A Few Thoughts on Web Surfing

The first usage of the term “surfing the Internet” was around 1992, and as one who was surfing around that time I can tell you that the idea that you could surf from page to page with interesting content was a great idea, but in practice rarely happened. Instead, it was more like constant clicking on hyperlinks trying to find anything worth reading. In surfing parlance I guess you could say the Internet was just a bunch of close outs. Wikipedia was a step toward the surfing vision, where at least the content was reasonably good and the hyperlinks had a good chance of being interesting, but I was still in search of the perfect wave.

The wave has arrived, and it’s called Business Insider. The headlines and format are perfectly designed to grab your attention and break down the article content into a specified number of points (“25 hidden gem real estate markets”, “the highest paid player on all 32 teams”), with a picture for each point. Then, at the end of the article, a link to another article, with another catchy headline, that you’re almost guaranteed to like (because they use all the page view data to figure out interest graphs of other people like you). In find myself clicking, and reading, and clicking, and reading and it just seems like the interesting content never ends. Business Insider is the Banzai Pipeline, with a tube that covers you up completely and never breaks.

It took about 20 years, but the Internet surfing dream has finally been realized.

Advertisements

One thought on “A Few Thoughts on Web Surfing

  1. Sounds like a wonderful site for people interested in business, but what about puppies or dachshunds? I absolutely love your metaphor, Banzai Pipeline. It’s poetic and sporty all in one!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s