Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Unsung One

As you scour the Internet for sites to read or play around with you begin to realise that there are many "I don't know what to do with this site" kind of websites and the converse "Oh My God! I never knew such a great site actually existed."
It will be very safe to bet that no one will ever visit all the sites (not web pages) that are there on this planet, not even Google's hardworking bots. The same holds true for the blogs as well.
I came across a long time ago, probably a few months after it was launched, it seemed like a very interesting concept and being a DNA reader (those who can think only along the lines of the newspaper in Mumbai can start panicking about their intellect right now) it was a very natural thing to do, sign up that is. But in those days the Internet wasn't studied like it is today. We visited sites and then we forgot about them after a while. I guess a lot of surfers did that with, people moved on and the Internet became a far more integral part of their lives, they started spending a lot of their waking hours online, sites got a dedicated set of visitors and many smart movers came up with a rehashed version of existing sites. Wikipedia was one of them. It has the same agenda as, except that its a wiki, WYSIWYG helped it build a large number of articles and also become the de facto encylopaedia on the web. h2g2 'lost out' because it was a right idea at a wrong time and when the right time did come along, someone made reading and writing stuff on the Internet easier. I would like to speculate about what would happen if h2g2 were to incorporate wiki. Would it still be a niche? (Is that pronounced just as the Americans would pronounce Nietzsche?)

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