According to the dictionary, a diversion is "the act of diverting or turning aside, as from a course or purpose" or "distraction from business, care, etc.; recreation; amusement; a pastime".
Over the last few months, we've seen quite a few updates all aimed towards spicing up a few boring skills. Penguin hunting allows you to assign a weekly dose of XP to a skill of choice, Shooting Stars have been more than generous to miners, and I suspect we can expect the same for Firemaking, Woodcutting and Farming when the Evil Tree update comes out.
But it's more than just the Distractions and Diversions update that sped up or "un-bored" a number of skills. The Great Orb Project has, despite being bugged, allowed for a slightly less boring way to level Runecrafting (or gather Pure Essence), Vinesweeper allowed for a less seed-dependent way of leveling Farming, and the Beacon Network, once lit, can certainly get you a lot of XP even for some lowly Oak Logs and is repeatable too. Even the Circus provides a quick reward for Agility, Ranged and Magic.
But little of this compares, of course, to Stealing Creation. Even the title sort of hints at it. Skilling is largely about creating stuff, and this new minigame gives you the opportunity to cut your work in half. For about half the Skills we have (including the combat related ones) items made of Sacred Clay that double your XP. No need to cut a thousand Yew Logs and fletch them into Yew Longbow (u)'s, with the proto tools you only need 500 of those to get the same amount of XP.
Now, I am a lazy person that gets bored rather easily. I LOVED these updates from day one. And even the financial considerations aren't that bad. While "losing" money on the money making skills (Woodcutting, Fishing, Mining, etc) you also use less cash when you're levelling skills like Construction or Crafting. So it's easy to see why this game is so popular, and would probably even be more so if there was a server based on the east side of the Atlantic as well for it.
Of course, with all these cheaper and faster and less boring ways there is a group of people that are going to feel dismayed. Those with a Skill Cape, or worse, those who almost had one at the time these updates were released, will have understandably felt betrayed. Imagine how you would feel if you've been saving a few years to buy the car that you wanted, especially one that would make the rest of the neighbourhood green with envy, and suddenly the company goes bust and has to sell the car at a huge discount. Suddenly the car has lost its appeal?
This has always happened with new updates to a skill, but recently it's beginning to look like the powers that be are trying to make our lives a little bit easier. And it even looks like they are trying to close the gap between the status of a Quest Cape and the Skill Capes that cannot be bought, and that would be worth it, at least to me.
In the end it seems to me that the weekly Penguins, Circus, and Tears added to the daily Phoenix, Stardust, Bork and Jade Vine are slowly replacing the actual skilling. At least for the people that don't care for grinding away for hours. Whatever your preferred method, having the option available to you to get distracted, even if just for a little while, has made the game a lot more fun to play.