As some ponder the apparent resurgence in blogging, Jason Kottke looks back on the past 20 years as one of the few who never stopped blogging. But reading between the lines, it sounds like he wouldn’t bother starting up a blog today.
An interesting piece on the conflict of interest surrounding Google’s move to block the worst ads in Google Chrome.
I might have more sympathy for the publishers if they hadn’t systematically destroyed their own websites with terrible ads, reducing the trust of their readers, and giving the web a bad reputation as a result.
This is interesting. It appears as though Google is losing older documents (such as 10-year-old blog posts) from its index.
I’m in two minds about this.
On the one hand, Google has long been something other than a mere web search engine, and rightly so. They want to get you relevant answers to your query. And old blog posts will rarely be the answers to many people’s queries.
But on the other hand, someone ought to be indexing the web. And if Google can’t (or don’t want to), who can?
My mental model of the Web is as a permanent, long-lived store of humanity’s intellectual heritage. For this to be useful, it needs to be indexed, just like a library. Google apparently doesn’t share that view.
It feels like the world wide web has had more 25th birthdays than I’ve had hot dinners.
This article marks the 25th anniversary of the Mosaic web browser. You may not have heard for it, and I certainly never used it — it was before my time.
But Mosaic was one of the first graphical browsers, and one of the first to enable people to view images within pages. The makers of Mosaic went on to create Netscape Navigator, which in turn became the basis for Firefox.
iA reflects on the spirit of the web that has been lost.
There seems to be a weak undercurrent of old and young bloggers like us that feel sentimental or curious and want to bring back blogging. Blogging won’t save the world. But, hell, after two weeks now, we can confirm: it feels great to be back on the blogging line.
If you are one of those old or young bloggers, please join in. Drop Facebook, drop Twitter and drop Medium for original thought. Own your traffic.
I am toying with the idea of embracing the IndieWeb community and adding some IndieWeb features to this website.
This article from Michael Singletary pinpoints one of potential flaws of the IndieWeb, and a reason I have been reluctant to join it.
…I’m worried about the long-term survivability of this as a whole. With Known, specifically, I noticed that many of the plugins required for syndication and backfeeding are either maintained by extremely small groups of people that do not update them frequently (the Twitter plugin, for example), or others that require non-monetary motivation to keep up their service (like Brid.gy, for example). While it is great to see community-driven projects and services like these, I worry about waking up one morning to find that my content no longer syndicates or talks to other services.
Maciej Cegłowski considers the parallels between the early decades of radio, and the web. He notes how radio became a crucial propaganda tool for the fascists of the 1930s.
In less than four decades, radio had completed the journey from fledgeling technology, to nerdy hobby, to big business, to potent political weapon.
It’s a great history lesson. Read on to find the silver lining in his talk.
We often hear about the theory of accessibility in design. But we know that the reality can often be different.
So it’s great to see such a comprehensive run-down of actual digital accessibility complaints from people with disabilities.
The article ends with a sage point:
Basically everything that people with disabilities comment on are things that annoy everyone, so fixing these issues makes your interface better for all users!
This article summarises why social media services like Facebook and Twitter are a totally inadequate way of receiving updates from blogs and other websites. We had the perfect system all along: RSS.
Yes, the technology is dated, but it remains the best at what it does and isn’t closed source or tied to some Silicon Valley company. It still works, is widely supported and does what it does better than any alternative that’s come out since. Sometimes, newer isn’t better. Sometimes the problem has already been solved. No blog or news website should be too new or too minimal to support RSS.
Now that we have CSS grid, people apparently want to know how to style the divisions between the rows and the columns. Here, Eric Meyer explains one way to do it.
At this stage, I can’t help feeling that no matter how many features get added to CSS, it always results in more gnarly hacks.
Highly interesting article about how the dominance of Facebook, Google and Amazon is beginning to damage the web. Facebook and Google are silently conspiring to specialise in social and knowledge respectively, further increasing their dominance. Meanwhile, the weakening of net neutrality threatens to move to goalposts even further in their favour.
Nielsen Norman Group look into brutalist web design.
I have written about this before: Can web design really learn from brutalist architecture?
In this post about a Google Chrome mobile user interface change, another telling comment that explains part of the reason why the web appears to be in trouble.
The way we’ve turned browsing the web—especially on mobile—into a frustrating chore of dismissing unwanted overlays is a classic tragedy of the commons. We blew it.
This article uses kids’ video content as an example, but really it is about how we all consume all types of content. The same effects that are causing these weird YouTube videos to be created are driving clickbait culture generally.
The direction the internet is taking seems to be taking us down a disturbing path.
I was vaguely aware of the dark patterns used by Booking.com, but I didn’t realise quite how pervasive it is across the website.
When something works fluently and fluidly, users do not tend to notice ‘boring’. They do, however, see annoying and intrusive.
I have argued previously that web design should be boring. I am an undesigner as much as a designer.