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emnsk
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Disclaimer: I suggest reading the whole way or skipping to the end, this is not meant to be a whole doom & gloom / rant post as you may assume based on the tone at the beginning.

Part of why I took to this site is a lingering interest I have in the older site of the internet, when things were more simple and less run by huge corporations. There's a lot of charm I find in reading old forums, or looking at how some people used to have personal websites/blogs, and maybe newsletters or whatever.

Now of course, this is just a guess, I don't know how successful it was back then in reality, but it just seems more real, ya know? Like if you had a personal webpage/blog with those html guestbooks, you link it to a few friends, you go to the sites or read the newsletters of friends you wanted to keep up with. Email was... e-mail!

Now, social media is powerful. And don't get me wrong, I think it has benefitted people a lot. It allows for people to start brands and online things that can go viral and succeed and what not. But a comment I came across really hit the mark. It said something along the lines of how, back in the day, the number one blogging rule was to "not to read the comments", but now, all common social media is just that... comments.

In general, the old stuff seems so much more "slow". Like right now, I'm typing out this post. You may see it, type out a response. There's no notification system, there's no instant messaging, it all takes effort. And I feel that effort is the differentiator. When you need to put some effort, you really want to do something. A lot of the "new internet" seems unnecessary, forced.

Shooting off of that, you had to learn some basic HTML or CSS to run your site, now everything is done for you. I guess you could say, now you learn Instagram or Twitter or SEO or whatever tf, and we're just levelling up, but for the average person just creating their site, is that so? I'm not sure.

And I think that is what has also implanted this kind of you know "privacy bug" in me. Not in the sense of like cyber-security, that's another thing, but not wanting to put my identity on the internet. Like here, I try not to give too much away, or on social media in general, where I do have accounts, I don't share much, cause even with a private account, you end up following a lot of people you just meet. And then also the issue of data, you're giving your stuff to these corporations. And then you can go down whatever rabbit hole comes next.

An interesting thing to consider is also comparing Facebook and Instagram. Both are social media, but I think that Facebook kind of bridged the old form and the new form, whereas Instagram streamlined it entirely. And no one really uses Facebook among the younger folk, at least to my knowledge. I've never used Facebook except for like some of its specialized features.

But, I don't mean to have all doom and gloom. What sparked me to make this post initially was this and the realization that... I'm being a bit hypocritical in my thought process. Am I just projecting myself being in a bubble? Do I need to stay in the "social media" sphere? It isn't like that is gatekeeping popular media, right? I could just go and finally set up an RSS feed and a webpage of my own, and get on with it. All the tools still exist, and they're getting better. Maybe the whole doom and gloom was somewhat self-inflicted, by limiting myself to the bubble this whole time. There is a whole world still out there.
You can still do what you want.

3/20/2024 7:50:16 AM

The Coz
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Well, congratulations, because you found the best site on the internet. Can't get enough of that CrazyCode!

3/20/2024 8:19:09 AM

FroshKiller
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I've set up a few personal sites and blogs over the years, had a podcast for a while, was active on forums, etc. Micro-blogging (like Facebook posts or tweeting) really lowered the energy threshold for participating and brought much more immediate rewards.

If I made a post on pwnt.org back in the day, the only way people would know is if they visited the site themselves, someone sent them a link, or they subscribed to the RSS feed. The only way I knew anyone read it is if they told me or I guessed people read it based on page views. The only way I knew what anyone who read the post thought of it was if they left a comment, because there weren't really reactions (e.g. ratings, likes, etc.) like that available on most personal sites.

When Friendster and Myspace came along, it made it easier to put stuff out there and easier for people to see it. You didn't have five friends with personal sites you might occasionally visit if you remembered. You had fifteen friends who were using these other sites, and you saw all their updates in the same place.

When smartphone apps came along and the social platforms released their own apps with push notifications, the time between posting and getting reactions shortened a hell of a lot. I used to check Facebook like once a day at most before smartphones. After, I'd post after seeing a movie or whatever, and the likes would roll in after a few minutes.

No thought or craft required, either. Just fire off a sentence. You'd get reactions. It was very different from when I would post weekly comic reviews on my comics blog and maybe get two comments from readers spread over the next 30 days.

I kinda hate it. I was always an email guy. Email was the cool thing to me. It was the whole reason I wanted Internet access. Send a letter to anyone anywhere in the world for basically nothing, and they'll even receive it within minutes most of the time. It's quaint in an era with ubiquitous video calling. But it felt and still feels personal in a way shitposting on Bluesky doesn't.

Can't unring that bell, though. I still email, I still invite people to email me, but it doesn't seem like the norm.

The pendulum might swing back. I think people would be much more likely to retreat from centralized platforms like Facebook if owning & protecting your personal data weren't a huge pain in the ass. No clue what the solution looks like there.

3/20/2024 8:21:48 AM

emnsk
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Quote :
"If I made a post on pwnt.org back in the day, the only way people would know is if they visited the site themselves, someone sent them a link, or they subscribed to the RSS feed. "

Exactly.

Quote :
"I was always an email guy. Email was the cool thing to me. It was the whole reason I wanted Internet access. Send a letter to anyone anywhere in the world for basically nothing, and they'll even receive it within minutes most of the time."

I know, right! I love email! Hell, I sometimes write emails to some friends instead of texting them. It's kind of a joke for them, and we do an overly formal reply, but I love the feeling of crafting a message for someone once in a while instead of the whole back and forth messaging.
And yeah, part of why the internet is so amazing, and what I think I've kind of missed in the blinding light of "mega-media", is exactly what you said, being able to send something to anyone on the world. I read about this professor's work and sent him an email, and he replied. It was just so equal.

Quote :
"The pendulum might swing back."

My very uneducated theory is the effective destruction of the open web as we know it by super advanced bots eventually (so much AI and BS that it becomes static), forcing us to go back to basics and set up our own private keyed sites or some sort of new technology that in effect models what was once before.

[Edited on March 20, 2024 at 8:36 AM. Reason : 1]

3/20/2024 8:36:17 AM

fatcatt316
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I was thinking about this (the charm of the internet) the other day, but from a different perspective.

There used to be tons of different, weird websites you'd visit every day or so, and then you could also find out about cool websites from other people and places like StumbleUpon.

Lately, I realized I only go to the same few websites (Reddit, TWW, LinkedIn, brentroad, etc.). I'm sure there are tons of small, niche, more personal websites out there, but none that I frequent.

All that to say, anyone know a good way to find some more interesting, different, smaller websites to add to my rotation?

3/20/2024 9:13:53 AM

FroshKiller
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fatcatt316 said:
Quote :
"All that to say, anyone know a good way to find some more interesting, different, smaller websites to add to my rotation?"


I hate almost everyone who comments on Hacker News, but it is a good source of relatively diverse links, many of which lead to blogs, journals, project websites, etc. that are worth bookmarking and checking in on from time to time.

https://news.ycombinator.com/

There are a few sites I've found from posts there related to gaming that I've really enjoyed:

https://filfre.net/ - The Digital Antiquarian, a blog about the history of video games with a focus on PC gaming

http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/ - Hardcore Gaming 101, not as obnoxious as it sounds. Individual contributors submitting reviews of all sorts of video games from over the years with podcasts, books, and even a good ol' ProBoards forum

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/ - Rock Paper Shotgun, a PC gaming blog catering to European gamers, which is nice for a different perspective (and has a good community)

3/20/2024 9:29:11 AM

rjrumfel
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Frosh, I share your love of email. Not sure if you have any kids, or any kids in school, but I absolutely abhor these communication apps that parents are supposed to use to communicate back and forth with teachers. It feels unpolished and unprofessional. I want an email I can send and of which keep records. Messages sent in these apps are gone once you uninstall the app or get a new phone. I guess there’s an online portal for most apps as well, but those apps aren’t mine. Perhaps you can download a transcript? I don’t know.

And this also allows shit messages to be sent out multiple times a day. If you need to get in touch with me, gather all your thoughts together in one place and send me an email with a list of items. I don’t want to pick up my phone seven times a day with seven different updates or notifications.

/end rant

3/20/2024 10:21:15 AM

The Coz
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Preach!

3/20/2024 10:50:30 AM

emnsk
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^^^^

https://neocities.org/
https://512kb.club/

You can find lots of interesting stuff on newsletter sites, Substack and Medium. A lot of semi-prominent folks, be it sports or entertainment, write on them.

One thing I've thought about is school. When you're in grade school, you're constantly hearing about the new stuff and at least for me, random fun websites.

Try to find websites that model your hobbies too. Like if you like writing, there are many sites where people share and publish short stories that allow you to add in art and stuff and customize it, and read other people's stories too. I used a school-age version of this when I was in middle school, but there are plenty of generic ones mostly used by adults.

This is actually where the generic sites like reddit and social media come in use, cause they have plenty of people who index these sites for you. For example, for what I said about writing, if you search "short story writing and sharing websites, reddit", there will be posts recommending them to you.

I also second FroshKiller on https://news.ycombinator.com/. I've found them to have what I'm looking for several times on my web surfing expeditions, with a variety of "blogs, journals, [and] project websites".

[Edited on March 20, 2024 at 11:11 AM. Reason : 123]

3/20/2024 11:07:29 AM

rjrumfel
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They have tried to gamify elementary education too much. Too many “fun” websites. Shit, they don’t even have math textbooks anymore.

3/20/2024 11:08:22 AM

justinh524
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All you need to teach math is fake coins and plastic cubes

3/20/2024 11:28:38 AM

emnsk
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^^When I was in elementary school, we had:

https://pbskids.org/games (seems to have gone a bit downhill)

https://www.starfall.com/h/holiday/snowman/?sn=main (oh man, playing this again was a trip)

Cool math games? I don't think that was used in school though.

Apart from that, I don't remember the other educational games. But there were other game websites (which connects to the spirit of the thread), that were unique websites you had to go to, and which sometimes also doubled as social in some way. This was part of the beauty of the web to me as a kid.
- Poptropica
- Club Penguin?
- https://www.friv.com/ (this used to be bookmarked by default in the local YMCA computer, another place YOUD SIT DOWN TO USE. this reminds me. the YMCA had a gaming room with the kinect XBOX, and foosball and stuff. That rocked! I don't know if it just growing up or that they are memories, but life as a kid felt a lot like tunnel vision... you just lived)
- tons of flash games and various sites
- and various other flash games sites. there were tons of popular games that were spread across multiple sites. were these only played by people my age or did you guys hit them in college and your 20s?

There was https://totaljerkface.com/ (Happy Wheels).

Then there was an era of IO games (slither.io, agar.io, diep.io, wings.io, splix.io) and gig games (https://googlefeud.com, https://www.higherlowergame.com/.

Then there were games like https://skribbl.io/ and https://garticphone.com/. The latter played 100% with people you knew. quiplash was a party game one too. I really like party games (physical or digital), they're super fun. Mafia!

geoguessr

I was never much of a PC/console gamer, I had some Nintendo growing up, but nothing more than Mario and Mario Kart and Wii Sports/Resort. Some of my friends were, so I'd only really play shooters and all that stuff with them, never really did on my own. Not that I don't think I'd like it, I do want to try Halo on my own once, like the story version, I've played multiplayer a lot.

I think a lot of the trends then were engineering via YouTube. Which is now what I guess I'm disconnected from? Part of the fun was in school, everyone playing a flash game on one person's device or something, cause you were all pushed and kept together, so everything spread fast and that's what you did.

Now I get more and more confused on what I'm supposed to consume, death of mass media, all that. And I feel like because of that I end up wasting a lot of time I could enjoy just browsing or doing stuff like reading TWW (no offense, I enjoy it).

When we had computers though, we went to a little computer lab. I hope they don't give kids iPads now. I think going to the computer labs was good for learning typing.
And these were probably the last few years where computers (in my life) were a place you had to sit down to access. Sure, we had laptops, but not for me then. I remember sitting down in the computer lab for some time to write a paper on a president. What is crazy is cause you had limited access, you had to make the most of it. Right now, I'm busy writing messages on TWW instead of writing... a paper (not really a paper, but had to go for the repetition).
I feel like my time used to regulate itself, not out of anyone telling me what to do... my parents were pretty hands off, but it just happened automatically, even though I was never much of a planner... more go with the flow type of guy. I don't know if it was habit or whatever, now everything feels more forced. Like, if I want to play the "https://www.higherlowergame.com/" again, it would feel like a task I have to schedule instead of something that naturally used to happen. Maybe I'm not supposed to play it then and just move on with what I currently must do? I don't know (that's just an example, I don't literally mean this game or games at all, whatever it may be).


also, to fatcatt316, check these out too:
https://goblin-heart.net/sadgrl/cyberspace/surf-the-web
https://yesterweb.org/

^holy shit justin yeah, we used the plastic cubes too. I forgot the exact name of the topic though? It was 1s, 10s, and all that jazz I think????????????????????????

[Edited on March 20, 2024 at 11:56 AM. Reason : justin]

3/20/2024 11:45:51 AM

Snewf
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I'm waiting for this internet trend to blow over. I'd like to subscribe to your poorly photocopied zines, thanks.

3/20/2024 12:04:40 PM

emnsk
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^^

BASE 10 BASE 10

3/20/2024 12:08:52 PM

BubbleBobble
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Quote :
"LOCAL

YMCA

COMPUTER"

3/20/2024 4:11:00 PM

BubbleBobble
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I used to be charmed by the internet, but then I took an arrow in the knee I got high

nah fr tho permahigh means nothing means anything after a while

early internet was counterculture, today's internet is just saturated culture :3

3/20/2024 4:41:21 PM

StTexan
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The internet is the shit. I can look at hot bitches getting fucked like 24-7

3/20/2024 10:26:02 PM

emnsk
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way to taint the thread

[Edited on March 21, 2024 at 1:51 AM. Reason : !]

3/21/2024 1:51:19 AM

tchenku
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You're right about the effort.

Another aspect to that is that these days, any Joe Schmoe can shit-talk any 1000's of subjects that come across their feed. Back in the day, you'd have to already have an interest in a subject to look up a message board in the first place, then you'd have go through the hassle of making a username, etc etc. Your toxic shit-talker isn't going to bother with all that.

3/21/2024 8:30:58 AM

The Coz
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Mostly agree, but we have some suspended users who wish to counter your last point.

3/21/2024 8:52:57 AM

BubbleBobble
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Quote :
"I can look at hot bitches getting fucked like 24-7"


nttawtt

3/21/2024 5:18:16 PM

BubbleBobble
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also, that was def a DnL post

I'm back onto you, buddy

3/21/2024 5:18:43 PM

fatcatt316
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Thanks for the recommendations, FroshKiller n' emnsk

3/21/2024 9:12:45 PM

Kickstand
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There are some good responses in this thread and I have enjoyed reading them. Modern apps and the way information is presented to us has segmented our attention spans. I hate it, but I see it infiltrating my life. Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Reddit, Tik-Tok. Did I leave any out? You could spend 30 minutes shuffling through those apps back-to-back and learn a little bit about a lot of topics. Are you really learning quality information, though?
I'll then ride down the road with someone and have conversations about 10 different subjects in a 20 minute drive. Is that my segmented brain from constant phone scrolling or just undiagnosed ADHD?
I, too, miss the internet from when you had to dig a little deeper to become informed on a topic.

3/22/2024 10:24:38 PM

emnsk
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^

3/24/2024 12:51:23 PM

emnsk
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Watching sports, I actually like cable -- I find it comforting. I feel like when I stream on the laptop or whatever it's just the game and you can get distracted. Having the sports analysts, the networks.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of the TV rights BS they do is horrendous, but it feels good to just have it be a bit mainstream as compared to browsing twitter on the side or whatever or watching YT videos and having to choose and find the good stuff.

[Edited on March 30, 2024 at 12:58 AM. Reason : 1]

3/30/2024 12:58:26 AM

StTexan
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What is the newest info here bros

3/30/2024 1:25:09 AM

BubbleBobble
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^^I got you wrong, bro

3/31/2024 10:27:34 AM

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