How the web was lost 🥺

How the web was lost 🥺

note: Originally published October 26, 2010. It has gotten much worse since then.

As a web connoisseur and general technologue, and more importantly as a person who generally has enjoyed studying topics on her own even before there was an internet to facilitate it, I can’t tell you the number of hours I have spent online reading.  Sometimes for work, sometimes for pleasure, sometimes because I have a burning need to remember a fact that I have partially forgotten and sometimes, like so many of us, just because I am bored and am hoping to find something that strikes a cord in my creative heart.  Yet lately, I find myself wondering more and more what the hell is happening to the internet.

I can remember a time when you could do a search and quickly find dozens of articles, unique in their ideas, opinions and presentations (yes sometimes in spite of those tacky little flickering flames).  It was in these days that I was slowly able to wean myself off of the weekly trips to the public library (and inevitable trip to the bookstore afterwards) to join the lively world of “real time information”.

But as I said, I recently find myself wondering what the hell happened.  What once was a playground of diversity has become a homogenous goo of words without substance.  Worse still, the same words over and over and over again.  I imagined a web tzar filtering out the diversity or perhaps a group of hackers proving themselves in their stealth and perversity.  It was only recently, while looking through the freelancer want-ads that I came to fully understand the problem.  It seems that those willing to pay for “quality writing” don’t want anything that requires a human to do it:

I need full time writers to study google trends data, and write 150 -200 word posts based on what is “trending”. The content needs to be unique, and possibly researched if the writer is not familiar with the topic. We would want the writer to write for 8 hours …

we have really an unlimited budget for this, but we are paying for each post… each post will also be run through copyscape to make sure it’s unique content.

We are paying 3$ per post. So if you give us 20 posts, we pay $60.