Kevin Cheng  

The Biggest Time Sink Thread Ever

May 20th, 2005 by Kevin Cheng :: see related comic

I’m sure most readers have experienced something akin to this: you open your browser to do something productive, then something like My! Yahoo opens up with some news or perhaps RSS updates of blogs. “Hm, that looks interesting,” you say, and proceed to read up on that article, which then leads you to three others you opened in tabs, and one of them is a Flash game where you suddenly feel it is your duty to prove your score is higher than anyone else who’s commented on that blog.

Before you know it, the entire day has passed you by. The web is not only like TV with unlimited number of channels, it’s TV with relationships between channels such that you can’t stop watching at the end of the episode. Imagine watching an episode of CSI and every forensic detail, or every character, could lead to another TV show - some documentaries about the evidence analysis techniques, others perhaps dramas about those characters. That’s what the web is like.

I always feel like I’m jumping down a rabbit hole.

In honour of these rabbit holes, we’d like everyone to post their three favourite time wasting sites. Try to be original, we don’t want everyone posting slashdot.

Depending on how good a job you guys do, next week there may or may not be a comic.

39 Responses to “The Biggest Time Sink Thread Ever”
Tom Chi wrote:

Hm… I’m thinking mine would be:

Whoops KC said to be original… well when I want to think a bit harder while procrastinating, I’ll read

Kevin Cheng wrote:

Great. Now nobody gets to say those.

Btw, anchors tags are permitted to link your urls, or just include http.

My recent blog time suck is We Make Money Not Art. Some great stuff there, especially the codependent stuffed toys.

Most recent game score time suck: Squares to Sheep. Current record: 9178, 94 squares.

Another big time suck is of course, Flickr.

Olly wrote:

(notice how all of these places have forums and/or flash games?)

and of course that huge list of RSS feeds in Sage…

iwolf wrote:

here are my time-sucking feeds:

Wired News
Digital Web Magazine
The Unofficial Apple Weblog
Mac OS X Hints
Mac Rumors
xBlog: The visual thinking weblog
InfoDesign: Understanding by Design
Ask E.T
OK/Cancel (yes baby, big time ;-)
beyond bullets
Boxes and Arrows
Interactive Narratives

well, well - lots of stuff to read… guess how much time is left for the “real” work ;-)

Michalis Kamburelis wrote:

Havoc Pennington’s page, including of course his weblog:

Eric S. Raymond’s page: (thank god he doesn’t add new content too often, but it’s all sooo interesting… you’ve been warned).

And of course ok-cancel page :)

Greg wrote:

Everything2 has to be the biggest time-waster ever! It comes number one, number two and number 3 for me

Bob Salmon wrote:

Evian snowball in the House of Parliament game. Made the recent UK general election bearable.


The Register - home of BOFH

TuringTest wrote:

One place to bind them all…

Netlash wrote:

This is my killer : It contains my 300 RSS feeds…

Rob wrote: (substitute message board for your favorite car make/model if desired) (not a big time sink, but as addictive as crack) (another one for the “that should be obvious” pile, but no one has posted it yet so here it is)

White Rabbit wrote:

and a local favorite…

Stu wrote:
An incredible game called Snake Jump, it will keep you playing for hours.

Single pages are nice, but if you want to waste a serious amount of time on the internet you need StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon is a plugin for FireFox that lets you rate pages (on a two point scale, like it or don’t) and uses the pages you like to suggest new pages. This brings surfing the web to a whole new level, you will waste hours using it.

Steve Kelley wrote:

Something Awful

Rachel wrote:

The usual suspects (as noted above)
-bloglines (for all my crazy RSS feed needs)
-something awful
-stumbleupon (which can be used independent of Firefox - but is even more addictive with the plugin)

A few more for the pile:
-Flickr, akin to delicious, only this time you can peak at people’s photos, not their bookmarks or other info vis applications, to explore words you *think* you know the meaning of, to explore how people classify themselves into groups, and to see what insane subgroupings exist online
-Newsmap, at - one of the way to keep up with what’s occuring right now (in real life, online, whatever)

Omixav wrote:

Google Sight seeing, am yet to finish this one
Other than the above, rest all the usual

Nick Finck wrote:

Digital Web Magazine
43 Things

Westacular wrote:

Firefox has ruined my life.

Since switching to it last summer … tabs that are persistent across browser sessions, organized bookmarks, and all sorts of extensions that have ostensibly improved my browsing productivity but have disturbed the precious equilibrium that kept me browsing too much or for too long.

Oh god, wait: what am I doing here? It’s happening again! oh no!

Boraxus wrote: (for news)

and #4 (sorry, gotta do one last one)

Paul DeVere wrote:

Lots of my break time goes to the 4D rubiks cube (although be warned, it takes some time to really understand the interface). It lets you randomly scramble a number of moves and then try to fix it. I can pretty consistently solve 6 moves.

chicwithtamborine wrote:

mine are:

Tim Wright wrote:

Mike A wrote:

Mine are:
and of course,

Imanol wrote:

Great idea…
now, everybody knows another N places to go and happily waste time. Like a junkie troop (no harm intended) sharing places to go for another crack dose…
sorry for no posting more places, i’m very busy looking at yours! ;-P

Mongoose wrote:

Unquestionably for me, it’s been The Kill Everyone Project. Two and a half million dead, and I’m still clicking strong.

I’ll also plug Norm And Cory, a perennial favorite webcomic. Very different than OK/Cancel, but no one I’ve introduced it to hasn’t enjoyed it.

Finally, Is the most rockin’ site in existence. It’s like Six Degrees of Seperation, only with rock bands and their members. Where else can you link together They Might Be Giants and Guns n’ Roses?


Ciro Durán wrote:

All my time sinks are listed here (Slashdot, Wikipedia, and paulgraham). Should we now wrap this article up and burn it forever? :-P

Jake Cressman wrote:

Lately I’ve been starting at John Maeda’s Simplicity blog and wandering from there, following links until I’m so saturated with tech culture that I have to go play Penguin Baseball for an hour.

Searching Flickr tags and watching my own slideshows has become my new trick for procrastinating.

Weston Thompson wrote:
Especially the How Much Is Inside? area
Actually, I don’t waste much time here these days, but there are still some classic moments.

Uri wrote:


Stewart Walker wrote: is a great time sink. Daniel (the guy who runs the site) even promotes his site with “waste your time here” ads. And there’s some very funny stuff on his site…

Alan{H} wrote:

What, no one just chills at and gets excited about the latest and greatest web design tricks?

Arthur Law wrote:

Flash Games: Orisinal, very cute, very addictive
News: Fark
Toys: , latest mobile phones from Hong Kong

Arthur Law wrote:

Oops, my bad HTML
Toys: 3G Mobile, latest mobile phones from Hong Kong

Gil wrote:

Tim Tucker wrote:

My big timesinks are “deal” sites — it’s somewhat amazing how online forums can completely change your shopping patterns:

Kevin Cheng wrote:

Congratulations folks. I’ve wasted more time than I thought possible and somehow still managed to get our comics out.

You’ll be happy to know that searching for “time sink” brings up this page within the first page.

So I’m challenging readers who haven’t submitted time wasting sites to do so and get us to the top.

Speaking of: is really what its name says, but it’s damn funny for gamers.

Bob wrote:

The Art of Nelson de la Nuez
Yes, in the past I have lost a lot of time to Homestar Runner.

cliff wrote:


Boraxus wrote:

OK my second submisson (cause i wanna keep it going)

ive lost myself there lots

gotta have your intake of

and lastly, for now, (not ALWAYS safe for work)

david douglas wrote:

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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?