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> How find sites with interesting content?
Christian J
post Feb 12 2016, 02:48 PM
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Despite millions of sites on the web, I find myself revisiting just a few on a regular basis, and I'm starting to get bored. Any suggestions on how to widen my perspectives and find more?

I'm not looking for sites on specific topics (those I can find in a web search). Rather, I want sites posting about many varied topics, where some of those topics may inspire me. News media sites would be an obvious answer, except that they're usually the most boring of them all.

(I know I should use the computer less, but it's winter now.)
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pandy
post Feb 13 2016, 03:13 AM
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Wayback machine? unsure.gif
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Frederiek
post Feb 13 2016, 11:10 AM
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How about https://medium.com ?
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Christian J
post Feb 13 2016, 01:15 PM
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I think part of the problem is that the web requires you to actively search for things. Compare this with radio or television, which serves you content. So if you don't know what you want, television might actually surprise you easier than the web (maybe not all TV channels).

Another problem is that I easily fall into the same routine whenever I sit down in front of the computer. I usually get new ideas when away from it, and then I must write them down right away or I'd forget them as soon as I return to the computer.

@pandy: you mean all the good sites are gone? But then I still need to search the Wayback Machine to find the archived versions. unsure.gif

@Frederiek: thanks for the link, will check it out.

Maybe some TED talks could be interesting, but it doesn't have to be serious things like that. Even Youtube's search results, playlists and "suggestions" ( wacko.gif ) sometimes lead you from one video to the next.
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pandy
post Feb 13 2016, 02:07 PM
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Yes, that's what I mean. Or at least the web as we knew it is gone. There used to be personal sites, now there are blogs. The personal sites linked to other sites about the same topic and sites about other topics the owner was interested in. Blogs just link to blogs and they all look the same. I followed those links and so did probably you. We sometimes were surprised and inspired. It was possible to find nuggets among the grey pebbles.

Other than blogs there are corporate sites or sites that resemble corporate sites. Corporations and organizations make sites. People have blogs and they all look the same and they are all boring.

There were blogs back in the day too. But then people posted when they had something to say and the blogs didn't all look the same. Now they think they must create at least one post a day or they'll lose readers. I've followed blogs. I used to read Zeldman for instance. The guy can write and I liked the mix of personal and web related matters he wrote about, it was all good. He posted far from every day. I remember I typed the URL with bated breath, hoping there would be something new about web matters or something new at all. I haven't had that feeling in 15 years.

Boooring!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs
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pandy
post Feb 13 2016, 02:10 PM
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TED is good. But you can't flip through TED. Those videos are long and you need to pay attention. It isn't like reading a little here and a little there until something grabs you. Usually you know what you want when you go to TED. At least I do.
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Christian J
post Feb 13 2016, 04:45 PM
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QUOTE(pandy @ Feb 13 2016, 08:07 PM) *

Yes, that's what I mean. Or at least the web as we knew it is gone. There used to be personal sites, now there are blogs.

Question is, are they really gone or just drowned out by the rest? Maybe they can be found at http://www.dmoz.org/Society/People/Personal_Homepages/ ? unsure.gif

But I can't just blame the rest of the web, my own attitude needs improving as well. I think I've lost some of the imagination and enthusiasm needed to search for the right things. Just writing this forum post is more than my usual effort these days. Maybe we're all too lazy. sad.gif

QUOTE
The personal sites linked to other sites about the same topic and sites about other topics the owner was interested in. Blogs just link to blogs and they all look the same. I followed those links and so did probably you. We sometimes were surprised and inspired. It was possible to find nuggets among the grey pebbles.

Are there no non-profit organizations doing something similar?

QUOTE
People have blogs and they all look the same and they are all boring.

Actually I often end up on blog post pages when searching for some topic (including web development), so they can't all be bad. By I don't think I've ever bookmarked one of those blog sites. Not sure why not actually, maybe it's the site navigation that discourages me, or maybe there was just that single post that interested me.

QUOTE
There were blogs back in the day too. But then people posted when they had something to say and the blogs didn't all look the same. Now they think they must create at least one post a day or they'll lose readers.

Maybe it's true. Fresh content is needed to make you return to a newly started site. At the same time, if you find an older site with lots of existing pages you often lack the stamina to read it all in one go, and then you forget to bookmark it. Ironic, if you think about it.

QUOTE

smile.gif

But where are the originals? Don't they make web sites, or do they kick themselves tired in the media sites' article comments? happy.gif




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pandy
post Feb 14 2016, 03:37 AM
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You mean the weirdos? They thrive, but as commenters at other people's blogs and at forums. smile.gif

Yes, you can find what you look for in blogs. But I thought you wanted to be, well, a little surprised. That doesn't happen when you find what you search for. And try going to the front page of the same blog and fine the same thing or similar ones through the navigation...

No, non profits don't link to sites that aren't relevant for them.

That last thing is why personal sites were so important for discovering the web. Say I was interested in retro cars and visited a site about that. Since it was a personal site I read what the author had written about himself, that's always fun. Turned out he was also into bird watching and wrote inspiringly about that and linked to a few other sites with more information. I clicked the links and before I knew it I my own interes was piqued and I found myself polishing my binoculars.

That's what I miss. It was actually possible to navigate the web through links instead of search engines. If you try that today you are locked in in a narrow section of the web. My fantasy is limited so, as you, I go to the same sites again and again.
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Christian J
post Feb 14 2016, 10:13 AM
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QUOTE(pandy @ Feb 14 2016, 09:37 AM) *

No, non profits don't link to sites that aren't relevant for them.

There should be some dedicated to inspiring people in general. But maybe it would become too forced that way --if you're drowned in too much inspiring content, you can't digest it all. It's like when I'm viewing a commercial site, and unconsciously try to block out the company's attempts to inspire me into buying their merchandize.

QUOTE
That last thing is why porsonal sites were so important for discovering the web. Say I was interested in retro cars and visited a site about that. Since it was a personal site I read what the author had written about himself, that's always fun. Turned out he was also into bird watching and wrote inspiringly about that and linked to a few other sites with more information. I clicked the links and before I knew it I my own interes was piqued and I found myself polishing my binoculars.

Exactly. But lets look forward: what may still work today? Reading the off-topic sections of special interest forums?

Here's a study that claims the "personalized content" actually helps people widen their interests (I didn't read it properly):

"A debate has emerged as to whether personalization has drawbacks. By making the web hyper-specific to our interests, does it fragment internet users, reducing shared experiences and narrowing media consumption? We study whether personalization is in fact fragmenting the online population. Surprisingly, it does not appear to do so in our study. Personalization appears to be a tool that helps users widen their interests, which in turn creates commonality with others."
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1321962

--I suppose that could work for product sites, at least.



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pandy
post Feb 14 2016, 04:02 PM
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Personalization? Like what google does? Sucks! Hate it. And most of all I hate that they've made it almost impossible to get rid of.

Not really related and not what one wants to happen, but I came to think of this and in a way it is an example of what I mean. It was in the mid 90's probably. I hadn't had a modem for long and was learning the ropes. I clicked my way around discovering things, sweating over the minutes ticking and the coming phone bill. All of a sudden I find myself on a pedophile site. I certainly hadn't clicked a link saying Child Porn this way, but there I was. It was disgusting, but I wasn't that chocked. I have imagination enough to envision what images like that would look like. Then I saw one image that I didn't understand at first, I couldn't interpret it. Then I saw. I won't describe what they did, but they did it to an infant, looked like just a few months old. I totally flipped. I searched all over for what to do, how to get that site down. I was so upset I was sweating and could feel my heart pound. The Red Cross - sure, but probably slow, too slow for me. Swedish police? Bah! I asked for help at a totally unrelated forum and was sent a PM with a tip. It said I should search for a group called EHAP. I did and I found. EHAP was a group called Ethical Hackers Against Pedophilia and they had a site with a form. I felt like a an idiot, not really believing this was for real, but I filled out the form, submitted it and at last stumbled to bed. When I woke up I jumped at the computer, dialed up and went to the site. All files were gone, just am empty directory listing. That felt tremendously good. Of course the site probably popped up somewhere else soon enough, but at least I had caused them trouble.

Just saying back in the day anything could happen, good and bad.
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Frederiek
post Mar 6 2016, 05:06 PM
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BTW, I have another suggestion for you:
Get a Pocket account (there's a free one and a (paid) premium account) at http://getpocket.com . There are browser extensions for it and there's an app (for iPad and smart phones). AFAIK, it works on PC too.

Anyway, with it, you can "bookmark" URLs you'd like to read later. There also is a recommendations tab, where you'll find articles on any kind of subject. Sometimes, quite interesting. Of course, you can save those in Pocket too.
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