Reasonably Polymorphic describes why lately, so much of the Internet feels bland and generic:
The internet feels now like it consists of ten big sites, plus fifty auxiliary sites that come up whenever you search for something outside of the everyday ten. It feels like it’s harder to find amateur opinions on matters, except if you look on social media, where amateur opinions are shared, unsolicited, with much more enthusiasm than they deserve.
Back in the 90s, the Internet seemed like a collection of Internet forums filled with weird people and all sorts of threads worth discovering, with new revelations every day. I’ve often wondered if I only remember it that way because I was young, or if it really was different.
But the spirit of the early web isn’t gone: the bookmarks I’ve kept these long decades mostly still work, and many of them still receive new content. There’s still weird, amateur, passion-project stuff out there.
I’d really like to know what those links are. The author believes search engine optimization is the biggest problem, and makes an interesting observation:
Google isn’t the only search engine around. There are others, but it’s fascinating that none of them compete on the basis of providing better results
It seems like a hard problem to solve. Any search engine that promises great results will eventually be broken by a savvy marketer with SEO skills. What would be helpful is a return to the early 90s – a curated list of blogs, not a search engine, but an aggregator only serving up high quality content. Users could then search through the headlines – effectively building a walled garden within the larger internet. As long as the content exists, that would be an easy place to start.