Facebook’s News Feed: Often Changed, Never Great

I’ve never liked Instant Articles — Facebook’s Newspeak term for “We want to make it harder for users to leave Facebook even when they’ve chosen to follow a link to an article on a news source.” In The New Yorker, Om Malik writes about Facebook’s evolving interface. There are days when I look at my news feed and it seems like a social fabric of fun—a video of the first…


Facebook is predicting the end of the written word

Facebook’s video push threatens the edited TV news package as much as it threatens the written word. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in traffic when I post a YouTube video (which generally gets modest attention on FB but often accumulates views over time) vs when I post similar content directly within Facebook (which FB seems to promote more quickly, but which disappears into the memory hole about 24 hours later,…


Study confirms that ending your texts with a period is terrible.

Language evolves, so oldsters like me should get just used to it, right? Well, langauge was evolving long before “text” was a verb, and that’s exactly the reason why the English of Dickens and Shakespeare and Chaucer looks so different from our ordinary speech. I still use a pay-as-you-go dumb phone, and have to pay per message, so I use periods to pack multiple thoughts into each text. I use…

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English Teacher Re-Titles Classic Poems As Clickbait In Last-Ditch Effort To Trick Students Into Learning

Funny and clever. Via Excuse the Bananas “Confessions Of An Angst-Ridden Sailor Who Took Out His Emotions On The Wrong Bird”  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge “13 Ways To Have No Chill When It Late At Night & You Lonely AF”  by Edgar Allan Poe “This Tyger Is Way Too Turnt” by William Blake “3 Foods You Never Knew You Could Compare To Your Dreams” by Langston Hughes


Facebook Hired Journalists to Train Its Trending Topics Algorithm

Recently I noticed an unusually incendiary phrase in the Facebook “trending” list, and noticed that several people in my feed were reacting strongly to that language. When I clicked the link, I was taken to a page that did not actually contain that phrase. When I searched for the source of that phrase, the results came up nil. A few hours later, searched turned up bloggers who were angrily…


Out of the Zuckersphere, (back) into the Blogosphere

This is why I still blog. While commercial platforms like Facebook and Twitter are designed to keep you churning out new content that attracts shallow attention, a weblog encourages reflection, the exploration of lateral thinking and deep linking, and the accumulation of ideas (your chronologically sorted, taggable history of posts) over time. Mark C. Marino says it well: [T]he problem with living your life on FB and Twitter is that…


Former student: “I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but…”

A third alum in the last few weeks has contacted me to thank me for challenging her while a student: When I look back on my time at SHU, I remember sometimes being annoyed with all of our blogging assignments, but yet again, this is proof that the skills you taught us so a few years ago are still transferring into my professional career. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you, because…