When I purchased this domain and arranged my first webhost, the Internet was a place of fun and play, a hobby for people as they stretched their minds. From rather simple online games, to gathering and correlating self-published articles, to strange crackpots’ conspiracy theories, the Internet was a strange and wonderful place, akin to wandering into a back-alley coffee shop on or near any university.
Now, it’s become a marketplace. Everyone has ads covering every spare pixel of screen space. Some sites, you can’t tell the ads from the content, and even if you can tell the content from the ads, there are such liberal sprinklings of “endorsements” and other product placements, that the content is a secondary or tertiary concern.
Other websites make a business of writing introductions to topics, usually of dubious quality and even more dubious linkage to reality, enough to whet your appetite but not satisfy your craving or need for practical knowledge, only to sell you the answers in webinars or ebooks or real-world conference. Some don’t even bother with any kind of corroboration, or create other websites to corroborate each other in a grand circle-jerk of secret mutual congratulation.
And a specially heinous kind of website are robotic plagiarisms, simply scraping other news sites, blogs, that collect posts from other websites and present it as their own without even bothering to change a single word.
And then there’s the darker side, where some sites try to install malware, viruses or trojans, in the forms of animations or ads or games, to collect as many infected computers as possible to make massive denial of service attacks against major corporations or government computers.
And then there are sites that combine the above-listed methods, and even a few that do all of the above.
Sometimes it makes me sick. To see this playground that I was introduced to so many years ago torn down and recreated by effervescent corporatist buzzword-fanatics who all use the same themes and fonts and color schemes and stock images to create a self-deception. I long for the old days, in the 90s when we were just figuring out HTML 4 and CSS, looking forward to XHTML/XML/Ajax/Web 2.0 and praying for the end of flash.
But you cannot rewind time. You cannot go back. You can only go forward.
So, I’m coming back to my website. I lost my focus a few years ago, but I kept trying to write through it and ended up losing my way entirely. I let this website languish while I tried to find my center again.
Well, my center isn’t where it used to be. So, it’s time to create a new one. By remembering what those original creators on the Internet did – freely sharing information, fun, and unleaded toys online with each other, to make life a bit better.
I’m thankful for those big-boys who still manage to keep kinda-aligned to the intents of that old Internet, like Wikipedia and Google and Reddit and Imgur and others. I think I’ll throw in with them, in my own little way.
I don’t know how often I’ll be able to post. I’ve tried to return more than a couple of times, and each time I’ve fallen by the wayside again.
I hope I have some staying time, this time around.