Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Web Fads

On a recent podcast of TWiT (This Week in Tech), one of the guys commented that blogging has polluted the net with redundant information. Several members of the panel echoed the idea that a Google search on any topic can yield an enormous amout of results, many irrelevant in part due to the rants and raves of so many people on these silly blogs discussing the same or similar subject. They complained that so many people just copy and paste content from other's sites that it becomes more and more difficult to trace to the source.

So with all that in mind, I'm going to link to a very interesting commentary I recently read regarding web fads that have come and gone. When I think of a "fad," I think of the 1970's. I think of bell bottoms, pet rocks, "un-" somethings, disco, etc. (I was born in 1972, so I can't say I actually remember any of these fads, I just heard about them in the 80's). Or maybe the 1980's with the shirt collars turned up (I'm happy to say I never did that--wasn't nearly cool enough), parachute pants, and of course, electronic drums in top 40 music (not that I ever listened to any of that).

"Fad" and "internet" are two words that don't seem to belong together to me. It doesn't seem like the internet has been around long enough to have earned the word "fad." But everything in computers and the internet moves much faster than real life, and actually in some ways makes "real life" seem faster.

I think the first time I actually used the internet (Old man voice: "when I was a kid...") was in 1992 or 1993 at Cedarville College (now Cedarville University). It involved a walk to the "computer lab" where we could send e-mail to one of the two or three people we knew that had an e-mail address. I think the first person I ever e-mailed was my buddy Brian Yates. (You still out there, Yates?) Ohio to New Jersey. How cool was that? I don't remember having the "web." I only remember connecting to a less user-friendly "gopher" system. That system didn't let you go from place to place very fluidly. You had to keep back tracking up the menu. All I remember looking up on that system was the weather.

The web has changed so much in the last ten years since it's explosion into every day life, and has evolved so quickly that I have forgotten about so many of these things listed in this article. Things such as page counters and award banners have fallen by the wayside, (thankfully) but I've hardly noticed until he pointed it out.

Happy reading.