Monday, August 20, 2007

The Internets

This is about the Internets.

I was bored a few weeks ago, and scrolled through a bunch of random blogs – you know how on Blogger there’s the “Next Blog” button? And it takes you to someone’s blog at random?

I felt a little bit like that commercial “You have reached the end of the Internet”, because a couple of times I was directed to the same blog over and over.

Do you remember when in the early 1990s there was a button on Yahoo, I think, where you could see the “New” webpages as they were being added daily, and the Internet was so small, like a public school library? And all of a sudden it’s the Library of Congress? Except much bigger and in every language under the sun?

Anyway, here is what I discovered cruising Blogger – people use the hosting service in the weirdest ways. Maybe this is indicative of the blogosphere in general.

1. Personal diaries. By far the most common use, no? Sometimes sarcastic commentary. Wondering about the purpose of live. That’s sort of what I am doing, I guess. Common cultural ground. It’s funny to read music references on people’s blogs, and think “yep, they are 30 yrs old”, and be right after looking at the profile. But that’s a different post.

2. Family updates. The number of stay-at-home moms blogging is staggering. I get it, you are at home, and everything is a new experience, and your child is the most precious thing under the sun, and you found a good way to keep the grandparents updated. But do you have to blog about poop? Can't we just see pretty pictures?

3. Political rants. Less common than you’d think. Mostly liberal.

4. Travelogues. Some are abandoned, created solely about one trip in 2005. Some are sad – two midwives working in Uganda in a hut with no resourses. The one I really enjoyed is a guy on some sort of religious mission teaching ESL in South Korea. Soooooo sheltered.

5. Pages in Japanese. Can’t read those at all.

6. Pages in Spanish. Don’t know Spanish.

7. Pages in Italian. Ditto.

8. Pages in Dutch. Or Swedish. Or some other Scandinavian language. Can’t read that either.

9. Pages in Portuguese. These often have to do with various soccer teams.

10. Pages solely dedicated to a sport – auto racing, baseball, etc.

11. Pages in French – these I can actually understand somewhat.

12. Porn. You’d think it wouldn’t exist on Blogger, but when I first came across a page selling undergarments (how cheap do you have to be? You can’t pay $8.95 for your own web address?) I thought porn wouldn’t be far off, and I was right. Also, people trying to sell you web services and jewelry. Once again, WHY use Blogger? Cheapskates.

13. Religious freaks. God is great, and you should feel that way too.

14. And the one that made me want to call child services. Unfortunately, I will never find this page again, and I did not think to copy the URL at the time. A diary of an anorexic/bulimic girl, detailing her struggle with food. Probably not more than 18, living someplace in Europe. Complete with photographs of women (models) she finds attractive, and some pics that could have been her. Very scary, because only concentration camp victims are that thin, and there is NOTHING sexy about your spine sticking out. It made me very sad, because if nobody helps this girl, she will die. She would beat herself up for eating 500 kcal a day. She would triumph when the only thing she ate all day was an orange. She referred to her disorders as Ana and Mia, like they are her friends who are helping her through the day. Her blog tagline was “beautiful dolls…cause the prince always rides off into the sunset with the thinnest princess.” It makes me afraid to ever have a daughter.


riese said...

What amazes me is the number of blogs out there that've been abandoned. When we were hunting down URLs for our teevee show, we kept coming across unfinished blogs, usually related to Jesus's willingness to repent for your sins, that had been untouched since like, 05.

And I did this whole "mommy blog" project for nerve when they were launching their parenting website, I was like, holy crap. These people have a lot of shit to say and a lot of time on their hands.

ANI said...

I also saw abandoned blogs that get taken over by spammers - I am not 100% sure of the mechanics involved here, but the name and even some posts on the blog are retained from the original, yet the content is all "Best Hemmorhoid Medicine" and "Prevent Cold Sores by Smoking Crack" etc.