I think the old internet went away because it was more profitable to create a walled garden distribution channel than it was to develop a syndication protocol like email or rss. I honestly don't see any way around this.
add a new search engine, called anything you want, with a convenient shortcut. I use "r". The important bit is the search string this expands to:
This does exactly what it looks like: search google for whatever you're looking for, but only for reddit pages. You access it by getting into the URL bar, hitting r<tab>, then you should see whatever you named this, then do your search and off you go.
Sadly, this is substantially better than searching reddit for the same string. (I work at reddit, and hope to help fix this sometime in the first half of next year)
*Just checked. 9 years. Gulp.
Same. It's the only place to find the sort of genuine, informed opinion that used to be common on the first page of Google results, on a wide variety of topics, without an awful lot of digging.
I suppose it can get addictive too, but I haven't found that to be the case for me, not yet anyway. HN on the other hand... :)
Been checking out The Independent more so lately.
Just thought I’d share as I used to read BBCnews daily.
The majority of discussion here is "on topic" - which is good but very different to Reddit or Slack communities which tend to revolve more around personalities.
Some of the stories ARS presents you won't even be able to parse as to why they were written unless you're aware of the general tech and social zeitgeist - which you can see on reddit somewhat
* presence/absence of ads from known ad networks
* presence/absence of google analytics etc
* ratio of a page's download volume in bytes versus number of square centimeters of the viewport when rendered by a typical user
* cap the point at which higher update frequency scores you "ranking juice". real human beings doing a website for a non-commercial motive and who set a high bar on meaningfulness of their communication aren't going to update their site multiple times a month. you have to outsource the creation of thin content to achieve that, which is what we don't want.
* cap the point at which younger content ranks higher & cap the point at which older content ranks lower, for similar reasons. information that is great information today because it's topical, and no longer great information tomorrow was probably never great to begin with. and if content is great, then it will age gracefully. -- as a matter of fact you may want to downrank content that's very young for that reason. web search is about searching something that should be a permanent information store / archive sort of thing. if you're looking for something that's more like a newsfeed, discovery mechanisms other than search should be used.
i'm sure i could think of more. but one thing that strikes me about the above list is that a lot of this stuff is the exact opposite of what google is doing right now, so the shittiness of today's web is, to a large extent, engineered. i don't think it's within the nature of the web that it inevitably has to be like what it's like today.
I absolutely agree, but if it's true then maybe Wikipedia is to blame.
Like any "social ring", esoteric or not.
Edit: and vouching, if someone messes up the person that introduced her wll be obstracized as well.
My main problem with Reddit is the repetitive in-culture jokes, memes, and reposts. A lot of content is pandering to the Reddit audience with a flavour that is calculated to win over the crowd (see all the complaints on /r/pics of political signs or weight loss progress pics - it pisses a lot of people off because there's better places for it, but gets upvotes from the masses).
Reddit is now a couple visits a week for me because of reposts etc.
Besides some intra-reddit jokes, the site is more like a directory of forums with a unified interface.
And 4chan isn't even that bad in terms of bad or illegal content so that goes to show how relative it all is.
/g/ is actually quite useful and friendly, especially the DPT (Daily Programming Thread), more-so if you're a beginner.
/trv/ (travel) is just good and perfectly slow where you won't feel pressure to keep up with a thread because it will still be there tomorrow.
/fit/ has good information and really encapsulates what happens when the internet meets bro-gym culture.
Compared to parts of Reddit, I would honestly take 4chan over it. I mean even some of the formerly "default" sub-Reddits are cesspools of hatred with the occasional call for targeted violence and Moderators who will ban you by association. Some of the big sub-Reddits openly discriminate based on race.
I know journalists have zero motivation to investigate sub-Reddits or the incestous circle of Reddit moderators that control the groupthink in most of the major sub-Reddits, but one day that will come out and it will be an internet scandal. If they time it right it could sink any hope of an IPO or serious monetization.
You can have a normal thread where someone will casually drop the N word or other slur and it will just sit there, maybe not even acknowledged but also not downvoted or deleted.
That alone is enough to turn people off immediately. They need that sense of retributive justice for a wrong they see in the universe. You're right that reddit can be just as bigoted than 4chan if not more so but I think you realize it's way more subtle and dogwhistley. The only reason a 4chan post will ever dance around being blunt bigotry is usually for the sake of humor not to ban evade.
Also I can't imagine browsing 4chan without something like 4chanX and your average person probably isn't going to bother installing that.
Well, there is no way to downvote.
Point-based systems usually turn out bad if the community is too big. Just check big subreddit like the defaults, posts get too catering to group-think.
Not having downvotes or even upvotes, means that you have to deal with crap posts.
For some people 4chan has "upvotes", what they call "(you)"s, basically a reply, people post too much bad content just trying to provoke a reaction.
If I still had an imageboard, it would never implement a feature like that.
Of course, people could still get it from extensions, but not everybody uses them.
Still, the provoking nature on 4chan would still remain even without (you)s as it's the quickest way to get answers.
Choosing not to hang out with people who casually use the N-word makes me vindictive?
This means that creating inflammatory posts, sometimes is the only way to get attention, or worse, when you actually want information and you post in a way that would get attention otherwise it would be ignored.
Identity politics usually gives plenty of reactions. Just like calling something bad gets more reactions that call something good. Want opinion on something you want o buy? start a thread calling it shit, and wonder why there are so many bad threads there.
- No "ego"-moderation. Mods and janitors are invisible, and seem to do their jobs well. Compare with the constant mod drama (years of the stuff) on various subreddits.
- No "retaliation culture" via downvotes. If you really really hate something someone said, the worst thing you can do to them is just ignore it.
- No identity. Posting with a name gets you shamed into being anonymous pretty quick unless you have a very good reason to do so. This means there are no karma/score/image issues, you just say what you think.
Like you mentioned, /fit/ and /g/ are great boards. /p/ is solid too if you're into that sort of thing.
More than half of the top-voted content on Reddit is indistinguishable from bot-generated random memes.
Someone please explain to me what "blursed" means and why it's use means that it gets to go straight to the top of "/all" regularly...
And because most of Reddit is young people with lots of time on their hands, looking for entertainment and pastime, content with no particular niche and with a twist that isn’t an explicit joke or reference, is widely engaging.
More than a bit, and quite frankly there's plenty of advertising masquerading as earnest content. Unfortunately it's also got a lot of useful, user-generated content.
My only experience with either of those is Slack, and that was only in relation to a job. So I have no idea if I'd prefer them or not, really.
I also just found https://boardreader.com, which searches forums exclusively.
It is remarkable how many of the top domain that show up on search (amazon, ebay, others) have little or nothing to do with long-tail search terms.
I should edit the Wikipedia page; it makes it sound like they rolled their own engine and crawler, which seemed pretty unlikely.
A defined purpose? monitization?
I suppose it would be a hard fight to get google to specifically favour non-adsensed sites.
I guess you could argue that if I google that search term I'm probably planning to buy one or something, but if I append reddit I can get a really crappy discussion tab-esque function.
If I try "Solar Powered Van" the results look a bit better but are basically the same kind of lifestyle sales content.
I think we accidentally hacked the internet into some sort of Möbius supermarket magazine aisle.
A desire to express an opinion vs an attempt to lure you to buy something while telling you banalities about the topic.
Forums mostly see the latter as spam and evict.
Cool ads, interesting ads, but still ads.
Check out P2P Reddit: https://notabug.io/ (Warning! Beware of content!)
It runs on the GUN protocol (mine), which is running in production with about 8M monthly active users.
So yes, Old Internet is making a comeback with #dWeb!
On duck duck go you can use !r to search reddit if you're so inclined.
For example, if I'm looking for a comment that refers to my lat 2014 model of some widget, Reddit's search will fail to find it, and try to show me subreddits instead that are tangentially related to what I'm looking for.
Still a good tip, don't get me wrong. But I find that asking the search engine to do the search for me—with "reddit" as one of the search terms—often gives me the result I'm looking for faster than using Reddit's own search.
For example if I search “best vpn” I’ll get loads of VPN review blog spam who are just pushing the provider with the highest affiliate commission.
If I search “best vpn reddit” I should get discussion from real people about services they have used.
(Teenagers, and yes I was one and I remember, usually have an inflated sense of their own abilities and knowledge, and they write that way.)
What I wish we could bring back is usenet and/or mailing lists. Or at least highly targeted forums, where people spend years curating relationships, and sharing knowledge.
Pot, kettle, etc...
> What I wish we could bring back is usenet and/or mailing lists. Or at least highly targeted forums, where people spend years curating relationships, and sharing knowledge.
You are describing the non default subreddits.
r/webdev for instance is one of the subs I'm subscribed to, and the culture there is not really meme or inside joke-oriented like a lot of the entertainment-type subs are.
The other day I was googling info related to legal review of real estate documents, and my top search results were all keyword-heavy content mill articles that weren't helpful at all. I decided to do the same search with "site:reddit.com" added, and the information was much better, as you're often hearing people's stories of working with lawyers when buying property. It was very helpful to get this kind of 'organic' information instead of the 'corporatized' version that's really a lead-up to their sales pitch.
Let's shoot for a more feasible goal: bring back Gmane.org and let web forums federate to it if they so choose, not just mailing lists. That's the closest we can get to what the old Usenet was like.
Mind you it wasn’t perfect. But people tended to be posting under their own names associated with institutions. And the masses were kept out if they were even aware.
As for finding others, well, HN isn't a bad place to start. Just install an RSS reader client and every time you find yourself enjoying an article check the site to see if it has an RSS feed. In fact, do this with every web interaction. Pretty soon you can completely decouple yourself from content aggregators and start perceiving the web as a community again.
Not perfect but often turns up those personal homepages, hobby sites and esoterica the early internet thrived on. Stuff that Google and co forgot existed - or is down on page 200+
It currently gets about ten unique visitors and one or two submissions a day.
It would be cool if you made the button linkable, so you can bookmark it and get a random URL each time.
I like that I'm not tracking anyone, it doesn't require UI/UX, I have little to nothing to gain from it - it's just a human connection. Something fun we might have seen in the early years of the internet.
And honestly, when teaching the average person how to make a website, they should just be taught the minimum required to make a valid HTML document.
I think it's something like:
<title>My first webpage</title>
In this day and age, nobody is going to bother with writing HTML markup when they've used rich text editors to compose everything from emails to Tumblr posts.
Back in the early 2000s I used to write music reviews for a site called Epinions. They didn't have a rich text editor, so if you wanted to do bold, you needed to wrap those words in a <b></b> tag, or <i> tag for italics. It was extremely irritating to have to do that, especially if you were pasting in the content from a pre-existing Word doc that already had all the proper formatting.
You seem to be confusing the implementation of a site with its content, and assuming that homogeneity of layout corresponds to homogeneity of content. It's an understandable bias to find in a community of programmers and web developers, but it isn't true.
The pages of a book are uniformly sized, generally speaking uniformly colored with one of a very narrow set of fonts and typefaces, spaced and typeset according to an industry standard - and yet this places no constraint at all on the nature of the content that can be displayed within those pages. In the same way, a website rendering content on the frontend rather than the backend is an implementation detail which has nothing to do with what content is rendered.
And even in the 90s, many sites looked similar. Rather than having standard templates focused around typography, people just copied what other sites were doing, using the same table-based layouts with black backgrounds and GIFS, and none of that necessarily made the content any better than what exists today.
And of course employability and the need for buzzwords on your resume.
This isn't feasible for a large chunk of the population, mainly because ISPs like Comcast love to give you 500 mbps down while limiting your upload to a pitiful 10 mbps.
Host a single 100K image that hits the front page of reddit and your home internet gets hugged to death.
1 megabit of upstream is plenty for a personal website. I can say this from long experience.
Not every site needs to have 3+ nines of uptime.
That does nothing if some other rando decides to link to it.
You can host your HTML/JS/CSS on Github Pages fronted by Cloudflare again for free.
For dynamic stuff, I just set up an ElasticSearch cluster with three VPSes from https://php-friends.de/vserver-ssd/vserver-schnupperspecial-... for the grand total of 10EUR/month... these are some serious hardware for 4 EUR (inc German VAT): dedicated two dedicated Haswell or Broadwell cores, 6GB RAM, 65GB SSD. Slap Ubuntu on them, then https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/automatic-updates.ht... and https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/howto-live-patch-ubuntu-linux-... will keep your server secure.
If it is popular, the IPFS users seed it to each other so your load is still manageable.
Back in my day...
That's your 100K image 10 times a second, or 600 times a minute.
You could also just like, run a caching server on a 5$ VPS.
Realistically this 'oh no I got hammered by HN' case is something that is irrelevant anyway. If you're really worried about it, don't host large image files, sorted. The "old internet" didn't have that stuff anyway because we were all on slow connections, 100KB took 10+ seconds to load on dialup.
You can very easily host things on a paid server though, which these days cost very little, use another image host or S3/similar when if things went crazy popular.
No, the worst outcome is that your home internet connection is being effectively DDoSed.
You could probably apply some QoS on your router to minimize the effect, of course.
This trend died out, it used to be on practically every website. Maybe people just figured Google would find and sort everything for them. But now the search engines are packed with SEO garbage and offer no discoverability or serendipity.
Time to start sharing homemade link lists again.
You can also get a VPS for about $5/mo and have your own self-hosted server with whatever servers and web apps you want, like an RSS reader, an IRC client, FTP/Gopher server, etc. (Shameless self plug: this is what I do with my own personal site, https://invisibleup.com)
Better even since it has plugins to inline some comic strips where the RSS feeds are just links to the pages.
The modern internet has been utterly transformative and has made modern life so much easier and simpler. Don't forget about all the useful things you take for granted now that weren't possible then because the internet wasn't commercialised at the time.
The old internet is still there, some if it actually physically still there - i.e. still on the server/URL it was on back in the day (I find this kinda cool in a way - these sort of mary-celeste servers ticking away somewhere, untouched for 20 years but someone still cares enough to pay to keep it running).
Perhaps less people make their own websites these days, but there is still a thriving and still-as-useless ("not much yet - check back soon!") collection of random personal websites on dat, gopher and ipfs. Stumbling onto these things or hearing about them via word of mouth/keyboard was always part of the joy of 90s internet.
>stand in line at a post office
>car insurance quotes
These conveniences you cite of the modern internet all feel like they help the other side of the relationship even more than they help you. Imagine how much the airlines, banks, tax collectors, and insurance companies love the modern internet, making it all the more convenient for you to interact with their products and services! And at such scale!
My point here is that, on the intellectual front, the old internet was a lot more transformative for humankind than the state of today's "cable television as a service" internet we endure today.
Calling the internet "cable television as a service" is ignoring the incredible reach and user-friendliness of the modern internet, and all the advantages that come from that. Nostalgia is okay, but that doesn't change the fact that the current internet brings a lot more information to a lot more people, albeit with differing quality. It has absolutely changed humanity for the better, and is orders of magnitude more transformative than what you seem to be calling old internet.
We have indeed made some advancements in some interesting fields due to the modern UI of the web, but what underlies this is a really heavy-handed plasticity on the infrastructure/architecture fronts. That is what the earlier web lacked, and what made it such a fantastic, democratized resource for information and communication.
The remote control achieved the same thing for broadcast TV - a way to make the format easier to use mindlessly. And what it enabled was channel surfing: building it into the hunter-gatherer human mind that the TV was a universe to be explored, filled with wondrous gifts for the would-be explorer to uncover. But that's a lie merely proposed by the interface - the most common thing to land on during a channel surf is a network advertisement. You will of course land on some shows, too, but the channel surfer is destined to see more than a couple of ads before they are finished with their remote.
Getting the internet away from its keyboard-driven beginnings has led to a similar outcome on the web, and it's plain to see. The advent of touch screens has made this interface/architecture authoritarianism even harder to avoid now that the entire package has been shrunk to the size of one's palm and available at a moment's notice or a passing whim.
Due to the limitations of the medium, I think this actually used to be easier (if slower). You certainly didn’t get a different price if you were booking a minute later.
That is a wonderful term for it, and a delicious mental image.
In a way, they have outperformed Google at Google's vision of organizing the world's information. That's why I try to donate as much as I can every year.
Wikipedia is even pushing further forward on that vision with Wikidata, a general-purpose knowledge base that's perhaps the most successful example of such a thing, succeeding where many other efforts have failed dismally. (Already, Wikidata gets more edits per minute than Wikipedia, albeit much of the activity is performed by bots.) It's also a successful use of Linked-Open-Data and Semantic-Web technologies (the Wikidata site hosts a SPARQL endpoint, for general queries of all sorts), so while it might not be "Old Web" per se, it feels quite retro-futuristic in many ways.
And of course, all the well-known personal assistant AI's rely on it quite a bit, although they're not eager to advertise that fact.
Thanks for making me feel old.
I really think of Wikipedia as part of the "new" internet, not the old one. Now, get off of my lawn, you whippersnappers!
Tons of people still own and operate their own websites; BBSes exist; IRC is still here; mailing lists are still here; and so on and so forth.
You just won't find it on the top hit at Google because their business model is based on ad sales wankery.
Whilst we're on the topic, I'm gonna take the chance to write - if you work on this corporate shit and you're doing stuff you despise day in day out - please re-assess whether you could change things in your life to prevent that. Be the change you want to see. Cheers.
I once worked for an SEO agency and ended up quitting after 4 months. Everything about it went against my morals. I was disgusted with myself for pushing rubbish sites, snooping on peoples browsing behaviour, and working to squeeze every cent from it all through what I believed to be manipulative practices (despite it all being 'white hat')
Quitting that job was a major relief, though I'm haunted by the fact that there are thousands of other agencies and even more people willing to fill my previous role.
I'd be curious if you know of any industry blogs or forums that you'd read to stay current on techniques.
I haven't followed SEO since the early days of link trading and keyword stuffing.
For one we had a service that records video of your site visit so we knew exactly how you interacted with it. It would be no different from be standing behind you and watching your screen as you navigated a website. While the data is anonymised, I'm still morally against essentially video recording someones interactions with a site. There was never any notice that they were being recorded.
The email marketing workflows were relentless, especially on e-commerce stores that required several points of contact in order to make a purchase. We were able to build profiles on most customers by combining purchase history, personal details, and details pulled from social media to get a fairly accurate portrait of someones behaviour. For example, if someone bought engine oil, we knew that a typical bottle of engine oil would last someone, say, 6 months. The email marketing workflow would automatically send out a promotional coupon 6 months later for a discount on more engine oil. But because we were able to build profiles on people, we were able to tell that "Joe Blogs" is a motoring enthusiast and therefore the likelihood of him using up that engine oil in three months rather than six months increases by 50%, so send out the marketing materials to him quicker than the regular customers. There were very smart people working on these campaigns. Statisticians, psychologists, linguists and the like.
Because we had several points of contact with customers, having them unsubscribe from an email list wasn't bad. If you unsubscribed from the email, you would just be sent SMS notifications. If you replied STOP to that, you were sent physical mail, and after all that it was still quite easy to target you with remarking ad campaigns.
The amount of complete and utter garbage we were pouring out onto the web on a daily basis was staggering. Hundreds of pages a day that were of absolutely no use to anyone but to Google would mean that we were able to rank clients for some very serious keywords where real people needed real help but were instead being presented with crap that we'd put out that wasn't meant to actually help anyone but to get the #1 position and the sell things. And when I mean people who need help, I mean people who seriously need help. We'd push crap to rank for things like depression, bankruptcy, divorce, a whole array of legal issues.
I hated working there.
You lost me here though:
> Hundreds of pages a day that were of absolutely no use to anyone but to Google
Do you mean like spam/clickbait blog posts on their own domain? I'm having trouble connecting "producing garbage content" to "increased ranking from google".
And neither did you find it through Google in the "early 1990s" like in the article. Or in any other way, except by pure luck, because search was crap back then or simply didn't exist.
Without getting into the argument of whether Google deliberately makes these sites hard to find, it doesn't really support the author's thesis that the old Internet was any better, at least in the case of MayVaneDay. In the early 90s, how else would you have found it except "through links from similar small websites"?
> I miss the internet of the early 1990's, back before the World Wide Web had been visited by more than just a few computer geeks, back when websites like Vane's were the internet. Don't get me wrong, many cool things can be found on the internet today. But, the voice of individuals has mostly been drowned out...
This feels incredibly myopic. The Internet of those days were limited to the extreme minority of people who were aware of the Internet and had access to a connected computer, nevermind took the time to figure out how to create for it. The author derides Facebook and Reddit as being too "easily monitored and controlled" to allow for individual voices but that's utter bullshit. The modern Internet is far from perfect, but the diversity and quantity (and arguably, quality) of voices is far better than when the Internet catered mostly to college-age kids and academics, i.e. people with access to free, high-speed Internet portals.
By browsing Web-Directories such as DMOZ/ODP, mainly. Albeit that's really a late-90s and 2000s thing. We should go back to that kind of curation effort. It would be more of a challenge for politically-sensitive stuff (the Internet overall is a lot more politicized and less free-speech-friendly than it used to be) but for most uncontroversial stuff it would work well enough.
(And no, Wikipedia is not a true replacement even though it might be the closest thing to one we happen to have. They purposefully keep external links to a minimum, for sensible reasons - they're building an encyclopedia, not a Web directory.)
I had a 30-min per week time allowance on the INternet-connected family computer, and I pretty much spent it all on that site.
Those are the types of sites I miss. Single-topic with incredible depth of content, and written in a funny, friendly tone without the "content strategist" tone of voice that's all too common on "fun" websites like Vice, Gizmodo etc.
Exclusivity makes things cool.
HN has survived due to the tireless efforts of some very smart moderators. It continues to creep away from its sense of community, however, and political flame-wars seem to be becoming increasingly common.
Early sites on the internet had not developed the appropriate tools and social norms to moderate effectively against the deluge.
Specifically, the subset of the population that was on the early Internet had much higher average cognitive ability and creativity than the total population. Now the two groups are virtually identical.
Ironically, I could not share this article itself on Facebook, because it apparently violated community guidelines. So yeah...
It's a strange feeling to have (what in my mind is) a very consistent, rational view of reality with all of its beauty and flaws, yet have that considered to be so fringe or even disruptive somehow by society to the point where it is censored.
I actually just posted quite a rant on Facebook about the dangers of censorship and how corporate control can distort the conversation, using links from that site as evidence. It's funny to see the comment count be 6 or whatever and only see 4 comments because the others are blocked. An oversight like that in their code tells me that even Facebook is having a hard time stomaching censorship, so that gives me hope that some enlightenment may come of all this.
I dont know who your fb "friends" are but mine are diverse enough not to bother them with stuff they dont find interesting. You should post a picture of your lunch not some 1000 word article.
Also, if you wrote the above on your own site i would return to read more. Here i dont bother.
What's murdering the old internet is the lack of links. Everyone is posting screenshots, twitter/facebook/etc all hijack links, and we're surprised we can't find the sites.
Link to eachother. That's why it used to work.
As for how to "follow" (I'd prefer to use subscribe instead) a personal site these days, it's a hard problem, reasonably well documented here: https://indieweb.org/follow
There is a current effort, called microsub[^2] to tackle the problem, but it's new, and is not user friendly enough at all.
Alternatively you can make your site compatible with services like https://fed.brid.gy/ and people on fediverse[^3] instances will be able to follow it.
Trouble with these: all of them require some (ranging from install wordpress plugins to write your own service) technical knowledge, and therefore contributions to solving them and making them more accessible, are more, than welcome.
They may not be as "kooky" it as "characterful" as they used to be any more which I guess is part of what people are missing.
It's much easier today for someone who isn't a technologist to go and set up a website on wordpress or whatever or create a podcast or do whatever they'd like. Or put up videos on Youtube. Not to mention being able to easily self-publish a book.
My RSS reader (inoreader) is full of things like that. Even inoreader itself is independent. Lots of the podcasts I listen to are like that too. Physical Attraction, The Internet History Podcast and all sorts of things are just set up by one person who wants to do it. A friend of mine who is a writer has an amazingly professional sounding podcast.
There is just so much more stuff out there that this can be swamped. Also people who do it well often get pulled into larger organisations and are less independent.
Another bright line is the Flash internet and the no-Flash internet. So much experimentation and uniqueness bloomed, and then died.
That's also a property of the "Old Internet" though. Discoverability has always been a problem for smaller entities. It's why every fan/personal site in the 90's/00's belonged to a half-dozen web-rings or link-list sites.
> it's getting increasingly harder to find them
It's getting harder to find them because most content creators have moved to platforms. They don't want to deal with all the complexities and annoyance of running their own site and dealing with the discoverability problem -- they want to focus on creating their content. I'm also a fan of the personality small self-created/run sites can have, but it's not what most creators want to do.
Take for example Game of Thrones. What does GoT have to do with personal finance? Nothing, but that doesn't stop sites like Yahoo Finance from posting bilge like "10 Epic Personal Finance Lessons From 'Game of Thrones'".
Who's going to rank higher on a search for GoT related content? It depends on the search query for sure, but chances are Yahoo Finance, or HuffPost, or any of the other content mills will beat out your hand-coded personal website that probably doesn't even have Google Analytics set up on it.
It's one of the two main reasons why I vastly prefer Tumblr over the three aforementioned sites. It lets you create a page that's your own to customize how you like. And that makes it much more personal and interesting than Twitter and Instagram imo. I really wish those sites would start letting users customize their pages more than just by changing their profile pictures and header images.
: The other being the ability to view all posts from people you follow in a sequential order instead of having some algorithm decide which posts you should see.
At least Tumblr has an archive view that doesn't throw you visual curve balls.
It's like Instagram ruining the nice spots. Now everyone knows where they are and they don't know how to behave.
Even lobste.rs is getting ropey, though the user tree does help with that.
A pretty big exception there. This reminds me of "But what did the Romans ever do for us?" sketch.
"apart from free hosting and cataloging and tagging and community and moderation and upvote/downvote ordering and making all that easy to read with restrictions on formatting and still allowing individual expression by this newfangled concept of 'linking'... what has the new Internet done for helping voices being heard?"
I'll tell you, I had a website that I hosted on my own PC. And before I got DSL, you could only reliably connect to it by dialing into the computer with a modem.
DSL didn't change much. My voice was heard by exactly one user: me.
And now I can make an comment on reddit about, say, why we use radians instead of degrees in Calculus, and it will have hundreds of upvotes, a dozen of responses, and an audience of at least thousands who actually read it.
Yes, there's no opportunity to practice Geocities-style web design there. That's why the things you write there actually get read by other people. Surprise, that's how it works in the old world too: print newspapers look and function about the same, and math papers are all generally typeset with the same font and style, as to not distract the reader from the content.
In today's internet, the voice of the individuals has been amplified. I had a lot of fun with HTML back in the day, but my voice was only heard when portals like reddit/fb/ng/etc came to be.
Somebody please tell the author of the article that they can simply link to https://mayvaneday.keybase.pub/ instead of ranting about how hard it is to find on Google
Also, it's not hard to find on Google. It's a personal homepage of "Vane Vander", and looking for Vane Vander gives you that page.
I certainly don't miss Netscape crashing every 10 minutes, and waiting for downloads over my 33.6k modem.
What I miss is contextual advertising. You went to a video games site and all ads where relevant. Ads used to be informative and interesting. These days they're irrelevant, annoying and indifferent.
And I certainly don't miss the dial-up days when depending on the time of the day you might had to redial a dozen times to get a connection, and your bandwidth was a mere 28.8 Kbps which seems ridiculous by today standards.
Totally agree. If I am on a site about kiteboarding I would actually appreciate to get ads about kiteboarding. This could probably be useful. But instead I am getting ads about toasters because I bought one last week.
I wonder what the stats would be on the number of forums and overall forum activity today vs. 5, 10, or 15 years ago.
> I miss the internet of the early 1990's, back before the World Wide Web had been visited by more than just a few computer geeks.
> Yes, alternative social networks [...]. But, they are not well-known or frequented by many.
I don't think it can scale.
The internet does bring value to everyone, and that's exactly what people are complaining about.
Nowadays it easily could be, but since approximately everybody only uses the internet for Facebook and Gmail, it became too much of a hassle (and a legal liability) to provide.
The old "free" hosting services injected all kinds of obnoxious ads - banners, watermarks, pop-ups, pop-unders, Flash. Still worth it for kids who couldn't afford to set up a "real" website. Now there aren't a lot of options like that anymore. You want a website? Pay for it.
Now the web browser is more of a VM for "web applications" and the web is turning into walled gardens.
The tendency for the tech world to centralize around a single browser like Chrome is a big culprit. But once we started having auto-updaters for browsers, that was the nail in the coffin. The centralizing effect of that is huge.
Things became easier for web developers, but not necessarily better for the end user.
The new internet is in the favor of commercial interests. The open internet & the open browser is being strangled.
That's understandable, as Google have zero intention to lead to "real people" discussing things.
I also track what's happening on blogs and wikis at http://www.kickscondor.com.
There is a whole lot of great stuff going on, regardless of how popular it is. (I kind of think it's great that it's not.)
Reddit is not bad for discovering content if you understand the inherent biases, and I personally have good results with blogrolls on blogs I already enjoy such as https://slatestarcodex.com/.
There's a lot to like about being able to do my banking, shopping, etc. online. I value the contacts I've been able to make and maintain via Modern Social Media. Still, the loss of something that existed before looms larger for me than any differences between different generations of websites. The author is missing the middle period interent, and that's OK, but some of us also miss the truly old internet.
IMO this is empathically not true.
Not necessarily because Google has gotten worse -- although I will argue that in some ways it has, especially by deleting or ignoring search terms that I explicitely include in my query while freely adding others that are only vaguely connected -- but because people have gotten better at gaming the system on an immense scale. Search for basic information on a topic and more often than not everything is an ad-ridden Wordpress site with lots of big pictures and ten paragraphs of SEO-optimizing fluff (because Google likes lots of text to harvest keywords from) before the actual information. Google has utterly failed at de-prioritizing all this useless nonsense, probably because they make money from ranking it high.
I have to work much harder now than ten years ago at getting Google to return useful information.