Maybe You Missed It, but the Internet ‘Died’ Five Years Ago

Bizarre conspiracy theory… but I certainly know more and more people who are opting out of the internet, and traffic continues to increase.

Most of the traffic to my blog is scrapers, for sure…

It does feel like there’s a lot of pointless positive feedback loops where more “content” (regardless of purpose/quality/etc) is seen as good and drives more blind investment in encouraging any and all engagement.

A lot of my personal internet use (beyond books and documentation) these days is on niche forums (,,,, etc) about things which are useful in the physical world in part because they seem the least susceptible to that pattern.

Ok, how dead it is could be debated, but I’m not sure I see the conspiracy part of some of that. ‘Bot farms’ can be hired to promote social media posts. Advertising scrapers are automated bots. I’m 10:1 on phone calls being robo dialers trying to get me to extend the warranty on my 20 year old truck vs. actual people trying to talk to me.

Doesn’t have to be all automated either. Ok, a human being might have made it, but a quick glance at all the photo-shopping and plastic surgery on more popular posts of Instagram and front pages of the magazines at the grocery store tells me everything there is more fake than real too.

I’m going to check all of those out in the hope that they’re some good places for actual, informative reading and discussion unlike say, r/diysolar. I used to enjoy the projects and ideas around several welding and machining forums. They didn’t become fake or toxic or anything as everyone just… left. What’s still online is a ghost town.

Yeah, in general they’re pretty solid. Obviously any group of people - especially open ones - will have politics and folks with hidden agendas, but they feel more in line with the spirit of the web as a place where people mostly collaborate and learn from each other than - say - social media or the big general-purpose hubs like Reddit.

Huh, I haven’t seen fieldlines mentioned. They’ve got an IRC server I’m on, solid place! :wink: I suppose I should check out the forum sometime.

I don’t know what the actual canonical address is anymore, but ought to get you there.

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This is a niche forum and is on the Internet…

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I think the major content farms (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit) are consumed with bot activity.

Lots of niche Internet stuff has dropped off forums onto things like Discord, too.