The Useless Web – StumbleUpon For The Strange Side Of The Internet
There are thought to be around 7.6 billion pages on the Web at the time of writing. Even I, someone who spends most of their life online in some capacity or other, would never be able to visit every single page. Having so many pages on the Web means a little curation goes a long way. Which is part of the reason MakeUseOf itself exists; to find the best sites on the Web so you don’t have to do so.
The thing is, a fair proportion of that total aren’t going to be especially useful. They may simply be parked domains, or sites which are devoid of any love and attention. And then there are those that are intentionally useless, serving no purpose other than giving someone, somewhere the satisfied feeling that they own a small, insignificant part of the Internet.
The Useless Web
There are social aggregation sites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit which act as portals through which the best of the Web can be promoted and explored. The Useless Web is slightly different than the aforementioned pillars of the Internet. Because it acts as a front door to the stranger side of the online universe, where the peculiar pages hang out waiting for innocent passers-by to fall into their trap.
The Useless Web is a Web portal created by Tim Holman, an Australian Web developer currently working at Qwiki in New York, U.S.A. He describes The Useless Web as existing “because some websites, we just couldn’t do without.” The Useless Web consists of nothing more than a banner with the legend Take Me To A Useless Website Please. Clicking on Please will transport you to some true hidden gems.
I’ve been through all of the websites The Useless Web links to several times now, and the three that stand out for me are as follows:
Heyyeyaaeyaaaeyaeyaa features a camp cover version of What’s Up by 4 Non Blondes being sung by the characters from He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe. This is a permanent version of a YouTube video which went viral and became an Internet meme in 2010. For some strange reason it makes for truly addictive viewing.
Cat-Bounce does exactly what it says on the tin, featuring cats in various poses bouncing around the screen. So, it doesn’t really make sense, or serve any purpose, but it makes for a strangely hypnotic form of entertainment, especially as you can manipulate the cats with a couple of clicks of your mouse (pun intended).
Infinite Drunk Ron Swanson is another site that has the perfect domain name for its purpose. After all, it features a drunk Ron Swanson dancing away for as long as you let him/can stand. Swanson is a character from Parks and Recreation who sports one of the greatest mustaches ever seen. I personally prefer Infinite Gangnam Style, but this comes a close second.
The Useful Web
The name of this website is a misnomer. The Useless Web is actually very useful indeed. After all, what is the Internet for if not to enable us all to procrastinate when we should be doing something much more worthy or essential? The Useless Web is the ultimate procrastination tool, sorting the wheat from the chaff in terms of the strangest, most bizarre sites on these series of tubes we call the InterWebs.
Work In Progress
The Useless Web feels very much like a work in progress. There are only a certain amount of sites featured on The Useless Web right now, and they’re presented in the same order each time. This means if, like me, you keep clicking Take Me To A Useless Website Please because you have nothing better to do, you’ll eventually start seeing the same pages again. Which is a tad disappointing.
However, The Useless Web is a new site, and Holman clearly wants to grow it as time goes on. To that end there is a ‘Submit‘ button on the homepage which exists to allow anyone to suggest a site for inclusion on The Useless Web. Holman looks to have fairly exacting standards as to what is useless and what is merely lame, so many suggestions may not make the cut.
If you decide to visit The Useless Web after reading this article then please let us know in the comments section below. What was your favorite of all the “useless” websites encountered? Do you know of any more useless and strange Internet sites that could actually be described as useful thanks to their sheer entertainment value or potential for sharing with others?