Marshall Herskovitz has this interesting take on Internet sites:
They're boring, one-dimensional, and unoriginal. Who decided that all Web sites should have a top nav bar and be rectangular in layout? Who decided they should abdicate any sense of design and be white and clean and uncluttered? No one did, and that's the point. It just happened, because the creators of the Internet were thinking about other things. Because the creators of the Internet are a very distinct subspecies of humanity:
Geeks, engineers, and boys.
While i do not agree with his entire argument, it set me thinking. Of course we have moved away from the basic websites that populated the Net about seven years ago. The dot com boom ensured that.
I think the real problem is that as users we are unsure where we want this technology to move. Yes the technology is more democratic and all that crap, but as with democracy in the real life the movement towards a better world is often mired in a lot of confusion. Most of us still use the Internet as we used to ten years ago.
In 1997, I was using the Net mostly to send emails. Then about five years ago I started using it for searching stuff on the net. If getting addicted to the New York Times online can be listed as my achievement in the last one year, that's hardly any different from my reading addiction, that I have written about earlier.
Do I hear Orkut, Facebook changing the way we live? One look at the networking sites is good enough to understand that the experience is a repeat of the same shit in our real lives. How many us can claim that being part of a networking site has made a real difference to their lives? Worse we even claim to be 'friends' with people we don't even know, just to keep up with internet etiquette.
I am blogging, yes but would i be still doing it if someone offered me a byline in a magazine and paid me for it? Would it still excite me? Is it just a case that am fulfilling my dream as a five year old and my friends are humouring me?
Holy shit! What am i talking about? Maybe I'm going thru a mid life crisis in my blogging career. But can that happen ? Can i have a mid life crisis about my blogging identity on the Net? Has it been that long?
What next? Shrink sessions online!!!!