The reason the World Wide Web is called the World Wide Web is because it’s filled with interconnected links, allowing you to move from site to site. Do you ever do that?
When I first started using the web, yes, I did click around from site to site, it was kind of neat. Now, when I want some information I go to a search engine (typically Google, but I’ve just installed the MSN toolbar, but I digress), type in a search and go directly to the info I want. I do very little “browsing” when on the web. Two reasons:
- Many sites actively seek to keep you on their site
- The web is getting really, really big… wandering is not as interesting as it used to be, there’s just too much random crap.
The thing that has brought back interest in web surfing for me is the concept of the blog sphere. A blog sphere is a subset of a subset of the web; it’s the blogs (one subset) I read (another sub set). This narrowing of scope has made it much easier to navigate the web in an ad hoc fashion as I am no longer presented with the overwhelming scope of the web… I’m presented with the web as seen by people I think are interesting (who find interesting links, produce interesting content or are, simply, interesting).
All day today I’ve been listening to a new, free album I downloaded from Mercedes Benz (yes, the auto manufacturer). Seeing as you don’t expect go looking for music on a car manufacturer’s site and I don’t own a Mercedes (or a Chrysler for that matter) it’s unlikely I would have happened upon this site on my own. I found it because Paul left a comment on my blog, and he entered the URL for his blog. Reading his blog I found the info on the Benz free music download.
Viewed as a whole, the web is full of a bunch of random crap. Viewed through the filter of the people with whom I share a connection it becomes a whole lot more interesting.