I’ve been noticing for years, as so many others have as well, that the online world is being transformed into something quite unrecognizable.
I noticed this incremental shift long before the “Fact Checking” era began, but not long after I got removed from the blogging platform I’d been blogging at for years, before I started this blog.
It was mere annoyance at first, at the little things. Why can’t I find recipes anymore by independent bloggers? I thought DuckDuckGo was supposed to be a more neutral search engine. Why is it all becoming so commercialized and institutionalized? So many ads, so much repetition, so few unique voices. If I didn’t know the exact name of the specific bloggers’ recipes I wanted to find the only links that come up in my searches are for the ‘big name’ mainstream mega-platforms, like Betty Crocker, Saveur, Food Network, listed over and over again. The original content creators that made the web what it is are being systematically squeezed out.
And it’s not just about controversial content, as Truthstream Media is pointing out in this new video. Mel aptly describes it as the latest Potemkin Village.
This morning I got this message (below) in my inbox. Now, it’s been some years since I’ve blogged for GRIT, and that stint didn’t last long even back then, because the stupid rules were already starting in at that point, and changing constantly, and I found it too annoying to try to keep up with them, considering it was supposed to be a labor of love (ie, no one’s getting paid for all the free content we provide).
Now it seems they don’t even want free content anymore from mere bloggers.
Dear GRIT blogger:
During the past 10 years, you have offered your know-how generously, supplying millions of readers with the actionable advice that has enabled so many households and farms to turn country living dreams into reality. The work you do — and the wisdom you transfer to the digital page — underpin more resilient, connected communities. Also during the past decade, the Internet evolved immensely.
When we started the GRIT blogging program, we were on a mission to supply a rapidly growing online readership with timely — even daily — information, free of the page and time constraints faced by the print edition of the magazine. We also were largely free of rules; blogging was in its “Wild West” period. As online writing evolved, search engines placed increasingly complex, and ever-changing, “web rules” around what content is featured in search results. Meanwhile, blogging as a format and cultural phenomenon underwent its own transitions. These factors have led us to make a tough decision.
No more bloggers at GRIT.
Looks to me like the WorldWideWeb is being Walmarted. I believe in business parlance that’s called Vertical Integration.
Anyone else finding it terribly annoying?