Something else has changed, too, beyond the proliferation of screens. Today, I don’t think—and I’m almost afraid to write this, because it’s like the tolling of some great bell—today I don’t think the amateur’s best effort is good enough. We as internet users have less patience and less charity for janky, half-broken experiences. (Which is quite an evolution, because the whole internet used to be a janky, half-broken experience.) That’s unfortunate for me, and other amateurs of my approximate skill level, because that’s really the only kind we can make. But you know who can totally craft an experience that works great on a phones, a tablet, a laptop, and a rice cooker? The team who made Medium. Other teams like it. In a word: professionals.
Don’t get me wrong; the amateur’s web isn’t going anywhere. It’s just that, if it used to be the internet’s Main Street, it’s starting to feel more like the forest on the edge of town. I don’t mean that in a bad way. Sure, it’s a little spooky out there, but it’s also where all the adventures start, obviously. You know, like: I hear there’s a guy out there who makes robots out of old car parts. Let’s go find him. The open web will always have that: the old guy, the robots, the car parts. —The end of history and the last website — The Sea of Fog — Medium.
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A big day for our first year writing students! So much energy in the room!