I am exactly two months into my new job as a digital strategist and I am already really fucking bored of the Internet.
I’ve been studying the Internet academically since 2002. Ten years.
I studied online gamers, web communities, bloggers, social media. I wrote academic papers and I taught Digital Culture and Society at the University of Lethbridge since 2007. Pretty sure I was the first professor to use Twitter as part of course cirriculum anywhere in the world, but I was too bored to write an article bragging about that so I guess we’ll never know. I’ll assume that I was because it was years before I read a shitty academic article bragging about such a thing. I don’t remember which professor wrote that boring article because I was too bored by it to finish and I didn’t even bother to bookmark it.
The company I am working for is wonderful. They are selling “Social Carbon Credits” online, and I am in charge of getting the word out with no budget through blogging, social media, partnerships, etc. etc. I’ve been doing a good job at this. Their social connectivity has increased 8000% (actually) and their web traffic has a sustained uptick. All the traffic in the world isn’t going to help because it seems like no one wants anything to do with voluntary carbon offsetting. It remains an uphil battle, but one worth fighting. I work for a good company run by great people who actually are trying to make a difference.
If I was working for an celeberaty website or something I would have already been hanging from the end of a rope.
The overall malaise that I felt when I was studying the Internet for a living follows me.
I thought that if I got paid more to do the Internet that I would be happier. This was an incorrect assumption. It turns out that The Internet is boring no matter how much money is in my bank account.
I sit here at this desk reading my RSS feeds, cherry picking articles and blogging about them in hopes that someone more depraved than I am decides that they hate themselves enough to read. I respond to tweets, email people, post, repost, reblog, compose. Content is king, but most of this content is really fucking boring. So boring that it makes me tired thinking about it.
Last week, in another attempt to bost the numbers for the company website, I volunteered to answer environmental questions on Yahoo Answers and Quora. Big mistake. Not only are the questions on those sites dumb, but they are also boring.
It’s the one thing I wish I talked more when I was a professor. “Oh yeah, all these important issues are fine and dandy, but how about we talk about the real problem here, which is that the Internet is painfully dull 95% of the time.”
I would write a book about “General Internet Malaise” but could you imagine having to promote such a thing?