Ok, I’ve finally given in. I’m blogging. Well, when I used to know what I was talking about it, we would have called it an online column, but hey, this is “Web 2.0” and everything needs to be re-named, re-spun, re-constituted and re-gurgitated, because it all got screwed up the first time round, but this time it’s different. No, really…
Here’s the deal. Recently I’ve been blogged about (hi Mark, Paul, Frank, etc). I’m down with that. I like to be the centre of attention as much as any other intrinsically insecure, wanna-be twenty or thirty-something earnestly trying to prove that we’re big people now and that we really, really do know what we’re on about. In fact, I like the limelight so much, I really hate to think that people are listening to other people more than they’re listening to me. So I’m getting in on the gig.
I’ve been writing about tech and/or media for more than 12 years, I’ve been running a web-based media business for five and those combined experiences mean I no longer have a lot of tolerance for:
a) Bullshit marketing
b) Bullshit businesses
c) Bullshit in pretty much any shape or form
Speaking of bullshit, let’s start with this whole Web 2.0 thingo. What a completely ridiculous, farcical and completely worthless notion.
Now I may have this all wrong, but isn’t the web supposed to make that entire versioning paradigm redundant. You used to tag a version number to something back in the days when you had to package up all your code changes and actually distribute it. Aren’t we now supposed to be in the “on-demand” age? If you’ve got a new feature or bug fix to deploy, it’s just a matter of pressing the ‘Go Live’ key (what you’re computer doesn’t have a ‘Go Live’ key?) and voila, it’s done.
Versioning should be an anathema to today’s web builders, so why the hell are people trying to wrap up all that is cool and grooving about the latest, iteration of web services in a package that smells of the week-old fish we only just remembered to throw away.
Some people may not have noticed, but since all those dot com losers screwed the industry up back in the late nineties, there have actually been companies who have been building real, sustainable online businesses based on something called revenue. Concepts like social networking, user-generated content, etc have been around in some form or other for yonks. Remember when AJAX used to be called Active X?
Ever since the day that the Internet came to be, it has progressed in baby steps on at least a daily basis. It certainly hasn’t come packaged up in big-bang upgrade versions. Surely that’s the inherent beauty of it all!
In fact, the only really big change I can see is that venture capitalists are back in the game, so we’re seeing a whole new generation of dot com frauds building businesses based on no revenue models whose only real way forward is to be acquired. Dudes, that’s what brought the whole thing crashing down in the first place!
Come to think of it, maybe I’ve got it wrong. Maybe Web 2.0 is an appropriate tag after all. After all, versioning is really just a marketing strategy that enables software companies to leach more money out of your poor, beleaguered customer bases. So hell yeah, let’s wrap the web up as a shiny new version and see if we can flog it to those suckers all over again. The only real losers in the end are those big, old superannuation funds.
Because the way it’s all headed, it’s going to be dot com crash all over again. Big Bubble The Sequel. Web 2.0, yeah!
So by all means, go ahead, fly the Web 2.0 flag. But for me, it’s purely a hyperbolic, marketing-driven catchphrase that generally represents a cheap, greasy clasp for shallow, built-to-flip start-ups with no business-model and no clue to grip onto. And sure if you manage to get Yahoo to bite and give you millions, then all power to you, but you’ll excuse me if I bitch and moan along the way and randomly point out the folly of businesses that don’t provide anything that anyone is willing to pay for.
Bullshit deserves to be squashed. It’s a smelly job, but somebody’s got to do it. Welcome to my blog.