November 10, 2013 |
'I think it feels divided because it is divided," says Sue Halpern by e-mail, "not only culturally, but within ourselves. " She's talking about our love-dread of social media. In a recent New York Review of Books article, Halpern, a professor at Middlebury College in Vermont, surveyed seven books, all of which worry, profoundly, about surveillance and the Web. About governments looking at our e-mail, our posts, our tweets, our info. "Many of us rely on the Internet," Halpern says, "take pleasure in social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and yet understand that we are also leaving ourselves vulnerable - whether to employers or to the government or to advertisers and marketers or to anyone who might use the information we share in ways that we never imagined.
October 31, 2013 |
ON THIS NIGHT, 75 years ago, nothing happened in a little slice of New Jersey no one's ever heard of, and the story's only grown ever since. It was Oct. 30, 1938, and Orson Welles and cast members of the "Mercury Theatre on the Air" put their own twist on the H.G. Wells science-fiction classic, War of the Worlds , telling CBS radio listeners that Martians had landed on the Wilmuth Farm in the Grover's Mill section of West Windsor Township, about...
October 14, 2013 |
Looking for a great recipe for apple cinnamon sugar cookie bars? Need suggestions on where to go pumpkin picking? Local real estate agency Philly Home Girls is attracting customers by sharing favorite Philadelphia restaurants, local events, and do-it-yourself interior-design projects on social-media sites. The two-woman sales team, based at Coldwell Banker Preferred's Old City office, shifted its marketing approach earlier this year, launching a new website and Instagram account and using Twitter and Pinterest differently, along with an already-established Facebook page, to connect with clients.
October 13, 2013 |
Normally two islands in a sea of social media, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia have had recent audience triumphs radically revising old notions that Twitter and other social media work only for young millennials. On Oct. 2, the Philadelphia Orchestra played to a full Verizon Hall on six hours' notice, aided by social media, after a prestigious visiting engagement at Carnegie Hall was abruptly canceled. The strategy: Massive contacts via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
September 29, 2013 |
Nature-watching - an outsider's hobby, right? Geese crisscross the sky, eagles nest all over Pennsylvania and New Jersey, hawks and falcons are on their way, and elk whistle ghostly in Benezette. But birders, hunters, conservationists, and animal enthusiasts of all furs are also turning to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, apps, and a proliferation of "hawk cams" and "eagle cams" to get their beast on. Here, as in so many realms of human life, social media help people build communities around shared interests.
September 21, 2013 |
ATLANTIC CITY - This is a place that specializes in the ephemeral. Sand sculpting. Bathing beauties crowned one moment, dethroned the next. Temporary art parks built on borrowed empty casino lots. The summer season. And now, chalk art. Situated on Indiana Avenue near what is perhaps the most ephemeral thing of all - the eroding shoreline - artists from around the world are in Atlantic City this week for a 3D Chalk Art Festival. With chalk and tempera paint, they are creating works that, when viewed through a lens from a fixed point (marked by the artists with tape or a footprint)
September 20, 2013 |
Can tools and insights from the world of social media improve the experience of patients in a hospital or doctor's office? That's the hope of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Yorn, a Philadelphia start-up's plans for changing how companies relate to customers. After a three-month pilot project, Penn was convinced. On Wednesday, it announced a multiyear contract to bring Yorn - which stands for "your opinion, right now" - to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and to its other hospitals and outpatient facilities.
September 15, 2013 |
Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, is embroiled in civil war and accusations of chemical warfare against his own people. So what does he do? He takes the offensive. Instagram and Twitter. To the horror of many, Assad posted pics of himself, calm and in control, at work at his desk, meeting state leaders. Asma, his wife, helps out at a food line, hugs real people. And then there's the odd branding. His Mac is in view. Asma sports a hip aquamarine Jawbone UP wristband pedometer.
September 5, 2013 |
First there was the selfie. Those were the self-shot, self-portraits posted on social media that - inadvertently? - invited the world to dish out the compliments. It was the image of your best self being candid and cute, and it fit nicely with the bazillions of other carefully curated pictures you posted online of you with your good-looking boyfriend, your marathon trainer, your enviable house, your adorable dog, your BFFs. Yet in a what's-your-status world filled with overwhelming pressure to look camera-ready at all times, it can be liberating to drop the facade and laugh at society's obsession with the exterior.
September 5, 2013 |
Police in West Virginia believe alcohol was a factor, and they have charged two out-of-state gas workers with murder, but what set off the weekend confrontation that led to the death of a college student from Bucks County remained a mystery Tuesday. The attack occurred early Saturday off the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University as the victim, senior Kevin Figaniak, 21, of Perkasie, and an identified companion were walking home from a bar. "Everybody we have talked to, the one remaining victim and the two men arrested, have not been able to definitely give us what was said, what those words were," said Sgt. Gregg McKenzie of the Wheeling Police Department.