John Whiteside on Web Two Point No

I’ve been troubled by some time by the chorus of Web 2.0. Again I’m seeing too many companies rushing headlong into new technology, without a prayer of finding profitability in either the near or long term.

The word “eyeball” from Bubble 1.0 has been replaced by “engaged user” and they both stink. We’re once again training the Internet public to expect everything for nothing, the world is free, the Internet is free.

But I digress…my point here is that John Whiteside has posted a brilliant assessment of the problems with Web 2.0.

…it leaves me wondering what ever happened to ideas having some relevance beyond buzzwords. The idea of Web 2.0 has not gone away. The long tail concept is an interesting and valid one, but the term became trendy and started being applied to all kinds of things that weren’t particularly “long tail,” and now it’s pretty much just something to set off our BS detectors. The same is true of all the various social media buzzwords.

That’s the ticket. Forget the buzzwords, forget the pretty glassy logos. As a developer and marketer, Web 2.0 is nothing more than another wrench in my tool box. Sometimes it fits with a particular opportunity, sometimes it doesn’t. There are places that social community has a place and others where it doesn’t (wait for the hue and cry at that blasphemy!).

A while back I was on the verge of starting a new platform, Hatebook – the Anti-social networking system. A place to put you to manage your enemies list, to be introduced to commonality in your enemy list (after all the enemy of my enemy is my friend), and a place where there is never talk, only conspiracy. But alas, while a wonderful idea as a send up of Web 2.0, if actually implemented it would quickly become the rallying spot for the remaining 7 members of the KKK, and would inevitably descend into chaos and lawsuits. There it is, I am not a puppies and kittens kind of guy…

I’ve said it before, and again, it bears repeating: there are a limited number of places I want to go to network. The thought of turning every site into a networking place, is at best, tiring to me. I have enough trouble keeping up with Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and Reel-Time (really a 1.0 Community) – and honestly a lot of the content you see out of me on Facebook is already available here.  If you want a spot in that rotation, you’re going to have to have a *very* compelling site – and they’ve got a big head start on you.

Does this mean that transparency, relevance, engagement and all the other terms we harp on are bad things? Absolutely not. Those are the marketing goals we strive for, not the end in themselves.

So, is Web 2.0 dead? Maybe to the VC’s, but to us, it’s simply a tool, aspects of a plan that is executed to fill a specific need, not something we develop just because it’s cool.

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