BetaNews: Happy birthday Internet! 50 years old today. “50 years ago, on October 29 1969, a packet was sent between two computers — one at UCLA and the other at Stanford Research Institute — on the ARPANET. This doesn’t sound hugely exciting, but it was first step in the creation of the Internet.”
Boing Boing, with a couple bad words, which I am censoring because I’d like this to actually get to your inbox: A plugin to force Twitter to respect your settings and stop showing you “top” tweets. “Twitter has a setting that (nominally) allows you to turn off its default of showing you ‘top’ tweets (as selected by its engagement-maximizing, conflict-seeking algorithm), but periodically, Twitter just ignores that setting…”
The Distant Librarian: Thoughts on building my first bar chart race with Flourish. “If you’re on social media you’ve probably seen a bunch of bar chart races pop up in the past couple of weeks. The folks at Flourish have a good post chronicling the ‘new’ phenomenon. Even better, Flourish created a template which makes it pretty easy to build your own, so that’s what I did. Here are my thoughts on the process, along with some suggestions for making it even better.” I had never heard of bar chart races. Watch the video, it’s wild. And if you want more background, as Paul noted the Flourish blog post is a good place to start.
Slate: Twitter Has Finally Made It Easy to Set Your Timeline to Reverse-Chronological. “Almost three years ago, Twitter introduced one of the most controversial changes in its history. It began using a ranking algorithm to decide what tweets people would see at the top of their timeline. Until then, it had (with some exceptions) simply shown users all the tweets from everyone they follow in reverse-chronological order. There was an option to turn off the algorithmic ranking, but it was hidden within the Twitter settings, and its function wasn’t obvious.”
MakeUseOf: 7 Nifty Tools You Can Use to Create Project Timelines. “You may have seen a timeline of a friend’s journey on Facebook over the years and thought that was a particularly attractive and striking way to condense information into a simple diagram. But timelines are not limited only to Facebook users.” This is a weird but interesting mix of project management timeline tools and historical timeline tools.
Muhlenberg College: Muhlenberg’s Distinguished Guests. “What do Muhammad Ali, Eleanor Roosevelt, Billy Idol, Maya Angelou and Carrot Top have in common? Not much—except that they all came to Muhlenberg during the 20th century (in 1970, 1942, 1983, 1991 and 1993, respectively). The Muhlenberg College Timeline of Visitors, a new digital exhibit on the Trexler Library’s website, catalogues nearly 800 visits in five separate timelines: academic, arts, politics & civil rights, popular culture and religion. Click on a visitor’s name and it calls up an image of that person, usually from the student newspaper (The Muhlenberg Weekly) or the yearbook (The Ciarla), as well as a paragraph or two detailing their time here.” What a fascinating idea.
Wired: Pinterest’s New Feature Takes The Algorithm Out Of Your Feed. “The beauty of a site like Pinterest lies in how little you have to do to use it. Choose a few things you’re interested in—vegan food, knitting, travel—then kick back and enjoy scrolling through algorithmically generated collections of images…. But sometimes, you want to see what you signed up to see, and not what the machines think you might like. So today, Pinterest is introducing a new feed populated only by the people and boards you follow.”