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You Don T Get To Decide What The Web Is For Buddy

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Emily Christensen

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User since: 14 Dec 1998

Articles written: 15

I feel ill every time I hear another argument over what the purpose of the Web is. Whether community, information, design or whatever: exactly what gives some joker on a mailing list the idea that it's up to him to decide the ultimate purpose of millions of Web sites?

The Web is a lot of things to a lot of very different people. Let's face it: for some, it's all about free porn, which is OK by me. In fact, I love those guys. They don't run around trying to convince other people of the rightness and righteousness of their opinion.

The Web has grown from something very experimental to become big. So big that parts of it now warrant TV commercials. Something that big can accommodate more than one view.

I'm going to type this very slowly so that everyone can understand what I'm trying to say: The Web can be about more than one thing.

Project Gutenburg, the {fray},, and Bigbob's Web Chat are all going in different directions, but none of them should be denied FTP rights because they don't live up to some yahoo's idea of the Web As It Should Be.

Same goes for sites that are just about making something pretty, or unusual, or flashy. Some turn out to be ugly and others are kind of cool, but you wouldn't believe how bent out of shape certain people get over them. It's not just Jakob Nielsen, either. Anyone who has ever spent time on a mailing list devoted to an aspect of the Web development field knows that is bound to send someone's blood pressure through the ceiling.

This is what I always want to tell these people: Calm down. The existence of sites that you think are wasteful doesn't harm you in any way. It doesn't mean you have to stop adding content to the Web. If you think Gabocorp is so awful, just don't go there. You waste your breath and my time when you constantly complain about the fact that it exists.

So please, find something else to gripe about. As long as it isn't frames.

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