Posted on Thu 04 December 2014

RIP Boing Boing (1995-2013)

Boing Boing is dead to me. I’m not sure when I first noticed, but I think it was last year some time. I consciously started ignoring it about two months ago, and nothing happened.

I have had an RSS aggregator - Tiny RSS - set up since Google Reader announced it was going under. BB was the first thing to be displayed every morning, at the top of the list, for years. And slowly BB has become both annoying and irrelevant.

Let’s tackle annoying, first: the ads. The advertorials. The unlabeled advertorials that adopt the voice of a BB editor but are unsigned. It’s one thing to have opinions and preferences, another thing to have your opinions and preferences up for sale… and really annoying to put them up for sale and then not even own up to it.

Second, the podcasts. I’m not a podcast person. People talking are too slow. They usually haven’t thought through their words. It’s inefficient, which is the exact opposite of what I’m looking for.

Third, the page-view splitting. Want a link to a source? Only after you click through. Fairly often, there’s only one or two sentences of new information on the referenced page. Sometimes, there’s nothing.

Fourth, the repeats. I’m probably overreacting, but it feels to me that most mornings bring a doubled article because the BB editors reach into a submission queue and pull out a link without any sort of lock process. Elementary tools, Watsons.

And now for the irrelevancies: I get better coverage of the topics I’m interested in from other sources: TechDirt, The Consumerist, Bruce Schneier, The Brothers Brick – heck, everybody else on my RSS feed. BB hasn’t had useful commentary from anybody except Cory Doctorow in years, and mostly he puts that in his Guardian column these days, and then links to it.

So. Bye-bye, Boing Boing. It was a nice eighteen or nineteen years, and maybe you’ll reinvent yourself as something useful to me in another five years or so. I’ll check in, but not too often.

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