Posts tagged ‘Web Site’

March 29, 2012

TV Tropes

tvtropes will ruin your life

TV Tropes is a wiki that collects and expands on various conventions and devices (tropes) found within creative works. Since its establishment in 2004, the site has gone from covering only television and film tropes to also covering those in a number of other media such as literature, comics, video-games, and even advertisements and toys. It is known for approaching topics with a casual and humorous tone.

The site initially focused on the television show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and has since increased its scope to include thousands of other series, films, novels, plays, video games, anime, manga, comic strips and books, fan fiction, and other subjects, including Internet works such as Wikipedia, which is referred to in-wiki as ‘The Other Wiki.’ Some believe that use of ‘TV Tropes’ teaches the user to analyze and dissect works of media. An unanticipated side effect causes some readers to become jaded and cynical, ‘[replacing] surprise almost entirely with recognition.’ This is referred to on the site as ‘TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life,’ referring to the inability to read books, watch films, etc. without identifying each trope as it occurs.

March 26, 2012

The Onion

the onion

The Onion is an American news satire organization. It is a newspaper and a website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national, and local news, in addition to a non-satirical entertainment section known as The A.V. Club (which features interviews and reviews of various newly released media, as well as other weekly features). Since 2007, the organization has been publishing satirical news audios and videos online, as the ‘Onion News Network.’

The Onion’s articles comment on current events, both real and fictional. It parodies such traditional newspaper features as editorials, man-on-the-street interviews, and stock quotes on a traditional newspaper layout with an AP-style editorial voice. Much of its humor depends on presenting everyday events as newsworthy and by playing on commonly used phrases, as in the headline ‘Drugs Win Drug War.’

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July 11, 2011

turntable fm was a social media website that allowed users to interactively share music. The site was run by Billy Chasen, who started it in January 2011 using revenue generated by his previous start-up. The service allowed users to create ‘rooms,’ which other users could join. Designated users, so-called ‘DJs,’ chose songs to be played to everyone in that room, while all users were able to talk with one another through a text interface.

The service opened to the public in May 2011, and by late June had already reached 140,000 active users. The company used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to license the music that was played on the website; because of this, only individuals from the US were allowed to use the service.

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June 29, 2011



Musopen is an online music library of copyright-free (public domain) music. Musopen’s mission is to record or obtain recordings that have no copyrights so that its visitors may listen, re-use, or in any way enjoy music, and ‘to set music free.’ In 2008, Musopen released newly-commissioned recordings of the 32 Beethoven piano sonatas into the public domain.

In 2010, the site organized a fundraiser via Kickstarter to commission recordings of a larger repertoire. Musopen is a nonprofit charity, operating out of Palo Alto, California, created by Aaron Dunn in 2005.

March 16, 2011



4chan is an English-language imageboard website. Its users have been responsible for the formation or popularization of several Internet memes such as lolcats, Rickrolling, ‘Chocolate Rain,’ Pedobear, and many others. The site’s ‘Random’ board is by far its most popular and notorious feature. Known as ‘/b/,’ there are very minimal rules on posted content. The site’s Anonymous community and culture have often provoked media attention. The Guardian once summarized the 4chan community as ‘lunatic, juvenile… brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.’

4chan was started in the bedroom of a 15-year old student from New York City who posts as ‘moot.’ He intended the site to be a place to discuss Japanese comics and anime, an American counterpart to the popular Japanese Futaba Channel (‘2chan’) imageboard. The site has had at least one employee, a programmer whom moot met via on-line Tetris. All other moderators are volunteers. 4chan is one of the Internet’s most trafficked free imageboards and financing has often been problematic.

January 12, 2011



Paul English, cofounder and CTO of is also founder of the “gethuman” movement to restore personal contact in customer service. The most popular part of the website is a database of phone numbers and shortcuts to reach a humans at 500 major US corporations.

January 12, 2011


SeatGuru is a website that features aircraft seat maps, seat reviews, and a color-coded system to identify superior and substandard airline seats. It also features information about in-flight amenities and airline specific information regarding Check-in, Baggage, Unaccompanied Minors and Traveling with Infants and Pets. SeatGuru covers more than 700 aircraft seatmaps from more than 95 different airlines. In 2007, SeatGuru was purchased by Expedia subsidiary, TripAdvisor.

January 11, 2011


Snopes, officially the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a web site discussing urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of uncertain or questionable origin.

It is the best-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture, receiving 300,000 visits a day.

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August 16, 2010


baidu dragon

Baidu is a Chinese search engine established in 2000 by co-founders, Robin Li and Eric Xu. Both of the co-founders are Chinese nationals who have studied and worked overseas before returning to China. Inc. is registered in the Cayman Islands. In April 2010, Baidu ranked 7th overall in Alexa’s internet rankings.

In December 2007, Baidu became the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 index. Baidu proactively censors its content in line with government regulations. The name Baidu, whose literal meaning is ‘hundreds of times,’ is taken from the last line of Xin Qiji’s classical poem ‘Green Jade Table in The Lantern Festival.’

August 16, 2010


Yandex is a Russian IT company which operates the largest search engine in Russia (with 64% market share, ranked eighth-largest in the world) and develops a number of Internet-based services and products. Yandex was launched in 1997 and began earning a profit in 2002. Its name stands for  ‘Yet Another iNDEXer.’

June 30, 2010

Simple English Wikipedia

Simple English Wikipedia is an English edition of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, primarily written in Basic English (an 850-word auxiliary language created by Charles Kay Ogden in the 1920s for learning English as a second language) and Special English (avoids idioms; created in 1959 and still presented daily by the Voice of America broadcast). Launched in 2003, the site has the stated aim of providing an encyclopedia for ‘people with different needs, such as students, children, adults with learning difficulties and people who are trying to learn English.’

Articles on the Simple English Wikipedia are usually shorter than their English Wikipedia counterparts, typically presenting only basic information: Tim Dowling of ‘the Guardian’ newspaper explained that ‘the Simple English version tends to stick to commonly accepted facts.’ The interface is also more simply labeled; for instance, the ‘Random article’ link on the English Wikipedia is replaced with a ‘Show Any Page’ link; users are invited to ‘change’ rather than ‘edit’ pages; clicking on a red link shows a ‘not yet started’ message rather than the usual ‘page does not exist.’