Meet the new media

On the future of media, at The Awl:

Of course a website’s fortunes can change overnight. That these fortunes are tied to the whims of a very small group of very large companies, whose interests are only somewhat aligned with those of publishers, however, is sort of new. The publishing opportunity may be bigger today than it’s ever been but the publisher’s role is less glamorous: When did the best sites on the internet, giant and small alike, become anonymous subcontractors to tech companies that operate on entirely different scales? This is new psychological territory, working for publishers within publishers within publishers. The ones at the top barely know you exist! Anyway, internet people, remember this day in five years: It could happen to you, whether you asked for it or not.

Because, on the future of MetaFilter:

Unfortunately in the last couple years we have seen our Google ranking fall precipitously for unexplained reasons, and the corresponding drop in ad revenue means that the future of the site has come into question.

Ironically, from a Facebook executive:

Please allow me to rant for a moment about the state of the media.

What Do You Call A Group Of Ninjas?

From AskMeFi: “You know, like gaggle of geese, murder of crows, school of fish, all that. Does a group of ninjas have some sort of descriptor? We’re talking many people in halloween costumes, how to address them together. The { blank }.”

Aside from the inevitable brush to Ask a Ninja, answers included:

  • sir, sir, sir, and sir
  • one ninja, many ninjim. And the collective is a flipout of ninjim
  • a hedge of ninjas. “We are a hedge. Please move along”
  • a stealth of ninja
  • a cloudshadow of ninja
  • a wraith of ninjas
  • a hood of ninjas
  • a murder of ninjas
  • a diminishing effectuality1 of ninjas
  • a silence of ninjas
  • an inevitability of ninjas
  • a doom of ninjas
  • a black of ninjas
  • a balaclava of ninjas
  • a probability of ninjas
  • a whisper of ninja
  • a lurk of ninja
  • you don’t call them anything, because you don’t even know they’re there

  1. Updated 2018: the original Wikipedia article was titled Stormtrooper Effect, then it was merged into an article titled Principle of Evil Marksmanship, before finally being deleted in 2015. Thankfully we have the Internet Archive to preserve back these lost treasures. ↩︎