Way back in 2004 — which is about the Bronze Age in Internet terms — I started a blog called Websnark, with a simple mission statement. That mission statement came down to this: here’s a place where I can show off shiny things, ridiculous videos, and goofy pictures of dogs that I found on the Internet.
That was almost seven years ago, and since then 94.6% of the Internet at large has become shiny things, ridiculous videos, and goofy pictures of dogs. Of the remaining 5.4%, most of it has been taken up by increasingly efficient infrastructure for delivering those pictures to waiting content consumers. The remainder is content — generally of the ‘other’ variety.
So, if Websnark had never evolved, there would be no reason for it to exist. After all, you don’t need me to tell you “look at the funny dog picture!” You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it on Flickr, on Livejournal (for those of you still using Livejournal), on Facebook, on Twitter, on Tumblr, on Picasa, on Dashr, on Dansr, on Prancr and Vixn….
But for a while there, Websnark had become a pretty lively place. Lots of folks said lots of things. I know I got far, far more than I had ever dreamed out of it. (You know, including a wife.)
But with time came slowness. Posts had been a flood, but they slowed to a trickle, and then to nothing at all. Part of the problem was… well, I was repeating myself far too much. I had said pretty much everything I had to say on the topics I typically talked about. Part of the problem was infrastructure — what was state of the art in 2004 was creaky in 2008, and Wednesday’s heroic efforts to keep the site running were fighting a losing battle.
And so, Websnark essentially went away, not with a bang but a whimper.
But, the cycle turns. The tools change. The world changes.
And me? I find myself wanting to write stuff.
We looked at a mass migration of the old site — and truth be told we’re still not certain how to handle most of it. But the more important element remains finding a place for the new.
Weds, being smart, suggested Tumblr. It had the kind of media tools that made posting on the subjects I liked easy and fun, and it had lots of hooks for commenting, for queuing posts, for attributing work — all the stuff that took manual processing in 2004 was automatic and clean in 2011.
I, of course, resisted. Because I am dumb. And then, like a year later, I started actually using Tumblr on a personal level. (http://demiurgent.tumblr.com/ for those who care.) It was fun and easy, and I began to babble excitedly to Weds about it.
She sighed, and agreed with me. She was very gentle with my ego. She’s good about things like that.
So here we are, in a new place, using new tools. I’m looking forward to it.
But it’s not going to be the same. For one thing, this will be the only long post without a cut-tag. Tumblr is not really the place for uncut, long, unrestricted posts. For another… well, I’m older now, and naturally that means I’m more of a smartass.
What will Websnark become this time?
I have no idea. But in the meantime, please enjoy this funny picture of a dog.