You don’t have to spend more than 10 minutes talking to a purveyor of content on the web to realize that the question keeping them up at night is how to improve the performance of their stories against some engagement metric. And it’s easy enough to see the logical consequence of this incentive: At the bottom of article pages on nearly every major content site is an “Around the Web” widget powered either by Outbrain or Taboola. These widgets are aggressively optimized for clicks. (People do, in fact, click on that stuff. I click on that stuff.) And you can see that it’s mostly sexy, sexist, and sensationalist garbage. The more you let engagement metrics drive editorial, the more your site will look like a Taboola widget. That’s the drain it all circles toward.
From the Google Chrome team: a “simple API called Web Share that allows websites to invoke the native sharing capabilities of the host platform.”
(Amazon link) A collection of brain-melting short sci-fi stories from a polluted and impoverished future that is a lot less depressing than I just made it sound. This has been out since 2010 but I recently re-read the whole thing. RIYL Ted Chiang, et al.
Web-safe font stacks, complete with browser support. (Cue sound of designers weeping Helvetica support.)
A post-mortem on the PewDiePie fiasco. The always-on, always-producing YouTuber culture sounds exhausting.
Tons of free and paid HTML 5 templates to use and dissect.