I can't blame the powers-that-be for shutting this board down in the slightest. As it’s already been mentioned, the recent visits and participation have been scant. I'm sure that just keeping this thing up and moderated is more trouble than it's worth at this point.
But you know, something about this whole thing has really stuck in my craw. I use this board to stay in contact with folks and find out what’s happening in my old town. I like it, and I’m bummed to see it go. I'm also more than willing to take a fair share of the blame for its departure.
The lack of activity on this board is really part-and-parcel of everything that’s wrong with how we've been using the Internet for the past several years, not coincidentally, since around the time Facebook got really popular. The Internet of yesteryear had a lot of informational diversity: If you were into Mayan pottery, or aluminum instruments, or butt-fucking rodeo clowns, or the music scene in Columbus, Ohio — chances are there was a community available for you. But while the Internet is still growing every second, we (its users) are becoming increasingly stationary. Stagnant. Lazy. Facebook isn’t the only Website out there, but each year it’s becoming the only site users visit. We seem increasingly content to simply float into the lowest-common-denominator informational estuary and participate in completely uninteresting and uninspired conversations regarding photos of our friends’ babies or the grossly unnecessary details of what we had for lunch. Really, it’s been fucking enlightening. Fact is, I'd rather listen to Billy Cool’s entire cannon than read another insipid housewife pontificate on the life and times of Charlie Sheen.
Web 2.0’s cross-pollination of content has not brought us better information. Instead, it’s simply allowed one or two sites to limit users’ range of motion, serving as a one-stop-shop for content while rankings in billions in ad revenues with marketing practices that grow increasingly intrusive. Facebook is the McDonald’s of content: it makes most of you happy, most of the time. This is the epitome of lowest-common-denominator, and it runs contrary to the egalitarian principles that created the web to begin with. Yesterday’s information seekers are today’s sated consumers, and we’re so goddamn lazy anymore that even clicking is too much of a task.
The more immobile we stay on the Web, the less likely we are to be introduced to new content. Closed, centralized systems like Facebook reinforce a confirmation bias: we begin viewing the same news sources, recycling the same anecdotes, connecting with the same people, and defaulting on content that reiterates our preconceived perceptions. It’s just like Fox News, only more annoying.
These claims will no doubt be met with some of the same old “whatever man”
vapidity that has warmed chairs at your favorite Columbus bars and funded entire generations of collegiate arts departments through the generous endowments of rich parents and their Republican trust funds. I hope the corporate tentacles at SXSW this year were successful in tapping into your grossly predictable and coveted niche market. They have devoted customers for years to come.
So long and thanks for the laffs.