Goodbye Boing Boing

November 7, 2007

A steampunk laptop.Boing Boing is one of the most popular blogs in the world - #3 according to Technorati. Their eclectic brand of links on culture and weirdness was one of the original RSS feeds I subscribed to, years ago.  Here’s a highlight from yesterday, titled ‘Handsome Spherical Rock’:

While walking in a Los Angeles canyon this morning, I came across this unusual rock. It’s a squashed sphere about 2.5 feet in diameter.

Riveting. If this is being broadcast to hundreds of thousands of readers, maybe it’s time to turn down the post frequency from 25 a day. If I could just subscribe to the best 5 posts a day, I’d be thrilled. Could such a Boing Boing exist though? Is a blog like a rock album, where you have to just produce it and there will be some items that aren’t so great, but it can be great as a whole? Unfortunately, our channel-flipping single-downloading generation doesn’t have patience for filler.

Boing Boing has no specific topic, other than “wonderful things”. Nowadays their main topics seem to be digital rights, items made out of unusual substances, and steampunk art. I think steampunk is cool, but when there’s a post about it every other day ((I’m pretty sure that Cory Doctorow and David Pescovitz have single-handedly created an industry for this stuff.)), it gets old. I’d like to say they lost their focus, but it might just be that without a specific topic, their random drifting drifted off out of my preferences. Contrast their Gadgets sister site, which is lower volume, has a cohesive topic, and has some of the stuff I used to like about the old Boing Boing.

As the editors focus more and more on other media like podcasts and their new “Boing Boing TV” segments, it’s not surprising to see the main blog suffer. I wish them luck and am glad they’re enjoying themselves. The last straw for me though, was that their RSS feed now has a flash ad in every single post. Baleeted. I’ll miss you Boing Boing!

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.