The internet kinda sucks.

I’ll entirely admit this is *partially* inspired by this MSE post. And a certain desire to move off purely “This is a neat thing that I did” that this blog has been (even if I need to do an updated ttrss install guide).

And well, I’m not a marketing guy. I’m also not your typical consumer of , well, the internet. I still use RSS to aggregate news sources, pulling in, skimming through article summaries and most of what I read is stuff that interests me – I love long form, thoughtful informative writing. I want *stories*.

What I don’t want is lists. I mean, yeah, I’m sure its an easy way to knock out a dozen articles. Its the *second* easiest way to get an article out, short of making a summary of another article. But… lists are lazy. I’m tempted to write “5 reasons why listy posts are killing writing”, but that’s not what you’re here for, right? (Why are you here?)

There’s probably a few nice things about list type posts for content creators (and aggregators). You don’t need to think about the structure of writing and the flow. You basically go

Title(link?)

Paragraph in the most vague sense no one actually reads.”Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est canis cavem.”

Another Title(second link?)

Paragraph in the most vague sense no one actually reads.”Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est canis cavem.”

and so on.

At best, you have bite sized, relatively fast to consume bits of information – at worst, you basically have people following links till they find what really interests them, and their engagement with you is gone. On the other hand, there’s no depth, no real “addition of value” for the reader. I realise, writing longform, thoughtful pieces is hard. I did it a lot as a navel gazing 20 year old (most of that’s probably lost in the sands of time, only to be found on the internet archive), but finding something to write about, organising the things, and actually sitting down and writing something coherent is *hard*.  On the other hand, good writing keeps people coming back.

There’s a place for these things, I suppose. Lots of the internet relies on lots of little pieces of content all the time – and clearly someone thinks clickbait works. Sure does for say, buzzfeed  and all those meme sites that rely on 30 second reads. It is probably different for companies that provide a service, or worse yet actually are a source of content.

So… to me, lists are a reason the internet kinda sucks.

 

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