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Today in Tabs: Revenge of the Snake People

FOILed again.

Today in Tabs: Revenge of the Snake People
[Photo: Flickr users Paul, Kelly Smith]

Medium is a company that was started by Twitter founder Evan Williams to answer the question: “What is Medium?” This week’s answer is “Not a publishing tool,” which is counterintuitive considering the many publications that are using it as one, and the fact that Medium itself, just this past January, renamed “collections” to “publications.” But no! Medium wants to be a “network” now, or more accurately Ev wants Medium to be a network now. Charlie Warzel unpacked Ev’s post, and then Matter EIC Mark Lotto repacked it as best he could. The word on the `net is that this is all a prelude to a lot of cuts in Medium’s editorial department, and someone at Vox ought to get on the phone with Matt Bors asap.

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Before we continue, you should install this Chrome extension that replaces “millennials” with “snake people. Sapna Maheshwari found at least two Easter Eggs but there are a lot more. From now on, the official Tabs style guide mandates “millennials” be replaced with “snake people.”


New emoji like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And when we think of snake people, we think of Fusion, of course. Not because snake people are particularly interested in Fusion, but because any sentence containing “Fusion” must also, by law, contain a reference to snake people. Hence the title of Ravi Somiya and Brooks Barnes’s delightfully shady profile “Fusion Media Aims at Snake People, but Struggles to Find Its Identity.” Brendan highlighted the most interesting bits: the news that Disney pressured Fusion to stop reporting on the Sony leaks, and the deletion of a reference to “FOILs,” or “friends of Isaac Lee.” Choire posted an anonymous email that made the rounds about who these FOILs are, and I’m told that the one bit Choire redacted can be found here (but is, I remind you, purely unsubstantiated rumor and hearsay). Meanwhile Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel thinks he knows what snake people really want. I’m starting to doubt whether there is any such thing as “snake people” at all, tbh.

Never Not Reading About Fury Road: Maria Bustillos on “The Startling Humanism of ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.” And what is Squaremans? I don’t know! But here’s Matt Colville in it with a reading of the movie that is kinda nuts and that I am completely into.

New Content Strategy: Only publish Hallie Bateman. Viz “Do you still feel dissatisfied?” and Today’s Pen Parade.

Make your phone unusable. Make your computer unusable. Make your bookshelf unusable. Make your self-parking car unusable. Can’t Maureen Dowd just be awful without being constantly judged for it? “Mishaps with preserved brains are not uncommon,” is not as reassuring as it seems to have been intended. Amanda Miranda Panda is your 2015 name of the year. The whole bracket was pretty amazing. Hoverboard invented, looks like no fun. The worst tab of all time, “Brother Orange,” shows no sign of ever ending or explaining how many of its endless product placements were paid for.

It’s Karen’s last week! I haven’t wanted to let any of the interns go but again: I don’t want to let her go. I cannot say strongly enough how reliable she is and how delightful she is to edit. That said, if you’re interested in sponsoring next month’s intern, now’s the time to get in touch! One spot is still open.

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TODAY’S INTERN TAB, by KAREN HO

Years before Twitter and Tumblr came into the world, I made most of my “online friends” through Livejournal. It was another social media community where you opted in to receive the updates of friends, potential friends and strangers. Sitting in front of my computer, many times I would admit feelings I would have been scared to blurt out to people I was much closer to and knew “in real life”. I knew my posts were public, technically anyone could read them, and for the most part I could easily be identified. But here was a community of people I knew read and cared about my thoughts, and would often chime in with advice. If I was bothering them, they could just remove me from their feed.

At Pacific Standard, Alana Massey explores why online friendships can often be more honest. She explains how my experience is surprisingly common on places like Yahoo! Groups, where it’s easy to find people with similar interests but there’s less stigma because they’re not in your immediate social network. This allows people to open up in ways that might normally take years to develop with a friend “offline”.

There are people I know through years of interactions of Twitter, texts and emails who I’ve never met in person. We have told each other things some of the closest people in my life don’t know about. I am grateful the Internet brought them into my life. There is no question I consider them my friends.

Those of you older than a snake person might remember that we used to call Livejournal’s opt-in social media community a “blog network.” It’s surprising how much I miss what was always an objectively awful word.

Today’s Music: The new A$AP Rocky album is out a week early! In traditional A$AP style it’s about 40% too long but there’s at least one whole solid album in there. Rocky told the NY Post “My taste level is so alternative that if I do something that becomes mainstream, it’s only because I wanted to do it.” Nice. Anyway here’s “Excuse Me.”

~Everyday I spend my time closing tabs feeling fine~

Today in Tabs is doxxing unusually hard today, I hope you snake people enjoyed it. We’re on Fast Company and in email and would like to talk about what the best track on this A$AP album is on Twitter @rustyk5.

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