In Brief

A unique online community highlights our evolving ideas of language and communication.

SMS lingo, emoticons and Facebook like’s – it’s hard to ignore the modern decline in verbal communication.  Thousands of years of linguistic development have become undone (or are they evolving?) over the last decade.  Dump.fm is perhaps another example of this communication diet.

A real-time chat room that primarily uses pictures and (incredible) GIFs, the website was initially developed back in November 2009 to “serve as a platform for artists who use its technology to foster community and creativity.”  Created by Ryder Ripps, of Internet Archaeology, along with Tim Baker (Delicious) and co-founder Scott Ostler (MIT Exhibit), the site allows users to upload pictures from their hard drive and webcam, or simply post image URLs which instantly translate into images.  Initially participants were ‘invite-only’, but the chat rooms are now fully open to public registration.

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