URLs of wisdom (24th May)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology. This post covers content since 10th May.


  • You won’t finish this article – When people land on a story, they very rarely make it all the way down the page. A lot of people don’t even make it halfway. Even more dispiriting is the relationship between scrolling and sharing. Schwartz’s data suggest that lots of people are tweeting out links to articles they haven’t fully read. If you see someone recommending a story online, you shouldn’t assume that he has read the thing he’s sharing.”
  • Why we favourite tweets  “the “findings highlight that the favoriting feature is currently being over-utilized for a range of motivations, whilst under-supporting many of them….what the diverse range of motivations behind favoriting may show is that despite Twitter’s recent attempts to create an increasingly standardized and top-down user experience, it’s still a platform with a massively diverse user base that uses Twitter for many different reasons. And that if Twitter wants to remain an essential part of the conversation, it will take its cues from the way users want to use their technology, and not the other way around.”


  • Who will RT this?  Development of a machine learning algorithm that picks users who are most likely to retweet on a certain topic.
  • Why that video went viral “If you want to melt the Internet, best to traffic in emotion, researchers have found. The emotional response can be happy or sad, but the more intense it is, the more likely the story is to be passed along.”
  • The ideal length of everything online 

People stuff

  • When Mothers TextI also have come to realize how cellphones can be used to express love. Often it’s not the big, all-consuming love. Instead, it’s love expressed in small ways.”
  • Designing for love – how can better design improve how technology allows us to connect?



Web/Social media developments

  • Twitter starts rolling out a mute button to silence people you’re following. Mute me argues that this a bad thing: “Now you can’t tell if someone actually wants to follow you, or is merely being courteous, political, or whatever else. The honesty of the follow is gone, and so therefore is some of the honesty that Twitter engenders in us.”
  • What is the outlook for Twitter? “we are increasingly tweeting to the events of our lives (from news events to concerts). Twitter thus fills an important gap in social media that goes beyond information exchange to making entertainment and other events more socially experienced.”
  • “Can there be such a thing as pure democracy online?” Interesting discussion of moderation and community management challenges on reddit.
  • Giants behaving badly  – Google, Facebook and Amazon show us the downside of monopolies and black box algorithms.

Just for fun

Running for President in the age of the Internet



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