Over at The Kernel, Jesse Hicks has put together a fascinating account of the Church of Scientology’s relationship with the Internet. So, how has a notoriously secretive and hierarchical organization dealt with the world’s most “open and radically nonhierarchical platform for communication”? Not well. Scientology’s antagonistic relationship to the Internet dates back to the web’s early days: when an early […]
“I’m sure there were phonies who claimed to be the sole survivor of Thermopylae,” [Don] Shipley says. “Guys that claimed service at Gettysburg, Valley Forge. But they could only project it down a couple of barstools at the village pub. Now with the internet, you can be anyone you want to be.” —Michael Gaynor writing for Washingtonian about […]
Writing for Backchannel, Andrew McMillen recently profiled a woman named Tracey Helton. Helton—a former heroin addict who now works as a public health advocate—has taken to Reddit to advocate harm reduction strategies among addicts and to distribute the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Dubbed the “mother of r/opiates,” Helton’s program “illustrates the unexpected good that can emerge from darker corners of […]
The advice offered to me by people when I explain I am going to live by myself in the woods for a week varies from the sensible (“Develop a routine”) to the frankly awful (“Take some weed!”). But it is Michael Harris, the Canadian author who published a book in 2014 called The End of […]
And it has predicted a remarkable rise in juicy, first-person writing on the Internet. Consider the success of xoJane, which launched in 2011, or of The Washington Post’s “PostEverything” blog. On Medium.com and Jezebel, memoirish personal essays win big. CNN ramped up its “First Person” project in 2013. And Vox.com just recently followed suit. As of press time, the Ezra […]
From visual emojis depicting simple emotional states, it’s a short step to the more dynamic emotion or reaction gifs, used by certain internet subcultures to respond or react in playful ways to an online discussion. These are gif images, often originating from internet memes, that depict elements of body language that can be too complex for an emoticon to describe. Essentially, it’s an innovative way for speakers to convey a sense of gesture on the internet.
One of the ways the site reduced danger for workers was by making it easier for them to weed out bad dates, from poor tippers to full-on abusive creeps. Providers could choose to meet only customers who were well known and well liked on RedBook’s forums, and some workers even required references from other escorts on the site before taking on a new client.
As for the awe he inspires himself, Christgau’s devotees are smaller in number these days than in his Voice years, but they’re still extraordinarily dedicated, particularly among a small community who came together in the comments section of Expert Witness, the MSN blog he started after leaving the Voice. (He’s since moved on to the Medium site Cuepoint.) “The Witnesses are the greatest experience of my professional life,” Christgau says. “Most of them are very married kind of guys, but I’m so very married that it makes sense.”
Eva Holland is a journalist based in the Yukon who has written for publications including Pacific Standard and SB Nation. Her latest Longreads Original, “‘It’s Yours’,” explores the life (and maybe death) of an internet commenter community, “the Horde,” that Ta-Nehisi Coates helped foster at The Atlantic. I spoke with her via email about her […]
I have previously shared with you Balk’s Law (“Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people”) and Balk’s Second Law (“The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything”). Here I will impart to you Balk’s Third Law: “If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a […]
The Web dwells in a never-ending present. It is—elementally—ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable. Sometimes when you try to visit a Web page what you see is an error message: “Page Not Found.” This is known as “link rot,” and it’s a drag, but it’s better than the alternative. More often, you see an updated Web […]