17 ways to accelerate the race to the bottom


Opening up my feed reader this morning one article jumped out at me, it was The Sad State of the Web Design Community.

Kari Patila has a point, it's been months since I've read an article that stopped me in my tracks and adjusted my web des/dev perspective. All to often it's 10 awesome 'x', 39 ways to do 'y', that get browsed by click → scroll → scan → scroll → next. A quick fix, and like an addict immediately looking for the next hit.

Taking the drug analogy that I seem to have stumbled upon slightly further, are we - the community - addicts to this kind of horse crap? Or do we simply consume whatever the drugrunners are pushing?

It's not just the web community, it's the web.

Possibly the problem is that the web is free. A solely advertising supported business model means these publishers are chasing clicks. More clicks means the more they can charge for advertising, and by the law of averages, the more people will click on these adverts, you guessed it meaning more money in their pockets.

It's a catch 22. As long as listicles (sick I know) bring in the clicks, the more listicles and similar twaddle will be published.

We're creating a throw-away disposable web. A race to the bottom.

And while success is measured in the number of page views, or diggs, or retweets this will remain the case.

Expanding this thought to the web in general, traditional print media companies are one step ahead of the game in the race to the bottom, they're on their knees. But if the web continues to join that race it may just be the light to survival for those behemoths.

Value should be in the content, not number of clicks that can be generated.

The thing is good quality content is niche. It has to be niche to be good quality. It wont be apealing to the masses, it won't have a low barrier to entry, but it will have high value to the particular community.

If newspapers - not in the physical sense, but the content that they can produce - realise this first they may have a pay-per-view or subscription model that might just work.

Comments? Tweet me @mealybar, smoke signals, or homing pigeon, or something :)