rlucas.net: The Next Generation Rotating Header Image

July 2nd, 2007:

Swik Has Jumped the Shark

Seattle-based Open Source startup Sourcelabs put together the Swik.net wiki a year or two ago. They seeded it with some links of moderate usefulness, and for a brief time, it was a decent, if hit-or-miss, way to find information about an open source project or tool that you were considering using.

No more. Not only are most of the pages I’m finding on Swik these days simply a one-link screen-scrape to the actually interesting page (which often ranks higher in Google alone, anyhow), but Swik has committed the cardinal sin of infovoria: playing audio that automatically starts on page load.

(They do this by means of an auto-starting video advertisement that spams up the top bit of the page. Not quite as egregious as a MIDI object, but every bit as annoying.)

Unbelievable. I thought we’d gotten past this with the turn of the millennium. But everything old, it seems, is new again. Swik, however, now gets the same mental category as “About.com,” namely, ad-filled, nearly unusable results not to click when they appear in a web search.