O’BRIEN | The Internet’s Appetite for Confessional Writing


When browsing through my favorite online publications, I often end up reading stories told in the first person. The Internet is a hotbed for first person writing, be it on social media or through personal essays. This type of writing is often confessional in nature, discussing traumatic experiences or social taboos. I didn’t think much about the implications of this phenomenon, until a Slate article about confessional writing recently went viral, starting a discussion among publications and on social media about whether the nature of confessional writing on the Internet is a positive thing, and about the effect of making these confessions can have on the confessor. In the article, entitled “The First Per­son Industrial Complex,” Laura Bennett argues that in a digital media landscape where a claim to originality is hard to come by, “first person essays have become the easiest way for editors to stake out some small corner of a news story and assert and on-the-ground primacy … and [they] have also become the easiest way to jolt an increasingly jaded Internet to attention, as the bar for provocation has risen higher and higher.” So while confessional writing has become an important part of Internet culture, Bennett argues that their publication is often reckless and self-serving.

Diagnosing Cornell's Security Breach

At the present moment, Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) is slightly embarrassed to be dealing with a leak involving the personal records of 45,000 members of the Cornell community. Just slightly. Sadly, the pattern of how this breach happened is a common one seen in similar leaks. Some employee downloads highly sensitive data to an unsecured […]

CAPTCHAs – New and Improved!

Do you remember when you were filling out forms on the internet and reached the last page, only to see at the bottom that you need to spell out a random, arbitrary word hidden by weird type face and an ungodly amount of scribbles on a small image?

Do you remember the frustration you felt when you pressed submit and you mistyped one letter and the ENTIRE PAGE reset?

Do you remember the rage you felt when you went back to the image, only to have a new one pop up?

Or is that just me?

New Website May Give Schedulizer Competition

As students find themselves in the midst of pre-enroll season, a new competitor to the popular course-scheduling website Schedulizer.com has cropped up.
This past fall, two undergraduates at Cornell, T.P. Wong ’10 and Yoni Medoff ’11, met to discuss the possibility of creating a new, user-friendly interface to help students prepare course schedules more easily. Just a few months later, on March 30th, Chequerd.com was launched to the public and is already creating buzz on campus.
The seeds of Chequerd.com were planted as the University struggled to keep its relationship friendly with the most popular course scheduling website on campus, Schedulizer.com.

Browser Wars

Internet Explorer, Apple Safari, and Mozilla Firefox. Ring any bells? Well, they should. Odds are, you’re probably using one right now. That’s right, these are web browsers, designed so we can exploit the Internet for whatever it may offer us; be it scientific articles for research or pterodactyl porn for… something.

Academic Website Helps Students Collaborate

Without question, every Internet user has felt the frustration that arises when searching among thousands of websites for specific information. Online social bookmarking, which looks to ameliorate this fact-finding process, has now decided to venture into the field of higher education.
While customary online bookmarking is the process of saving to your computer addresses of websites one would like to revisit in the future, social bookmarking allows one to save the links to web pages on a social bookmarking website. The website then organizes the links chronologically and places them under specific categories with tags that describe it. In addition, the bookmarks can either be open to the public, shared with groups of the user’s choice or saved for the user’s personal viewing.

C.U. Students Weigh In on Pros And Cons of Admissions Website

For potential students living on the other side of the country, or even the world, the University’s website serves as a portal that can bridge the gap imposed by geography.
In searching for the perfect school, students have in recent years leaned on the internet as a reliable source of information. As a result, colleges have sought to maintain strong websites.
“The web has been one of the many effective tools we have used for a long time to engage students and families with Cornell,” Shawn Felton, senior associate director of admissions for recruitment, stated in an e-mail.
In a recent survey by the Cybermetrics Lab, a public research group in Spain, Cornell University’s website was ranked fifth among thousands of university web-pages across the world.

Web Update!

So here at the Cornell Sun we’re busy busy bees at the Web Department – we’ve been working on various improvements to the website to make it more user-friendly, attractive, and insanely cool!

One of the new features on the website is related content. See at the bottom of this page, where there are links to other stories? That’s a new feature that will soon be on all the pages so that you’ll want to hang out with us just a little longer.

In addition, we’re going to be expanding that feature so it’s styled a little better & appears in the sidebar.

Internet Users Uphold First Amendment Rights

Human rights activists, including myself, agree that the government has no authority to decide what is censored on the internet because this is a constitutionally protected right of an individual. The government cannot decide what another person should be able to see and do on the internet, as this is a personal decision. The internet serves as a vehicle for expression and therefore, limitations other than for criminal activity should not exist. As stated by the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Steven Shapiro, “the government has no right to censor protected speech on the Internet, and it cannot reduce adults to hearing and seeing only speech that the government considers suitable for children”.

Rejected Superbowl Ads: How YouTube is Changing the World

It used to be that you had to get media corporations on your side to get worldwide attention. Not anymore. If the news about this year’s Super Bowl commercials are any indicator, we may be moving into an age where virtual marketing may not only be cheaper, it’s more effective as well.

By ads, I mean the ones that didn’t make it to air, but are now floating around on the Internet for all to see.

Consider the latest PETA commercial, which NBC refused to let air during the Super Bowl because it “depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards”, according to Victoria Morgan, NBC Universal’s advertising standards executive.