Transition to unusability

The comment areas on sites are getting worse. Most of them are now completely unusable. What the fuck is this, for instance?

There are more and more sites like that. Who posted what when? The site shows that 43 comments were posted but if you look, there are only 16. Where are the other 27 comments? And the layout. What a design tragedy.

And more sites have started listing comments by default – some unchangeably – by the most recently posted. Why would you ever want to read comments this way, especially with no way to change it? Invariably, comments deteriorate as a thread lengthens. This has been well-known since Usenet and BBS days, in the fucking early 1980s. Amazing we are blithely re-making things into problems that were completely solved 30 years ago and have been working fine since then.

Most sites, I have started using various tools to render the comment sections completely invisible as they are so worthless. I don’t mean that the problem is the comments themselves. Some of them I’d actually like to read. I mean the presentation is so poorly done – apparently by a team of pre-Cambrian mollusk-like organisms – that I can’t even tell who is commenting on what or when.

I think part of the problem is that a lot of people and designers are new to the internet (And I, being the hipster that I am, consider you “new to the internet” if you first signed on after 1995 or so. Sorry about that.) They are trying new (to them) things that were well-solved many, many years ago.

Not that one should never try new things. One just should try things that are actually, you know, new, and not completely idiotic.

Bottom line is that each passing year the internet gets less useful to me as it’s turned more into cable television. That’s all the majority seem able to handle, and I get that. But that realization doesn’t make my experience any better.