This week: Anti-Web 2.0, Bubble Meme Map, Flock, Web Libraries, Techie Post of the Week - Ben Barren on Architecture Astronauts
This was the week when the Web 2.0 Naysayers reached a crescendo of cynicism and even bile. Some of the criticism about Web 2.0 is right on the mark, don't get me wrong. For example there are a lot of 'features as companies' going around. And I'm all for people pointing out the flaws in Web 2.0 business models and reminding us when marketing buzzwords get out of hand. But to dismiss the whole Web 2.0 era in one fell swoop, as some people are doing, is taking things too far.
I like how Alex Barnett put it, when he wrote that he's both a Web 2.0 enthusiast and "cynical of the dotcom Bubble mentality". In a similar vein, I'm currently trying to focus on the positive things about Web 2.0 by searching for disruptive start-ups and reporting on mainstream adoption of 2.0 technologies.
Here are some of the posts I wrote this week on these themes:
ZDNet: Disruptive Start-Ups: Some Contenders
ZDNet: The Great Disruptive Start-Ups Search, Part 1
ZDNet: Where are the disruptive start-ups in Web 2.0?
Web 2.0 Naysaying reaches an all-time high (or is it low)
Publishers sue Google - more evidence of 20th Century Media Delusion
There is no cult of the amateur, Mr Carr
Bubble 2.0 Meme Map
Just to prove I haven't lost my sense of humour about the anti-Web 2.0 hype, here's a great parody by the Bubble 2.0 blog:
Plus in the spirit of Web 2.0, you can create your own meme map here ;-)
The other big news of the week was the release of Flock, a new type of web browser that has many 2.0 goodies in it. Flock got mixed reviews in the blogosphere, as captured by tech.memeorandum's coverage.
One of my favourite quotes about Flock was this from the Mini-AOL blog: "Will AOL users ever use it? I doubt it. Will Netscape users use it? Maybe. however I think as a technology Flock will be a positive experience to alot of people."
I too think Flock will struggle to make an impression on mainstream users, however the technology itself will be influential for many in the Web community - which may end up being reflected in spin-off technologies and trends. There's nothing wrong with that, indeed it's a sign of a healthy and growing Web. I wish the Flocksters well though and I hope they prove me and others wrong by attracting a mainstream audience to their new browser.
The Web future of Libraries
In all this arguing over the value or otherwise of the Web 2.0 meme, I've almost lost track of what is really important - how Web 2.0 ideas are being implemented in The Real World. I came across a great post by Michael Casey of LibraryCrunch, who is investigating what the Library 2.0 Web site will look like. He pointed to Michael Stephens' round-up of responses to that question, which are well worth perusing. I liked this one from Sarah Houghton, from Marin County Public Library and the Librarian in Black blog:
"The next generation small public library website will be moving up to the same level the larger public library websites are at now: blogs, RSS feeds, dynamic reading/watching/listening lists, lots of online forms, with links to some user-friendly and computer-friendly lightweight virtual reference options (like instant messaging)."
I have to admit I'm a big library user, so if my local library gets the functionality Sarah outlined - I will be one happy geek!
Techie Post of the Week - Barren on Astronauts
My aussie mate on 2.0 matters Ben Barren has pumped out some outstanding blog posts over the past couple of weeks. He originally started out as a blogger by mostly copying and pasting what other bloggers said. But he has a unique and compelling blog voice, so I'm pleased he's writing original material much more these days. If you've never checked out Ben's blog, it'll take a while to adjust to it - but you won't find a more original voice on Web 2.0. And his blog comes with pictures too ;-) Anyway I particularly enjoyed Ben's response to the Architecture Astronauts issue:
"What annoys me with this astronautical argument is that google already have the NASA deal, so the opportunity is taken. Time to move on. Adam Curry is talking about bio-diesel and thats in the right direction if you ask me. But seriously, If I was working at a hedge fund, and I was playing Nasdaq (while not messing with the federal bank of high debt 3rd world countries) I'd want to make as much money in (insert any market segment buzzword eg Web 2.0) and have as much fun with the market going down, as the market going up. The market isnt intrinsically good or bad. So why is Web 2.0 good or bad. I mean yes, the term sucks, but you dont have to put it on your business card. Compromise, put it on a blog card."
That's a wrap for another week!