The Web is Tiring, and I Can Prove It!
Five years ago, I wrote “Fabulous Text Only Websites, 2018 Edition”. The article talks about some text-only options for web content and how to use a text-only web browser. Back then, I wasn’t sure if it was even worth publishing. It was fun to write, but it seemed like a small thing. Boy, was I wrong! Year after year, people keep reading it and it consistently shows up on my top 5 most popular articles. People are searching for content free of clickbait, ads, and spam. The web can be a mean playground sometimes.
I’m going to revise the article. I’ve edited the title of the 2023 edition since Gemini is not the web. It’s not going to be about the web at all this time.
This time it’s an invitation to…
Gemini, Where Content Wears the Crown
With Gemini, what you see is cleaner and loads faster. It’s just the text, and you control how it looks. No CSS, no forms, only text-based content. For search engines and similar applications, there’s a text input query, but that’s about as complicated as it gets. It’s not trying to be the web, just a place for readable content.
Gemini can’t replace the web (they say so in their FAQ). It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles needed for big applications. You can make small things like search engines or message boards, but don’t try to build the next Amazon on Gemspace- that’s what the web is for.
Despite the limitation, for those who like simple, clean content, this is a perfect solution. I’ve not seen a single email capture modal or creepy targeted ad in Gemspace.
You can certainly find skinny, text-only sites on HTTP. But good luck finding them! Once you do, who knows where you’ll end up next. The fact that Google keeps driving traffic to my 2018 article is proof enough for me that the web is a platform that disincentivizes useful content and promotes SEO spam. Sure, we need the web for interactive network applications, but there are too many distractions and temptations that destroy readable text-based content.
People (especially HN people) like to chat about Gemini’s technical aspects, but not me. Not today. I want to show you what’s out there, and maybe you’ll join the party. I hope you enjoy consuming the content below and I also hope that some day you create content on Gemini for others to consume.
To get started, you will need a client application. There’s a big list here.
If you don’t like reading big lists, here are a few suggestions:
For desktop, pick LaGrange.
For iOS, choose Elaho.
The Cool Stuff on Gemini
Gemini’s got all sorts of neat things. Here’s a list:
Search the vastness of the Gemini protocol.
Mainstream news, mirrored to Gemini.
A fun word game that’s quite popular among Gemini users.
Random daily Gemini sites for when you don’t know what you want to read.
A social network, Gemini-style.
Small web pages with big personality. They provide free hosting for bloggers on Gemini.
A feed aggregator where people share new stuff.
A total technology game changer. You take care of a virtual plant via Gemini.
Mirrors tech news from the HTTP site lobste.rs.
Where in the World?
A game where you guess the country.
Something like a Reddit app on Gemspace.
Relive your WIndows 3.1 memories by playing Minesweeper on Gemini.
I hope you give Gemini a try. It’s like the web, but without all the junk. A perfect spam detox in the age of the cookie consent banner. Let me know how it goes for you.