The Old New Media

The Old New Media

Ages ago (2014), on my rickety old Web 1.0 site which I still maintain, I published a list of prominent web sites by generation. The idea was to show how different generational archetypes produce different kind of content. The gist of it: Boomers make stuff that is ideological and righteously free-thinking, GenXers like sarcasm and muck-raking, and Millennials create consensus-building groupthink sites. The premier examples are probably HuffPost, The Onion and reddit, respectively.

Since it’s been a few years now, I thought I’d revisit the older sites, just the ones from the “Boomer” category. See if they’re still up and running. Consider that when they were created, ten or twenty years ago, these sites were cutting edge “new media.” Their Boomer founders were pioneers in a new form of communication. Now that social media has taken off, old fashioned web sites are losing influence (everyone’s going to “Parler” I hear).

As it turns out, all of the sites I originally listed are still up. I put them below, grouped into “red zone” and “blue zone.” The selection is somewhat arbitrary and I don’t feel like hunting more web sites down. It’s my little non-scientific study, but the sample size is enough to show how the red and blue zones really are in different reality bubbles. Two entirely different narratives of what is going in the U.S., particularly in regards to the election.

The Boomers, the Prophet generation in Strauss & Howe terms, is the generational archetype that rules over vision and values. So it makes sense that their cultural artifacts reflect these two dominant visions. But what about the web culture of the younger generations? Is it also split between these two visions? You can follow the other links to judge for yourself. One thing I’ll say is that so long as the Boomers, the values leaders, persist in their competing visions, we will probably remain as two separate generational constellations.

RED ZONE

BLUE ZONE

2 thoughts on “The Old New Media

  1. I left out breitbart, because it wasn’t on my radar when I put the page together in 2014. The site was founded by a GenXer in 2007, but became the alt-right flagship that it is now under the management of Boomer Steve Bannon, currently under indictment for mail fraud and money laundering. It’s high traffic, so it probably belongs in the red zone list above, but I won’t link to it so just going to mention it in this comment.

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