No More Quirky Internet

A brief essay from Dan Harvey published in Warren Ellis’ email newsletter (Orbital Operations) this week:

This is why our once quirky, random, charming web has devolved into one colossal attention harvesting mechanism. The Internet is chock full of “commercial junk” in the words of Tim Wu. At the centre of all this are “data factories” and “attention merchants” like Facebook and Twitter. They are all attempting to capture your most scarce resource — your attention — and take it hostage for money. Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising revenue.

Being away from most forms of social media (no Facebook, no Instagram) and attending more to newsletters and blogs has confirmed, for me, Harvey’s observation. Long live the quirky, random, charming web!