Diversity & Inclusion

Our 10 most-read stories of 2016

Our top stories with a little inside baseball commentary on how each story came to be.

Recommended reading. (Photo by Flickr user Connie Ma, used under a Creative Commons license)
Just in time for the weekend — here’s a little holiday (re)reading!

We took a look at our stats to list the 10 most-read stories of the year. Here, we go through each of them and offer some backstory or commentary on how the stories came to be. Many of the articles were surprising hits, some were scoops or stories that wouldn’t be found elsewhere, and all of them put together show us what tech was like in Brooklyn this past year.
1. Tweet the NY Public Library an emoji and it’ll tweet back a pic from its archives
The enduring popularity of this post throughout the year was a bit of a surprise. The subject is a bot built by the NYPL which, whenever someone tweets a word or sentence, crawls its photo archive and tweets back the photo best matching those terms. We found it on Twitter when it had just a couple dozen followers, which have subsequently turned into more than four thousand.

Check it out yourself!

Check it out yourself! (Screenshot)


2. Cool or Dumb? The high-tech, bacteria-killing pillowcase
This is a pillowcase that is threaded with silver, which kills bacteria. We found it as an underfunded project on Kickstarter and the mystery of who its creator was sparked a deeper look. The comments on this post are A1.
Brooklyn's mysterious, magical, anti-microbial pillowcase.

Brooklyn’s mysterious, magical, anti-microbial pillowcase. (Courtesy image)


3. One engineer has solved the New York Subway Eternal Mystery
This was a seriously rad and sadistically thorough analysis of train data by an engineer. Basically, he solved the question of how long you should wait for the train until it’s more likely that there’s a service interruption than not. It’s 11 minutes, but you should still read the piece. Brokelyn must have read and basically stole our story on this, which no one else had, even down to the syntax of our writing. Still salty about that. Not cool, Brokelyn.
The L train is fast lol.

The L train is fast lol. (Courtesy image)


4. Brooklyn’s tech illuminati just helped this startup raise $1 million
In a seed round that shows the interconnectedness of the Brooklyn tech scene, Williamsburg’s Tribute.co landed some cash to help it deliver “the most meaningful gift on earth.”
Andrew Horn (left) and Rory Petty want to help you give "the most meaningful gift on earth."

Andrew Horn (left) and Rory Petty want to help you give “the most meaningful gift on earth.” (Courtesy photo)


5. Nope, ConsenSys isn’t letting the $50M Ethereum breach slow it down
The recent hack is “potentially a systemic threat,” said ConsenSys founder and CEO Joseph Lubin, but that hasn’t stopped the company’s momentum on a wide array of projects, including a blockchain-based virtual poker app.

Ryan Gittleson talks about Virtue Poker, a blockchain-based online poker application, at the ConsenSys open house. (Photo by April Joyner)

Ryan Gittleson talks about Virtue Poker, a blockchain-based online poker application, at the ConsenSys open house. (Photo by April Joyner)

This story came from a tip from our Delaware reporter, Rana Fayez, who knew the paper bike helmet creator, Isis Shiffer, from West Philadelphia bike circles. The piece was one of the most interesting to write this year, and was picked up by The Atlantic the following day.

Isis Shiffer demonstrates her EcoHelmet.

Isis Shiffer demonstrates her EcoHelmet. (Courtesy image)


7. This startup is bringing professional-grade sports science to your gym routine
We encountered the founder of Notch at his booth at TechCrunch Disrupt NY this spring and thought his product was totally interesting. When he said he’s based in the Pfizer building on Flushing Ave. we had a story.
With Notch, you can record your body.

With Notch, you can record your body. (Courtesy image)


8. A new app sends you the name of each person killed by the police
This was the most emotional I got writing a story this year (dropping the editorial “we” for a moment). My laptop screen was blurry through tears as I sent this in to my editor that Friday morning. I woke up Saturday to a deluge of notifications and shares across all networks, and it turned out that the New York Times had included the story in their weekend email of articles from the Times and around the web. Of all the stories here, this is the one to read. Also, the one time I will ever implore anyone to read the comments.
A photo from the cached Facebook page Finding Jim Bravis Redmond,jr

A photo from the cached Facebook page Finding Jim Bravis Redmond,jr. (Photo va Facebook)


9. NYU is building a real-life holodeck
For what? All sorts of stuff. A $2.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation will get things going.
Some serious science going on.

Some serious science going on. (Courtesy image)


10. These 4 Brooklyn agencies are killing it right now: an industry insider’s take
Lindsey Slaby, a partner at Dumbo marketing firm Sunday Dinner, wrote about the troubles plaguing agencies and told us about a few standouts in the borough.
A Midnight Commercial experience.

A Midnight Commercial experience. (Photo via Facebook)

Series: Brooklyn

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