A Tour of The Useless Web

Random fun that results in corn dog on corn dog action? Yes, I’d be glad to tell you more.

The internet was once a magical place. You’ve got a question? Ask your favorite search engine and have an answer in seconds. Today, things are different. While there’s still useful information to be found, advertisers and others have learned that this is how we use the web. Now, we have sites filled with misinformation to sell products and political agendas. However, this is not the part of the useless web I want to share.

A few months ago I published a story about Tim Holman’s Buddy, a companion bot that eventually started to troll its creator. Almost 5 years ago, Holman also created The Useless Web, a site dedicated to pages on the internet that lie in that space between experimental and ridiculous. You could waste time reading manufactured memes on Facebook, or your could tour the World Weird Web.

The Useless Web will randomly take you to a number of sites that Holman has curated, but you can join the fun by submitting suggestions at the bottom of the page. Clicking the “Please” button will take you to some old classics like Leek Spin and OMFG Dogs, which harken back to the older days of the web. A heavily compressed, a looping audio file and animated gif with their own, custom-made home on the web? Amazing. The creators of those pages and the authors of baconsizzling.com and leduchamp.com took the time to create a page and pay for hosting. That’s a far cry from choosing a gif from giphy to send to a friend.

Modern takes on those old classics are your single-serving sites, those that answer a simple question like “how many people are in space right now? I also enjoy heeeeeeey.com and its clever redirect, which I found on The Useless Web tour. Other sites experiment with clicks and mouse position. For example, you can bounce some cats or slap someone with an eel. Ever lose your mouse pointer? pointerpointer.com and this site border on actually being useful.

Then there are those pages that could be very helpful, in their own quirky way. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, count some sheep. Trying to come up with a new password? Well, you’ll need honest advice about your security. Look no further than The Useless Web. Eventually, you’ll get to trypap.com, the Passive Aggressive Password Machine. You might as well enjoy yourself while you’re trying to secure your Porn hub account from Russian hackers, Mr. President.

Randomly, adventures on The Useless Web will bring you to the experimental and somewhat inappropriate. The staggering beauty of a funky phallic character, [blank windows] (http://www.blankwindows.com/) and koalastothemax.com all have a certain charm. Yet, this whitetrash site and iloveyoulikeafatladylovesapples.com could be considered unkind. While I did enjoy staggeringbeauty.com , I think my favorite is biglongnow. It’s pointless, but I feel like there’s a lot going on in the background to make this simple concept work.

I encourage you to stop killing time, like everyone else with the latest social app, and live a little. Take your own tour of The Useless Web. Ask the site to please take you on a journey of discovery and wonder. Maybe it’s not for everyone and this hasn’t intrigued you. Regardless, I hope you’ll visit Awkward Human again because everydayim.com

Images courtesy of dan escism and Tobias van Schneider & Tim Holman