Why You Can’t Stop Looking at Other People’s Screens

In an age when more than 80 percent of the American population carry portable screens, we can’t help but look over.

Published: Oct 10, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,500 words)

Inside Facebook’s (Totally Insane, Unintentionally Gigantic, Hyperpartisan) Political-Media Machine

John Herrman meets the social media marketers whose political memes are taking over Facebook.

Published: Aug 25, 2016
Length: 17 minutes (4,436 words)

Access Denied

Celebrities, politicians, musicians, and corporations used to rely on large media organizations to get their message to the public. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter has allowed them to bypass this, changing the media landscape.

Source: The Awl
Published: Dec 3, 2015
Length: 22 minutes (5,644 words)

Tomorrow’s Internet Turns 20

Revisiting the predictions of an American Online exec in 1995.

Source: The Awl
Published: Oct 29, 2015
Length: 9 minutes (2,303 words)

Shitphone: A Love Story

John Herrman switches from his iPhone to a much more affordable “shitphone” and discovers how reliable mid-market gadgets can be.

Source: Matter
Published: Mar 9, 2015
Length: 13 minutes (3,492 words)

Tracking The Biggest Star In The World

David Johnson has sent more than 260 emails to Jay-Z, but has yet to receive a single reply. That may not mean his messages aren’t being read:

“‘[Jay] has opened every single one of my emails, even re-opening them to re-read,’ says Johnson. ‘He has clicked on links and had emails open for as long as 20 minutes.’ He knows this because he uses a tool called ReadNotify, which embeds a small, unique invisible image in every message he sends. When the message is opened, the image loads from ReadNotify’s servers, which record the time of the view, its duration and rough location. ReadNotify then gives the sender a read receipt, confirming that the message was seen. These services have been around for years, and they work — this kind of “bugging” is an old email marketing trick.”

Source: BuzzFeed
Published: Jul 19, 2012
Length: 9 minutes (2,319 words)