I’m fascinated by the single-purpose websites that have been cropping up for the past year. I’m not much of an internet historian to track down exactly when the first of their kind came out, but they officially entered meme status when Jason Kottke wrote about it back in February.
In the era of 140-character microblogging and 10-inch subnotebook computing, brevity is king. But these straight-to-the-point sites aren’t exactly the iPhone-friendly versions of our increasingly bloated, self-centered homepages and bookmarks. (That’s a different phenomenon altogether and worth discussing in a separate article.)
They’re in a different group themselves, in a peanut gallery of sorts, poking fun at the rest of the all-too serious internet population. Stop worrying whether websites need to look exactly the same in every browser, you should use tables for layout (give up?), Diet Coke will kills us, graphic design is art, Barack Obama is Muslim or muslin or President, or it’s Tuesday, April Fool’s, Christmas, or a leap year yet.
Of course some of these one-trick ponies are web apps and mashups that do exactly one thing really well, whether it’s helping you look forward to the day when Obama wins, decide if you should bring an umbrella today, bitch and moan about our dear Adobe, or figure out whether Twitter, Gmail, the Apple Store, or some other site is down or it’s just you.