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Today in Tabs: The Updog Pivot

It’s early but 2015 already has some great tabs: ethics in journalism etiquette.

Today in Tabs: The Updog Pivot
Ev Williams and Sarah Lacy: Flickr user Christopher Michel, Fashiondad: via Instagram]

Just after Christmas, Elizabeth Spiers wrote a great blog post about the common mistakes new digital media projects tend to make. It’s full of valuable insights from a smart veteran of online media, so no one who needs to pay attention to it ever will. Instead they’ll read Sarah Lacy’s auto-encomium claiming that to be a successful media owner, you have to be an asshole. Evan Williams, one of the targets of her criticism (a word I use very loosely here to mean “accusation of not being an asshole”), responded to Lacy pointing out that her claim that journalists “turn combative on a dime” hasn’t been his experience (nor has it been mine). “I’ve known a lot of journalists (and employ a few) and mostly they’re curious, pleasant, respectful people. I like having dinner with them,” says Williams. I can think of at least one reason people quickly turn combative with Sarah Lacy and not with Evan Williams.

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Williams also posted a smart critique of the definitions and metrics we use when measuring success for social media services and websites. Like Spiers, when he takes the time to write something like this it’s worth paying attention to. Not worth paying attention to is financial Chaos Muppet and newly self-appointed Twitter Board chair Jim Cramer, who grandiosely announced that Twitter CEO Dick Costolo can keep his job, a move hailed as “bold” by the four retirees who accidentally wound up watching CNBC instead of the reruns of Murder, She Wrote they were looking for.

Herrman made his 2015 media biz predictions, and the very same day, Andy Carvin announced Reported dot ly, a new First Look project publishing solely on Medium and social media, which is the ))<>(( of our billionaire-funded journalism future. Then the next day, New York Times International desk digital deputy Amy O’Leary left the Grey Lady for Updog. Tomorrow, presumably, Yahoo will buy CNN, and we’ll get through the rest of them by February, then we can shut it all down and take the rest of the year off.


“Cooties,” whispered the tree, “So many cooties.”

Today in The Outrage Cycle: The Baffler just published an appropriately baffling personal essay by William Giraldi about how he wasted his ten months of paternity leave becoming an alcoholic and it’s everyone else’s fault. It’s reprehensible, but that is Giraldi’s wheelhouse. Previously he wrote a mean-spirited review of Alix Ohlin that was garbage and whined about being compared with Cormac McCarthy, which, to be fair, is certainly an undeserved comparison. So Giraldi, as a person and as a writer, clearly just is what he is. The question is why do we keep publishing him?

Why Can’t Dads Have It All: When did we start having it all, exactly? Shaq on Apps. After being pregnant for, like, a hot artisanal second Blake Lively has reportedly had the baby, which was delivered directly into a bedazzled Mason jar. Emotional Heat Check: Kanye West. Today in Dads. The day after Christmas in Dads. Jazmine Hughes runs everything. This will definitely work. Bodybuilders arguing about how many days there are in a week is an all-time Best of the ‘Net thread. CES is garb.

It’s a snowy day in New York and Bijan doesn’t have to get out of bed before 3pm so I’m expecting the Full Bijan for our intern tab today!

TODAY’S INTERN TAB, by BIJAN STEPHEN

Here is the snow: Cold, silent, swelling. It’s a blank slate ripe for projection, for reading meaning into—this being, of course, what it shares with all of the other uncontrollable forms of nature. I find it funny how we’re never taught to dream but still do; how we project ourselves, our hopes and dreams, into clouded skies.

Today, Jo Livingstone published a meditation/memoir on rain in The Awl; the story spans four continents, naming five types of rain—and it is patently, absurdly beautiful. The writing thwacks and splats and splishes. (Hallie Bateman, illustrator and cartoonist extraordinaire, provided the art.)

Like Klonopin, the therapeutic effect of rain sound lies in its ability to blur selectively. It takes the edge off the silence so that the outlines of your thought (or the purity of your sleep) can stay clear. After I close the rain sound tab I’m listening to now, the inside of my head will feel like your body does after you step off a trampoline: unnaturally hard and heavy, glowing with a kind of swelling and fluorescent anxiety.

There it is. Hell yeah.

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Did You Know? The Internet Archive has 2,386 browser-playable DOS games

Today’s Song: No Age, “Life Prowler

~Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a tab.~

This is a list of things: Fast Company, TodayinTabs.com, @Rustyk5, @BijanStephen. What you make of them, if anything, is up to you.

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