I could have called this the good, the bad, and the ugly but since that’s a little cliché and already taken, I’ll stick with adventures. I do this thing daily and every session brings both joy and annoyance and in between those two extremes are things that simply provoke thought and wonder. So here we go with a few things encountered just this morning…
good: obscure little gem
A blog with a single post from 2013 features a delightful music video from 2010 and though many of the links on the page are broken, I’d be a fool not to share it somewhere so enjoy!
bad: what were they thinking
There’s something I encounter now and then that’s more comical than it is annoying and I can’t help but question what the site designer was thinking when they decided to put all the important links in the footer. While that, in itself, is not really a problem, the site in question also keeps adding content at the bottom as you scroll down.It does so over and over again leaving you to wonder just how long you’re going to have to keep scrolling before you finally have a chance to click on that Privacy link you keep seeing for a tenth of a second in the footer. It’s a usability nightmare, thank you very much and as funny as it is, I just don’t wanna play no more.
ugly: you won’t slap me again
You’ve seen it and it’s a most disturbing trend. You land on a site’s homepage for the first time and a big box is overlaid on the page. They want you to sign up for their oh-so-important newsletter and decided that getting your attention is so critical that they’ll make you have to take some action (sign up or close the overlay) to get to the content. To me, that’s a fucking slap in the face and I am so gone!
When I launched the daily pointers back in 2000, every day brought an assortment of new personal (and other non-commercial) sites onto the web. Since that time, the number of sites going offline or stagnant has increased drastically while the number of new sites has similarly decreased. Needless to say, the original mission of the project has morphed into something quite different over time.
Links that aren‘t filtered in some way have limited value in my opinion. My choices to link to particular sites, simply put, are based on certain subjective criteria. You may choose to visit entirely different sites if your criteria are different and in that case, the usefulness of my links is probably quite limited to you. The world would be a boring place if we all liked exactly the same things and I realize that just few people might appreciate my pointers. It’s for those few people and myself that I even make the effort. My general criteria when I think of a ‘personal’ site include the following:
- The content is not commercial nor motivated by financial gain (though not necessarily personal content).
- Site is free of advertising and/or unexpected annoyances.
- Site is new or updates periodically or at least, has creative content worthy of a revisit.
Again, I should emphasize that this is all subjective. I never link to sites that I myself do not enjoy and in the cases where it matches for you, that’s great, and in any case, I’m always thankful for the diversity in thought and tastes in the world.
how the mission has changed
In the beginning, it was relatively easy to find many new sites and that was the project’s main focus. Relinking to sites was generally infrequent back then. Over time, the main focus has more become tracking which already-linked sites are still alive and updating while still keeping an eye open for new sites (which frankly, have become more difficult to find). This results in many cases of relinking to sites based on just how alive they still are.
I do this for me. Keeping track of that part of the personal web which is still alive and thriving is both enjoyable and meaningful to me and should you derive a little enjoyment is the process, just color me tickled.
In light of current events, I’ve severed all ties with Tumblr. As a result, linkscatter.com is temporarily offline. I’ll be busy migrating its content to my own servers and hope to have it up and running again very soon. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Update, 11:58pm: The lights are back on and a few entries have been re-posted to the new linkscatter. Slowly but surely, I’ll be restoring a good amount of its content and original permalinks. Yay!