For more than a decade, I avidly followed the website BoingBoing.net.
Boing Boing was an early "group blog", with a core team of a half dozen or so writers, who contributed smart, savvy, well-thought pieces about all sorts of interesting subjects.
But something happened, 9 months or a year ago, and since then the site has utterly collapsed.
Nowadays it's nearly indistinguishable from the common rot you find all over the Internet. It's loaded with advertising, not just the overt kind that all sites sport, but also the more insidious sort of testimonial advertising that has become popular, similar to the way that radio stations think that having the regular DJ read the advertising blurb somehow lends it more respect and legitimacy. When, in fact, the opposite is true.
And even the non-advertising content seems to be selected to appeal to a less-discerning sort of reader, tending more and more to the sort of rubbish you find on places like BuzzFeed.
And the comments section? Horrific, with trolls as bad as any you'll find anywhere on the net.
It's a shame, to see how rapidly what was once one of the shining lights of the Internet is now become some sort of "E! Channel" of web sites.
Oh, well, it's not worth shedding too many tears over its demise, I suppose, even though it makes me sad.
It does make you wonder, though: if BoingBoing has fallen, can the other great independent sites of the net be far behind?
I hope not; I hope the net still somehow finds a way to be a provider of quality independent voices.
But I fear that time is soon to be gone.