/1m /5m /10m /1h /1w /

Time-Depth/10m

href.cool

Articles and videos of reasonable length. Five to ten minutes. Some of these are sites I just kind of look through, but never go too deep.

Rachel Maclean

Somewhere between Shopkins, Garbage Pail Kids and pornography—films and artworks that are grotesque and beautiful, a hellscape and a paradise, a beauty tip and a courageous quip just prior to an apocalypse. There is wax on the camera.

"Afternoon of the Sex Children" (2006)

“Once liberation reached a point of adequate success, however, sex was unconscionably easy to liberate further, as commerce discovered it had a new means of entry into private life and threw its weight behind the new values. What in fact was occurring was liberalization by forces of commercial transaction, as they entered to expand and coordinate the new field of exchange. Left-wing ideas of free love, the nonsinfulness of the body, womens equality of dignity, intelligence, and capability, had been hard-pressed to find adequate standing before—and they are still in trouble, constantly worn away. Whereas incitement to sex, ubiquitous sexual display, sinfulness redefined as the unconditioned, unexercised, and unaroused body, and a new shamefulness for anyone who manifests a nonsexuality or, worst of all, willful sexlessness—that was easy.”

How to Read

I like that this is so prescriptive. You may not use the shorthand here, but I’ve found the overall advice sound. This is a terrible admission, but I do this for novels. I haven’t read it till I’ve read it twice.

Susan Engel

She’s done excellent studies on curiosity and storytelling in education.

Funny Mapguy

Not funny and no maps. Just a kid reviewing Mountain Dew and every ball game he watches. I don’t know what to say about this. I occasionally check in to see if he’s still going.

"I Was a Cable Guy" (2018)

The extreme encounters of a lesbian cable tech. I like this diary because, despite the pulpy tone and the moments of horror, I don’t sense any misanthropy from the writer. This is just how people are. (Similar: Naming the Unspoken Thing, a window into SF’s underground clambakes.)

Idle Words

The blog of Pinboard’s creator Maciej Cegłowski. Thought-provoking articles and slides. If you read blogs, well, read this. (Maybe try: this talk.)

"Now More Than Ever" (2018)

Right, okay—a link to The New Yorker? What can I say—if a story gets to me, then what can I do? This has a strong scent of this society of ours. I felt a similar ding! ding! reading George Saunders’ “Sea Oak”. I’m not looking down on society here—I absolutely revel in it. I think I get to be part of this, too.

I Found Some of Your Life

After finding an SD card of 227 images, the writer of this 2004 blog made up stories for the pictures. Until the owner was discovered and the blog was closed.

DIAGRAM

Hypertext stories and, yep, diagrams!! I like that links are red and not underlined. And some other things are red and not underlined. So I end up reading and passing my mouse over everything. It’s like I’m really touching the pages with my finger. Amateur braille experience. “WE VALUE the insides of things, vivisection, urgency, risk, elegance, flamboyance…” (Oh got this one from Nathan, my friend who you will need to like.)

"bulldyke" (NSFW)

I can’t explain it, but I want to make a little LEGO scene of this poetry reading. It’s like fashion and sexuality make us into archetypes.

Suicidemouse.avi

A boring, repetitive clip which somehow contains a kind of horror. To me, its not the screams—it’s what it does to your brain. Inanity, descent into madness, is somehow captured here. Another variant takes Mickey through gradual, subtle physical derangement. His walk never changes.

Enchantment in the Command Line

A ritual for you, your solarpunk friends and your computers and your ethernet cables too and some HTML written on looseleaf scattered around the floor. Yes, that’ll do it. Fine fine. Ok, coolguy.website.

Parenting a Visionary Child

‘My 6-year-old daughter sees things other people don’t. “Skitter scatters,” ghosts, auras. She just started school and there’s something in the lunchroom only she can see, and this one makes her nervous.’

Lotlaxolotl

Animal, pop, and game imagery. But imagery of all manner. No memes. Perhaps they could be, if we tried harder.

Retronator

Now this is an impressive realization of a webzine. Every subtle touch—right down to the mouse cursor—draws you in. The author of this is also working on Pixel Art Academy, a game that teaches you how to make pixel art.

Bandy Grass

Not just pixel screencaps—if you scroll back, there are neat, compact pixel art animation tutorials. Kind of like zine pages.

Eleven-Minute Painting

(If you can’t get the Flash video working, see YouTube.) This link is quite elusive for me. I like the idea of a poem read by a computer. I like that the piece sits somewhere between Radiohead’s TTS experiments and Murder of the Universe. I like that this is almost 20 years old now. It’s also interesting that this has spawned a derivative: Ten Minute Painting. I wonder what else is on this thread.

DENNIS

Floating in a song. This artist also brought us staggeringbeauty.com, a staple of “useless web” tourism.

Pinboard

The most minimal and still very sweet way to participate in The Web. The child of watershed linksite Delicious, same conceit: post your bookmarks publicly, add a little note, a few tags. It’s like having your own href.cool! $11/year, but the real deal is $25/year and it’ll archive all the pages you link to.

Tilde.club

The tilde.club was a 2014 resurgence of tilde-style user directories. You used to get these free at your university or with your home Internet connection in the '90s.

Brad Enslen

I bounce ideas back-and-forth with this fellow. He blogs about web directories and web search—but in an effort to understand how else we could be doing this. Our conversations led me to make this directory.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick

I don’t know Kathleen—she’s a professor and writer—but I’ve been enjoying her posts about The Web.

Indieseek

I mention Brad Enslen in Web/Blog—this is his directory. While href.cool is more about pointless and intriguing links, Indieseek is mostly rock-solid useful or prominent links. And a very good blog about linking and surfing.

Ken Li's Link Archive

It’s difficult to capture the spirit of innovative design that existed on the Old Web. This small directory certainly captures some of it.