Commonplace Book: Lament for the Blogging & The Internet

Tipped by the always readable Farhad Manjoo, a NYTimes tech writer (with  a good twitter name), I checked out Jia Tolentino’s lament for blogging, in The New Yorker, pegged in part to the closing of The Awl, sort of the blog equivalent of an alternative daily.

It’s a nice piece, although perhaps a bit impredicative in that it (I assume unwittingly) embodies some of the reasons people might not be so interested in blogs any more. Although it oversells a golden age” of the Internet that has been lost (such vanished Edens have always been with us, although perhaps they are disappearing over the horizon faster and faster), there is a sense of fun that has diminished (even for somebody who barely even qualifies as a blogger, like me).

In passing she quotes Alex Balk, writing in 2015. He was a founder of The Awl, and his update to the ‘lament for the makers‘ is bracing:

I have previously shared with you Balk’s Law (“Everything you hate about The Internet is actually everything you hate about people”) and Balk’s Second Law (“The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything”). Here I will impart to you Balk’s Third Law: “If you think The Internet is terrible now, just wait a while.” The moment you were just in was as good as it got. The stuff you shake your head about now will seem like fucking Shakespeare in 2016.

Perhaps true, but also perhaps ever so, for more than just the Internet. Somewhere I recall a Mark Twain quote, “no matter what the show, the golden age seems to have ended the day before I bought my first ticket”

Good Words For Bloggers from Getty

Tipped by Neverending Search, am happy to share the news that Getty Images has offered a kosher way to link to images in its vast archives. This means that non-profit bloggers and others using images for non-commercial use, such as teachers, can link legally rather than the old m.o. (“right clickable? must be okie-dokie!”). It’s akin to YouTube–you just grab the embed code and paste it in.


And just to test it, here is a photo of one of my favorite concert pianists:

Embed from Getty Images

The branding is a little more noticeable than YouTube’s (although do we even ever think about YouTube’s brand any more, it’s just the infrastructure of the web?) It includes the photographer’s name, which is long overdue.

Here’s Uchida performing Schumann (via an embedded YouTube clip).

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