Introducing The Internet
The Internet is a huge network, connecting over two billion computers all over the world. The amount of websites available on the WWW is staggering, boasting over 250,000,000, and constantly growing.
Within this gargantuan mass of browsable locations there is a large amount of information and creativity, sites that inspire, inform and assist in the pending struggle we know as life. Yet there is also a big load of nothing. There are websites that provide you with only domains, ads and/or under construction signs. Splash pages. Blanks. Dead ends.
While the number of null websites greatly cut down on the total number of sites available, there are still more good websites than you will be able to visit in a lifetime, much less partake in all the useful resources or services of. What a waste, right?
Capacity & Limitation
It's wide, the web. Even if you did spend your whole life trying to visit all the websites in the world, even if they weren't constantly updated; even if new sites weren't constantly being created, the goal would be completely impossible. The net may not have lived longer than the average human being, yet it has already attained more information than even an abnormal human being would ever be able to attain in a lifetime. The net is a world of its own, one without the same restraints as the real one, able to support as much data as we allow it to, which at the time of writing seems to be indefinable amounts. Can something really be this infinite?
The net is a completely artificial world, without any material connection to our world, reliant of electrical and technological life-support to stay existent. In difference from the Earth it does not have the ability to sustain itself and therefore it is as far from a perpetual machine as we will ever get. If the electromagnetic field on this planet suddenly started to waver just a little, the Internet would collapse instantly... along with all of our data. Unless of course our data is stored in a high-security server-farm bunker with EMP protection, and as far as I know very few sites are fortunate enough to have such a high-class level of safety. But that's a different story.
The point I'm trying to make is that the amount of informational input is constantly outgrowing the resources available to maintain all stored material. This does not mean you won't be able to access the net, or that large communities you cherish will start falling like stars out of a translucent sky. This just means that the constant stream of digital material is too great for the material world to sustain indefinitely. It's like trying to pour too much water through a filter. Some of it inevitably goes over the edge. On the net a surplus of data is constantly being washed down the drain while only a portion filters through and stays in the bottle.
Though storage capacity is growing all the time, so is the demand for storage; at a much faster pace. The net is dynamic, and just like a human being, a lot of information is lost in the process of change or evolution. Just think about all the photos, articles & other data that are constantly erased in the infinitely persistent flow of activity online. Some is discarded accidentally, some purposefully to make way for the new. Some of it is missed, some of it forgotten and some of it was never even noticed. Like that surplus video footage I uploaded to YouTube and deleted, with no one but me to view and review it.
There is a lot of ambition involved in the making of the net. Along with a lot of nothing there's also a lot of creativity scattered out across its massive surface. Though you probably stumble over many great sites now and then in your venture across cyberspace there are doubtlessly a lot of places you would like to visit that you don't know about yet, places still left undiscovered. But how do you filter the good from the bad? The useful from the needless?
The world has been mapped. You know the continents, the seas, many of the countries, probably even countless cities around the globe. On the net there is still much white space, still a lot of new domains popping up all over the place. The progress is not confined to a certain space and thanks to the never-ending expansion taking part there is no map. You rely on tools (like Google) to find what you are looking for, and even then the results are ultimately dictated by of the tool.
The results may be relevant if you enter the right phrases, but how do you find something if you don't know what you're looking for? There is no brochure.
Caught In The Net
I have probably visited hundreds of thousands of websites along my ventures online, and I've found plenty of unique and well-made ones on the way. Some of the sites I visited lured me in and kept me there, some tried but failed miserably; some didn't even bother.
I used to have a loooong list of bookmarks in my browser, a list that consisted mostly of websites I thought looked interesting, none that were of continual use. Eventually I filtered through my bookmarks (a computer crash did most of the work though) and I now use it to keep track of places that I'll need to return to, for work, or pleasure, or both. I keep sites in my bookmarks only until whatever mission they were relevant to has been accomplished.
A Bookmark Collection
Even if there are plenty of great sites out there, it would be a waste of time to partake in the constantly renewed stream of inspiration they provide. There's just too much good stuff online! So instead of storing the great sites I stumble upon in my bookmarks, I list them here. I started this links page to list sites that I liked and wanted the rest of the world to know about, and it has expanded into a directory containing not just websites I admire but also websites that have a purpose; a use.
Like all tools used to find sites, this one is confined to what I like to visit, not what I think you want to see. We are all different so there would be no sense in that anyway. My ambition is not to gather all the best sites in the world here, but rather to provide a database of relevant links that are of continual use to both myself and anyone out there like me.
As I work primarily with design when online, resources of a web-related sort are the primary focus. There is probably something here for everyone though, even you, even if you don't have the least bit of interest in design or web related services. I'm happy you found this site, since the chance of you doing so is as small as finding any of the many ones listed.