Stuck in the web

Okay so here’s the thing, the web got too big. way. too. BIG.

The web outgrew itself, swallowed itself up, and is rapidly swallowing us all up to. I liked the web a lot better when it was scrappy and small, when search was crap and most of what you found online came via risky-click emails, or even riskier recommendations from that kid in your class called Jack whose brother was into all sorts of questionable shit.

Some folks think this is elitism, that I’m complaining about more people coming online. That’s not it. I’m thrilled that more people have made it online, That’s Fucking Cool™. What’s not cool is that with so many people having come online, a lot of money has come online too.

Don’t forget, this world we live in has been bought, out from under us, by the advertisers. That was true before the internet, and it’s even truer now.

The media’s content, the news and entertainment, the features and “specials,” is the lure to get us exposed to the advertisements. The end is the advertising, the process of inducing people to spend as much money as possible on consumer products and services. Entertainment and news are merely instrumental to the goal of the advertiser. They are there to win audiences for the advertisers, to keep people tuned in and turned on. The objective is commercial gain, the sale of mass-produced goods to a mass market.
— Michael Parenti, Inventing Reality

Something magical happened when the internet was born – to begin with, there was no money in it. And when the stakes are low like that (…no money) people are at their most creative, so for a while there was heaps of unvarnished, unqualified, authentic creativity happening.

Then came the money.

With people flocking to this new web thing, the advertisers realised this was fast becoming a Viable Market™ for selling people shit they don’t need at prices they can’t afford. Just Capital!

What the Dopamine?!

Only this was gonna be a whole lot worse. “This is big” said the Mad Men, “This is major”. Advertising is about eyeballs, and the web proved to be god’s gift to the advertisers too because if eyeballs are your business, imagine being able to insert yourself literally between eyeballs and the thing those poor eyeballs were actually looking at!

But it didn’t stop there. The Mad Men realised they could step into the content itself: “what if we make ads that look like content! The plebs will never know the difference! Sure, it might lead to a global existential crisis and civilisation-scale anxiety, but think of all the money!” And so that’s what they did, and here we are

Well fuck you and your money!

Still, I think we’ll have to do better than just whining about the big Mad Men if we’re going to get out from under their thumb. Here’s the agenda in four simple steps, better suggestions welcome:

  1. Ignore them
  2. Pretend the web is small
  3. ???
  4. The web is small

I haven’t figured out that third step yet, but I reckon all it’ll involve is some sort of low-probability, global scale, guerilla Reverse Merger by us, the malnourished underclass of the web.

Until then I’ll be collecting links to small web stuff here. From this point forward, all links on this page will be to little gems of the small web. There’ll be no spoilers and very little preamble so buckle up, click a link, and see how big the small web really is.

DISCLAIMER: This is a work in progress, you might say it’s…

Under construction

Who’s this sad girl, and is her Yesterweb the same as my smolweb? I think it is! EPIC. Maybe we’re Rediscovering the Small Web already, now we just need to BRING BACK THE HOMEPAGE and get on the list at those ultra-exclusive clubs, ya know, RSS Clubs like this, and this.

Maybe if we dance hard enough we can tackle The Website Obesity Crisis

What’s a condor, and why are we kicking it?

Let’s use the web to create neat new exciting things.
Let’s use the web to help people understand each other.
Tim Berners-Lee (y’know, the guy who created the WORLD WIDE WEB)

Cheers Tim :)

TLDR : ads suck, and advertisers suck the oxygen out of the world. Don’t be an ad man, don’t be an ad woman, don’t be an ad-pronoun of any kind, just be yourself.

Under construction