Inside the Buzz-Fueled Media Startups Battling for Your Attention

Insightful article on the new media startups trying to ride the social wave.

One-of-a-kind, exclusive stories are share-bait on networks like Twitter and Facebook. They’re also less likely to be punished should Facebook suddenly decide to rewrite its algorithm—as it did in August when it cracked down on clickbait headlines and kneecapped traffic to Upworthy. “The algorithms are always changing,” Peretti says. “We have a very long-term view, and the only way to succeed in the long run is to make content people love to share with their friends, tell stories that are meaningful to people’s lives, and break news stories that have an impact on the world. The people who misunderstand our business usually have a very short-term perspective.”


Aliens in the valley: The complete and chaotic history of Reddit

This is the story of how a bootstrapped startup with a funny name and no initial ties to the tech scene outlasted better-funded competitors, survived founder drama, endured tensions with its parent company and later navigated life as a standalone business — all in order to build the front page of the Internet. Traffic doubled year after year, even in the worst of times, with the site now reaching 175 million users per month.


The Beast of Turin trailer

Quick compilation of clips showing some of the build and first firing of the FIAT S76 land speed record car in 100 years. At over 28 litres this was the biggest of the pre WW1 monsters (and the biggest car engine ever built) – engine design changed a lot thereafter. The proper film will cover the history of this exciting period and tell the amazing story of its rebirth after 100 years.

Looking forward to watching this.

Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.

—Eugene McCarthy

On HTML5 and the Group That Rules the Web

Paul Ford is doing a wonderful job humanizing technology and the people who create it.

Validity, in this scenario, is an ideological construct. The promise is that by hewing to the rules put forth by the W3C, your site will be accessible to more people than would a less valid page. Both pages work fine for most people; browsers are tolerant of all sorts of folderol. The ultimate function of any standards body is epistemological; given an enormous range of opinions, it must identify some of them as beliefs. The automatic validator is an encoded belief system. Not every Web site offers valid HTML, just as not every Catholic eschews pre-marital sex. The percentage of pure and valid HTML on the web is probably the same as the percentage of Catholics who marry as virgins.

The New Yorker

Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

Unsurprisingly, it ties in with your perceived level of control.

Surveys by Uscinski and Parent show that believers in conspiracies “cut across gender, age, race, income, political affiliation, educational level, and occupational status.” People on both the political left and right, for example, believe in conspiracies roughly equally, although each finds different cabals.

Scientific American