Content Farming, Curating, Viral Content
Prior to about 2008, there was this thing called “The Internet”. It was wild. It was free. It was wide-ranging, and unpredictable. But thanks to the immensely successful efforts of a relatively small number of people, today The Internet is a narrow content funnel defined by Google and Facebook for the vast majority of users.
Back around 2009, content farms like Demand Media and HuffPo blazed the trail for search-rank-driven, hack-written content that took the organically occurring actually fun stuff on the web, and turned it into clickbait drivel. Much like the American commercially-produced food industry, the strategy of “giving people exactly what they crave” has led to a lot of sugary and addictive content that has little in the way of nutritional value as brain food. And hilariously, at some point someone started calling content scraping and link collecting “curation”, implying that the internet needed a bunch of biased and profit-driven people “curating” it.
This has evolved into a rather remarkable and exacting science with sites like UpWorthy and ViralNova, and with Google, Bing, and Yahoo desperately partnering with and acquiring properties like Yelp and TripAdvisor, the vast majority of content most people will see will either be opportunistically-crafted tripe designed to dominate search results, or the inane and inarticulate ramblings fueled by this content, known as “comments” or “user generated content”.
Attention Whoring and The Tragedy of the Comments
Although there are still plenty of thriving communities within social media platforms, the platforms themselves – especially Facebook – have become markedly not social, and thanks probably to endlessly replicated blogs about how to market yourself on the internet, mostly an annoying stream of self-marketing, with little in the way of engaging dialog. Lots of “Likes”, and not much thoughtful commentary. When there IS commentary, it’s often arrogant statements of pseudo-facts justifying the commenter’s ill-considered mere opinions. It’s the comment thread version of the Tragedy of the Commons.
No Comments? No sharing?
For these reasons, you’ll notice that for now, we have no commenting platform, and none of those all-too-familiar “social share” buttons. If you have something to say, send us a message. If you want to share a piece on social media, great! Copy/paste the link! We know it’s hard work, but you’ll figure it out.
Stay tuned…we have NO IDEA what we’re doing.
Innoculous and all its content is currently created and managed by Ian Gray.
This page last updated 11/2/2015