I find myself getting nostalgic for the days of the 56k modem when the internet
sold us the dream of a level playing field and the possibility of a truly fair market place
regardless of the size of business. While search engines delivered their results in what
then seemed an incredible speed and the results seemed to bear some resemblance to
the inquiry, and we had a choice and found the best engine for our needs.

There were no sponsored links that now encourage us to visit sites that always get
listed no matter what I ever asked Jeeves, and never seems to have what we are
looking for, and we even may have gone to the second page.

Then some bright spark (and I am being sarcastic) came up with pop-ups! At first this
was limited to leaving a site and a new window would open. But due to the
comparative slowness of pre-broadband we eventually learnt to close the window
before the page loaded and so never got to see what this unsolicited act was tempting
us with. So that bright spark changed the rules and pop-ups started to compromise our
band width by appearing like the Shop Owner in Mr Benn as we found our way to the
information we were after. While this jolly wheeze was inflating the bubble to itís
inevitable bursting point, it had the added effect of slowing down the site we actually
wanted to see. Leaving us free to make a cup of tea, have a smoke, ring a friend
workout at the local gym.

Browsers that where ten a penny with useful upgrades gave us the opportunity to
activate pop-up blockers and put us back in control of our surfing experience. They
even marketed themselves with this feature, which was strange as would
advertisers would tell you about the success of such campaigns while using the
blockers themselves. It seemed that only a secret society knew the how to make the
World Wide Web work for them.

With advent of broadband and the passing of DSN the humble surfer was now at
liberty to access all the URLs that normally would take hours in minutes making the
search far more productive. Well supposedly.

But I digress, having gone through all this we are now being bombarded with twitter
sidebars which are more annoying than pop pop-ups! Just when I think the page I
want has loaded either the page is shunted to a new layout, or the information I really
want is covered up by twitter feeds. And the thing that has made me so angry is not
that I donít want this service, or that I have so far I find this intrusion to be of no
relevance to my surfing is that it is from a laughingly self proclaimed SOCIAL
MEDIA. Like trying to have a quite conversation in ones local that has got a coach
party of turrets sufferers popping in to use the toilets. The etiquette of social
behaviour is a forgotten man.

Like the 56k modem it slows down the experience and becomes as distracting as pop-
ups ever were. Unlike the 56k modem I canít block this, and to add insult to injury I
have to wait until the dam thing has loaded before I can get it off my screen. Add to
this that that bright spark has been waiting patiently a further advertising bar at the
bottom of my screen appears with a multitude of miracle products that will deliver life
affirming and changing results.

So I find myself getting nostalgic for the days of the 56k modem when the internet
sold us the dream of a level playing field and the possibility of a truly fair market
place regardless of the size of business and the slower more sedate surfing of a
bygone simpler era, when I could get to the website I wanted with a click and no
distraction.




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