The Vortex: Partying like it’s 1995

The problem with neglecting to post The Vortex on a weekly basis is that it easily spins out of control. I’m staring at a raft of links I’ve saved up, wondering which ones will flag me as Out of Date, the ultimate sin in the technosphere. If you see something past its sell-by date below, just pretend you’re in a time machine.

News from the Social Media Vortex

-The social network we all forgot, MySpace, lost its founding CEO Chris DeWolfe this week. The rumored replacement is – surprise! – a former Facebook exec. Owen Van Natta, who hasn’t been confirmed officially, will hopefully figure out how to unseat his former employer as the top global social network. Also on his list – lose the wallpaper.

-In other news from the 20th century, Yahoo is shutting down GeoCities, in a move that likely had many commenting, “But how will my cat blog now?”

-In a Wall Street Journal piece, Mark Penn discovers that there are now almost as many bloggers in the US as there are lawyers. Bloggers of course quibbled with his math but the point is clear: we must defeat them! Quick, someone start a blog comparing the merits of frivolous lawsuits versus writing opinion pieces in your mom’s basement.

Apps on the Radar

-In place of an app I’m liking, I’m issuing a plea for an app I can’t seem to find. Anyone know of a translation app for the iPhone that *doesn’t* need a data connection to work? The ability to translate umpteen languages into English doesn’t do much good if you’re abroad with no data plan or Wifi.


-In the category of Horrifically Inappropriate Technology, we nominate ‘Baby Shaker,’ the new (approved!) iPhone app. So to confirm: cursing in iPhone apps – hell no; assault and battery of infants – welcome to the App Store!

-And in the category of I’m Thinking He’s an Atheist, we nominate John Soden III of Thomas Weisel Partners in San Francisco. This little gem is a bit old but you’ve got to love a guy who sends an office-wide email on Good Friday saying, “Unless you’re an orthodox something, please get into the office… Join Wells Fargo and become a teller if you want to take bank holidays.”

Tweet of the Week

-My Tweet of the Week section was thrown a curveball this week with the launch of Tweetingtoohard, a site that honors self-important tweets. Of course the flip side is that Twits will now be jockeying for position on the site, leading us even further down the Me Me MEEE abyss that is Twitter.

-In lieu of highlighting the self-important then, I’ll just settle for the funny. Which is apparently hard to find, as my nomination goes to Jason Kottke on April 1st: “Why is the Internet taking so long to tell me what to think about latest episode of Lost? It’s been over for 32 minutes!”

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1 Comment »

  1. Keith Shaw said

    Hey Carla — The “Translator” app that I have on my iPhone is free, and does require a data connection. However, the app says this: “You can buy offline dictionaries for the iPhone for only $4.99, click on an icon for more information.” They also offer a dictionary with 4 languages for only $7.99. Of course, the dictionaries may not provide translations, they may just provide the words you need. So this may not be helpful at all. 🙂

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