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Slow News Day

Slow News Day

When Facebook Went Down, News Traffic Only Dropped a Measly 3%

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Anyone who’s felt terrorized by social media’s effect on society eventually ends up asking the question, “What would our lives be like without Facebook?” On Friday, we finally got a taste of that sweet reality when Facebook went down for 19 minutes around noon.

Chartbeat, a company that provides news organizations with live metrics for obsessive reporters to gaze at obsessively all day, decided that this was an ideal opportunity to figure out what Facebook’s effect is on news traffic. The result? Even as 70 percent of Facebook referrals vanished, overall traffic to news sites only took a three percent hit. Read More

Slow News Day

Your Newest Digital Nightmare Is an Epidemic Called ‘Sleep Texting’

A sleep texter in CBS 2's eyes.

For those of us with Time Warner Cable, you probably missed this gem of a report from CBS 2 News last night about a new epidemic called sleep texting. It’s apparently a real thing and the local news is on it.

CBS 2 breathlessly interviewed two serial sleep texting victims named Megan and Laura. They both sleep with their cell phones near them and send jumbled messages in the middle of the night without realizing it, waking up totally exhausted the next day because it’s screwing with their sleep cycles. Read More

Slow News Day

Kanye West-Themed Stuff on Etsy, on the Occasion of Gawker Rewriting an Old Post [SLIDESHOW]

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Embroidered Kanye West Tweet

It’s Memorial Day, the sun is out, and no one is clicking things on the Internet. The New York Observer newsroom is quiet; half the Betabeat team is on vacation and one quarter is “working from home.” Even the bluegrass band in Times Square is absent.

So when Gawker writer Louis Peitzman, casting around for a subject on a slow news day, inadvertently rewrote an old Jezebel post about an Etsy seamstress who embroiders Kanye West’s tweets, we sympathized. We also wondered where else the Kanye West phenomenon and the world of Etsy might overlap. Many places, it turns out: a search for “Kanye” in Etsy’s section for handmade goods yields 242 results. Here’s the best and worst of the West. All for you, dear readers. All 10 of you. Read More