There was a time, before I always read MetaFilter and Andy Baio’s waxy.org/links, before I checked Jon Gruber’s Daring Fireball and Bruce Schneier’s blog daily, before I ran through every update on art sites ranging from Designboom to VVork, that I was often delighted by the posts in BoingBoing, one of the first successful instances of crowd-sourced content on the web. And when, on occasion, the curators walked out from behind the curtains to make a petulant political tirade or to repeatedly share an unexamined personal obsession, it struck me as a fair price to pay for so many surprising stories about the web as culture and/or the impact of the web on culture. stories that were once hard to find, all aggregated in one place. a place that is now, for me, a piece of software: Google Reader.
And so that time has passed, the need satisfied otherwise and the curators’ political digressions strike me as more ill-informed than ever, their predilections that much more predictable and flat. Certainly, very few writers can touch upon a wide variety of topics with consistent results. But the best know how to tread into the unknown or the uncertain with humility or, at least, curiosity. The ones worth following know how to get lost in themselves without becoming solipsistic.