web "2.0" and the decline of free hosting (9)

1 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-02-12 20:20 ID:sAVhK7JT

Recently Yahoo have shut down Geocities while AOL shut down its Hometown about a year ago. Most ISPs now no longer provide webspace as standard. All the while Yahoo have been promoting themselves as empowering users, making the internet about "you" and blah blah, when in reality they've just removed their one service that gave the users more freedom than any other. I suppose for Johnny Q. Doesntknowhtml, a generic blogging service or the like is more immediately accessible and less intimidating than a chunk of empty webspace. But as soon as he seeks more flexibility (without having to stump up cash) the options are dying out.

There are still free web hosting services around, but now most people don't even consider making their own site; for your average user, the web doesn't really belong to them anymore, regardless of what the marketing says. It belongs to Twitter and Youtube and Facebook and Myspace and Blogger, tightly controlled frameworks through which you may express yourself only within the parameters established by the corporations that own them. I do use several of these sites, I can't deny they're all useful for one thing or another, but they shouldn't be the core of the entire web. But they are, and much of its independent spirit is dying out as a result. Which, to me, is kinda sad.

2 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-02-12 22:25 ID:dVOYSjhg

The average web user types the url of the site they want to visit into google and then clicks the link that results.

You've probably seen this by now:


This was briefly the top google result for the search [facebook login]. Go read the comments at the bottom. Those are real.

3 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-02-14 00:50 ID:Heaven

it's sad people believe in "comments", when I was doing jobs in Amazon Turk most of them were to post positive comments in several blogs I never knew existed

4 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-03-24 05:27 ID:NdYHS805

I sort of miss the old days when web sites were like well-heeled encyclopedic tomes on their respective subjects. Nowadays, Google IS that site. All the results you get are like wee tributaries, paltry little firths - absolutely useless as independent resources a lot of the time.

Wikipedia is the same kind of thing. Sure the articles are vastly comprehensive for an encyclopedia, but ultimately it's a website trying to be everything at once.

5 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-04-08 19:27 ID:JELlmJR5

>>1, you really made me think. You are right, and I didn't notice it. I thought the Internet was advancing, but I think it's just getting away from the personal use and moving onto business. It IS becoming a massive medium, and like all media, it's becoming shit.

6 Name: Rembrant!lMHB2AKbq6 : 2010-04-13 01:26 ID:QaUD9gXv

I used to buy domain names and own personal web pages. It actually saddens me to give my links to people because they usually just ask "Do you have facebook? Myspace?".

7 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-04-20 04:42 ID:D3Pd9MJO

Free WordPress blogs everywhere, 1GB for your pictures for free, Flickr, "Google Sites" if you're desperate. I have a Flickr account and I like it.

But I agree with you, I miss the real free hosting where you had to do it by hand, and that's the problem: people don't care now, they want something simpler, like a blog.

OTOH, hosting is cheaper than ever. I have a VPS with 8GB and it costs $20 a month, and I'm the root. Better than free hosting.

8 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-04-21 00:58 ID:cEeeqnJc

I was talking with a friend about this and we decided it's largely a good thing -- most users suck at web design. The more control you give inexperienced users over design, the uglier and shittier they tend to make it. Hence moving them to places like Facebook and WordPress where they can still express themselves but within more readable, better designed sites.

I think the trend >>1 has noticed is a side-effect of what >>5 is talking about -- the unsettling but expected corporatization of the web. The Internet, like TV and radio, has become a place dominated by a few large sites, instead of a network of many individual sites.

The key difference is that not all large websites have corporate ugliness behind them like TV and radio--Wikipedia, for example, for all its flaws, is at least not proprietary or for-profit. And even as large sites take over the Internet, subcultures like 4-ch will still exist. In TV and radio you have homegrown TV stations and ham radio, but in that case it's only available locally. With the Internet, subcultures can thrive because they are readily accessible.

9 Name: 404 - Name Not Found : 2010-05-24 08:01 ID:xiaZ6lh7

>I was talking with a friend about this and we decided it's largely a good thing -- most users suck at web design. The more control you give inexperienced users over design, the uglier and shittier they tend to make it.

Oh come one, we all loved those websites! Or maybe it's just the nostalgia goggles. But even so, those type of websites always had a personality because the people, no matter how bad they were at HTML, always coded the pages themselves.

Also, I think it's that people don't want static HTML anymore, they want dynamic web pages and I think that's too much cost for the ISPs to give out for free.

Even so, there are a growing number of free webhosts that provide lots of support. I remember back in the days we had to deal with freewebs.com, 50megs.com, et al. Nowadays, there's a lot more free webhosts that provide free php, cgi, etc support without ad banners.

And as mentioned already, paid hosting has gotten way cheap.

In conclusion, Internet isn't getting better or worse, it's just a different time. There's worse stuff, but there's also better stuff. Such is the universe.

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