The Two Worlds of Web Development

One world has all the trendy buzz words, the other has Wordpress

It’s hard not to notice that the web development world is essentially divided into two classes. The superior class uses a large variety of sophisticated and occasionally very new technologies. For back end they use Ruby, Python, or Node.js, and for front end you can hear them speak of such things like Ember.js, Angular.js and backbone.js.

The inferior class of web developers are mocked for being stuck somewhere in the middle of the last decade. Their technologies focus on PHP in the backend and simple jQuery at the front.

In short, let’s refer to the inferior class as the “Wordpress class”, because that’s pretty much what they are using 90% of the time. In contrast, because of the sheer variety of the tools used by the superior class, let’s just call them the “Buzzword class”.

My claim is that the technologies used by the Wordpress class, are greatly undervalued by the buzzword class. In my opinion, the Wordpress class’ technologies significantly surpass those of the buzzword class in many important respects.

Wordpress and Drupal are very old, very mature, and very efficient frameworks for getting a website up. At this point in their lives, they are no longer the small, unreliable, and unsecure blog systems they once were.

The thing that really makes the difference in terms of efficiency is the unfathomable number of plugins and modules that extend these systems. It’s impossible to count the number of lines of code that were shared by the use of plugins, but It’s probably one the most fruitful and efficient things humanity has ever created.

Sure, there are really complex system that are better off not using Wordpress or Drupal. But I think the Buzzwords class greatly overestimate the number of these systems.

Next Story — Middle Management’s New Fad: A/B Testing on Strategy.
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Middle Management’s New Fad: A/B Testing on Strategy.

Some marketers & managers actually think they should A/B test their marketing strategy.

A while back I read this article that essentially says stop wasting your time on A/B testing insignificant things.

Recently, I've ran into the other kind of problem: using A/B testing to decide between two completely different marketing strategies. To my amazement, I actually know people who think it’s a good idea to do A/B testing on the pricing and the products offered.

The problem, of course, is a lack of consistency. In the world of internet and social media marketing, it’s NOT a good idea to offer different things to different customers. Why? Because this is a directly opposite force to virality. You want to make your product/service/website shared and spread. How can this possibly happen when a person tells and shares thing A with his friend, but his friend is offered thing B?

But you know, this virality killer is not really what bothers me. What bothers me most is that this A/B testing on strategy is a symptom of a lack of responsibilty. Marketers and managers don’t want to decide between two or more strategies and take responsibility on their decision in case of failure. So they sell their inability to decide as a new and innovative way of “agile marketing” or any other shit name you want to call it.

In the bottom line, A/B testing on strategy is harmful both for virality and for leadership in the organization.

Next Story — Do The Math
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Do The Math

As an Israeli, the backlash against the recent NSA’s related revelations strikes me as naive and misguided.

The NSA’s extensive eavesdropping were a direct result of 9/11 attacks. Their goal was to prevent terrorism, and the infiltration of radical fanatics into the west in an attemp to kill as many civilians as they can.

One must ask himself, what is more important to society: not having a computer program go over each and every one of your private emails, or preventing terrorist attacks?

The damage inflicted to society by surveillance can be regarded as great. Some easily outraged people may even argue that this damage is bigger than the damage inflicted by terrorist attacks. But no one can argue that the damage inflicted by surveillance has a very broad spread. Many Many people suffer very mild damage of being exposed to computer bots.

In contrast, in a terrorist attack, a (supposedly) small amount of damage is concentrated on a very small number of people. But this small amount of damage can actually mean someone was killed or seriously injured.

Don’t you think it’s better to damage the entire society in a broad spread, than having a few individuals taking all the damage? Of course you don’t, you are hypocrat liberal white people…

Next Story — Give Me Your Traffic If You Can’t Handle It
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Give Me Your Traffic If You Can’t Handle It

Those sites that crash from hits, are they lucky bastards, poor schmucks or just plain assholes?

One of the most heart shattering things that can happen to a (proficient) web developer is seeing someone else’s site click-crash. While you work day and night building your dream website, and then spending days scaling it for all those visitors who never showed up, this incompetent guy can’t handle his traffic.

I mean, talk about giving nuts for someone who don’t have teeth…

Next Story — All your memes are belong to us
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Such meme. Very wow. (Illustration by Harry Malt for The Washington Post)

All your memes are belong to us

The top 25 memes of the web’s first 25 years

By Gene Park, Adriana Usero and Chris Rukan

For more of The Web at 25, visit The Washington Post.

Memes didn’t begin with the Web, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so. The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term in his 1976 book, “The Selfish Gene,” to describe something that already existed. A meme, from the Greek “mimeme” (to imitate) was “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.” This encompassed phenomena from Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” to the famous graffiti drawing “Kilroy Was Here,” which dates to the beginning of World War II.

But the Web has proved to be the most fertile ground, and the site Know Your Meme has confirmed more than 2,600 of them. Below, 25 definitive memes from the Web’s first 25 years.

[1] Dancing Baby

1996: Considered the granddaddy of Internet memes, the baby shuffling to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” filled inboxes and prime-time airwaves, appearing in several episodes of “Ally McBeal.” The file was originally included with early 3D software. LucasFilm developers modified it before it was widely shared, and it was finally compressed into one of the first GIFs.

[2] Hampster Dance

1998: Proving that GIFs were meant for stardom, a Canadian art student made a webpage with 392 hamster GIFs as a tribute to her pet rodent. The infectious soundtrack was a sped-up, looped version of “Whistle Stop” by Roger Miller.

[3] Peanut Butter Jelly Time

2001: A Flash animation featuring an 8-bit dancing banana, “Peanut Butter Jelly Time” became an Internet phenomenon in the early 2000s. The catchy song was written and performed by the Buckwheat Boyz, a rap group.

[4] All Your Base Are Belong to Us

2001: A meme that would echo across the gaming community for years to come, “All your base are belong to us” originated in a cut scene in the Japanese video game “Zero Wing.” The poorly translated quote has persisted as an Internet catchphrase.

[5] Star Wars Kid

2002: Arguably the first victim of large-scale cyberbullying, Ghyslain Raza unwillingly became a meme based on a video of him swinging a golf ball retriever as a weapon, reminiscent of Darth Maul in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.” It was an early sign that Internet privacy was not guaranteed for anyone.

[6] Spongmonkeys

2003: Before they became spokesthings for Quiznos, two singing Spongmonkeys catapulted to viral stardom after being featured in a newsletter for b3ta, an early link- and image-sharing site. Their opening line: “We like the moon.”

[7] Numa Numa

2004: The eyebrow lift. The arm pumping when the beat drops. The song (by Moldovan boy band O-Zone). Gary Brolsma, sitting at his desk, showed us all what it means to “dance like no one’s watching.”

[8] O RLY

2005: Originating on the community site 4chan, the wide-eyed owl was used to show sarcasm, becoming a precursor to other reaction memes.

[9] Chuck Norris Facts

2005: Chuck Norris was the Internet’s first “most interesting man in the world,” crowned the avatar for mythical men with impossible strength, attitude and swagger. “There is no theory of evolution,” as one “fact” says. “Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris allows to live.”

[10] I Can Has Cheezburger?

2007: Animal-based memes are a dime a dozen, but the “I Can Has Cheezburger” blog, whose mascot is a surprised, hungry British shorthair cat, brought them into the mainstream. The blog was created by Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami.

Rickroll and Deal With It collide to form an uber-meme

[11] Rickroll

2007: Before there was clickbait, there was the Rickroll. Popularized on 4chan, the gag — springing a Rick Astley video on an unsuspecting victim — has appeared during a session of the Oregon legislature and even on the White House’s Twitter feed.

[12] Success Kid

2007: Based on a photo that Sammy Griner’s mother, Laney, posted to Flickr when he was 11 months old, the meme describes something that goes better than expected. In 2015, Sammy’s fame helped his family raise more than $100,000 to offset the costs of a kidney transplant for his father, Justin.

[13] Dramatic Chipmunk

2007: A simple, five-second video clip of a chipmunk — ahem, actually a prairie dog — suddenly turning its head, from the Japanese TV show “Hello Morning.” The maneuver is set to an exaggerated bit of music from 1974’s “Young Frankenstein.”

[14] Philosoraptor

2008: This portmanteau meme was an early example of an “advice animal,” depicting the vicious dinosaur deep in introspection, and pondering wordplay and life’s general paradoxes.

[15] Deal With It

2010: In this GIF, sunglasses slide onto a smug canine’s face. It was around as an emoticon on the SomethingAwful forums for a while, then became a meme when the site Dump.fm held a contest encouraging users to create their own versions, with sunglasses sliding onto various faces and objects.

[16] Hide Your Kids, Hide Your Wife

2010: “So y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husband ’cause they’re raping everybody out here,” Antoine Dodson emphatically told a TV reporter after an intruder attempted to assault his sister. The clip spread quickly on YouTube, leading to Auto-Tuned versions and remixes.

Nyanyanyanyanyanyanyare you going insane yet?

[17] Nyan Cat

2011: The combination of an animated 8-bit cat (originally dubbed “Pop-Tart Cat”) with the insanely catchy tune “Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!” blew up on YouTube, becoming the site’s fifth-most-viewed video of 2011 and inspiring fan illustrations, designs and games.

[18] Ermahgerd

2012: Originally uploaded as “Gersberms . . . mah fravrit berks” and later “BERKS!,” the text superimposed on this meme mimics the garbled speech of a person with a retainer.

[19] Bad Luck Brian

2012: Takes goofy yearbook photo. Gets face plastered all over the Internet. His real name is Kyle Craven, and he’s Internet famous thanks to his friend Ian Davies, who uploaded the photo to Reddit with the text “Takes driving test . . . gets first DUI.”

[20] Grumpy Cat

2012: The original photo of Tardar Sauce (that’s her name) racked up 1 million views on Imgur in its first two days. The meme has since spawned books, a comic book, an endorsement deal with Friskies cat food and a made-for-TV Christmas movie, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever,” with Aubrey Plaza voicing Grumpy Cat.

[21] Ridiculously Photogenic Guy

2012: Uploaded to Reddit on April 3, the photo of the handsome runner quickly garnered 40,000 upvotes. Derivatives include Ridiculously Photogenic Metalhead, Ridiculously Photogenic Syrian Rebel, Ridiculously Photogenic Prisoner and Ridiculously Photogenic Running Back.

[22] Doge

2013: In February 2010, a kindergarten teacher in Japan uploaded pictures of Kabosu, her adopted shiba inu, to her personal blog, and a meme was born. It usually features broken English phrases in the comic sans font, representing an inner monologue.

[23] Crying Michael Jordan

2014: The basketball great got a little emotional during his 2009 Hall of Fame induction speech. Around 2014, meme-makers started using an Associated Press photo, superimposing Jordan’s face over failures of all sorts.

[24] Ice Bucket Challenge

2014: While the origins of this one are unclear — people have been doing cold-water challenges for years — the results weren’t. The ALS Association raised more than $100 million in a month, compared with $2.8 million over the same period the previous year.

[25] Left Shark

2015: During the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, Katy Perry performed with two dancing sharks. One shark stuck to the routine. The other, well, did his own thing — and became an Internet sensation.

And if you’re not over memes like the Internet isn’t over Harambe, we’ve compiled a Spotify meme-themed playlist for you to follow and take with you on the go.

Did we miss your favorite internet meme? Tell us about it — and why it’s so great — in the comments.

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