Nerd Alert

Hey History Nerds: Turn Foursquare Into an Orgy of Vintage Photos

(Photo: Foursquare)

Good news for history nerds/hipsters who really identify with Luc Sante’s Low Life: The New York Public Library has released a snazzy new app that’ll show you cool historical photos when you check in on Foursquare. Pack your bags, because we’re going on a nostalgia trip.

The app draws on the NYPL’s Photographic Views of New York City collection, a huge cache of photos from the 1870s to the 1970s meant to “document the changing face” of the city. During a recent hackathon, a team rigged them up to Foursquare and its geolocation data. Read More

The Future of the Ebook

O Pioneers! Twitter Launches a Virtual Fiction Festival to Help Storytellers Get Experimental

Awaiting the future of fiction. (Photo: Plympton, via Instagram)

Still more evidence that Twitter means business about its positioning as a media brand: In an event today at the New York Public Library, head of editorial programming Andrew Fitzgeraldannounced a Twitter Fiction Festival, a wholly virtual event that’ll run November 28 to December 2.

The goal, according to Mr. Fitzgerald, is to “push the outward bounds of what people thing of when they think of content on Twitter.” Read More

Visiting Dignitaries

In Which We Resist Asking Björk to Play Scrabble

Björk at the New York Public Library. (Photo: Twitter.com/mgiraldo)

Betabeat couldn’t stop staring at Björk’s belly button. The singer was wearing a coral houndstooth suit over a black lace bra, with pumpkin pants, purple tights and a necklace made of thin coral pieces that looked like crab legs. She was clutching a to-go cup of hot tea as we sat in the Trustees room of the New York Public Library with two other journalists, a radio reporter and a Daily News intern, in an awkward mini-press conference. Björk wore a bulbous multi-colored wig pinned with bobby pins into a twisty spiral.

We told her we liked her speech at the Webby Awards: “A-E-I-O-U.” She laughed. “Sound,” she said.

We resisted the urge to hug her. Read More