The Online Loser Guide, 2010 edition

Introduction: awareness of the immense power of the Internet is so widespread these days that it is almost impossible to look a fool by using it in the wrong way. Should that be your goal, however, follow the advice below!

  1. Copy everything you find online on your blog or on mailing lists, integrally, without giving credit to the author or providing a link to the original article. After all, what matters is only to look active and creative, or to make money with online ads with as little effort as possible. Who cares if less people know who the real authors were, or visit their websites?
  2. Don’t bother with original sources. Always link to Wikipedia and nothing else to prove everything you say or provide more information. Even if Wikipedia itself recommeds using multiple, independent sources
  3. Publish content in audio or video format only because recording a long rambling full of your “ah-hum” and “you know” and “it’s, like,” takes far less of your time. Even when a terse, well written, pure text synthesis would consume much less bandwidth and would be much more intelligible, faster to use and much better indexable by search engines.
  4. Use ad blockers, without any discrimination, for all the websites you visit. It’s a great, fireproof way to make many small and free independent sources of news and other content disappear long before big corporations even notice any difference in their revenues.
  5. Keep thinking that any form of slacktivism makes any real difference
  6. Believe that using the Internet to analyze and correlate information that matters is too difficult
  7. Don’t ask your Government and other Public Administrations that should work for you to publish online the raw data they use to build their policies and justify their decisions. After all, what would you gain from it? More efficient use of limited resources?? Higher quality of urban life?
  8. Use email clients and other unsecure software that generate enough spam to contribute to global warming
  9. Publish online or attach to email files that can be only read with the same version of the same software you like, with a computer at least as powerful as yours, even when very efficient alternatives exist. It’s just as smart as writing letters that can only be read with one brand of glasses. Everybody will love you!
  10. If you use social network, refuse to learn how to use it properly, that is without annoying others or giving up more of your privacy than absolutely necessary

In case you were wondering, here is the link among all the points above: the Internet creates many more opportunities than in the past to reward really creative people, get universal quality education, reduce waste or unnecessary complications, give people the informations they need to have more control on their own lives, help everybody to think.

_It would be a shame to not take advantage of all these possibilities, but it’s exactly what will happen if the majority of Internet users will (continue to) follow the “advice” above. Feedback and suggestions for the next edition are welcome!