“Eric Conveys an Emotion” is Going to Update! Just You Wait and See!

Here’s a small confession of mine: I check on several long-dead websites, which I enjoyed way back when, with alarming frequency, even though I’m almost entirely sure that they will never update ever again.

The problem is that many people don’t seem to leave goodbye posts. It’s just business as usual, until things stop abruptly. There’s so many webcomics, that I used to follow that just stopped in the middle of a storyline without explanation. I’m pretty sure that these people didn’t die suddenly, but I guess in a way part of them did. One day they just stopped, writing, drawing, singing etc. and never started up again.

Or maybe they just got tired of sharing their talents with the internet. I can understand that. The internet is stupid.

Maybe they found a more productive use of their time.

In any case, there’s always this hope inside me. They didn’t really give up. They’re just in hibernation. They’re lying in wait. They’ll be back and they’ll be better. Otherwise, why would they keep paying for their domain names and hosting? Huh? I’ll keep checking. One day my faith will be rewarded with more of what I used to enjoy. I’m greedy, I guess.

The internet is littered with the corpses of a billion dead projects and once in a while I like to prod them with a stick to see if they twitch. (Ick.)

Anyway, go bug Emotion Eric and tell him his dead website is causing me existential malaise.

I think that I’m going to rewrite this later. I can’t really get my thoughts straight on this subject at the moment. Also, I’m missing a bunch of commas.

NaBloPoMo 2014

texts that reads "NaBloPoMo 2014"

I haven’t participated in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), an event every November where you post every day for the entire month, in a few years. I near-completely lost interest in NaBloPoMo when it was taken over by BlogHer, a blogging platform for women (duh), and not just because the transition to BlogHer scared most of the men off, but because BlogHer is a cruddy, cruddy website.

Here, have some reasons why I hate BlogHer:

  • First and foremost, BlogHer is exploitative. Most of the posts on the website are written by unpaid community members, while the website is riddled with ads. Community members provide them with content for free, which brings them pageviews and ad impressions, and in return they get, I don’t know, a sense of community or something? You can join a community on BlogSpot or Tumblr and  both of those services allow you to put your own ads on your blog, so that you can get paid for your writing.
  • BlogHer puts outbound links in frames, placing their branding and ads on unaffiliated websites without their consent. This is just plain rude and frames went out of style in the 90s anyway.
  • The current BlogHer website features a tessellated layout and infinite scroll. I’ll probably do a long rant on why I hate these two design trends at a future date, but basically, they screw up navigation and reading comprehension.
  • Their post editor sucks badly.
  • Their name is a stupid pun.

Now, don’t construe this as me being against women having their own safe space for expressing their opinions. I just think that it’s best that such a place doesn’t exploit their talents for monetary gain. When you’re a writer, never work for exposure, or on spec.

So, yeah, this is probably the last you’ll hear about BlogHer from me, because I’m taking NaBloPoMo back from its massive corporate interests for the little guy, or something, I don’t know.

Anyhoo, join me every day this month for more inane rambling.

Scrapers Can Eat a Butt

So I was Googling myself (shameful, I know) and a lot of the main keywords that I thought my website would rank highly actually had scrapers that had stolen my content as the top result.

a drawing of a paint scraper
This is the wrong kind of scraper.

Don’t know what a “scraper” is? Well, it’s basically an automated website that copies wholesale the content from other webpages. In my case, they probably copy my stuff directly from my RSS feed as soon as it updates.

What disturbs me is how often these types of sites are showing up as the top result in search results. Either Google‘s algorithm has gone janky, or lots of people are linking to these websites. If people are linking to them a lot, I blame those damn tumblr and Pinterest bookmarklets, because they’ve made it so that people don’t even think before they link to a bad source. People just share content that they like and they don’t ever think about the people who created it.

Of course, I know I’ve shared things without checking before, so I probably shouldn’t complain too much.

So, if you ever wonder why I sign and watermark everything, it’s because thievery has become automated and it’s impossible to reason with a Chinese robot.

Your Broken Image is a Crime Against Humanity

It’s there in your sidebar, the bane of my existence, the broken image.

an image of a broken image

It’s been broken for months. You must have noticed it by now. You’ve been posting regularly this whole time.

an image of a broken image

I send you a polite message detailing this broken image issue and its impact on me. You tell me that you are well aware of the problem, but you just haven’t found the time to fix it.

You haven’t found the time to fix it!?

It’s one line of code that you have to fix. ONE. LINE. OF. CODE.

an image of a broken image

Can I fix it for you?

an image of a broken image

Really, you’re just taunting me now.

an image of a broken image

You are the Internet Adversary. Your presence on the Net heralds the End Times. You tear asunder the Holy Code with your Fangs of Borkening.

an image of a broken image


The Internet is Dead

Oi! Didn’t you hear? The internet is DEAD! All of its organs failed one by one.

Herein lies the sad timeline of the internet’s decline and demise:

BBSes are dead because nobody uses DOS anymore, grandpa. Also, when you want to go to a different BBS, you have to enter in a different number and wait for it to connect? Nuts to that jazz!

Legend of the Red Dragon is fun though…

Newsgroups are dead because giant of ASCII art signatures. Wow, you spent 3 days making a 100 line picture of Jean-Luc Picard out of commas and semi-colons? End every one of your messages with it!

Forums are dead because, really, forums are just newsgroups with an ugly backgrounds and annoying author avatars. Yes, I really think that the portrait that embodies you best is an animated .gif of an arch vile from DOOM. Plus, who wants to spend their time moderating a bunch of idiots?

Chatrooms are dead because of perverts.

Blogs are dead because the posts are too long and all the kids with the ADHD are too impatient to read them. Also, they update too infrequently. Today’s culture demands instant gratification.

Social networks are dead because everyone’s mom and boss has a profile now and it isn’t fun anymore. Nobody wants to interact in a place where all their actions will be under intense scrutiny.

Twitter is dead because of those goddamn hashtags. Also, everyone has updates from every service that they belong to funneled into Twitter. Nobody cares that you just favourited a video on Youtube or that you liked something on Facebook. Stop cluttering-up the feed with your inane noise!

Tumblr is dead because it’s horrible. Really, Tumblr should have been DOA, in my opinion. There are some absolutely stupid bits of Tumblr. The most egregious of which is that 4 out of the 7 posts types have no way for you to set a proper post title for them. Search engines and aggregators need titles to function properly!

Other things I dislike about Tumblr:

  • There is no way to generate a list of all the tags you’ve use and their URLs, making it hard to construct tag archives
  • Tumblr only keeps tacks of up to 200 posts with a certain tag, when you tag more than that the older posts start getting dropped from that tag’s archive
  • There is no way to style your archives
  • When a person likes one of your posts, they get a link in your post’s notes to their Tumblr, but you only get a link back from their Tumblr if they have decided to display their likes in their theme. This has created a culture of users liking everything that they see in order to generate a zillion backlinks for themselves, while suffering no consequences.

Anyway, go have a look at my Tumblrtumblr.laurelgreen.com

Pinterest is dead because 99.99% of the content on Pinterest is stolen. I dislike that in our current culture that people seem to derive the same sense of achievement from finding great content as one would normally get from creating great content. Finding a bunch of beautiful paintings does not make you an artist, reposting other people’s delicious recipes does not make you a chef, and removing watermarks and origin URLs does not make that content yours. If you have the time to search through the internet to find 300 photos of organic freetrade purple felted wool hats, then you have the time to create something of your own to share with the world.


A strange thing, though, that despite being dead, all of these services are still used actively by many people. Maybe people should be more worried about which venue bests serves their particular audience, rather than caring about what’s the newest, coolest thing. The newest thing will be dead soon enough anyway.