PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- In 1995, when the internet only had 200 sites on it, there was Mirsky's Worst of the Web
. Every day, a mysterious dude named Mirsky would post a link to a badly designed or horribly conceived site, and make snarky fun of the design and content
. Most webmasters had nightmares about being picked. Not me.
I formulated a plan: I'd make a home page so bad that Mirsky would just have
to link to it. I created "Kyle's Walkman Server," a daily list of the cassettes I had in my tape player on my bus ride to school. It had a puke green background, and all the text was lime green and had the BLINK tag. After three months and several anonymous e-mails, Mirsky took the bait. On April 24, 1995, I was the Worst
Today's American newsmedia is sensationalist. More and more, newscasts and newspapers focus on stories which shock and titilate. Until today, I'd never understood it. Now I realize it's to provide a healthy balance from journalists like this guy.
I am not very familiar with this SportsNation
teevee show, I've only seen it once. I do not remember how their Site of the Day thing works, but friends on the Tweetertron tell me that they put an internet website on the teevee for like 15 seconds and then a burst of unmonetizable traffic happens. Today, apparently, The Mid-Majority is that site
. This is the first time in 15 years something I've made has been the Anything of the Anything!
In 1995, too much content wasn't the problem. ESPN.com was still ESPNet SportsZone, and you couldn't get North Atlantic Conference basketball scores for three days. There were so few "offramps" on the "information superhighway" that Kyle's Walkman Server was actually quite popular (Play some Smashing Pumpkins!
), Mirsky or no Mirsky.
Things have changed, a lot. And this time, the cyber-mindf*ck is on me. Two days ago, I wrote about how badly the Worldwide Leader in Sports needs content to fill its multiple channels
; it was just another meditation on the ongoing Season 6 theme of the weakness of Big Things: outsized need. Elephants require a lot of food to survive!
The public didn't demand the existence of SportsNation
, and I can't imagine advertisers asking for it either. SportsNation
is a TV show specifically created to fill a half-hour of air time (more with the repeats) with funny videos and cool web links. Most of what's in the show is generated on the web, by others, on the outside. It's basically intellectual property appropriation, "helping" independent content producers with exposure. Thanks, folks! I'd be a total jerk if I wasn't grateful.
Our longtime readers can appreciate the irony in all of this, since I was fired from ESPN.com last January
after four years of covering mid-majors, specifically for writing about the very Sports Bubble
that brought about the need to use my site as cheap filler a year later. (With virtual mirror-halls like that, who needs LSD?) But I have never regarded "ESPN" as a single evil behemoth, like some do
, because the Content Monster is so huge that the right pinky toe never knows what the ass pimple is doing. This is just another example of that.
But hello! To anybody who's clicked on this site looking for a "new George Mason," please keep searching, and good luck with that. We're more concerned with five-month seasonal investments
than adopting an underdog goldfish
for a couple of weeks. We talk about things other than college basketball, because college basketball has to do with a lot of other things; as such, TMM is not very compatible with ADD.
So if you like cartoons
, horchata, truck stops
and 2,000-word esoteric essays
, it was probably a fated occurrence that you came along today. Welcome, new friends! UPDATE: The award was quietly rescinded during the afternoon, before show time. This tuxedo rental is non-refundable, though.