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who you calling boring, punk?

Oh blah blah blah. If you think the web's gotten boring, you're just not looking very hard. In fact, I'd say that the web is a lot more interesting now than a year ago (though making generalizations like this is stupid, because no one could possibly look at everything (except you, Google, you big hunk of linky love, you)). The vaporware companies with no business plans have evaporated, and the web once again belongs to the freaks and geeks (and the few companies that get it).

Now is a great time for the web! I've seen more interesting projects turn up in the last year than I can count, and I feel like we're just getting started. Weblogs, community sites, real world experiments. RSS, XML, web services. And more and more.

It's a shame the New York Times prints baseless tripe like this. Taking quotes from a couple burnouts and pairing them with a few general statistics in big type is sloppy journalism at best, and a personal grudge at worst.

So, hey, I have an idea....


Since Lisa Guernsey clearly needs a hand finding interesting stuff on the web, let's help her out. Post your favorite, most interesting, least boring links below, and I'll forward them to her next week. Whaddayasay?

{ 3:15pm }



» I'll start: Dear Lisa, here are a few places that you can count on to link to interesting stuff on the web on a regular basis. Some of them even include conversations, so you can really put your finger on the pulse of those wacky web people: Fark, MetaFilter, Plastic, and K5. Woo! Interesting!

Derek M. Powazek  { 3.28.02 @ 3:36pm }

» How about for book lovers? Everyone at the NYT reads right? Well since publisher do such an awful job of using the web, may I offer up Moby Lives, Good Reports and Booklend?

Kevin  { 3.28.02 @ 11:58pm }

» people have seemed to be experimenting less than they were in 1995, but I've seen a real resurgence in the past year or so. The tools are getting easier to use, and it's more common for a single person to create a big community or multi-user application that makes for interesting websites that couldn't be made years ago.

Filepile is the biggest new interesting thing overlooked by the article. It's barely a year old now, and it's a great place to exchange music,
movies, html/text files and pictures. Among the images lies the magic as a
new culture was born of people photoshoping in new elements, carrying themes from one set of images to another, or artists adorning images on a regular basis.

exchange sites: the santa project this past xmas, and the various CD
exchange projects are promising. Create a group of people that want to share their favorite things form these systems where you make something for the next person down the line, and the person before you makes something for you. (wasn't there a site called or something like that where people just sent random stuff to each other? wasn't it on at some point?)

20 things: art exchange site where 20 artists make 20 copies of their art, sending them out to 19 other people (keeping one for themself). The other 19 do the same, and after a month or so, all 20 people have 20 works of art.

you mentioned k5, but Kuro5hin is something really amazing. A self-selecting and organizing community of mostly tech geeks that talk about everything under the sun. To allow voting, sorting, and various displays of the site, every page has enough tools to kill a horse and get the interactivity and change in the community that each member wants. It's a great democratic, emergent way to manage and organize information.

With the tools available today, it's possible for someone to pick up a
little php and a little mysql and tomorrow have the mirror project,
waferbaby's fusion, or photoshop tennis on their site, entertaining us all.

mathowie  { 3.29.02 @ 12:32am }

» Although in actual fact I agree with the article linked to by Lisa Guernsey, here a few favorites from two years ago that are still excellent -

– lucien  { 3.29.02 @ 2:12am }

» The web transitioned from a brand new toy store or candy shop to the book store, museum, gallery, library, distance learning, news/magazine stand, studio, and/or coffee shop? In the process, it grew up. Blogs. Communities. Communication, the Arts and Science, Connections. Free expression. Exchange. The best of the web was and is beyond the surface. It requires that closer look with work or self involvement, and not the remote control/TV mentality.

regular favorites: more than a bookstore,, great reference.
the van Gogh Gallery dedicated work -outstanding collection, artchive,
Library of Congress[Memories collection], Smithsonian,
google - *the* tool to find just about anything... one might want or need to know.

Interactive Collaborative art/expression :,,,,,, Photo Booth Chronicles,,

I have been involved in a few collaborative projects. Writing with a small online group or community back in 1997, and art via a small group of digital artists, programmers, etc. It is great fun, and I like the new move that bridges the Internet past the connections. Like GeoCaching, the 1000Journals, and I believe I read about a postcardX? project, somewhere. I would like to check that one out.

– h m  { 3.29.02 @ 2:30am }

» I've started a free musicians, bands, and gigs directory to help musicians find other musicians. You can check it out at if you like. I've found it to be a very rewarding experience, especially when I hear from people who have hooked up through the site.

Ralph Leonen  { 3.29.02 @ 4:10am }

» No links, just a paraphrase of Samuel Johnson: "When a man is tired of the Web (London), he is tired of life; for there is in the Web (London) all that life can afford."

It's very cool that I can look this quote up in 20 seconds, rather than chase books around a library. Well, one link:

– John Monguillot  { 3.29.02 @ 6:13am }

» Wikipedia and they say the Web isn't Interactive enough. How about content controlled by the readers?

Morgan  { 3.29.02 @ 7:11am }

» [1]maybe those that feel this is mostly about self promotion are looking in the wrong places? This medium has very little boundaries. There is much variety out there.

[2] One does not have to agree with everything they encounter. And could expand beyond what bores them. The Internet and Web could sometimes be thought of as rather impersonal. I feel eCommerce, eBusiness, and sites that remain strong are the ones with the personal human approach, services, ... and excel in communicating information or communication with people. The interesting ones offer much.

[3] The Internet is not for the lazy. Similar, yet easier than the RTFM philosophy, we have one best tools out there in Google [or whatever search tool one uses] to find something we are looking for at any time of day or day of the week. Items or information can be found in seconds, yet, there are those that would rather be spoon fed and have others help them. Instant gratification types. This is seen often on mail lists or in special tech communities. Resourceful and creative types will find more on the Internet, almost always. Ones that are expanding or experimenting while stretching their boundaries or investigating new directions. Whether it is in programming or research or putting experience or others online.

[4] Maybe the ones bored with the Web and Internet are truly boring people? These might be hard to reach and easily disinterested or do not have the proper imagination or spark or ingenuity inside to expand their own?

– Linda  { 3.29.02 @ 7:22am }

» Maybe she would be interested in knowing how her peers are using the web to scoop her. Andrew Sullivan has been posting some great stuff about using his blog to trump other journalists with what he's calling "peer to peer" journalism. And he's found some fantastic new writers that he never would have if the web weren't around.

the link is

– Max  { 3.29.02 @ 8:55am }

» Take a walk through the MT showcase, and you'll love the net again.. I don't know why, but movabletype seems to be the tool fo choice for those pushign blogs beyond journalling.

an.exquisite.corpse's rediscovery of surrealism, the morning news's forum, a day late's reinvention of the advent calendar, and in fact movabletype itself is a testiment to the invention that is happening online now. The medium is only beginning to become what it will be.

christina  { 3.29.02 @ 9:04am }

» 'Nuff said.

scottandrew  { 3.29.02 @ 9:44am }

» I've found some fascinating archival and research material, a lot of it first-person, the kind of history that students of all ages seem to love but never seem to get enough of. Some examples: Documenting the American South, the unclassified studies by CIA scholars and historians, or nearly anything on the Librarians' Index to the Internet's "New This Week" list.

Derek Willis  { 3.29.02 @ 10:03am }

» What bothers me most about her conclusion is that she partly bases her theory that the web has become boring only because there aren't more places like the "Fishtank Cam" popping up every day. So? Those sorts of sites hold your attention for 5 minutes and you're off to something else.

If 20% of the sites from nine months ago aren't here anymore, that's fine. Perhaps they weren't bother looking at in the first place. Just from these few comments alone, I've found 15 new and interesting sites to go check out and put in my bookmarks.

Bill  { 3.29.02 @ 10:09am }

» I rarely found anything Cool Site of the Day cool.

– ryan  { 3.29.02 @ 10:30am }

» matt, i think that one reason why people are/were experimenting less or seem to be experimenting less is because the browsers are so much more stable*. much of what people were up to in '94 - '95 was exploiting bugs in the browsers to do all sorts of wacky shit. but I guess that it depends upon your definition of experimenting.

i love, love, love all the collaborative projects both online, offline or some combination of the two, that people are creating. it's all so very inspiring.

many of those projects have already been mentioned but what about human clock or is this you? or degree of confluence.

(* in that you can't make them do stupid pet tricks).

heather  { 3.29.02 @ 11:47am }

» Talking robot!

– Kitty  { 3.29.02 @ 1:04pm }

» There are still loads of great things out there.

A selection:

iStockPhoto and the inertia stock.xchng

The ultra-interactive kung-fu remixer

Find sounds

Nose Pilot

The half bakery

And I could go on for ages...

Colin  { 3.29.02 @ 3:16pm }

» The Way Back Machine is certainly an amazing project that adds a new dimension of permanence to the web.

And weblogs are HUGE. I think is representative of just how big the weblog phenomenon is.

Wireless computing in a new frontier in my book.

Aaron  { 3.29.02 @ 3:19pm }

» hmmm, after a few run-ins with the man in the past I'm not surprised to see gd's name all over this article. but that is neither here nor there.

just off the top of my head there's:

I'm sure if i spent more then 30 seconds thinking about it I could keep someone occupied for a few days non stop.

Chris  { 3.29.02 @ 3:47pm }

» Argh! I find this type of article *so* annoying. Don't get me started!

Here are a few links that I think are very interesting -- all for very different reasons:

– sondra  { 3.29.02 @ 3:58pm }

» Poor Lisa, who just lost a journalists vs. bloggers battle with a one-sided, ill-researched, and poorly conceived story (since when do subjective opinions about the quality of the content on the Web turn up as empirical news?). In any case, I'll weigh in with Found Magazine and, for those who miss fishtanks and such, the Industorious (sic) Clock.

Molly  { 3.29.02 @ 4:01pm }

» Does she have a blog or any representation of herself on the web aside from her professional articles with NYTimes?? (animation express)

Dude ... talk about entertainment for your virtual dollar... ... we'll there thousands of people there.... tastes may differ but you'll find someone to connect to.

scott  { 3.29.02 @ 4:51pm }


Dave  { 3.30.02 @ 4:45am }

» This is geeky, but poke around SourceForge's almost 37,000 hosted projects and you'll know that innovation rocks on!

I'd also mention bOING bOING, Mindjack, Jimwich, Romenesko's Obscure Store and Reading Room... I'm looking at my bookmarks and realizing this could go on forever. And I don't want to be boring! heh.

jon lebkowsky  { 3.30.02 @ 4:55am }

» Lots of sites with interesting updatable content. Art galleries, online comics, humourous retro glimpses of American Kitsch, informative guides on how to pee standing up if you are a woman. How can these not be interesting? :)

Canadian World Domination



Soda Constructor

Lilek's Institute of Official Cheer

Woman's Guide on How To Pee Standing Up

Cat Scan

The Tile Quilts at iCE

And of course, webcomics:

Penny Arcade

Diesel Sweeties


Real Life



Return To Sender

PixelFish  { 3.30.02 @ 8:29am }

» I'm a big fan of Live365 and what they are doing to bring music broadcasting to the people. And yes, I'm still beyond giddy being able to more or less relieve college radio days with my little soozradio broadcast.

sooz  { 3.30.02 @ 2:30pm }

» I don't see two of my favorites, both art, one comics:

– vijay  { 3.30.02 @ 3:42pm }

» Check out the 256 byte html competition

Also, no one has mentioned MIT's blogdex.

A few of my friend's blogs are pretty great in their own right: rupaul, ken layne & the insane mind of tony pierce

marc brown  { 3.30.02 @ 10:20pm }

» If you haven't mentioned B3ta then you've not been paying attention to the net at all...

Tom Coates  { 3.31.02 @ 1:32am }

» hoopla500,, cardhouse, royal journal, mirrorproject, nervousness, ftrain, roguelibrarian, tremble

– nicole reardon clay  { 3.31.02 @ 4:05am }

» That article isn't even about the web; it's about Glenn Davis and his opinions. I agree with all that is mentioned above. Here's my two cents:

listless  { 3.31.02 @ 11:21am }

» And don't forget about Li'l Bill & Hill, who wouldn't even have a home if it weren't for the web!

– Bob  { 3.31.02 @ 12:07pm }

» "There's nothing else online so you might as well continue reading the paper or browsing our website." Actually, it's a pretty neat use of journalistic power. The web was never a toy-box. But if it were, I'd recommend:

Eric Durchholz  { 3.31.02 @ 12:57pm }


michael  { 3.31.02 @ 9:16pm }

» No one has yet mentioned waferbaby and his exquisite corpse-like fusion comics.

Also, a friend of mine from college has been drawing an indescribable comic, The Pinkey Suthers Show, for several years, the last few online.

Jason Gohlke  { 4.1.02 @ 2:54pm }


What happens when 10 strangers share a web site?

– Ray  { 4.1.02 @ 7:52pm }

» (hey, I have to think my own site is interesting and cool, right?)

rich robinson  { 4.1.02 @ 8:23pm }

» I sent all this off to the NY Times as a Letter to the Editor today. Thanks to everyone who contributed! I can only hope that we can improve Ms. Guernsey's outlook on the web, so that she might stop torturing us with her misguided malaise.

Derek M. Powazek  { 4.4.02 @ 2:15pm }


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