Forum Drama by any other name…

Online forums can be peaceful affairs, but often their tensions can spill out into the real world. Katie Notopolous, writing for Buzzfeed, explains how forum drama often follows the same pattern, even when the forums are those of alt-right nationalists:

At first, this disarray might seem surprising. After all, the alt-right claims to be an unprecedented political phenomenon that memed a president into office. But if you want to understand what’s happening there, it’s helpful to think about it as an internet-first creature. While it’s possible — and necessary — to view it through the lens of political or social thought that it echoes, the other way of making sense of it is to look at it as a digital community, regardless of its politics. And if you view it as an online community rather than a political movement, its trajectory starts to look very, very familiar.

What we have here is a classic case of “mod drama.” s someone who has spent a lot of time taxonimizing online communities, from places like Fark to SomethingAwful, 4chan to Facebook groups for moms, I can assure you that one need only look at how other internet groups rise and fall to see what’s happening in the alt-right.

The return of John McTiernan

John McTiernan, the director of Die Hard, has just directed his first video in more than a decade: an ad for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

Over at Vulture, Drew Taylor has the incredible story of what McTiernan has been up to:

McTiernan’s inauspicious reemergence leads to a couple of bigger questions: Where, exactly, has he been? And what makes this ad so special?

To answer the first question, you have to go back to 2006, when Anthony Pellicano, a private eye with ties to some of the most powerful people in Hollywood, was arraigned on federal wiretapping charges. It was the conclusion of both a three-year investigation and Pellicano’s 30-day stint in prison for illegally keeping explosives in his West Hollywood office. The resulting trial would eventually embroil some of Hollywood’s biggest executives (Michael Ovitz and Brad Grey) and shiniest stars (Tom Cruise and Chris Rock). At the time, Vanity Fair described the scandal as Hollywood’s Watergate.

But only one member of the Hollywood elite would actually get sent to prison for to his relationship with the notoriously scuzzy Pellicano: John McTiernan.

Like Taylor, I’m rooting for a McTiernan comeback.

The Vine archive

Sarah Perez writing for TechCrunch:

Twitter just can’t seem to let go of Vine. The company announced last fall it would close the video-sharing community site and its accompanying mobile applications, which it then did just days ago. But it also has taken several steps to ensure that the content created in Vine would not be lost, by offering tools to export videos, both online and in its app. Today, in another move to preserve Vine content, Twitter has launched an online archive of Vine videos — basically a static website containing all the posts made from 2013 through 2016.

The archive is live now and I dig the clean organization. Vine was an incredible place for light, fun, memorable creativity — often by people of color. I was really sad to hear the service would be shutting down, but glad to hear it’ll be preserved in some form.

Also, below is my favorite Vine of all time. Check it out and read the oral history of it.


Despite its marketing, Slack’s free tier limits your total number of users

I recently launched a Slack group for my podcast, the /Filmcast:

I used Slack’s free tier, which lets you view 10K of your team’s most recent messages. After just a few days, we’ve already accumulated about 600 members and even crowdsourced a neat spreadsheet with all their podcast recommendations.

As the group has continued to expand, I’ve started to wonder about what the group’s maximum size could be, so I went looking for whether or not Slack’s free tier had a user limit. I was dismayed to find freecodecamp’s blog post, So Yeah We Tried Slack… and We Deeply Regretted It, which points out that yeah, there is a limit, despite what Slack’s marketing says:

I woke up this morning to a mountain of tweets and emails from new campers saying they weren’t receiving our automatically sent Slack invites. Not exactly what you want to happen three days after your open source c