Infinite internet and the content loop

Facebook status damaged by DCT artefacts

When you work with the internet, you internalise the fact that is literally infinite: you can build a dynamic page that shows you calendar information for an arbitrary day in the future. The fact that there is a (joke) page for the end of the internet illustrates this beautifully.

Now if the internet is infinite, there must be an abondance of content, right? Not really. I my post about Mastodon, I mentioned the content loop, the fact that many active forums reach a high loop factor, the same questions get asked again and again, and the same content get posted again and again, most typically in the forms of images, which only get changed in two ways: increased levels of DCT artefacts (getting recompressed again) and some additional frame, as people share a screenshot of the original image, cum application frame, mobile phone status bar et al.

In the old days, the first problem was alleviated by a FAQ page, which would hold the Frequently Asked Questions, along with their responses. A list of recurring jokes and links could also prevent new posting. Of course, this would involve some work from the moderators and some discipline of the participants, pretty rare commodities on the internet. These mechanisms can lower the noise level, but I don’t think they would avoid the loop problem, because basically the problem is that while the internet is infinite, good content is not, and as I consume content, I learn and my expectations increase.

I love the YouTube channel Adrian’s Digital Basement, and while there are a few similar channels (like for instance the 8-Bit Guya), but somehow they don’t appeal so much to me (I find Adrian’s voice very soothing). So in a very narrow way, I reached the end of the internet.

One thought on “Infinite internet and the content loop”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.