January 8, 2014
'No One Should Die Because They Can't Afford Healthcare': One Meme's Story

People shared some version of the “no one should” meme more than a million times—and as they did, they changed it.
Read more.

'No One Should Die Because They Can't Afford Healthcare': One Meme's Story

People shared some version of the “no one should” meme more than a million times—and as they did, they changed it.

Read more.

November 29, 2012

The Campaign Tumblr Is Dead! (Long Live the Campaign Tumblr!)

That’s partly because Tumblr is generally, in ways that other social media platforms aren’t always, lighthearted. It is generally, in ways that high-stakes political campaigns aren’t always, fun. On Tumblr, Olin and her team could post, on behalf of the president, things like this. And like this. And like this and this and this. They could joke and wink and otherwise Internet, in a context that both suited and rewarded the effort. In a campaign whose whole point was to convert voters from potential to actual, the Obama for America staff could tackle that stark task much more subtly than the blunt forces of political persuasion typically allow. They could build community — and the kind of group accountability that comes with it. An engaged voter is a likely voter.

Read more. [Image: White House Flickr]

November 17, 2012
The President is Unimpressed
[Image: Flickr user: The White House]

The President is Unimpressed

[Image: Flickr user: The White House]

September 20, 2012
The Selfish Meme

This spring, a couple of neuroscience researchers at Harvard published a study that finally explained why we like to talk about ourselves so much: sharing our thoughts, it turns out, activates the brain’s reward system. As if to demonstrate the thesis, journalists and bloggers promptly seized the occasion to share their own thoughts about the study, often at a considerable cost to accuracy. “Oversharing on Facebook as Satisfying as Sex?” the Web site for the Today show asked.
Well, not really. The study, which combined a series of behavioral experiments and brain scans, didn’t suggest that anyone, in the lab or elsewhere, had found sharing on Facebook to be an orgasmic experience. What it did suggest was that humans may get a neurochemical reward from sharing information, and a significantly bigger reward from disclosing their own thoughts and feelings than from reporting someone else’s.

Read more. [Image: Nicholas Blechman]

The Selfish Meme

This spring, a couple of neuroscience researchers at Harvard published a study that finally explained why we like to talk about ourselves so much: sharing our thoughts, it turns out, activates the brain’s reward system. As if to demonstrate the thesis, journalists and bloggers promptly seized the occasion to share their own thoughts about the study, often at a considerable cost to accuracy. “Oversharing on Facebook as Satisfying as Sex?” the Web site for the Today show asked.

Well, not really. The study, which combined a series of behavioral experiments and brain scans, didn’t suggest that anyone, in the lab or elsewhere, had found sharing on Facebook to be an orgasmic experience. What it did suggest was that humans may get a neurochemical reward from sharing information, and a significantly bigger reward from disclosing their own thoughts and feelings than from reporting someone else’s.

Read more. [Image: Nicholas Blechman]

September 18, 2012
Buy Me Maybe: Can A Meme Sell Records?

In 1881,The New York Timesproclaimed exasperatedly that “Hitherto the problem with electricity has been bottling it.” To the great frustration of guys like Thomas Edison, the awesome power of lightning was visible and knowable—but there was no apparent way to capture it.
A century or so later, we’ve solved that specific problem, but this week, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen will attempt to pull off its 2012 equivalent. With the release of her albumKiss, the voice behind the outrageously catchy, YouTube-dominating hit “Call Me Maybe” will become just the latest in a long line of Internet music sensations to try to harness the frenzied momentum of viral fame and channel it into profitable, long-term pop stardom—something that many have attempted, but few have done.

Read more. [Images: YouTube user connerhulse / Interscope Records / Pop Hangover]

Buy Me Maybe: Can A Meme Sell Records?

In 1881,The New York Timesproclaimed exasperatedly that “Hitherto the problem with electricity has been bottling it.” To the great frustration of guys like Thomas Edison, the awesome power of lightning was visible and knowable—but there was no apparent way to capture it.

A century or so later, we’ve solved that specific problem, but this week, Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen will attempt to pull off its 2012 equivalent. With the release of her albumKiss, the voice behind the outrageously catchy, YouTube-dominating hit “Call Me Maybe” will become just the latest in a long line of Internet music sensations to try to harness the frenzied momentum of viral fame and channel it into profitable, long-term pop stardom—something that many have attempted, but few have done.

Read more. [Images: YouTube user connerhulse / Interscope Records / Pop Hangover]

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