Check It Before You Wreck It

I know your works, my huckleberry friend. You mean well. You see that video of the kitten riding the vacuum cleaner or an amusing post on and you think, I absolutely must spam my contacts list with this good news as soon as possible. Countless lives depend on it. You copy the link, paste it into an e-mail or into your Twitter feed, provide an urgent-sounding subject line (“OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS! LMFAO!!”), and you fire that link off into the midst of your friends and relations, wholly unaware that most of the people you know have seen this tired crap more than a year ago. God, even your dad has seen Texts From Last Night by now. You can remain on this path, which leads only to Gmail filtering and a critical drop in Twitter followers—or you can consult Is It Old?, a simple Web interface that counts how many times a link has been Tweeted and provides a blunt assessment of its freshness. According to Is It Old?, Texts From Last Night is “DEAD: I don’t even know if computers can run this anymore,” and the site begs you not to send it out. By comparison, my awesome Disneyland blog is rated super-fresh: “YOU’RE THE FIRST! You must be some sort of Internet pioneer! It has not been shared on Twitter yet.” That’s just an example, of course.