Blind to Half the Internet?

Today in the lab I focused on two main goals:

  1. Set up my twitter feed
  2. Create a page containing posts of a specific category

As you can see, I’ve successfully managed the first! *Applause*

However, the second is proving to be more of a challenge. Trying to figure out how to properly set up and format your wordpress blog is difficult with a minimal knowledge of html, css, and whatever “.php” is. While it is easy to look upon the internet and assume that instead of learning real skills (listed above) we will be able to find detailed how-to steps, or a service which will solve your problems while providing a sleek user interface (like wordpress) it’s frustrating when you realize that this is not the case.

This realization toys with my imagined image of the internet, by revealing that you can only assume the collective solutions of the internet will  carry you so far. It will give you wordpress, but to customize much beyond that users will have to become at least a little bit literate in the coding skills they installed wordpress to avoid. From the perspective of a very ‘superficial’ internet user, it seems that “behind the scenes” (meaning places where users have more control to customize their internet experiences due to coding skill, or where these users hang out) of the internet is where fewer and fewer users are willing to help each other. These communities online feel less cooperative, or perhaps they are cooperative, but simply do not go out of their way to make it easy for others (more superficial users) to join or understand. Perhaps to play “behind the scenes” it’s just assumed that you’d know the terminology and have the basic skills.

networked internet

As far as the internet goes, I mostly hang out in the well-traveled areas, where the path has been tread by many and the interface is sleek and intuitive. I’m certain that I’m not knowledgeable enough about many of these sites to speak from a place of understanding. In fact, this is sort of the half-baked thought process that Jim Groom mentioned in his article for this week’s readings.

How well / to what extent do you feel you participate in the internet? Do you feel that there is another side you don’t visit often? Do you have a desire to become part of these other communities online? Finally, do you feel at a disadvantage by not fully understanding the various communities and coding languages online? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS!


Jim Groom. 2013. “Syndication-Oriented Architecture: a Solution to Problem of Coherence.” May 16, 2013. Available at: