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April 16, 2013 10:28 AM   Subscribe


 
Wired: If you could eliminate one thing on the web, what would it be?

[Matt] Haughey: Buzzfeed. It reduces everything to the basest thing possible. Every time I go there, I see an article about something huge, and it’s like three paragraphs, total. Or it’s a listicle. Buzzfeed shows that the economics of this approach work, and it’s driving everybody down to its level.

posted by zarq at 10:30 AM on April 16, 2013 [12 favorites]


More'n just people it seems . . .
posted by ahimsakid at 10:31 AM on April 16, 2013


Man, back in the late 90s, Wired to me was like National Geographic for the online world. Loved it.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:34 AM on April 16, 2013 [5 favorites]


Hope they included the people behind the technology that led to the end of the web.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:37 AM on April 16, 2013


I got the 3rd issue of WIRED for free at Comdex. It had Sonic the Hedgehog on the cover, in a board room. I bought the next 10 years worth or so. And still pick it up regularly if I'm a) near a bookstore and b) going to have a chance to read it. Even when I disagreed, it gave me things to think about.

And for most of those years it also showed me what happens when graphic designers don't care about impressing anyone other than other graphic designers (HELLO, LIGHT BLUE INK on NEON BACKGROUND!)
posted by DigDoug at 10:38 AM on April 16, 2013 [4 favorites]


ahimsakid: "More'n just people it seems . . ."

Yeah, sorry. I probably should have been clearer than just taken an edited quote from them. It's companies and the people who run them, concepts, ideas, etc.

Also, the page's interface is a little weird. It displays a random selection of profile interview links when it loads. Click on "A-Z" to see them all, but if you're on an older computer like me, I'd suggest shutting off images so you don't kill your browser.
posted by zarq at 10:39 AM on April 16, 2013


Man, back in the late 90s, Wired to me was like National Geographic for the online world. Loved it.

Me too. I had a subscription in high school. My favorite features in it were the ones that weren't about computers and the Internet at all, but were about people thinking about issues like world hunger and space travel. For a kid living in a small town, it was a travelogue of different ways of thinking and working. I'm not sure what fills that niche today.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:41 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


...it was a travelogue of different ways of thinking and working. I'm not sure what fills that niche today.

You're soaking in it.
posted by DU at 10:52 AM on April 16, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Now, the zippies are planning the most radical musical invasion of America since the Beatles and the Stones first kicked up the shit 30 years ago. More radical in fact, since what is being offered is an entire cultural attitude, a postcyberpunk, postconsumerist way of life. If you've got nothing better to do (and who does?!), plan on heading to the Grand Canyon this August. Woodstock revivals won't hold a candle to the zippie invasion of 1994."

Hells yeah, who could forget? The thing. That was in that magazine that one time. Just like, member when that time when Sega achieved global dominos? That was before Way2k though.
Imma go pet mah CueCat and look forward to all my new important trends.
posted by petebest at 11:05 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shit, cruelly omitted once again. Always the one trying to inappropriately touch the drunkest bridesmaid, never the bride.
posted by tigrefacile at 11:10 AM on April 16, 2013


Wired was a touchstone of mid-90s cyberculture, back when you could say "cyberculture" with a straight face, along with various conspiracy zines, Fortean Times, back issues of Mondo2000 and alt2600, tattered printouts of phrack.

Then they breathlessly explained how push technology was going to make the web obsolete, and I knew it was over for them. I doubled down into comics reading instead, and gave up on tech periodicals entirely when they cancelled MacWeek.

Make magazine is the modern Wired - beautiful production values while still being about things nerds do and aspire to.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:14 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


fuck, I'm old.
posted by ouke at 11:18 AM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Push technology. That was been my go-to "what a bunch of idiots" example for so long that nobody even got that joke anymore. I'm glad I'm not the only one that remembers it.

Now I tried to use "java and xml" for that, but with so many koolaid drinkers it doesn't work much better.
posted by DU at 11:24 AM on April 16, 2013


Man, Wired, is still around? I thought it should have vanished up it's own ego around 2003 or so.
posted by happyroach at 11:24 AM on April 16, 2013


Make magazine is the modern Wired - beautiful production values while still being about things nerds do and aspire to.

Oh and on this...I dunno. I think Make is on the downslide. So many kits and nonsense projects lately.
posted by DU at 11:25 AM on April 16, 2013


Man, Wired, is still around?

Wired today is really different than the magazine it used to be, but it's evolved more gracefully than I would've expected. Their blogs (my personal favorites are Danger Zone and Threat Level) are well-written and researched, especially given that we live in a "Buzzfeed world."
posted by antonymous at 11:38 AM on April 16, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, Wired.
posted by kmz at 11:43 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, I love me some old-school Wired, though I haven't really paid attention to the magazine for years. The network is great, though.

The closest thing I found to ye olde Wirede was Seed, which combined amazing layouts with pretty real science stuff. Better than other pop science rags and way more accessible than any journal, but still hardcore. If you ever see one sitting around, pick it up and take a look.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:45 AM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh and on this...I dunno. I think Make is on the downslide. So many kits and nonsense projects lately.

Agreed. It's a shame too. It had such promise.
posted by bondcliff at 11:55 AM on April 16, 2013


The closest thing I found to ye olde Wirede was Seed, which combined amazing layouts with pretty real science stuff.

Yeah, Seed was great. I subscribed, got like 2 issues, and they went out of business or stopped producing on paper or something. I never got any others and never got a refund.
posted by DU at 12:04 PM on April 16, 2013


Petebest, to me, it actually seems like it's describing a cultural phenomenon very similar to that of Burning Man, so while that specific event and name has been (almost) forgotten, that sort of culture seems to be very alive and well. As of 1994, Burning Man a small thing that was still word-of mouth.
posted by WaylandSmith at 12:27 PM on April 16, 2013


for most of those years it also showed me what happens when graphic designers don't care about impressing anyone other than other graphic designers

I still have the first dozen or so issues of Wired (taking up valuable space with old issues of Boing Boing, Mondo, Might, and The Nose among others), but tbh, I only ever really bought it for the design. Once it stopped frying my retinas I lost interest.

To celebrate the 20th the eds really should've hosted a video panel discussion between the peeing Logitech baby and the swimming Nevermind baby.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:43 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also the very first issue (with annotations) is available on iPad (since last year)
posted by bdz at 1:20 PM on April 16, 2013


I'm all for avoiding the obvious but this "gathering of stories" makes no mention of Apple, Steve Jobs or the iPhone but does mention Nick Denton, Nintendo and the electric car. A fairly skewed look at what shaped the past 20 years.
posted by epo at 1:36 PM on April 16, 2013


I'm all for avoiding the obvious but this "gathering of stories" makes no mention of Apple, Steve Jobs or the iPhone but does mention Nick Denton, Nintendo and the electric car. A fairly skewed look at what shaped the past 20 years.

Perhaps they wanted to avoid AAPL to avoid the obvious callback to the 1997 "Pray for Us," which starts with, "Admit it. You're out of the hardware game."

(Although it is fairly interesting to see which of those ideas did actually come to fruition in that company over the last 16 years.)

I'm personally disappointed that they didn't include Neal Stephenson's "Mother Earth Board," which was a great nerd travelogue on the physical infrastructure of the Internet, and even more disappointed that their wacky "Future Scenarios" special issue from fall 1995 appears to not even been on the site.
posted by sobell at 1:53 PM on April 16, 2013


Maybe they avoided Apple because other than making fashion models look like they understand computers, Steve Jobs didn't invent bupkus?
posted by DU at 1:58 PM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


*sigh*
posted by entropicamericana at 2:05 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I gave up on Wired after they did a big redesign that called out how much it was a lifestyle magazine, like Playboy without the good bits.

Looking back, I guess it was kind of like Popular Science too: THE FUTURE, WE CAN BULLSHIT ABOUT IT LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:18 PM on April 16, 2013


I've been reading Wired for 13-14 years now. If they could just drop the "tested" section, I'd love it. Lately, the true crimes using tech stories have probably been the thing most attracting my attention.
posted by drezdn at 2:46 PM on April 16, 2013


Maybe they avoided Apple because other than making fashion models look like they understand computers, Steve Jobs didn't invent bupkus?

Look at you. Such a brave stance.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:32 PM on April 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm torn. I'm pretty sure that I first heard about this program called "Mosaic" in Wired. On the other hand, they kept publishing George Gilder.
posted by gamera at 10:40 PM on April 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steve Jobs didn't invent bupkus So which bit of "shaped the last 20 years" are you failing to comprehend? What did Nick Denton invent?
posted by epo at 12:23 AM on April 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nothing about Linux or Torvalds? Dead to me.
posted by northtwilight at 1:35 AM on April 17, 2013


I don't think I made the cut, but I am too chicken to look.
posted by chemoboy at 2:34 AM on April 17, 2013


Anyone buy this on the ipad? Was it worth the cost?
posted by DigDoug at 8:07 AM on April 17, 2013


taking up valuable space with old issues of Boing Boing, Mondo, Might, and The Nose

octobersurprise,

David Latimore was central to small publishing in SanFran during the era, and you liked his esprit to judge by your list of faves.

I'd also like to raise a toast to Queen Mu and those High Frontiers.
posted by issue #1 at 8:06 PM on April 18, 2013


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