Word On The Street:An Open Letter To Web Future Guys From Us Regular Cool User Guys


I’m not a tech guy.

I’m just a regular dude with a music background and an interest in new media. I read with interest those folks who obviously know a lot more than me about whats going on.

But these folks sometimes seem to miss something kinda important.


The User. Content Creator. Consumer. The Regular Guy.

I like cool stuff. I bought a Tivo. Loved it so much I got one for my dad. I love Tivo. Too bad the company is kinda lost.

We would like stuff to work.

I hate technorati. I’m a new blogger.I used to not care about technorati but people talked about it (I heard the buzz) and so I jumped in. Now it tells me my site hasn’t been indexed in ten days. Great. I don’t care about the bells and whistles. Just make the shit work.

I got bugged by friends to join MySpace. So I joined. One word. Over-rated. I pop in about once a week to see what’s happening. Since I’m not a 13 year old white girl I don’t really care about it. MySpace is a lot of noise about a lot of noise. It’s not hard to see it falling apart. Note to uncool people who make stuff: If everybody talks about it, it’s not worth talking about.

De.lic.io.us or however it’s spelled. Kinda ugly. Didn’t really understand it. Heard it got sold for a lot of money. Why? Geeky.Geeky.Geeky. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) But I really don’t use it. I like the idea of saving sites but that is not the solution. The names not even simple.

RSS…um, I think I use it. I get my feeds on My Yahoo. I actually like My Yahoo. It’s so fucking simple. Just press the button and the stuff shows up. My list is too long though. Who has time to look at all that stuff?

Flickr is cool. I don’t take a lot of pictures but my friends now take pictures all the time. That is a good site. It’s pretty.

Blog Networks give me no reason to visit them. They need to get out with us regular folks once in while. Stop talking among themselves and give us content that matters. Except Gawker Media stuff. Gawker is cool.

You Tube is great. I love video online. It’s cool. It has a button right in the middle of the screen and you press it. That is awesome.

I read a lot of blogs. Really. Most of them suck, (like this one.) What I really like to do is discover new blogs. Discover new voices. That’s where the coolness is in blogs. Finding someone with something new to say. It’s hard to do because people don’t add new people to blogrolls or they fill it with people everyone already know. That sucks. The A list is not really an A list to cool people. It’s an ignore list. People will link to them anyway. And you know an A-lister sucks when he doesn’t include links to anybody else. No blogroll is an arrogance. Do you really think we think you don’t read anyone else? Be like us regular folks and give a little love to those you read. And change it once a month.

Web 2.0 is where geeks make stuff for other geeks. Ever read mashable? I like it because it shows new stuff. And new is cool. I’m discovering something. But most of the stuff is stuff i would never use. Really. numbler? When was the last time you used a spreadsheet. Or your son used a spread sheet? Doesn’t one come with Microsoft XP? I’m just a regular guy. I don’t use it. I’m sure there are people drooling over that stuff. But they don’t live here.

You know what I want? I want the stuff you make to work. Exceed Expectations. And I want it to be cool. And I have to discover it myself. Or a friend of mine has to discover it and pass it me. No one wants anything aimed at masses. It has to be simple. I don’t have time to think. I think all day about all kinds of stuff. You Tube has a button I can press. I don’t have to think.

And the company has to be cool, too. Not just the product. Google was a cool company. MSN is about as cool as Bill Gates.

We, the future, want things from small companies which talk to us as individuals, treat us like friends, and make stuff that work. We’ll hate you when you get too big or greedy. We’ll hate you if you tell everyone about it. Let us do that. 

Other than that, Keep up the good work. 

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24 Comments on “Word On The Street:An Open Letter To Web Future Guys From Us Regular Cool User Guys”

  1. Larson Says:


    I thought I was the only Regular Guy out here.

    “…has a button I can press.” Love it.

  2. Matt Says:

    How is WordPress working out for you?

  3. chartreuse Says:

    Simple is very cool to me.

    Question Larson. I put an adult content filter on my computer for when my daughter visits and now I can’t get to your site. Have you applied to SexNotWork or something?

  4. chartreuse Says:

    Oh, wordpress is nice and simple for me. I like it. The site goes down a lot (twice in two weeks that I know of) and that’s not cool. But all and all I can’t complain.

  5. Larson Says:

    Unless SNW (they’re the ones running it, right?) sees a market for unerotic poetry and threw me in there without my knowledge, no. A market. For poetry. Yeah.

    Might have something to do with this. Or this (watch it, the boss may not understand these coming across his broadband line…).

  6. chartreuse Says:

    Actually you should start a poets network…

  7. Larson Says:

    I haven’t been hanging around here so long just for the scenery 🙂

    I’m going to get my blogroll up and running first… that one sliced me.

  8. chartreuse Says:

    Oh, a lot of sites don’t have blogrolls. It just bothers me. I have found some cool sites on people’s blogrolls. But if you doen’t have one it just means you’re Scott Karp (inside joke between myself and Scott)!

  9. Brian Says:

    Uh oh… hypertext overdose! We’ll have to take you to the (meta)done clinic.

    Is it too early for geek jokes utilizing heroin references?

    My bad.

  10. chartreuse Says:

    On the internet everything is backwards. The more hyperlinks the less important the post… And I think hyperlinks are kinda fun. Especially the ones in this post because it’s hard to find the actual connection to what is being said…But i think the really obnoxious thing I did was tag this post with everything on my catagories list. That was a swipe at Technorati.

    And yeah, it’s much to early for geek jokes with heroin references. They won’t get it.

  11. Brian Says:

    >>They won’t get it.

    That’s probably a good thing.

  12. Anthony Says:

    Hyperlinks are cool.

  13. Rob Sanheim Says:

    Technorati is indeed very annoying.

    Blogrolls are fine, but get kinda old because they just become this huge list of links that noone clicks on. I’ve been wanting to do some sort of “blog reviews” post or sidebar, so that there would be more use to the average reader looking for something new to read. Seems like it would be more helpful then just a collection of blogs that never gets updated.

  14. Scott Karp Says:

    First of all, arrogance is assuming that in this new media world you know where the moral high ground is, i.e. a blogroll is the ONLY righteous way to show who you read. I agree with Rob that blogroll’s are not very effective in directing readers to new blogs because they become these undifferentiated laundry lists. Do you want to depend on random clicks to be discovered?

    I find it much more effective to take the time to write about a post on another blog and direct people that way, with some context and reflection — like I did to yours, chartreuse. It takes more work, but I think it’s worth it.

    Occasionally, I’ll find an entire blog so cool that I’ll write a post just to promoted it: http://publishing2.com/2006/02/24/structured-blogging-does-exist/

    Also, be careful with these US vs. THEM rants. It’s arrogant to assume you know who the US and who the THEM are — I’m speaking from my own bad experience with making mistakes on this. Ragging on people is not a great way to promote the “treat us like friends” ideal.

    There’s a difference between saying “you SAID something stupid” and “you ARE stupid.”

  15. chartreuse Says:

    A brief glance at the About Chartreuse (BETA) page clearly states that I will say things which may come across as insulting or rude but that it’s never personal.

    Rob has a point about blogrolls. I would love to be able to have a blogpostroll of interesting posts. Rob, get with Matt above and work on that please :).

    Now Scott,

    What matters in this age is the intention.

    A blogroll is not ‘a random click’. Blogs are personal which makes the blogroll just a personal. The personal taste of the writer of the blog. On my blogroll you’ll see sites which reflect me. You can see my liberal bias (i.e. Bitch Ph D) and my goofy sides (3tubes!) along with the New Media sites I read (like yours).

    Unlike other people I update my blogroll all the time. I’m new at blogging so I still have some of that original love of the sport and community that it seems some people seem to lose as they continue in the game.

    To me not having a blogroll is an arrogance. Is there anything wrong with that? No. There a certain foods I don’t eat, TV shows I don’t watch, Authors I don’t read. We all have a bit of arrogance in us.

    Your way is an interesting way of introducing people to other blogs. And I’m not saying it’s wrong. What I am saying is that I prefer a blogroll because it gives us, the reader, a broader picture of who you are and why you think the way that you do.

    One of the things I am learning in this new media age is that the more you give the more you get. Like dealing with a chick, the more you open yourself up, the more you give of your personal life, the more you get back in reader loyalty and strength of your brand. That’s just the way that it works.

    Having a blogroll, to me, is part of that openess.

    But that’s just my opinion. Everyone else has the right to be wrong. 🙂

  16. Kaigani Says:

    As someone who’s done a bit of work in the ‘uncool’ work — I should point out that you seem to be caught between two worlds. Partly because of all this Web2.0 nonsense.

    You have to wait for all these new services to fight it out, they are coming out with half-baked, barely usable sites because they are hoping to catch the eye of a venture capitalist, Yahoo! or Google before some other half-baked solution does.

    This is not how it was originally. Sites like Flickr weren’t looking to make a quick buck — they were looking to create something usable and useful.

    Quick note regarding blogrolls– I suggest people link to their actual friends and family. Not friend in the sense of ‘yeah – that guy’s my friend’ but someone you actually know and like outside of the interweb. That should cut down on the incestuous linking.

  17. Jason Boog Says:

    Nice post. I wish I could stir up half the comment debate that you stir up in here!

    This is my favorite part: “A blogroll is not ‘a random click’. Blogs are personal which makes the blogroll just a personal. The personal taste of the writer of the blog. On my blogroll you’ll see sites which reflect me. You can see my liberal bias (i.e. Bitch Ph D) and my goofy sides (3tubes!) along with the New Media sites I read (like yours).”

    Blogrolls are very important to me, along with that sense of community. While I’m part of a blogging network, some of the individuality of my blogroll gets swallowed by my network’s links. To maintain that sense of individual taste, I’ve started keeping weekly “Link Digests” that collect and identify my favorite blogs in a specific corner of the web publishing world (crime blogs, videogame journalism, etc.).

    I think it’s a good way to maintain a connection to my favorite web writers, but also works as a blogroll alternative in my specific case–on any given day, there is at least one link digest to visible on my frontpage. So while I called my blogroll “imaginary,” it is one of the most important parts of my site.

    Thanks for all the comments about interactivity as well. You gave me a lot to think about.

  18. […] Well, to start, we link to everyone that we read and that impresses us. And there’s a growing movement (which John Scott is a part of) to bring back the blog roll, after the trend seemed to be going in the other direction. […]

  19. Three Cheers for the Low Low Magic Middle!

    Visual by http://www.PDImages.com Congratulations my friends.   Just by reading this kind of website, you are leading a new curve in Internet readership.  According to David Sifry, founder of Technorati and one of the brightest lightbulbs out there,…

  20. Rikki Says:

    I caught myself going all ‘clienty’ on my blog, then thought what the bejesus am i doing… i spend my working life trying to get people to be less clienty.
    It’s an easy trap to fall into.

  21. Idetrorce Says:

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  22. Locke Says:

    I totally agree with the part about how everyone links to these same bloggers. I think that the people who AREN’T already linked to 20 billion times and have worthwhile and original content are the ones who deserve to be linked. I might be guilty of simply posting some stuff that is already on a thousand other sites because I like it, but I try to generate my own ideas and put them out there, in hopes that maybe I can become one of those who blogs for a living. Take for example my ‘Constant Parallellism’ post, that is 100% original, but has anyone read or linked to it? Doubtful. Since I started my blog, AdSense says I’ve earned something like 50 cents. Is it because the site is worthless? Probably not. Is it because I have no presence on the web? Definitely.

  23. HomLevejevy Says:

    sorry, where is rss feed of your blog?

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