Ethan Zuckerman sez,
Belarussian journalist Evgeny Morozov was getting sick of encountering the same stories about US politics on many of the blogs and news sites he frequents. So he decided to engineer some serendipity, building a new type of news aggregation site: Polymeme.
Polymeme relies on the wisdom of crowds in a very different way that sites like Reddit and Digg. For each of twenty core topics, the algorithms behind Polymeme monitor a small set of blogs, chosen because they focus on a specific topic, like evolution, education or economics. The algorithms look to see what stories - in mainstream press, alternative or citizen media - are being linked to and discussed in these "expert" blogs. Polymeme offers a link to the story being talked about, as well as to a selection of blogposts that address the story in question.
The site lets you encounter new ideas as a conversation between an original author and a set of bloggers engaging with the ideas. And the stories featured tend be both fascinating and not to be the ones getting lots of love on Digg and Reddit.
Of course, some things don't change no matter how wide a net you cast: according to the site's own statistics, the two people most often mentioned in the blogs tracked: Barack Obama and John McCain.
Kirby Ferguson, who created the remarkable Everything is a Remix series, has a new podcast hosted by the Recreate Coalition called Copy This and he hosted me on the debut episode (MP3) where we talked about copying, creativity, artists, and the future of the internet (as you might expect!).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has launched a new series, 12 Days of 2FA, in which every installment explains how to turn on two-factor authentication for a range of online services and platforms.
The Data & Society institute (dedicated to critical, interdisciplinary perspectives on big data) held an online seminar devoted to Cathy O’Neil’s groundbreaking book Weapons of Math Destruction, which showed how badly designed algorithmic decision-making systems can create, magnify and entrench the social problems they’re supposed to solve, perpetuating inequality, destabilizing the economy, and making a […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]