Internet Black Hole
Highlights from when I lost my Saturday to the Internet
Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
This is a photo of me being dragged into the Internet Black Hole. The crime scene was my bed. The time of the crime was all of Saturday. When you read this newsletter, you are the victim.
This Saturday I got lost in the Internet Black Hole. It started with me watching innocent plantcare videos on YouTube and then hours later I realized that I should probably stop. Instead of going out for a run, I started to browse Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and random blogs from back when I still bookmarked websites.
It might have been a counter-reaction to the very Internet free holiday in the Alps the other week. Or it might just have been my fascination of how odd, and amazingly weird the Internet is when you take time to explore beyond the feeds you are being fed every single time you open a social media app.
Back in July I interviewed Andres from IAM about how they constantly manage to exceed all expectations when it comes to curating diverse and relevant conversations for their annual conference. I asked for specific channels or people to follow, expecting some quick fix where I can go and spot the shapers of tomorrow.
Andres’ answer was discouraging, yet very true: Today there is no excuse for not providing chances for new voices. The Internet connects us to everyone and if we just take the time to actively search for what we are curious about, then we automatically discover new voices. It doesn’t require anything from us except that we stop mindlessly following and copying what other people are feeding us and dare to take the risk of defining our own journey.
Highlights from the Internet Black Hole
Days In a Week - Internet Forums were more fun back in 2008. In this thread two bodybuilders discuss how many days there are in one week. You’d think it is a straightforward conversation, but then you find yourself 129 posts later.
19,000 Cat Videos - One devoted cat-person in Russia has been uploading cat videos to YouTube for eight years straight. There are videos of cats eating, drinking, walking. None of them went viral.
$3M to a 16YO - A 16 year old just won the first Fortnite World Cup. With this came a $3M prize. I tend to think that Ethan Klein has a point when he questions the nature of having teens compete professionally, spending hours and hours in front of their screens. Probably not much different from other sports?
Ninja Leaves Twitch - Ninja is the most well-known streamer of Fortnite. He had no chance in the World Cup, but he used the opportunity to announce that he is leaving the Amazon owned streaming platform Twitch to join the Microsoft owned platform Mixer. Rumours say that Twitch has been pushing their largest streamers to work longer shifts to increase views, not much different from how Uber has been pushing their drivers to work more. Labour unions, anyone?
Poolside.fm - This website went straight to the top of Producthunt the other week. I easily understand why. It is concentrated Internet nostalgia. See you on the poolside?
90s World Wide Web - The Internet is good for many things, but it is terrible as an archive. Millions of websites from the 90s are lost. Luckily there exists people like Olia Lialina and Dragan Espenschied who are working on saving our old HTML+CSS masterpieces. I watched this video, then clicked on all the links in the description.
Nature of Time - Many things has changed since our grand-parents’ grand-parents were not even born yet. However, the way we think about time has not. Artist Ted Hunt is on a mission to re-invent time and give us back our relationship with nature. I already backed it.
Social Media is Good - Media professor Jeff Jarvis who was one of leading thinkers back when personal blogs exploded is out calling for scientific evidence in the mass criticism of social media. I applaud, let’s actually involve social science and understand what is up and down before we enter mass hysteria.
Detoxify.app - By this point I better install the detoxify app and find a way out of this Internet Black Hole. Thanks to Sarper for sharing.
You might notice the slightly different approach to this week’s edition. Please don’t shy away from telling me if you like it or not.