TLDR

TLDR

United States

A weekly podcast featuring short, surprising stories about the internet.

Episodes

#49 - Do URL Believe in Magic?  

What happens when you buy a magic spell on Etsy? Writer Jaya Saxena and her husband Matt Lubchansky recently tested one witch's wares, and they talk to TLDR about being careful what you wish for. Plus, TLDR hires our own spellcaster, a mystic named Melenia O'Breasal, to talk about how a person comes to cast spells, where all that incense comes from, and the difference between peddling magic online and off.

To read Jaya's original Daily Dot piece, click here. To check out Melenia's Etsy store and personal website, click here and here, respectively. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter.

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#48 -- Art Critics Love Us On Yelp  

Brian Droitcour is a professional art critic, and a Yelp user. In 2012 he started using the popular review site to post his reactions to galleries and museums, using a distinctly un-art world-y voice. This week, Brian sits down with TLDR to talk about art, online criticism, parties and his unusual project.

To read Brian's Yelp reviews, click here. To check out Fifteen Stars, Brian's project for the New Museum, click here. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter.

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#47 - JebBushforPresident.com  

CJ Philips and Charlie Rainwater bought JebBushforPresident.com back in 2008 -- but not because they're huge Bush fans or want to sell the address at a markup. With the 2016 election approaching, the pair have launched the site as a place for discussion, with a focus the URL might not suggest. This week, CJ and Charlie tell TLDR about what inspired their initial purchase, their plans for JebBushforPresident.com, and what a CJ and Charlie presidency would look like.

To join the discussion at JebBushforPresident.com, click here. To check out Santorum-2012.com, click here. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter.

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#46 -  Episode 45 Redux  

The last episode of TLDR was titled "Quiet, Wadhwa." It concerned a man named Vivek Wadhwa, but we did not ask him for comment. The episode was later removed.

This week we look at the controversy we've become a part of and our role in it.

To read Amelia Greenhall's original blog post, titled "Quiet, Ladies. @wadhwa is speaking," click here. To read Greenhall's post-podcast removal follow up, titled "I wrote about Vivek Wadhwa and you'll never guess what happened next!," click here. To read Vivek Wadhwa's rebuttal of episode #45 on Venture Beat, titled "My response to the podcast that unfairly attacked me," click here. To read Vivek Wadhwa's other response to the situation on South Asia Mail, titled "Perils of becoming a public figure," click here. To read Gawker and Gizmodo's coverage of the situation, click here and here. [Update: The Cate Huston article referenced was co-authored by Karen Catlin, and is notably titled "Tech’s Male ‘Feminists’ Aren’t Helping. To read, click here.]

 

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#44 - Prostitute Laundry  

Charlotte Shane writes a TinyLetter called Prostitute Laundry, writing frankly and lyrically about her feelings, her relationships, her body and her sex lives -- both personal and professional. This week TLDR looks into women writing personal, voice-driven newsletters, sitting down with Charlotte, as well as writer Meaghan O'Connell, to talk about the kind of writing that you want delivered straight to your inbox.

To sign up for the Prostitute Laundry TinyLetter, click here. Meaghan O'Connell's birth story was published by Longreads, and you can read it here. Download "The Laugh of the Medusa," by Helene Cixous, here. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

 

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#16 - *WIN A MILLION DOLLAR MANSION FROM YOUR HOME COMPUTER*  

"Sweepers" are people who spend their free time entering hundreds of online sweepstakes -- the contests most of us skip because we're sure they're all scams. It turns out, we're wrong. Some people win big.

Sandra Grauschopf is About.com's Contests and Sweepstakes Expert. You can visit her website, http://contests.about.com, to learn all you need to know about sweepstakes, and to check out what other sweepers have to say in About.com’s contests and sweepstakes forums.

You can order Don Cruz's book "Life of an HGTV Dream Home Winner" at his website, DonCruz.net

Thanks for listening. If you like the show please follow TLDR on Twitter and subscribe to us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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#43 - Hey Ladies  

If you've ever been a bridesmaid, in a sorority, or just been friends with two or more women, you have probably received an off-the-wall planning email or two. Caroline Moss and Michelle Markowitz have been parodying these chains for The Toast since August 2013, in a series called Hey Ladies. This week on TLDR, the cast of Hey Ladies Live comes together to show us how much effort goes into organizing one, simple St. Patrick's Day on the town.

Thanks for listening. You can find Caroline and Michelle on Twitter, as well as the rest of the cast. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#42 - GodTube  

When Will Rogers discovered GodTube.com, he was bothered by the idea of Christians segregating themselves from the larger cultural conversation. So he set out to start a dialogue. Meredith talks to Will about his GodTube.com videos, what he wanted to communicate, and the people he met.

Thanks for listening. You can read Will's essay about Godtube at The Kernel. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#41 - Tell Me How To Live My Life  

Susan Miller, proprietor of Astrology Zone, is the biggest name in internet astrology. Her fans are many and devoted, and among them are both Meredith and Laura Mayer (this week's co-investigator). This week marks Miller's 19th year reading the stars online. Meredith and Laura look into her enduring appeal with the help of Emily Gould, Jon Methven, and Kate McKean.  

Thanks for listening. Emily, Jon, and Kate are all on Twitter. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow LauraMeredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#40 - Tinder Bros  

The first message you send to a Tinder match can determine the rest of your relationship. To ease this pressure, some men on the internet have taken to their favorite forums to crowdsource the perfect opening line. Meredith evaluates their results.  

Thanks for listening. You can see the article this episode was based on at The Daily Dot. If you like our show, please subscribe and review us on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#39 - Little Sh*ts  

For the past three years Alanah Pearce has been reviewing video games on YouTube. Like other women doing just about anything publicly online, she gets harassed, and in the past she just hasn't replied. But recently Alanah got fed up with not responding at all, and did some digging, which led her to a whole new way to deal with her harassers. 

Thanks for listening. You can check out Alanah's video game reviews on YouTube. If you like our show, please subscribe on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Meredith and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#38 - Ask Leah  

In the late nineties Leah Reich was working for the video game website IGN, which was the most popular website on the internet for 13 to 18 year old boys at the time. She started reading and responding to the site's mailbag, and before she knew it she had become the trusted advisor for thousands of lonely teenaged boys. This week PJ (who was one of those boys) talks to Leah about the trials and rewards of being a counselor to confused, budding nerds.

Thanks for listening. You can read Leah's writing about her time as an advice columnist at The Bygone Bureau and The Kernel, and check out some of her old columns at the Internet Archive. She's also writing a series of essays called A Year of Wednesdays, which are very great. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. You can also follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#37 - Every City Gets the Hero it Deserves  

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Police released a video of some unidentified suspects in a brutal attack on a gay couple. Within a few hours, a Philly sports fan and his online friends had identified some of the people in the video without the blizzard of false accusations that usually accompany an online investigation. Alex speaks to  "Fan Since 09" about how he managed to corral a online mob into potentially solving a crime.

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. You can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#36 - The Mystery of Childish Gambino  

Rapper Childish Gambino (A.K.A actor Donald Glover) famously claims to have received his rap pseudonym, "Childish Gambino," from an online Wu-Tang Name generator. But investigating whether this story is true or not led TLDR host Alex Goldman on an odyssey of discovery.

Thanks for listening! If you want to receive your own Wu-Tang name, check out the original Wu-Tang Name Generator here, and the other wu-tang name generator here. You can read Tim Carmody's article about the mystery of Childish Gambino at kottke.orgIf you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. You can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#35 - Stolen Pictures  

This week, hackers stole and published naked photos of female celebrities. Forbes reporter Kashmir Hill has covered stories like this before, but she says that this latest example has completely changed her mind about who to blame for these thefts and how to prevent them. 

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. You can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#34  - The Accidental Outing of Rwanda's Most Powerful Troll  

Steve Terrill is a journalist who works in Rwanda. Or at least he worked in Rwanda, until he accidentally got the office of Rwanda's president Paul Kagame to implicate itself in a long-running online harassment campaign. Alex talks to Steve about inadvertently exposing the Rwandan government's most prolific troll, and being banned from the country as a result.

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. Steve Terrill aggregates stories about Rwanda on his website Rwanda Wire. You can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#33 - Unfollow A Man  

A few weeks ago, writer Katie Notopoulos created a holiday called Unfollow a Man Day, wherein everyone (women and men) was encouraged to Unfollow a Man on social media. Men's rights activists were enraged, cable news was intrigued, and a lot of people felt quiet relief. This week PJ talks to Katie about her mission and her manifesto.

Thanks for listening. Katie wrote about her experience of Twitter without men, and about #UnfollowAMan, here. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. You can also follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#32 - An Imperfect Match  

This week, dating site OK Cupid put up a blog post describing experiments it conducted on its users. In one experiment, the site told users who were bad matches for one another that they were actually good matches, and vice versa. Alex and PJ talk to OK Cupid President and co-founder Christian Rudder about the ubiquity of online user experimentation and his defense of potentially sending OK Cupid's users on bad dates.

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#31 - Race Swap  

Whether you think the internet is a great or terrible place is partly a reflection of which parts of the internet you choose to visit. It's also a reflection of who you are, and how people online react to you. Mikki Kendall is a writer who deals with an extraordinary amount of trolling and vitriol online. Mikki is a black woman in real life, and she created an experiment to see how her online life would change if she were a white man. 

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you can follow PJ and Alex and TLDR on Twitter. 

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#30 - The Russian Troll Army  

Last month, documents surfaced that showed a company called the Internet Research Agency was paying people in Russia to go to an office and post pro-Kremlin comments all day. Alex talks to Buzzfeed's Max Seddon about why they do it, and how successful they actually are at swaying public opinion.

Thanks for listening. If you like our show, please subscribe to us on iTunes. Or you can follow PJ and Alex and and TLDR on Twitter. 

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