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The series of tubes known as the web

by on November 24, 2010

I used to play KingsofChaos, an online mmorpg (massively multiplayer online role playing game). As far as games go, it fulfilled its purpose, or at least was quite addictive and consumed time that could have been spent on academia. But it’s been around since 2003, and is currently in “Age” 14. I played “Age” 1-7, or thereabouts, and when after more than four years of dedicated interest to a game where I knew about three people in ‘real life’ the challenges of the game had not changed past the first week I played, I finally – about four years later – lost interest. The “Age” always lasted more than six months; the overworked high school nerds (about my own age) who created the game probably didn’t have enough time to dedicate to it.

Another nerd about my own age, within several months of the creation of KingsofChaos (KoC), created facebook. I was just complaining about how slow KoC was to change; facebook changed too quickly. When facebook was created, it was for American college students, exclusively. The purpose was to connect with other students – and as far as I could tell, the purpose even more specifically was to connect to students you otherwise wouldn’t see every day (friends from high school, for instance). Then facebook opened networks in other countries -fine. Then it opened it up to high school students. Now – and it has been for a while – facebook is open to anyone with an email account.

I’m not complaining that there are hundreds of millions of people on facebook; I’m complaining that facebook changes happened too fast. I used to know how facebook worked; when I joined, it was simple. You found someone with the search function, and could narrow it down to a network (a school). You could write on their wall. You had to remember whose wall you wrote on, because the only way to continue the conversation was to remember to go back and look. And you had to check your own profile often to see what people had said – facebook never informed you of responses. And it kept getting more and more confusing.

I still use facebook; I still like it for the original purpose it was created for – to stay in touch – but I don’t understand half of its functions anymore. I’m not that worried about security – I have my phone number written down in so many places that I don’t mind it on facebook. I just wish I could understand some of the options on facebook now.  KoC didn’t change at all; facebook changed much too quickly.

From → On the Dole

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on The Dole Blog and commented:

    This writing from ten years ago is still an accurate description of how some things on the internet don’t change, while others change too fast.

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