The most entertaining low-data websites
September 4, 2015 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Though I use it heavily, for reasons of excellent value I have a relatively austere data plan on my mobile phone. I have found the premier sites for low-investment entertainment (your Tumblrs, Cracked, et al) to be increasingly image and video-heavy, which tends to suck up data; and nearly everywhere has slick formatting and flashy ads. So what are your favourite text-heavy/low-formatting/BBS-like websites? (Aggregators like Metafilter are okay, but only if they have something going for them by themselves - they'll link to a lot of videos by their nature.)

(Looked through older questions and there appears to be enough of a gap in time that this one can be revisited.)
posted by solarion to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
McSweeney's is a good one, if you like McSweeney's (I do.)
posted by contraption at 7:04 PM on September 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

The flashy ads are a dealbreaker for me too.

I like LongReads. It has a lot of snippets, and then links to interesting articles. I have not found it to be too picture heavy, although there are some.
posted by SLC Mom at 7:42 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Have you already considered installing (through WiFi) a browser that allows you to turn off data/images?

I'm partly asking because it seems like a good idea, and partly so that someone can come say "no, that's impossible" if it's impossible. It shouldn't be impossible, though.

I looked around, and found a post from two years ago about turning off images in Firefox on Android, for example.
posted by amtho at 8:09 PM on September 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

Futility Closet - bite-size chunks of interesting stuff, with the odd puzzle thrown in.
Half-Bakery - Users post ideas for 'unusual' inventions, societal changes, and the like. Discussion ensues.
Hacker News (HN) - primarily tech-oriented news aggregator, but like Mefi, often worth reading more for the discussion than the articles.
posted by quinndexter at 9:58 PM on September 4, 2015

Something like Instapaper is really useful when you have a limited or intermittent data connection—it lets you save a page offline for later reading, with cleaned-up and readable formatting. I use the bookmarklet to save articles, fiction, etc. that I stumble across on my computer and then read them later when I only have my phone. (I find it especially useful on flights after I've finished the book I brought.)
posted by Polycarp at 11:38 PM on September 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Another bandwidth-saver that's big in developing countries is to browse with the Opera Mini browser (note: Opera Mini is different from Opera Mobile). Opera Mini routes all sites through their proxy server before delivering it to your device, and in the process strips out lots of things like webfonts, bits of CSS (drop shadows, gradients, etc), AJAX/dynamic javascript, etc.
posted by p3t3 at 3:33 AM on September 5, 2015 [3 favorites]

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posted by box at 6:50 AM on September 5, 2015

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