One of the things that miss most about the early days of the internet was the rabbit hole of madness you could embark upon each time you opened a browser.
In the days before Google was widely known – and their algorithms were not even a glimmer in Larry and Sergey’s eyes – the most popular search engine was Ask Jeeves, but among my age group interesting sites were spread by word of mouth, links from Live Journal etc, or the more daring users might even type things into a URL bar and just see what happens.
**Go check out Japanese Tip, you’re welcome.**
I desperately miss the internet before influencers. Full of often ugly but passionately made sites of unmonetisable enthusiasms. When everyone is fighting for clicks, there is a pressure to centralize, brand, and push out new content at a rate that usually pays the price of quality.
I firmly believe that good creators deserve to be paid, and solutions like the Patreon, Brave browser, Substack, or even Steemit are promising, but right now we are reaching a point where the advert becomes the content. Over the past year, I have unfollowed way too many good Instagrammers because 3 out of 4 of their posts is #sponsored.
Turning your creative passion into a job frequently requires a huge time commitment, both in maintaining brand relationships and in managing your financial/tax obligations. When you are paying rent and buying food from your content, the pressure is overwhelming to bend to the will of the algorithm or brand manager, which is sad for both the audience and the creator.
I feel like the best creators today have an alternative form of income and/or produce less frequently – but each and every post is stellar and worth the wait.
**As an example I would like to point you to a creator I support on Patreon, Pop Culture Detective**
It feels like, for the most part, quantity has won over quality and as a result I spend more time and more frustration sifting through the mud for the little and increasingly scarce gold nuggets. I want a slow internet – meaning fewer updates, less push notifications, and a system that rewards creators for quality content over mass content.
It’s not an easy task, but to make a start, I am cutting out the noise, being selective in my follows and returning to ‘word of mouth’ (or blog) to find new creators.
I’m a patron of several bloggers/filmmakers/artists and hope to be able to support more in the future. I know this is only action on an individual level, but my hope is that other people who feel the same way will look for solutions and between all of us, we might eventually fix the internet.
So, what is the point of this post? Partially to vent, but also to remind myself to talk about the creators I love, ask for personal recommendations, and never fall into the trap of looking for likes.