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Web Monitor

15:57 UK time, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A celebration of the riches of the web.

Today in Web Monitor: the list of noughties lists and the lovers and haters of a steady stream of trivia.

Alan Sugar• Web Monitor has been casually monitoring the noughties nostalgia of late. Casually, that is, compared to Kottke, where Jenni Leder is compiling a thoroughlist of noughties lists. Among the compilations is the Newsweek list of worst predictions of the last ten years, including this 2005 nugget from Alan Sugar in the Telegraph:

"The iPod will be dead, finished, gone, kaput."

William Deresiewicz in the Chronicle of Higher Education charts the history of friendship. He goes right back to the ancient Greeks where friendship was seen as more important than marriage, through to industrialisation where a sense of rootlessness again increased the importance of friends after a blip the rise of Christianity pulled people away from their friends. This led Deresiewicz onto the current state of friendship - the Facebook friend:

"Reading about the mundane details of their lives, a steady stream of trivia and ephemera, leaves me feeling both empty and unpleasantly full, as if I had just binged on junk food, and precisely because it reminds me of the real sustenance, the real knowledge, we exchange by e-mail or phone or face-to-face. And the whole theatrical quality of the business, the sense that my friends are doing their best to impersonate themselves, only makes it worse. The person I read about, I cannot help feeling, is not quite the person I know."

• While William Deresiewicz is reviled by the steady stream of trivia, Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf's blog Quantified Self is encouraging it. They're offering more and more ways to measure your life online. Anything from sleep patterns to an online measurement of what you've eaten can be measured with a myriad of websites such as eat.ly who remind you what you ate, with pictures.
One area the blog hasn't covered so far is what you wear. But fear not, that's being done by the Considered Ensemble - a blog where you can send in details of what you are wearing. The pictures are conspicuous in their absence, leaving it all down to descriptive skills of the contributors such as this one by Oliver Van Der Lugt:

"On the top I have two t-shirts and a jumper on, cause it's cold. The first t-shirt is an 80's ADIDAS t-shirt I was given by my friends in London who I helped cutting garments for their recycled clothing collection. It is a light mottled grey with flowery, multi coloured satin panels on the sleeves. There is also a small flower shaped patch of the same material on the left breast with 'Universal Spirit' in cursive script embroidered over it."

It goes on...

Links in full
Jenni Leder | Kottke | The Noughtie List: the 2000s in Review
Newsweek 10 worst predictions
William Deresiewicz | The Chronicle of Higher Education &124; Faux Friendship
Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly | Quantified Self
Considered Ensemble

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