com, filed for a “secret” IPO yesterday. Hope everyone’s ready for another Zynga-like rise and collapse. [Valleywag]

If you guessed $1.6 billion quarterly loss for BlackBerry, well that would be oddly specific, but you’d be correct! Start writing your eulogy now. [TechCrunch]

A new study reports that the BBC is the most engaged news brand (ugh) on Twitter, while BuzzFeed tops on Facebook. [The Wrap]

We’re sure ISPs are bristling with excitement over Netflix’s plan to offer “Super HD” video format to subscribers. [CNet]

Can U Not

Before You Insert That GIF, Stop And Ask Yourself: Is This Going to Make Me Look Like an Asshole?

Ron-Paul_Its-Happening1

GIFs are a wonderful technology. What could be more delightful than the well-timed insertion of the perfect Real Housewives of Atlanta GIF to punctuate your point?

Unfortunately, as with so many lovely things, these wee moving pictures have become rather overexposed. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the nation’s elected officials apparently now think they’re a great tool for swaying public opinion. Hence this completely asinine piece of advocacy, straight from the official website of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: “The Roller Coaster of Emotions on the Path to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline.” Read More

community issues

Amid Anger Over Anti-Abortion Post, Buzzfeed Says It’s Still Figuring Out Whether To ‘Draw Lines’

Screen Shot 2013-08-23 at 4.55.06 PM

BuzzFeed came under fire today after the viral site ran a post slamming Planned Parenthood.

“8 Outrageous Things Planned Parenthood Was Caught Doing,” submitted by a community contributor, the anti-abortion group PersonhoodUSA, has unsurprisingly not been a hit with BuzzFeed’s core readership.

BuzzFeed editor in chief Ben Smith said that the site is still figuring out aspects of opening up BuzzFeed’s platform to community contributors.  Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: BuzzFeed Partners with CNN to Create Another YouTube Channel

`BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti.

BuzzFeed has partnered with CNN to access its archives to create a thrilling YouTube channel focusing on “serious news events.” [TechCrunch]

Two major Hollywood studios, Warner Bros. and NBC Universal, have reportedly asked Google to scrub the search results of Kim Dotcom’s Mega hosting website for containing copyrighted material. [TorrentFreak]

Here’s an in-depth look at #Hashtags: Are they Facebook’s missing link to the pop culture? [CNET]

Of course Google is exploring the idea of using blimps to deliver Wifi to parts of Africa and Asia. [Science Recorder]

Welp, don’t be too alarmed but Chinese hackers have reportedly gained access to very advanced designs for U.S. weapon systems. [The Verge]

startup rundown

Startup News: Buzzfeed Gets Businessy and Cornell Tech Clears Another Hurdle

Someday! (Photo: CornellNYC Tech)

Fast money, fast people. Venmo Payouts is now saving businesses time and paper (as in checks, not cash) with an API designed for  sending money directly to service providers. Any phone number or email address can be used to pay babysitters, dog walkers or masseuses via a single API call. Venmo acts as the middle man, collecting your top-secret bank information and using it for the transaction.

Buzz-Feed us business. BuzzFeed has a new business editor for its coming-soon business section. Peter Lauria, former editor-in-charge of U.S. technology, media, and telecom coverage for Reuters, will lead Buzzfeed’s expansion into Wall Street later this spring. Look out for “13 Most Daring Corporate Investments Announced Using These Great Photos of Cats.” Read More

Art-Tech

Selfless Portraits: Strangers Draw Each Other’s Facebook Profile Pics, For Better or Worse

This reporter did not go into an art profession for very obvious reasons.

Your Facebook profile photo is one of the first things that people notice when they browse your profile. Whether it’s a meme or a picture of a cat or an actual photo of yourself, what you put in that little square space supposedly says volumes about who you are online.

Jeff Greenspan, an ex-Facebook employee who now works as BuzzFeed’s chief creative officer, wanted to find a way that people could connect with each other through the visual information they offer on their profiles in a clever and creative way. Along with his co-creator Ivan Cash and Rally Interactive, the two devised a plan to “let users celebrate each other” with a site called Selfless Portraits. Read More