Everyone, lately, has been talking about Google’s purchase of Pyra – the makers of Blogger. While that is newsworthy and should be interesting to follow, there is something I find more troubling about the way Google has become synonymous with the web. It all comes down to the idea of what the web is.
Now, I will preface by saying that we all have different ideas of what the web is. Other than a good resource for porn and MP3s, that is. With Google, it becomes an easy-to-use research tool. That’s great, but the dark side of this power is not knowing what lies out there.
As you know, Ryan and I run a site called The Daily Ping (you’re reading it right now.) Nearly two-and-a-half years ago, Ryan wrote a rather serious Ping about progeria. If you peruse the comments, though, you’ll find something disturbing: a littany of people writing papers on progeria looking for pictures. A few of those requests are strictly for laughs (and are a nice respite), but the majority are serious.
It makes me wonder what the hell happened to intelligence. Ryan even went so far as to put a message on the very top of the page telling people that he had no resources for pictures, or “help” on a report. Yet the requests keep coming and coming.
I blame this squarely on a lack of education. The problem is coupled with a total lack of “netiquette”, which seems to have gone entirely forgotten. If one actually took the time to read a page, instead of blitzing to a form and posting rubbish, one might truly find something useful – or, more importantly, find that the resource she found wasn’t suitable.
But that’s rarely the case. The web is becoming one big AOL chat room – and good resources, really good ones, are becoming deluged with ignorance. Combined with the 12-year-old boy theory, the web has become a lot less useful and worthy in some ways.
Maybe Pinger Matt had it right in the comments for that 12-year-old boy theory Ping. He said, “Once you get past the idea that the internet can ‘do a lot more’ you will be happy. The internet is for porn, e-mail, and obnoxious comments.” He might be right.
In that case, I’d like to tell people in the progeria Ping: “Yo momma.”
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