Ephemeral, ubiquitous, insubstantial, available, valueless, free.

What That Puppy Photo on Pinterest Says About the Future of the Internet

That fact is reflected everywhere on the Internet — a world that was born of text (the first HTML, the first linkblogs, the first instant messages and emails) but which quickly adjusted its architecture to accommodate images (emoticons! jpgs! Geocities! animated gifs!) and video (cats!). Today’s web, as an aesthetic object, is an advanced dialectic between text and image. (Comic sans, obviously, being the evil spawn of the two.) Online, text lives alongside decorative illustrations and share buttons and logos and embedded videos, the whole vibrant cacophony interacting so seamlessly that it’s easy to forget that text and image are, in fact, different mediums. Social networks, in particular, break down neatly along text/image lines: There’s Twitter, heavy on the text and low on the pictures, and then there’s Facebook and Google+ (heavy text/heavy image), and then Tumblr (heavy image/low text), and then, at the other end of the spectrum, Pinterest (heavy image/effectively no text).