Confessions of a clickbait creator – AMAZING! LOL!

Perhaps I found myself in the viral content world because I made the careless mistake of taking an arts degree at university. For over half a decade afterwards, I was lucky enough to work as an actual journalist for a few quasi well-known publications.

But after years of trying, I gave up pursuing work with more esteemed outlets because colleagues with qualifications from prestigious institutions were more desirable hires.

After a round of layoffs at my publication and in hefty personal debt, I was forced to accept the first job I could find. So I took a role at a popular viral content site. The writers were young, mainly white men and women, who didn’t exactly pride themselves on cranking out posts about cute dogs and videos of someone almost dying.


I Used to Be a Human Being By Andrew Sullivan

I was sitting in a large meditation hall in a converted novitiate in central Massachusetts when I reached into my pocket for my iPhone. A woman in the front of the room gamely held a basket in front of her, beaming beneficently, like a priest with a collection plate. I duly surrendered my little device, only to feel a sudden pang of panic on my way back to my seat. If it hadn’t been for everyone staring at me, I might have turned around immediately and asked for it back. But I didn’t. I knew why I’d come here.

A year before, like many addicts, I had sensed a personal crash coming. For a decade and a half, I’d been a web obsessive, publishing blog posts multiple times a day, seven days a week, and ultimately corralling a team that curated the web every 20 minutes during peak hours. Each morning began with a full immersion in the stream of internet consciousness and news, jumping from site to site, tweet to tweet, breaking news story to hottest take, scanning countless images and videos, catching up with multiple memes. Throughout the day, I’d cough up an insight or an argument or a joke about what had just occurred or what was happening right now. And at times, as events took over, I’d spend weeks manically grabbing every tiny scrap of a developing story in order to fuse them into a narrative in real time. I was in an unending dialogue with readers who were caviling, praising, booing, correcting. My brain had never been so occupied so insistently by so many different subjects and in so public a way for so long.


Virtual memory: the race to save the information age by Richard Ovenden

As tributes poured in after the death of Prince last month, a member of the Minnesota Lynx women’s basketball team spoke on US television about her visit to the musician’s Paisley Park studios. She recalled how the players, driven out by limo at his invitation to celebrate their victory in a crucial match, had been asked on arrival to leave cameras and phones outside. The party was amazing but, she regretted, “all we have are our memories”.

For millions of people, technological devices have become essential tools in keeping memories alive — to the point where it can feel as though events without an impression in silicon have somehow not been fully experienced. In under three decades, the web has expanded to contain more than a billion sites. Every day about 300m digital photographs, more than 100 terabytes’ worth, are uploaded to Facebook. An estimated 204m emails are sent every minute and, with 5bn mobile devices in existence, the generation of new content looks set to continue its rapid growth.


O nouă strategie cibernetică a Kremlinului

Am citit că la ordinul lui Vladimir Putin se analizează o decizie de a decupla Rusia de la internet. Dacă până acum am avut doar replici rusești la sancțiunile Vestului, ieșirea de pe internet nu este o măsură de pedeapsă ci o măsură de protecție a puterii de la Kremlin.

Pare să fie și o schimbare de strategie, de la o ofensivă cibernetică nediferențiată, spre una cu două paliere. Un palier pentru cetățenii ruși, cu două calități control și propagandă. Al doilea palier, cel pentru spațiile virtuale non-rusești orientate spre acțiuni ofensive, cu ținte precise și de imagine.

Mai sunt câteva posibile semnificații legate de acest moment.

În primul rând, decizia poate semnaliza că Rusia se așteaptă la sancțiuni legate de internet, măsuri aflate probabil în pregătire în țările vestice și care vor lovi curând Moscova în cadul altui pachet de sancțiuni.

În al doile rând, începând de acum, Rusia va folosi mult mai abil și mai intens, facilități de internet camuflate în țări apropiate Moscovei, cum ar fi China, țări central-asiatice, Asia de sud-est.

În al treilea rând Moscova anticipează planurile opoziție ruse anti-Putin la ”o primăvară moscovită fierbinte” și care a rputea porni tot de pe Internet cu ajutorul Vestului.

Nu în ultimul rând, este posibil ca Moscova să anticipeze o posibilă confruntare majoră în spațiul virtual și un răspuns la decizia NATO de a considera atacurile cibernetice ca fiind acțiuni agresive ce se încadrează în articolul 5 al Alianței.