Myspace. The velvet leisure suit of social media. Fewer than six short years ago, MySpace boasted more members than Facebook. Today, you’ll be hard pressed to find anybody who admits to having an account. The thing is, you know lots of people who have a MySpace profile – but many of them haven’t logged in for years. You might even be one of them.
Facebook is making headlines once again with its two billion dollar acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Today on Word Of Mouth, a look into why the social network has put so much stock in virtual reality. And it’s opening day for the Red Sox as they take on the Baltimore Orioles today. Fans are hoping this year’s roster will bring them to the World Series again, but how much can we really predict at this point in the season? And are stats the final word?
Producer Zach Nugent has been scouring record stores for the best new music offerings in a new segment we're calling The Audio Orchard.
Then we talk with a National Geographic columnist who argues for lifelong love of dinosaurs.
Finally, NHPR environmental reporter Sam Evans-Brown brings us the story of a UNH "pee bus" project. Urine, it turns out, can be pretty useful.
Listen to the whole show and click Read more for individual segments.
I met Facebook June, 5 2008. I broke up with Facebook December, 25 2013.
When I first joined, I had been encouraged by friends to abandon MySpace, the major player in the social media scene. The simplicity of Facebook was foreign to me. I was initially resistant and weary of Facebook's cool nature. It was so clean. So nice. Myspace had the rugged appeal of tattoos: customizable backgrounds, cursors, and music on profile pages. I could even keep my best friends close and my frenemies closer with the option of highlighting my Top Eight.
New Year’s Eve is a day of reflection and celebration and each December we mark the passage of time by inviting NHPR’s own Brady Carlson on the show to share his list of the year’s biggest web trends. Last year his list included: Kony 2012, Kickstarter, and Gangnam Style. Seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Brady joins us again to reflect on the web trends and memes of 2013, and what they reveal about our collective state this year.
Listening to Word of Mouth's Saturday broadcast is like sitting around a campfire and chatting with a bunch of super-smart, super-interesting people. So go sharpen a stick, grab your bag of marshmallows and pull up a log - here's what's coming up this hour:
The Science of Superstition: Psychologist Stuart Vyseexplains the collective power of the Red Sox beards.
MORE COWBELL!!! From Strauss to Def Leppard, writer Lori Rotenberk traces the musical history of the cowbell.
A Grimm Cinderella Story: Author Adam Gidwitz shares the original gruesome version of the classic fairy tale, and explains why Disney has done the Brothers Grimm a disservice.
#NoFilter: Brian Ries, social media guru for The Daily Beast, on how a growing number of private dealers are legally selling guns on Instagram.
WHEN JELLYFISH ATTACK! They're clogging nuclear reactors, capsizing ships, wiping out fish populations, and causing cerebral hemorrhages... So basically, jellyfish are scarier than sharks. There, I said it. Quartz reporter Gwynn Guilford explains.
As Instagram passes its third birthday, a small but growing community of users are beginning to utilize the website for the private exchange of goods. Two million of the site’s annual photo uploads are items being put up for sale, with the actual negotiations taking place via comment threads and private messages.
Among the many items being legally sold through Instagram are firearms. Brian Ries is Senior Social Media Editor at The Daily Beast and joins us to explain.
Humans are vastly more social than most other mammals. Neuroscientists point to the development of our social brain as key to the survival of our species; early humans survived by cooperating with each other in the rearing of children, by hunting in bands, by organizing night watches. A battery of research reveals that people still need people.
In July, NPR host Scott Simon started tweeting from the Chicago hospital room where his mother, Patricia, landed after complications from surgery. For the next week, Scott tweets became a real-time record of her decline for his more than 1.2 million followers on twitter. His raw, often bittersweet posts went viral among celebrities, media outlets and strangers drawn by his example of public grief.
The extraordinary response to Scott’s twitter vigil stirred up conversations about the taboo topic of death in America – and a debate on social media’s place in mourning. Paul Bisceglioedits the online literary magazine The Land That I Live. He wrote about how social media is changing the way we approach death for The Atlantic.
More and more, police are using social media as a way to connect directly to residents in their communities. But as NHPR’s Michael Brindleyreports, the Manchester police department has yet to join the ranks of agencies on Facebook and other popular sites.
From the moment the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital yesterday in the early stages of labor, the whole world was watching. Not literally of course – but if the Royal Family allowed cameras in the delivery room, you can probably bet we would have been.