Internet Hipsters and Hipstering of our Age

By Xah Lee. Date:

gosh my [ Google Plus ] [ ] stream is flooded. It's like taking several hours just to scan thru what people are saying.

i've always been, reserved in the act of “friending” online. (am actually a loner type, don't make much friends) On my twitter, i follow just about 100. Facebook i don't use much…

typically, as a principle, i never follow anyone who is popular. e.g. if you have more than few hundred followers, i don't follow you. If you are a celebrity, i don't follow you. Except, a very handful of celebrities, mostly in programing field who write about tech details of computer languages that am actually interested.

typically, if i want info, i go to encyclopedia (or wikipedia these days), not from general news sites or any friends. Sometimes i subscribe to specialized news outlets (e.g. hacker news and reddit bots on twitter) for info.

in fact, i despise fashion, trends, pop. I DESPISE anyone following celebrities. And i despise mutual followers.

my subconscious tenet on this is like this: i respect people who follow/friend only people they know in RL, or they really have a interest in. I despise any who does any sort of online SEO, so-called Web2.0 "social networking", or any new age internet thing, so-called "memes", or such shit.

one prototypical guy i recently learned on Google Plus i despise is [ Tom Anderson ] [ ] (99k followers), which i learned is of the [ MySpace ] [ ] fame. I find nothing of what he said interesting. In fact, he almost always post a random lurid animated gif to go alone with his posts. Like this:

dog prey cat

(btw, if you like this sorta thing, goto: and satiate yourself.)

Because of his celebrity status and crass style, every time he posts something, immediately there's hundreds of drivel comments: yay, w@@t, cool, haha, blab, luv it, and ass-kissing aplenty.

another such example is [ Xeni Jardin ] [ ] (18.9k followers) of [ Boing Boing ] [ ] fame. Cute chick alright (but tooth getting long). Cat pics. Animated cat pics. Hippopatumus pics. Cats on the road pics. These are our net age journalists? There we have it. Internet drivel celebrities. Again, one thousand immediate commentators of w@@t.

but on Google Plus, i thought i should go for a change. (kinda inline in past couple of years of getting into the SEO community) So, on Google Plus, i started to follow more random people, and many celebrities (and learned quite a few big names. Mostly of the silicon valley startup celebrities, internet personalities, and i also followed lots of google staff, managers (it appears to me, everyone at google is a manager. lol), famous bloggers, and some photographers popular online… Most of the time i also do mutual follow too.

for example, one of the bigshot i recently learned is +[ Robert Scoble ] [ ] (his writing i have more interest than Tom Anderson or Xeni Jardin). Scoble got 106k followers, and he himself follows 4.6k people. 4.6k! Can you imagine? In one of his post related to the topic, i asked about the situation, and he kindly answered he doesn't do mutual follow, and only follow people that actually interest him, that have something interesting to say.

i don't doubt Scoble, but though, how could one follow 4k people and still have time to do ANYTHING? I suppose one must start to use the friend management system (e.g. filters, grouping of subjects, Google Plus circle, etc.) But then, that means whole new slot of time for the task of meta managing the circles. (start to install extensions, reading news about these extensions, bug report on extensions, try to find another for different browser, debate and suggest features…)

currently, i only follow 296, and i'm already taking a few hours to go thru. (reading means reading. It means, if they posted a video, and i find it mildly interesting, i usually try to preview the vid. (some vids are 1 hour long) If i find the vid really interesting, i take the time to digest it, which often leads to writing about it. For example a recent one on the Korean 21-years-old singer on Korea Got Talent show, which lead me to take few hours to write Choi Sung-Bong - Nella Fantasia. (part of it leads to reading about [ Susan Boyle ] [ ], but i haven't published my notes yet.)

sometimes it's a article. For example, right now the Anonymous hacked the Syrian military site. It's all over Google Plus and tweeter social-networking shit. It takes 1 minute to see the news, but being the thorough type, i have to look at the hacked site for myself, have to do a screenshot myself, then wrote a blog of it. Also, being a programer, i had to look at the HTML source code, see what they linked to, what kinda web tech they use, etc. So that took already 1 hour to do for a quick writeup without digesting. e.g. 2011-08-07 Anonymous Hacked Syrian Military Site and i didn't even began. Because i haven't yet watched the 8 or so vids they linked except one. But most importantly, what is Syria? I barely know. What's the history of Syria? What's the current political situation of Syria? What do Syria people look like? I just know it's somewhere in mid east. LOL. I mean, you shouldn't glib and re-share online without understanding at least the basic background, history, right?

you can't simply come away with this piece of news then conclude: Repressive government hit by freedom loving hackers for the good of humanity, end of story. Can you? and “Thanks to twitter and facebook that made Egyptian revolution possible”, rly? “Google the monopoly tried to be evil to enforce real names”?

ok… one sentence leads to 2, 2 to 3, and 959 words. I think i spend 2 hours on this spontaneity.