Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


Friday Fun: Think before you post!

It's a modern conundrum. The web never forgets, especially when you post drunk. Or email drunk. Or leave unfortunate comments drunk, or tired, or on youtube. The fire-and-remember habit of information posted to the web or emailed to colleagues can make for some embarrassing mornings after one clicks that send or submit button when one really shouldn't have. But no matter what the problem, software is the solution! Right? Obviously, especially this week, which saw the release of two new tools to help combat the menace of post-posting regret.

First, the geniuses at Google Labs have unleashed Mail Goggles. Why they didn't call this breakthrough new service 'Mail Googles' or 'Google Goggles' is unclear at this time. By default, when you try to send gmail late at night on the weekends, Mail Goggles will require you to answer 6 math questions before you can actually send the message. The hope is that when you see how slowly you subtract, you'll realize that it's really not the right moment to tell your coworkers, relatives, or supervisors exactly what you think of them. If you are also frequently intoxicated on weeknights, Google's got you covered; you can adjust your Mail Goggles settings to best reflect when you're most likely to send email you later regret. While there's no doubt that this new service ushers in a entirely new era of judgmental software, it does make sense, given their history, that Google released this service just about as far away from April 1st as they possibly could.

But it doesn't end there. Recently, webcomic genius Randall Munroe, creator of the simple but sublime and ultranerdy XKCD posted this comic suggesting a virus that would force youtube commenters to hear their comments read back to them aloud before they could be successfully posted. Youtube comment threads can be repulsive pits of unintended hilarity at best, and horrifying indictments of the direction of our society at their worst, and obviously someone at Youtube thinks so too, as the feature that XKCD proposed last week was rolled out this week. While this breakthrough new feature falls clearly short of Randall's vision of compulsory readability, the addition of the Audio Preview button to the Youtube comment form not only establishes Webcomics as the primary driving force in web application development, but also quietly advocates for heightened readability of youtube comments, which can only make the world a better place. Or, in the immortal words of Canadia420's comment on the infamous Leave Britney Alone video:

"Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahah ahahahahahahahah!!!!! You lack intelligence."

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