Recycling the web

The topic at hand is not something I intended to dwell on, or write about. My original (not so original) article got discarded, unceremoniously. By me. It was a nicely put together tutorial about something. What that something was, really matters naught. Trust the author, nobody will miss it.

I spent two straight days of research, half a day in putting it together, and about an hour or so to error check my, often erratic, writing. Then I took a step back to observe the result. I read through it, trying my absolute best to be as objective as humanly possible. I had an epiphany, a sudden realisation.

My article was a frankenstein monster made out of pieces taken from google’s first page of results. Was the information solid? Yes, it was. Was the information in any shape or form even remotely something you couldn’t find somewhere else? Definitely not.

Clarifying my intentions, I aim not to discourage people from constructing tutorials. My sole aim is to contemplate on why we so often write about topics that have already been covered, without actually contributing anything. Of course many will say that originality is but a windmill one should not go chasing around. Only, let me be honest here, the main reason I ended up writing about something that already was covered was my intention to show the world I know about it. In essence, to self-promote.

So, there is a huge difference in not being original and in endless content duplication. If I had used nothing more than my personal knowledge of things, the result would have quite probably ended up being just as redundant. But in that scenario there is always the off-chance of something new coming up. It is that off-chance we deem as a waste of time during our “don’t re-invent the wheel” Internet driven era. Ironically, it was such an off-chance that gave birth to the Internet.

Instead of simply addressing the problem, at this point, the most practical thing to do in order to avoid completely transforming the Internet into an even more vicious circle of repetition is to stop duplicating content. The key to that is resisting the urge to do so.

The next time you read about something that attracts viewers, and feel like duplicating it, don’t.
 Not unless you actually have something else to add or take away from it. Easy task, right? Only it is not. Our tendency to copy and paste has become so strong during the last decades, so automatic, it blurred our perspective of what is actually new or significant to oblivion.

And we all know exactly where oblivion is. At the beginning of Google’s second page.


Originally published at www.thanpa.com.