Emojis Don’t Give Meaning to Our Deepest Feelings

We Need More Than Smiley and Frowny Faces to Avoid Misunderstandings

It’s been 35 years since Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, urged users of an online bulletin board to add two character sequences to their messages: ‘:-)’ to mark jokes; and ‘:-(‘ to indicate the preceding text was not meant humorously. The smiley (or emoticon) was born.

A mythology grew up around the importance of inserting graphic elements at the ends of written online text: Because we aren’t face-to-face with our interlocutor, we need to provide additional information to convey what our demeanor, body stance, or vocal intonation …

More In: digital

What the “Crowd-Work” Economy Taught Me About Community

The Perks and Pitfalls of Digital-Era Piece Work

If you’ve never heard of Amazon Mechanical Turk, my workplace of the last 11 years, you’re not alone. Most people know about Amazon—the massive conglomerate where you can do everything …

In San Diego, Building a Cybersecurity State Is Good Business

How Cities Can Incubate the Next Generation of Digital Warriors

When I joined the Navy in 1970, the projection of Naval sea power was all about strategies to deploy Marines, ships, submarines, and aircraft above, below, and on the sea. …

Fake News Won’t Kill Democracy

Digital Journalism Is Challenging Journalists and Society, but There Are Reasons to Be Hopeful for the Future

The world now confronts a bitter irony: the democratization of information has proven not to be all that good for democracy.

That provocative observation, offered by moderator and Zócalo Public Square …

How to Build an Ecosystem for High-Quality Journalism

German Reporters Say the Future of Digital Media Will Be Structured Like a Coral Reef

People all over the world are searching, like explorers, for a model to support the high-quality digital journalism our societies and democracies need.

We think we’ve found a model at sea. …

Paranoids in the Age of Digital Surveillance

How Delusions Change With Technological Advancement

Do you ever get paranoid about a creep hacking your computer webcam? Or being monitored by some government agency, foreign or domestic? Having someone take a surreptitious photo of you …