The Death of a Website

Like I told the bagpipe bandleader, none of us are really sure how to commemorate the life of a website. Part of that is because, hey, a website isn’t really alive. So it’s a difficult question. How do you remember?

I remember when I wrote about it. There was such beautiful harmony in this clever system of giving people thumbs-up and earning points for photo contests and answering ridiculous yet thought-provoking questions. I’ve long had an affinity for non-binding imaginary point systems, that fact is known to many.

It was sad when I heard that it would be going offline. Unsolemn VigilI had a spree-day contacting people I’d met on there once or twice, people I liked but never really kept in touch with. Does anyone reading this remember when Flickr used to be mostly just bloggers with cool pictures they wanted to host? Every photo had an interesting reason to be there; you had to portion out which photos you uploaded cause you only had 20mbs a month to work with. So you only only put up the best ones. Either that, or you shilled out the $60 to become… pro. Lots of websites go through that high-quality early-adopter content-building phase. Consumating never had a chance to outgrow that magical period, and I’m bittersweetly thankful. I sound silly enough waxing about Flickr.

So I’ll just remember it how it always was: silly; playful; packed with interesting people, far too interesting; a perfectly crafted time-waster; the spirit of an age. Not bad for a site that started life as joke personals ads.

Several Posts in One

I got new glasses today. They are blue, with tiny stars on the arms. I’m don’t quite like them as much as I expected to, but part of that is the new even stronger prescription. The world feels just that much further away (but -9 will do that to anybody). My right eye is worse than my left and so the recurring perception is that my glasses are uneven, and so I’ll start to adjust them before realizing “oops, these were freshly fitted just earlier today.” But, well, they are blue.

Also found out today Consumating will be going offline for good in about a month. This is sad for a number of reasons. I’ve met a lot of people through Consumating, good friends. There’s also a lot of people I like that I just… never really hung out with. But could have! Some who live across the country, who I might have someday met, who I probably never will. The community (and there is a community, in this instance) is being broken up. I’ve been archiving some of my old stuff that I wrote, although now that I’ve read Waxy’s writeup on CNET’s Consu-killing decision I realize I didn’t have to. I gave lots of tags, thumbed up every question for a couple people, and wrote some nice notes. It’s not that I think that’s important, it’s just that I’m sad I didn’t take as much out of it as I could’ve. Life is short. This post isn't. Keep reading…

Consu-totha-mating

Yo! Traffic spike. You gotta know, I seen a lotta people be comin’ here lately from old Consumating.com. Who’s gonna say why. I mean, I could. I could tell all y’all. I could if I wanted fosho.

And why don’t I? Mystery and subtlety aren’t my obsessions lately. I’ve better things to figure out. Makeouts. Masculine identity. Communal living. City living. Financial deterrents. Financial dependence. Desire. Purpose. Choice. Path. Consumating.

One of these things is not like the other…

Consumating.com is a website. The same as MySpace, but tucked away and with a better crowd. No hustlers or 15 year-olds trying to get in. These people don’t dig the scene but they love the music. They’re internet locals. They live there and they know the place. They’ll flirt with you at two o’clock in the morning same as they would at two in the afternoon. The games are good, and the kissing’s great. Conversation’s even better. It’s the bar I never had growing up.

But then again I never been to a bar with a point system. Up front, strait up, above the table, not by the way, point system. Here’s how it works (like you don’t know): two points each thumbs up, one less every thumb down. Gladiatorial life and death has never been so simple. Your profile is there for all to look at (and it looks like everyone’s—no HTML soup to serve your friends). It’s got pictures, it’s got space for a witty l’il quote. So far it’s MySpace without the ugly. But instead of general movies music television schools businesses boring boring you go ahead and outright LABEL yourself with some web2.0y tags. Me, I’m tagged memetics, dinosaurs, pixel_fonts, and abandoned_buildings. I like ’em, and that’s who I am. And the “About Me” section? Who you’d really like to meet? All bullcrap anyway. He who gets his whole personality across when asked those questions doesn’t deserve to be met. An ingenious solution: don’t ask dumb questions; try interesting ones. More opportunities to be clever than you can shake on a pogo stick… That a pogo stick bounces at… That you can bounce a pogo stick to shake… Well, it doesn’t come if you force it.

The point is points. You get ’em when people like you’re answers, when they like your photos, when they like you. You collect points and get ranked against everybody else. Life or death. Being clever is fun. Taking jiveass pictures is fun. Flirting, notepasssing, and rating strangers is fun. Getting more popular is a job—an addictive job.

I wanna be cool like all the other cool people. I don’t wanna play SEO and figure what attitudes provide the most ROI. I wanna kill time, not waste it. I wanna attend Secret Santa consu-meetings and meet worthy people from another world, give worthwhile presents and get worthwhile kisses. But you know what else? I wanna break the triple digits. In the past month I’ve doubled my points. I wanna break 1000th place.

So why couldn’t I just say that up front? I linked to my own page from Consumating. And I did it because it’d be fun, sure. But I did it for points too.
Read more…

Subtlety can be good. You don’t just walk up and ask a fella for a beer, you say hi and give an interesting perspective and make friends, then you ask for a beer. If it’s a good bar, you might be lucky enough to get that far.


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