Plus: Back to blogging; an open plug-in system for News Feed algorithms; de-anonymizing Secret; and more.
Also: The “horror of social media.” Federated Wiki as an alternative to today’s web. And “computers tell us who we really are.” This week’s trove of readables and quotables.
All these experiments at reverse-engineering the Facebook news feed algorithm are fun. But they’re doomed, and ultimately, they’re a distraction.
Twitter’s latest twiddlings with the private/public dial provide us with another timely reminder of who calls the shots on today’s big social networks.
Are ads the Web’s “original sin”? They’re responsible for most of the aspects of the medium that people complain about. Maybe we should stop expecting them to finally grow up and become okay.
Jonathan Richman started hanging out with the Velvet Underground as a “teenage squirt.” As he tells it, you could hear the music differently then — in part because the musicians weren’t plugging into hyperpowered PA systems.
In 2006, Lou Reed played for the architects of Web 2.0. It did not go smoothly. But his song and the Web preach the same message: “Anyone who ever played a part wouldn’t turn around and hate it.”
The song has played many parts through the years — by the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed solo, and in the hands of a host of devoted admirers. Herewith, a catalog.
“We should call bullshit, over and over again, whenever authenticity is used for shilling”: Jeff Pooley, the media scholar who’s written about “the authenticity bind,” talks about the tenuousness of the “real” self under the gale-force pressure of the marketplace.
In this roundup: That wasn’t just our moods and our dates that Facebook and OKCupid’s “experiments” were messing with — it was our identities and our creations. Plus: alternative takes on privacy from Mark Zuckerberg and Virginia Woolf. And more.