Category Archives: Websites

# Views, % Integrity

2015_10_PeopleReached

The “# impressions” or “# views” meters next to tweets or Facebook posts can be a little intoxicating. It’s easy to get caught up in chasing that value, making it rise. It’s always right there, if you manage a Facebook page or use tools like Hootsuite. As if it’s all that matters in our digital world based on eyeball glances.

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“Well At Least They Allow Comments”

For a while now I’ve found the trite complaint of a closed YouTube comment section to be vapid. (Equally so the stale honor or praise of leaving it open.) But just today I took another step in my understanding of the issue.

When a comment section is closed, to a YouTube user, it feels like their only method of communication (or complaining, harassing, etc.) with the YouTuber has gone. That’s in part why it’s perceived as valuable. It’s the habitat they’re used to; it’s what they see as the clearest, most direct form of feedback.

And to a certain extent it certainly is. My Pavlovian response to a YouTube video ending is to scroll down. This is something I fight, because in the vast majority of comment sections, there is nothing of value below. It’s still the most immediate place to see responses, though.

YouTube comments for a long time have been treated as this “standard discussion forum” across the Internet, available around most videos online, when in fact its evidentiary purpose is for hurling shit and making jokes so lazy they’d make Reddit cringe. The comment box is ubiquitous on the Internet Locus For Viewing Moving Pictures, so it makes sense that it became the collective dumping ground. To see a space carved out to not be made messy (by closing comments) seems counter to the entirety of YouTube culture. PewDiePie crossed that line and quickly went back.

This YouTube culture is the same one that would bring the phrase “free speech” into the equation, even though YouTube is a company that can do whatever it wants with your comments, and comments are on another person’s channel who has full right to delete them or ban people for any reason. Comment spaces are only as free as its owner allows them to be, and they don’t Hate Freedom if they choose to curate more closely or close them altogether.

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Modern Romance: The High-Angle Selfie

I’ve been reading Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance, which I heard about from his interview on the Freakonomics podcast. It intrigued me that a comedian would write a book that is not just full of jokes and humor but also solid independent research and references to other literature on the subject. There are graphs, charts, and footnotes to studies noting the changing landscape of the dating world, between all-caps complaints about “Tanya” not texting Ansari back after an important message.

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July’s Top 10 Podcast Episodes

July was another special month for the podcasting world. This last week featured a delightful event called Cast Party, which I mentioned one part of in my post about Reply All. The stage show included many podcasts I adore, like Reply All, Invisibilia, Lauren Lapkus, and Radiolab. Every part of it was great, each taking a step in a new direction that isn’t normally seen in an audio-only podcast. I especially enjoyed seeing so many people fill the theater that the show was being broadcast to from New York. I would have loved more of an opportunity to chat with these fellow listeners as the podcasting world is too often a solitary experience.

I did plenty of driving for work this month, giving me ample time to listen to many shows. Here’s the list:

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WoW Time Lapse and Making Slow Travel Appealing

I’m still figuring out where I want to post stuff regularly. Little ideas that turn into big ones start to feel like they should go in a different place! This was originally posted on my Tumblr.

This time lapse video of major sections of Azeroth, the land of World of Warcraft, got me thinking about a simple game design element that I don’t think I’ve seen implemented anywhere.

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