April 1st, 2012
Michael Mace on
With our obsession for newness, those of us who work in the tech industry often fail to understand the historical roots of our technologies. Case in point: telegraph operators more than 150 years ago were sending short messages called "graphs" that were surprisingly similar in form and content to Twitter tweets.
One remarkable example was recently discovered in the Museum of Telegraphy in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is the transcript of a telegraph operator's comments during Abraham Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address in 1863. The transcript was shared with me by a friend on the museum staff, and I'm pleased to reproduce it here:
Still waiting for the Pres. to commence his speech. #gettysburg
Good heavens, I should have foresworn that fifth corn dodger for lunch. #gas #dontask #gettysburg
Starting now. Pres. waves to crowd. #gettysburg
Four score and… WTF is a score? 25? #pleasespeakenglish #gettysburg
Okay, it's twenty. So "87 years ago the country was founded." Why not just say that? Duh. #gettysburg
March 18th, 2012
[On Twitter...] you find yourself doing all sorts of things you wouldn't otherwise do. And once you've entered the Enchanted E-Forest, lured in there by cute bunnies and playful kittens, you can find yourself wandering around in it for quite some time. You might even find yourself climbing the odd tree – the very odd tree – or taking refuge in the odd hollow log – the very odd hollow log – because cute bunnies and playful kittens are not the only things alive in the mirkwoods of the Web. Or the webs of the mirkwoods. Paths can get tangled there. Plots can get thickened. Games are afoot.
February 24th, 2011
[It's the day before the mayoral election in Chicago. Infamously short-tempered former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel is preparing to make one last push in his bid to succeed Mayor Daley...]
Let's just keep the motherfucking coffee coming, non-fucking stop.
February 21, 2011 at 14:31
When I run for reelection, I'm having a motherfucking hand-shaking robot built.
February 21, 2011 at 15:01
Carl the Intern and Axelrod are directing the InterCorps from "the command center"–a laptop and a map in the backseat of the fucking Civic.
February 21, 2011 at 16:02
Asked Carl how things were going, and he said "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight." The fuck does that mean?
February 21, 2011 at 16:05
Then, come election day, things went in a very unexpected (and hugely entertaining) direction. Read on…
April 14th, 2009
There's a great deal to be learned from this fiasco; not just for Amazon, but also by users1 of social media.
- Where 'users' means both those posting messages and those reading and reacting to them. ↩
April 1st, 2009
[Celebrated Guardian editor] CP Scott would have warmly endorsed this – his well-known observation 'Comment is free but facts are sacred' is only 36 characters long,a spokesman said in a tweet that was itself only 135 characters long.
Almost as good an April Fool as the notion that Alan Shearer is Newcastle United's new manager.1