I admit that I have never felt that I’m the target demo for “women’s media,” whether in mainstream or alt-lady form. I don’t really give a shit about “fashion” beyond trying to figure out what looks good on me and maybe what necklaces might be pretty cool, I find the “here’s the agribusiness PR mail that we got this week” pose of all the health stuff absolutely wearying and ultimately incoherent, and I find the anti-intellectualism inherent in the table of contents’ offerings to be quite stifling and ultimately pushing our world toward a definition of womanhood that involves shopping and fucking and pick-a-little-talk-a-littling about the results of both (with some added bits of inanity about people who do not give a shit about you, trust) when all’s said and done.
I kind of had hopes for the Internet with regards to allowing women to push boundaries of what they could be and how they could portray themselves, especially as Bust devolved into the Etsy version of Marie Claire and Bitch wrapped itself in academic jargon so tightly you could hear it gasping for air (never mind its pre-Internet branding decision that resulted in it having to censor its “edgy” name in every email it sends out in spam-filter-rife 2011). But, you know, things didn’t really work out that way, because instead of letting a thousand flowers bloom, the economics of online content dictate strip-mining every field except the one that grows the superflowers, with technicolor blossoms and vines that snake around everything slightly outside the pageview-hoarding purview. So you have the hypersexist monolith that is “most of the media, especially the sites that are mostly just pictures of young female hatefuckable celebrities,” and then you have the sites specifically for women, each of which has its own problems with figuring out the exact metallurgy possessed by the gender.
Which brings us to XOJane, which right now (SORRY MATT EALER) has a “short film about choice” that involves Emily McCombs—who earlier today let out her feelings (complete with pictures!) on losing a ton of weight in an essay that I thought was very well-written and brave (if in slight need of editing)—taking a pregnancy test on camera. She brings the camera into the bathroom and you get to be there as she pees on the stick and gives a speech on the importance of choice while she’s waiting for the result. (Which is negative.) (Here is where I should also note that this is “sponsored content” by a shoe company.)
I mean I fully admit that I am uptight about a lot of things. The rise of people going to parties just to take pictures of one another instead of to actually talk to one another. My looks. (Yes, related.) The hypersexualization of society, from Smurf porn on up. There’s tons more, and if you ply me with enough wine I will tell you about it. But I just feel like this “LOOK AT ME, WORLD, AND LET ME TELL YOU HOW MUCH I WANT YOU TO SEE ME” pose put forth by XOJane and other similarly siren.jpg-studded sites for ladies is both not sustainable and drowning out voices possessed by women who might not be comfortable with sharing every sexy/salacious/OMG-worthy detail of their lives (or who might not already be celebrities, which is another topic for another post) as a way to care about Important Issues. I know, I know, you have to put forth the chocolate to get kids to eat the vegetables, but lately the Internet feels like it’s all chocolate, with the angry parts being I guess the kind that has a couple of serrano peppers chopped in for good measure. And it goes back to what I was saying when the site launched a mere three months ago: What happens when these women who are being pushed to mine their lives for high-volume content sites run out of stories? Well, I guess one answer is “go into the bathroom with a Flipcam.”
And yes I know that I am part of the problem by pointing at this on the Internet and saying “hey this exists! what?!” But if I can raise my voice on the side of the people who just have something to say, and who shouldn’t have to resort to stunt journalism and putting forth salacious details in order to get their point of view paid attention to by at least a sliver of the ever-distractable masses, then, you know, I think it all evens out.
WHOA! The balloons just flew away when you clicked! You just “liked” us on Facebook! Thanks!! DANCE MUSIC!!!!! OH WOW a whole cityscape just popped up! Click each building to learn about the key principles of our cooking! Come on! Fine. To get to the menu, just click the building that looks like…
Unless your entire social circle was under a rock yesterday, you’ve already seen Facebook Timeline. But what’s most interesting to me is seeing the influence of two notable designers, Tom Watson and Nicholas Felton, craft and shape this refined concept.
Many designers likely had a hand in this, I recognize that. But consider Tom Watson’s Level & Tap, a site with a focus on impressive — and impressively large — images. Then consider Nicholas Felton’s Feltron Annual Reports. Put the two together and it’s clear where the influence originated from.
And if there were any doubts about that influence, Tom’s tweet yesterday should clear things up:
It should be clear now why we hired @feltron. It’s been a blast designing it.
Side note: Dustin Curtis’ Lifepath.me app is for sale on eBay as a result of yesterday’s announcement.
Holy cow, is this really happening? After hearing about the MegaUpload shut down, the hacker or ‘hactivist’ group Anonymous is already taking a stance on the situation, and fighting back. They have already taken down Justice.gov and UniversalMusic.com and shot off a tweet saying “justice.gov & universalmusic.com TANGO DOWN! You should have EXPECT US! #Megaupload.”
In my exploration to learn on how to Embed Tumblr into my website, I came across the Tumblr API (Application Programming Interface). As I am no expert in coding, and having very little experience with PHP, XML etc, I wanted to find out how I could Embed Tumblr with the Tumblr API on a basic, and…
I’ve written before on writing from analytics, but what happened today was just such a good example, I think it’s worth sharing. Briefly: checking out my site analytics, and taking clues from them led me to an unreported homicide.
A celestial globe is a portrait not of the earth but of the skies. Globe-makers in many cultures - Persian, Mayan, Indian, European - over the centuries made many such representations of the heavens and of the pictures they saw there, working in papier-mâché,…
Digg recently published a blog post titled “Digg’s Algorithmic Mystery Tour” on October, 15th. While a Digg blog post is a normal thing, a post about the algorithm was very surprising to me. Why did Digg, which never bothers to blog about very visible changes, numerous bugs and issues, decided…
tl;dr version: I’m really glad to have an iPhone 4S.
(Note: this was written over multiple days, spaced weeks apart.)
I approached this experiment with a lot of questions, the primary of which was quite simple: why do people use Android? I had my own preconceived answers — they dislike Apple or couldn’t get an iPhone for one reason or another — but I dove in with an open mind regardless. After over four months of Android 2.3 on a Nexus S, I’m left mostly answerless.
That’s not to say I didn’t learn a lot. I have a solid grasp of what makes Android Android, the ins-and-outs of the OS, and, yes, there are even a few really great features I will miss as I transition back to iOS.
But at the end of the day I’m left with mostly a bad taste in my mouth. What follows is a summation of four months exclusively using Android. They’re my opinions. I’m not trying to sway anyone away from the platform, and I’m not looking to troll Android fanboys. I am but one man who likes stupid gadgets and decided to conduct a dumb experiment. Let’s go.
Facebook provides each user with a unique email that they can use to update their Facebook with. This way you can email a status update, picture, etc. without needing to access the site or the app, plus it works with any email address.
We can use that email address to cross post from Google+,…
As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to transparency and innovation, over 800 (and counting!) City datasets are now online for anyone in New York or around the world to explore and access via an API, for deeper, real-time integration into apps and…