Social Networks

39 articles
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We Like You So Much and Want to Know You Better

A woman starts a new job with a massive, all-knowing social media company; an excerpt from Eggers' The Circle, coming in October.

"Mae looked at the time. It was 6 o’clock. She had plenty of hours to improve, there and then, so she embarked on a flurry of activity, sending 4 zings and 32 comments and 88 smiles. In an hour, her PartiRank rose to 7,288. Breaking 7,000 was more difficult, but by 8, after joining and posting in 11 discussion groups, sending another 12 zings, one of them rated in the top 5,000 globally for that hour, and signing up for 67 more feeds, she’d done it. She was at 6,872, and she turned to her InnerCircle social feed. She was a few hundred posts behind, and she made her way through, replying to 70 or so messages, RSVPing to 11 events on campus, signing nine petitions and providing comments and constructive criticism on four products currently in beta."

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The Stupidity of Computers

A history of the divide between computing and language, and why we “define and regiment our lives, including our social lives and our perceptions of our selves, in ways that are conducive to what a computer can ‘understand.’”

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How Yahoo Killed Flickr and Lost the Internet

The autopsy of a once-dominant site.

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The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man

A profile of Mark Zuckerberg, savvy CEO.

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How One Response to a Reddit Query Became a Big Budget Flick

An Iowa dad’s surprisingly short path from commentor to screenwriter.

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Inside Instagram: How Slowing Its Roll Put the Little Startup in the Fast Lane

On the popular iPhone app.

Just the day before, President Barack Obama had signed on and begun sending out photos. This seemed like a real sign that Instagram had arrived. Obama already has accounts on Flickr and Facebook. He (or his people) must have seen something unique and wonderful in Instagram's audience, some way to reach people via that channel that it couldn't through others. When the President joins your network, it's news. And while it's great news, it can be the kind of thing a company isn't prepared for. But as it turns out, Obama is a fractional compared to Justin Bieber.

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The Hacker Is Watching

In a dark echo of Rear Window, a wheelchair-bound hacker seizes control of hundreds of webcams, most of them aimed at young women’s beds.

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#Riot

On the intersection of technology and revolt.

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The Pest Who Shames Companies Into Fixing Security Flaws

A profile of Christopher Soghoian whose “productions follow a similar pattern, a series of orchestrated events that lead to the public shaming of a large entity—Google, Facebook, the federal government—over transgressions that the 30-year-old technologist sees as unacceptable violations of privacy.”

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The Social Graph is Neither

Relying on programmers to map real world social connections is like “hiring a Mormon bartender” and other observations on why our strange urge to document the nodes of friendship is doomed.

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The Great Tech War Of 2012

Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. Amazon.

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Bubble Boys

In Silicon Valley, up all night coding in the dorms with the aspiring Mark Zuckerbergs of tomorrow.