*Which means it's probably a marketing ploy for something.
From the hoary old crypts of the most ancient corners of the Internet comes a massively awesome collection of blogs that no one cared about. Like whatever it was that Jakob Lodwick invented, but worse! Each began with one post from some cyber-dreamer, and that one post has been preserved, all on its lonesome, to this day. For instance:
Now made for masturbating during overlong board meetings or car trips — the iPhone. The burgeoning mobile porn business, which was once confined to slow-loading sepia-tinted Jpegs of flappers in bathing suits, now features all kinds of fun applets for erotic text chatting, "moan tones," and video. The $1.7 billion industry set to balloon even further once the iPhone 2.0 debuts on July 11. The Google search results on "iPhone porn" are tumescent, too, and there are many, many websites in existence that can cater to all your hand-held smut needs. Here are a few:
Why not. YouTube will determine the next president and whether we bomb Iran, it might as well shrink James Wood's column inches in the New Yorker. I'm already experiencing the anxiety of a certain kind of influence in watching this ebullient young critic analyze Tom Rob Smith's Child 44. Future belletrists, take note. Edmund Wilson had to go to Princeton, edit F. Scott Fitzgerald, lose his cherry to Edna St. Vincent Millay, and learn half a dozen languages to be taken seriously. That's what happens when you've got a face made for text messaging.
Boing Boing, the most popular blog for all other blogs to steal fun stories from, ruled Internet conversation about weird distracting things until sites like Digg came along. Now that it's no longer the first place to find a meme, the site is even cooler (which I blame on the authors' dedication to posting whatever the hell they want). One of those four authors, Cory Doctorow, has started blogging at an IBM-sponsored blog about how he, like, never needs to check his e-mail and doesn't even read the Internet any more.
All the bloggers this weekend were all "Oh no Internet addiction is an illness!" Because an editorialist in the American Journal of Psychiatry says excessive Internet use should be classified as a mental disorder. But that's missing the point. The problem isn't that people overuse the Internet. The problem is that the Internet is still trapped in boxes and not embedded in our brains.
The Rickroll prank (you know, you show a link pretending it's something else but it's really the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up") is just "made you look!" for the web. Worse: It's "sure thing...not!" for the web. That's why it caught on so damn well, because every idiot can enjoy a good laugh ("ha ha fooled you that was not the web page you intended to see"). Here's how it began (as a kind of funny joke), how it took over, and why using it makes you a moron who should be strapped down in front of a loop of "2 Girls 1 Cup."
My favorite Internet tradition is mocking earlier versions of the net, so I loved this video fifteen seconds in, when to demonstrate the power of the Internet an invisible hand typed "coffee" into a search engine called "The Internet Mall(tm)" and a video of JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you" speech popped up. Blogger Andy Baio just uploaded the first in a two-part series from 1995 called "Internet Power!" As Baio notes, it's a look at parts of the net that haven't even been saved on the Internet Archive, which started in 1996. Here it is, ripped this weekend from VHS.
So, I guess I created an account on Flip.com a while back (probably to pick up high-schoolers), because I just got an e-mail from the social site where teenage girls are begged to express themselves. The site, which was supposed to rival MySpace and Facebook, is now a Facebook app rated lower than the "What disastrous event are you?" quiz. (Though, to be fair, it's the app's first day, and also I really want to know if I'm Pearl Harbor.) This is hopefully the end of the "Conde Nast Fails At The Internet" saga, which was analyzed here by Nick Denton, my publisher and the man most likely to gloat. IDK, be my BFF on Flip Facebook!
The most cloying little web show about disaffected Gen-Yers is moving to Bravo after last night's disappointing premiere on NBC (previously reported by Gawker). Kind of like that slut Lisa! Ha ha, I'm kidding, I've only seen one episode and have no idea what the character arcs are. NewTeeVee, the blog that apparently just broke this news, insists this just because quarterlife didn't make the jump to TV doesn't mean other web shows can't.
In fact the very funny web show Jake and Amir has already been signed by MTV. See, the trick all along was to find good web shows! After the jump, a recent Jake and Amir episode, just to prove it. UPDATE: The MTV rumor was wrong and the Internet is still doomed. But there's still a clip after the jump. A clip you won't be seeing on MTV.
Internet predators aren't stalking unsuspecting kids nearly as much as they're being invited over, according to a study by the University of New Hampshire. Unlike the horrific narrative 20/20 likes to narrate in that annoying dramatic tone, the Internet is pretty safe as long as a kid doesn't think it's okay to talk to strange adults online, or about sex with any strangers online. (Some sex writers suggest that if teens were allowed or even encouraged to have sex with other teens, maybe they wouldn't be so horny when an adult asked for it. But that's just hippie talk!) But that story is too complex for any serious TV news show, as the British satire Brasseye proved in their classic "Paedogeddon" parody, shown below.
While men dominate YouTube, women are almost twice as likely to use video sites run by TV networks, according to Nielsen Online results reported by the Journal. Before you draw any conclusions about men leading the New Media revolution, remember that they're just watching the Sarah Silverman clip from Jimmy Kimmel.