Friday, July 11, 2008

Screw Warren Ellis

What the Web doesn't need is a snarky comic book writer dictating what the Web needs.

With the majority of the Web flow being spam, porn and other garbage, and the remainder a phenomenally huge amassment of virtually impenetrable data and information, this relatively small group of people scouting for interesting items provide a valuable service. (In their spare time, mind you, and likely not on a comic book writer's wages.)

There are a vast number of fascinating topics worth exploring. With most having so little time to dig through all the crap, Web curating is a niche that is being filled because it is needed and desired. Link blogs are there because the desire exists and the traffic demands.

The rest of the world is coming online and they want information. What they don't give a flip about is what a few people were doing back in "the good old days" and they can't rely exclusively on Boing Boing and Neatorama, fine institutions as they are, to find everything they want.

It is ridiculously absurd to assume that one, or even a small handful of weblogs could cover all of the news, topics and areas of interest that would occupy the Web surfing public. A billion is an enormous number* and there are growing billions of people scouring the Internet for what they want. On top of that, there are a seemingly infinite amount of things in this universe to draw our attention... an army of bloggers couldn't keep up with it all, though they're finding their way.

It's a new Web, reborn every day, and if you don't like where it's going, step off and leave us be, old man.

*a million seconds = 11 and a half days; a billion seconds = 31.7 years; a trillion seconds = 31,709 years.


Anonymous said...

I can't stand Warren Ellis but I agree in principle with the assertion that more original content would be more satisfying than more linkblogs.
But isn't itself a linkblog, with the worst of the web for content? bleah

John M. said...

There can be as many link blogs as people want to make and read. If you make a link blog and no one stops by, eventually, you'll stop. The ones that gather readership, will continue.

I read a lot of blogs. Some are just a link and one word, some have exhaustive content. Most are somewhere in between. They all serve their purpose.

I'd much rather follow a cool link than read blivets lame or uninspiring content, and believe me, there's a lot of that. But for someone, it might be good, so keep doing what you do if people want to read it.

Is the blogosphere only to be what a few fashion police consider to be cool?

There's room for everyone.

Anonymous said...

More linkblogs is fine, as you say most of the content on the net is garbage and we need people who are dedicated to sifting through the shit to find anything of value.
I'm saying I regularly think of things I'd like to see on the internet, and can't find what I want (yesterday I was looking for a video or audio link to the Steve Miller Band's "The Beauty of Time is that It's Snowing"--couldn't find any). More content--MORE, I say!
Now if Warren Ellis is saying we need fewer linkblogs than currently exist, no, that's stupid.

John M. said...

I'm all for more content, bring it on. But with more content, you'll need more sifting. We can't escape that.

Who's to say where the cut-off point is? Who determines this? The public does, not the providers.

I'm sure the big link blogs don't want more competition, but the big ones miss A LOT. They can't possibly keep up with everything.

Guy said...

"A new type of artist arises: someone whose task is to gather together existing but overlooked pieces of amateur art, and, by directing attention onto them, to make them important. (This is part of a much larger theory of mine about the new role of curatorship, the big job of the next century.)”"

Brian Eno

John M. said...

Yes! Brilliant! Thank you.

I've heard that quote before. I only wish I'd remembered it earlier.