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A Blue Perspective: Killed with his own spanner

Killed with his own spanner
23 June 2004

Have you heard the news? Webmonkey's EKG has beeped unexpectedly in the silence of the night, signalling its return from an untimely death. No official word, but a fresh article and "Today's Monkey Bite" seem to herald the second coming of one of the Web's most useful resources.

Webmonkey embodied the best of the dot com era – selfless technolgogical do-it-yourself articles combined with a hip, geek-is-cool attitude; probably the last corporate-supported bastion of such qualities I can think of. (Builder is the only other survivor I can think of, and they stopped being cool when they started talking about ROI and Oracle) I'm not entirely certain why their execution was proclaimed, but I'm sure the term "budget" was used in a memo somewhere, as was "value-adding". It merely demonstrates that the pressures on large development portals such as Webmonkey seem to be growing unbearably.

I can't remember the last time I actually went to an "institutional" site to read how to do something. Most often what I'm looking for has been pioneered by some guy in his garage and blogged on his site the following day. The Web which Webmonkey helped to build is slowly making its kind redundant, diluting traffic to a million different sites across the world. Bittersweet – that the tools with which it gave us could be its downfall – but now it seems like it was the inevitable consequence of open source code and learning.

I think that Sitepoint has ensured their survival by leveraging this phenomenon of everyday experts – hiring the brightest, such as Simon Willison, to write in the frenetic, bite-size style of weblogs that seem to attract the most attention nowadays. We'll have to wait a few years and see.

In the meantime, would someone tell Webmonkey that #003333 & #000066 don't make a good background colour combination. Every time I go to their home page it makes me feel nauseous. Doug, was that you?


1/3. 23 June 2004 @ 11:45, Hans wrote:

Aaaah! My eyes! Do they have no mercy on poor geeks who've been staring at a screen for 12 hours? I'm blinded!

I don't think Doug did that. Correction: I _hope_ Doug didn't do that.

2/3. 24 June 2004 @ 22:21, Rob Mientjes wrote:

Knowing Doug (I know his work!), I think it's just some quick work by the owners/maintainers. I _hope_, that is.

3/3. 25 June 2004 @ 01:36, Henrik Lied wrote:

I'm pretty sure Doug did that, but it was probably on command by the almeighty Webmonkey.

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