Urlesque

A Brief History of Proposing Online, From CafeMom to Gizmodo Crowd-Sourcing

Recently, a man used the "popular Mom community site CafeMom" to propose to his girlfriend, making use of the site's unique "Achievement Awards" function. Working with the site, Scott proposed to his girlfriend Leslie by triggering a new award asking "Will you marry me?" with a picture of the actual ring. Leslie said yes, as the YouTube video the couple made shows. We found ourselves wondering...

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Yelp Reviews of America's Dullest Chains in New York City - 'It's Your Average Subway'

Yelp has helped many web users find just the right out-of-the-way diner or coffee shop – so why do so many people use it to describe their experiences at places that are always the same? Many franchises of Starbucks, McDonalds, Subway – all chains that work hard on their consistency – still manage to stand out in Yelp users' mind, positive or negative. And some are blissfully...

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On Etsy, 'Meme' Means Grandma

The crafting site Etsy has its share of meme-related art for sale – check out this $11 "Hide Ya Kids"-embossed copper cuff bracelet, or this $249 "Yo Dawg I Herd You Like Samplers" needlepoint sampler. But other art seems to be made by artists who have never heard of the "evolving thought" definition of the word and use it as a nickname or derivative of "Grandma." Strangely enough,...

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Urlesque's NaNoWriMo Awards - Best Name for a Psycho Uncle Character and More

This November is the annual National Novel Writing Month, an annual festival of ambition that has resulted in the bestseller Water for Elephants and many, many query letters to literary agents (who beg you to please edit). NaNoWriMo, as its organizers have dubbed it, takes place on its user's computers, both in Microsoft Word files and on the message boards, where writers share ideas, ask for...

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'Truth in Numbers? Everything, According to Wikipedia' - The Documentary Reviewed

Truth in Numbers? Everything, According to Wikipedia, a new documentary explaining the site's methods and guiding vision, is available for viewing online before its theatrical release. Whether the sort of people who seek out online documentaries need a tutorial in how the go-to information site works is an open question, but the film raises interesting questions about authority, only somewhat...

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Bieber, Sex and Obama on Bit.ly - Using and Abusing the World's Top URL Shortener

Bit.ly isn't just the most popular URL shortener. It's also an easy way, if you customize the domain name (an option the site freely provides), to claim a memorable domain name for what seems to be forever. While many bit.ly domain names coincide perfectly with their purpose – bit.ly/obama, for instance, redirects a reader to barackobama.com – others are random, or out-and-out funny....

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'Why Are You Reading This?' The Eternal Flame War Between Gossip-Site Commenters

The most important part of each issue of People is, of course, the letters section. Readers express indignation or delight at their favorite celebrities' happenings. These letters are curated by editors to yield the most passionate opinions, though. Online, the websites of People and other tabloids yield a far less invested set of readers. This has given rise to a double phenomenon on...

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Ousted Facebook Co-Founder Eduardo Saverin Socially Networks - On Facebook

The film The Social Network is about Mark Zuckerberg, sure, but its real story is how Zuckerberg's partner, Eduardo Saverin, got screwed out of a Facebook fortune and a friendship. While the big-screen Saverin's story ends with an onscreen note that his grievances against Zuckerberg were settled out-of-court, the real Saverin's story has continued to unspool – and is doing so, strangely, on...

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David Archuleta, Wikipedia's Most-Edited Music Star, and Either a Tenor or Baritone

David Archuleta, American Idol runner-up in 2008, has become in 2010 the subject of a Wikipedia free-for-all, where the facts of his personal history and his career are up for grabs. On the "most edited pages" list for Wikipedia articles, his article sits at #91 – very high for an artist who's been on the scene for two years, especially as Michael Jackson is #115, Barack Obama is #110, and...

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'Family Matters' and Steve Urkel's Dedicated Fan Base on Facebook, Wikipedia and UrkelNet

Unless you're up before seven and tuned in to Nick at Nite, there's little reason to remember Family Matters, the sitcom that began in 1989 as a slice of working-class Chicago life. If it's remembered at all, it's for Steve Urkel, the nerdy teen who ended up taking over the show and turning it into a weird science-fiction show that ended in outer space. Just this year, Urkel "took over" this...

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