1983 NY Times memo outlines newsroom’s computer policy

Note: that’s computer—singular—as in one. Plus, an uncommon history of ‘common sense,’ famous literary misquotes, a Reddit book exchange, Budweiser gives its Clydesdale foal a name, Richard III’s roots in PR, and more.


Every weekday, PR Daily associate editor Alan Pearcy highlights the day’s most compelling stories and amusing marginalia on the Web in this, #TheDailySpin.

Once upon a time, long before companies ever had to safeguard against sullen employees live-tweeting mass layoffs or uploading a snapshot of some pious customer’s receipt, neither brands nor newsrooms worried about establishing such exhaustive social media policies. In fact, The New York Times barely had any technologies to concern itself with, at least not by today’s standards.

An anonymous memo dated Oct. 25, 1983—obtained by Geek.com—that was sent to Times staffers details the explicit use of its solitary newsroom computer. Only one computer? No wonder the old lady went gray.

RELATED: 14 things that must be in your social media policy

Part of the Times’ policy states that it’s mostly all “common sense,” a notion we’re hearing frequently of late from our president. In fact, it’s his new favorite phrase, reports The Christian Science Monitor. He repeated it five times in a 15-minute speech on Monday. Addressing its usage in politics over time, Sophia Rosenfeld, historian and author of “Common Sense: A Political History,” says that the phrase “has been a hallmark of populism on both the right and left.”

Speaking of authors, from Dorothy Parker and Mark Twain to Ray Bradbury, Book Riot editor and co-founder Jeff O’Neal lists eight of the top literary misquotes.

RELATED: 16 misquoted quotations

Not sure whose literary work to read next? Why not let it be a surprise. According to Hypable, redditgifts.com—an exchange website where people can exchange gifts randomly with others around the world—is now giving users a chance to participate in its first book exchange.

Meanwhile, other Reddit users are enthralled with what one party of diners read on their check at a restaurant recently. Following the now infamous “receipt-gate” at Applebee’s, faith was restored when the bill from a different establishment showed a discount provided to one family for “WELL BEHAVED CHILDREN.”

RELATED: AP headlines served up with the check at Washington eatery

Another child of sorts, the three-week-old Budweiser Clydesdale foal that charmed audiences in the brand’s recent Super Bowl commercial, was finally given a name. Helped by an online contest, Anheuser Busch settled on Hope.

RELATED: The 3 best—and worst—ads of Super Bowl XLII

Hope was exceeded for Metro Detroit filmmaker Alan Bernstein who launched a Kickstarter project to help fund a documentary about MAD magazine and its take on U.S. culture. With just days remaining, the project officially reached its $50,000 goal. (via Boing Boing)

A different kind of project by Web developer Franck Ernewein called Tweetping provides an illuminating real-time visualization of Twitter. The project drops bright pixels at the location of every tweet in the world as they’re tweeted. (via Wired)

A good portion of those pixels represented tweets about Richard III of England. The discovery of his remains this week pushed the Shakespeare villain onto Twitter’s trending topics list. While Esquire suggests other factors may have fueled the subject matter’s popularity, it notes that many pundits have claimed Richard’s role as the first “victim of spin” thanks in large part to Shakespeare.

While we’re on the subject of historical finds, let’s wrap things up today with a collection of 32 of the greatestest things to have ever happened on Tumblr, courtesy of BuzzFeed.

Is there something you think we should include in our next edition of #TheDailySpin? Tweet me @iquotesometimes with your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

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