Wired: The Pride and Prejudice of Online Fan Culture

Wired: The Pride and Prejudice of Online Fan Culture. “Go with me here. Janeites can be seen as internet culture avant la lettre—what Sebastian Heath, an archaeologist and professor of computational humanities and Roman archaeology at New York University, calls a ‘self-digitizing community.’ OK, yes, the Arpanet and packet switching don’t figure much in the misadventures of Emma Woodhouse or the Bennet sisters. But the Janeites represent a critical plot point in the evolution of online sociology.”

Never mind the naysayers: Emoji are a vital part of online communication (Ars Technica)

Ars Technica: Never mind the naysayers: Emoji are a vital part of online communication. “The emergence of emoticons and emoji has been driven by rapid technological changes as the Internet became a dominant force for global mass communication. It has brought along with it the usual handwringing from change-averse elders about how their usage is destroying language. But far from being a unique feature of the Internet era, [Philip] Seargeant argues that human beings have long sought to find these kinds of visual shortcuts to indicate tone.”

Carnegie Mellon University: New Technology Makes Internet Memes Accessible for People With Visual Impairments

Carnegie Mellon University: New Technology Makes Internet Memes Accessible for People With Visual Impairments. “People with visual impairments use social media like everyone else, often with the help of screen reader software. But that technology falls short when it encounters memes, which don’t include alternate text, or alt text, to describe what’s depicted in the image. To counter this, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a method to automatically identify memes and apply prewritten templates to add descriptive alt text, making them intelligible via existing assistive technologies.”

The Conversation: On the Battle of Seattle’s 20th anniversary, let’s remember the Aussie coders who created live sharing

The Conversation: On the Battle of Seattle’s 20th anniversary, let’s remember the Aussie coders who created live sharing. “Today, online publishing allows multiple people to post text and multimedia content simultaneously to websites in real time, and have others comment on posts. But this format, used on sites like Facebook and Twitter, was first conceptualised, coded and adopted by a handful of Sydney-based activists back in the 1990s. These individuals were pioneers in kickstarting the digital disruption of mainstream media, and their actions enabled the world to openly and easily share content online.”

MakeUseOf: 6 Best Websites to Find New, Trending, and Weird Memes

MakeUseOf: 6 Best Websites to Find New, Trending, and Weird Memes. “Memes have become a unique type of language on the internet, letting people express opinions in a short but funny image. And like any language, it’s constantly evolving. If you want to know the latest memes or find unique ones, you’ve come to the right place.”

BetaNews: Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches ‘Contract for the Web’ to stop it descending into a digital dystopia

BetaNews: Sir Tim Berners-Lee launches ‘Contract for the Web’ to stop it descending into a digital dystopia. “The inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has launched a new initiative with the bold aim of transforming the web for the better, avoiding what he sees as the very real risk of it becoming a ‘digital dystopia’.”

BuzzFeed News: Before Mark Zuckerberg Tried To Kill TikTok, He Wanted To Own It

BuzzFeed News: Before Mark Zuckerberg Tried To Kill TikTok, He Wanted To Own It. “As Facebook’s chief wooed the Chinese government publicly with demonstrations of deference and appeasement, he was quietly working to close an acquisition deal with a Shanghai-based startup that, had it been consummated, would have reshaped the social media landscape as much as the social network’s purchase of Instagram or WhatsApp had. Zuckerberg wanted Musical.ly, a Chinese lip-synching app that was popular among American teens and, according to three people familiar with the conversations, Facebook spent much of the second half of 2016 trying to make that happen.”