Sunday, 21 September 2014

Internet Corners: Part 3.

There's a lot of nonsense talk about the internet and social media. Professional havers of opinions always like to say that the internet has killed the written word, and that stories are done for! 

I can't agree with this. For one thing, the internet is full of the written word. I mean, it's like the internet is made up of: 1: Porn, 2: Cats, and 3: Written articles, about all sorts of things. Including short form fiction, literary criticism, and literary interviews! 

Seems to me like people might be reading more now, than they ever have. 

The written word seems to be going in all sorts of different ways, and there are loads of potential new forms that writers and storytellers could be embracing. Check out the 'curated writing' section in Part 1 of the 2012 Best American Non Required Reading, for example, which takes Twitter's best reactions to the death of Osama Bin Laden, and sculpts them into a narrative. 

Anyway, quite apart from that, another interesting thing is that the world wide web in its current, popularised form, has a history all of its very own. 

When the web first started getting popular in the late 90s, it was pretty rubbish. There was no such thing as social networking and the only means you had of communicating with your fellow humans across the world were: email, Yahoo! chatrooms, and guestbooks on people's Geocities websites.

Geocities were like a kind of personalised website, with easy front-end adaptability that anyone could build, for any interest of their choosing. Think of it as a kind of pre-proto-Myspace or Facebook, only one that visitors couldn't really interact with in any way. 

There were literally thousands of Geocities website, at one time. Many operated in 'webrings', where one of the pages linked to other Geocities websites with similar interest. 

Unfortunately most of Geocities is now gone, but there has been a web archiving project to try and rescue and re-publish as much of it as possible. 

One shining example of a Geocities website is the site "Davelicious", which I provide a link to here

I hope you will enjoy it. 

Currently reading

The Bone Clocks David Mitchell 

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