Tag Archives: reddit

RLST Post #10: Web Development

Watching “The Social Network” was a strange experience for me. During the times that the Sorkin obviously tried to lose the average viewer in “technobabble“:

I understood all of that. The world of web development is truly insane. I’m sure I would be just as lost during a biology or chemistry babbling session, but this one happens to be the world I belong to.

I’m not writing this to brag – just to share that the movie hit very close to home for me. Even now I’m sitting in front of my computer, working on a PHP project in Apache (the same technologies that powered the early versions of Facebook). My resume says “Web Application Developer” at the top. I make things like facebook for a living.

The keyboard they use in that scene is the one that I brought in to class to share – the IBM model M.

Language and Culture

Any culture is going to have its own in-jokes and words. For a traditional religious example, I still don’t know what a catechism is (but it sounds dangerous). Web developers have this effect amplified by their very nature – creating things to share on the internet. A new word, phrase, name, or technology that makes it to the top of Hacker News or Reddit can quickly be assimilated into the language of other developers. In any field, it’s important to stay on top of the current language and culture, doubly so in the fast-moving world of web development. Click on the “truly insane” link up above and you’ll get an example of what I mean.

Because of the reliance on computers, technobabble for programmers becomes even more cryptic. 13375p34k, though a relic of the 90s, is still understood by any hacker worth their salt. Even the word “hacker” has a different meaning in the tech community (and that meaning is hotly contested).

Personal Note

The craziest thing about the whole Facebook debacle lawsuit thing, is that I have been there before. My friend Alex and I put up a site online that let you google 4 things at once. We called it “googlegooglegooglegoogle.com”, bought the domain name, and within 2 days had gone viral, thanks to an anonymous post on MyLifeIsAverage.

And by viral, I mean 1.5 million pageviews over two months. About 50k users, if I remember correctly. Gizmodo wrote an article about us, Huffington Post wrote one, MakeUseOf.com gave us a link, and we even had an Urban Dictionary definition.

Then we got a cease and desist from Google, and in 7 days they took our domain name and shut us down. We were both pretty upset about it, but hey, it’s not every day you make Google feel threatened.

That’s why Facebook hits really close to home for me. Hopefully I’m not an asshole like Zuckerberg is portrayed as in the movie.


“You know who knows about web development? Spiders.” — Evan Conway

RLST Post #5: Five Sites That Drive the Internet

If you really want to understand the world of the internet, the best way is to jump in and experience the daily craziness. Here are five sites that (in my opinion) have their finger on the pulse of the web.

1. Reddit.com


Although mainstream Reddit is becoming less of an internet-news site and more of a meme factory, there are still quite a few places on the site that are incredibly interesting and showcase the power of the internet.

Reddit is a link-sharing site. That is, people post links to media hosted elsewhere, and Reddit provides a platform to comment on and share that media. Posts are organized by votes, so that the community decides what is important and interesting on any given day.

The “frontpage” of Reddit, which you see when you visit, is actually a conglomeration of various “Sub-Reddits”, which are focused communities of interest, centered around a hobby or common trait. It doesn’t matter if you’re into photography, videogames, or even My Little Pony, there’s a Sub-Reddit for your interest. There are even quite a few meta-Sub-Reddits, which deal with issues on Reddit itself.

Reddit.com is one of the most community-centered sites I have ever been on, with kindness (as well as cruelty) escaping the bounds of the internet. If you want to know what media is hot on the internet today, just visit Reddit and click away.

2 & 3. Tumblr.com and DeviantArt




Although it may take you some time to create a well-curated list of tumblr blogs to follow, Tumblr is another internet community that is right now going strong.

Meanwhile, DeviantArt is a repository of original content creation, the hangout for many, many aspiring artists. The main draw of these sites is the immense amount of art uploaded to them every day.

Just like other social media sites, Tumblr allows you to follow whatever interests you, so you’ll have to find your own way on the site. DeviantArt does have a firehose stream, but you can also choose artists to follow to have your own curated list.

4. 4chan


I’m not going to link to 4chan from here, since it has a bit of a bad reputation, but the site still maintains somewhat of a high pedestal for knowing what’s what on the internet.

Despite 4chan’s reputation, there are a few SFW boards that maintain a solid stream of content creation and creative output.

I can’t advocate going on 4chan (and I don’t myself), but a list of popular internet sites without 4chan is quite incomplete.

5. Hacker News


Hacker News is Silicon Valley’s Reddit. A media sharing site for startups, innovators, and content creators. If you’re looking to really have a feel for what people who run the tech companies of the world are talking about, spend some time on Hacker News.

Hacker News has no sub-genres, although it does split off “Show HN” for content and “HN Jobs” for finding employment. That means that all ~35K users see whatever is on the front page. But among those 35K users are some of the best and brightest technology and social leaders of our time.

Among all of these sites, Hacker News is easily the best place for news and internet content, since it holds its posts to a very high standard. It’s often faster than Reddit for tech news as well, often about a day ahead of the rest of the internet.