New York Times: Meet Your Meme Lords. “Future researchers can rest easy: Know Your Meme, Urban Dictionary, Creepypasta and Cute Overload have all been preserved by the Library of Congress. So has the band website for They Might Be Giants and the entire published output of The Toast, the humor site that shut down in 2016. And while the Library of Congress owns a rare print copy of the Gutenberg Bible, the web archive features the LOLCat Bible Translation Project, which rendered the bible in LOLspeak.”
Impact: Google Plus: Why it shut down and what marketers need to do without it. “Google Plus was not Google’s first attempt to enter the social media landscape. Other failed attempts had come before it (anyone remember Google Buzz?), but in the summer of 2011, Google launched Google Plus hoping to stand out from the competition.” Nice overview.
BetaNews: The Dark Web turns 20 this month. “While we’re all being encouraged to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ as we wash our hands to ward off the COVID-19 virus, you might like to know that you can sing it to the Dark Web, which turns 20 this month. To mark the occasion digital risk management company Groupsense hasn’t baked a cake but it has produced an infographic of the Dark Web’s timeline.”
Slate: Meet One of the Earliest Victims of Internet Bullying. “Like me, [Alex] Lunney graduated from high school in 1996. We were both born between Generation X and the millennials (Generation Catalano, as Slate has called us), a cohort that entered high school with limited internet access at best, but used it frequently by the time we were in college. But Lunney’s relationship with the internet is unique even for a member of our mini-generation. He was one of the first high-profile victims of cyberbullying, though we didn’t use the term back then—it wasn’t enough of a thing to have a name.”
The Register: Yo, Imma let you finish, but for the 6,000 people still using that app on a daily basis … we have a question: why? . “Yo was a joke that quickly died down. Users moved on. [Moshe] Hogeg moved on. Except, it wasn’t. Not quite. According to mobile analytics house Apptopia, 6,000 people still use Yo on a daily basis. More curiously, the app was downloaded 16,200 times in the month of January across the Apple and Android app stores.”
Slate: Did the Early Internet Activists Blow It?. “I no longer think that tolerance of disruptive speech is invariably the best answer, although, even now, I believe it’s typically the best first response. I also think the too-much-free-speech folks are being shortsighted themselves, because we’ve entered an era in which we need more disintermediated free speakers and free speech, not less.”
Wired: Wikipedia Is the Last Best Place on the Internet. “Today, Wikipedia is the eighth-most-visited site in the world. The English-language version recently surpassed 6 million articles and 3.5 billion words; edits materialize at a rate of 1.8 per second. But perhaps more remarkable than Wikipedia’s success is how little its reputation has changed. It was criticized as it rose, and now makes its final ascent to … muted criticism.”