Hooray for Suck

Automatic Media, the company that owns Suck.com has run out of money and has put Suck on hold. This is very sad because Suck has been around for about as long as I’ve been on the internet, and in that time it’s been dearly admired and very inspirational to me.

There’s that saying that only 1000 people bought the first Velvet Underground record, but everyone of them started a band. I think Suck is a bit like that as far as web sites go. Or, at least that’s how it was for me.

The first version of my web site was pretty dull. It wasn’t quite your average run-of-the-mill personal web site, but it was pretty close. All I had to inspire me were the personal pages of a few geeks that I knew, and little else. Then I started paying more attention to what Suck was doing, and everything changed for me.

Suck was this web site where every day someone would write a few hundred words about something. Sometimes it would be too American for me to understand, but other times it was really good, often funny stuff. I had one of those lightbulb moments.

I didn’t have to write about the same old stuff that everyone else wrote about! I didn’t have to write one neat little page about my likes and dislike, or have my CV online. Instead I could write about whatever was pissing me off or making me happy at the time. That felt liberating.

And if Suck could write about things that only really meant something to a person raised in America, and it didn’t leave me feeling too alienated, I figured I could write about New Zealand-based topics without fear of alienating non-New Zealand visitors.

Suck also learned me a few things about design. I realised that I didn’t need a coloured background or nifty icons or animated gifs to make my page palatable. Just a narrow, easy to read column of text was all that was needed. If the written material isn’t good enough to hold the interest of a reader, than an animated gif isn’t going to help.

Suck became part of my weekly web surfing rounds. Wednesday was the best, ‘cos it was Filler day. If Suck disappears, it will be Polly Esther’s words and Terry Colon’s pictures that I will miss the most. Filler, most of the time, consisted of dead-on observations about people my age and the rad, sad and bad things they do. I never really liked the crack-smoking Canadian rabbit, though.

So unless a whole lot of money (or love) comes the way of Suck, it looks like it might cease to suck. I feel a bit guilty – I used to always drag the banner ad frame down so I couldn’t see the ad. But then, banner ads are dead (or are they?).

It’ll be pretty sad if Suck goes away forever. But six years of Sucking is pretty good, especially in internet years. But enough moping, it’s not quite time for boo-hoo-papa-smurf mode yet. Hooray for Suck, whatever its fate is.