Home The End of an Era?

The End of an Era?

Like many other web 2.0 geeks, today I woke up to Mike Arrington’s elaborate April Fools joke that Techcrunch has acquired infamous dot com site F**kedCompany.com. It actually is 1 April where I live, but it wasn’t until I had finished reading the article that I realised it was probably an April Fools joke (thanks to a timely IM from Steve O’Hear!). There were some clues in the Techcrunch article, but subtle ones. Particularly the statement: “its clear that we are at the tail end of the current boom”. As in all good April Fools jokes, there is a strong element of truth in that statement – but when you think about it, it makes no sense for Techcrunch to be the one stating it. The following bit is probably the biggest clue though:

“While plenty of startups are launching, we aren‚Äôt seeing any actual innovation any more. There just isn‚Äôt the ‚Äúwow‚Ä? factor around new startups like in 2004/2005. That does not bode well for the future – there just isn‚Äôt anything left to invent.”

I would be one of the first to call bullshit on that statement! But even the comments in the TC post are great, e.g. this one from a “Michelle Carrington” (heh):

“This isn‚Äôt an april fool‚Äôs joke, idiots if there is a bubble, TC is just covering or diversifying its assets by buying the ‚Äúbear‚Ä? while still holding on to the bull.”

Funnily enough, there is actually some serious commentary out there which echoes the Techcrunch post. Wired is currently running a story, dated 29 March, with the headline: Tim O’Reilly on ETech: “It feels like the end of this idea”. It is referring specifically to ETech, which as a conference seems to be nearing the end of its run. In the Wired piece Tim is quoted as saying:

“It was a transition year,“ O’Reilly says. “We will be looking next year for the places the money isn’t yet. The web to Wall Street is something I’m really interested in. And the medical computing ideas, how we are learning to control our bodies, those are important, emerging uses of technology,“

I completely agree with Tim. There’s definitely an undercurrent that we’re moving on to the next phase of the Web – and as a corollary that there is a lot of Web innovation still to come. This has certainly been the focus of Read/WriteWeb since the end of 2005. Although we continue to cater for all the mainstream people who want to know what this Web 2.0 thing is all about (and there is still a heck of a lot of interest in that), our remit is much broader and longer term – to analyze Web technology trends and innovative Web products.

So even when the web 2.0 trend is past its use-by date, R/WW will still be around covering next-generation Web Technology. The Startup Meme blog actually sums it up nicely. After naming R/WW as one of the top 5 “startup focused blogs” (alongside Techcrunch and 3 others), it also says:

“ReadWriteWeb has drafted a niche of analysis and dissection of new and upcoming technologies.”

Exactly! Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of saying: whether it’s a bubble/web 2.0/3.0/end of an era, you can still rely on Read/WriteWeb to provide analysis of web trends and products 🙂

Oh, and nicely done Techcrunch on the April Fools joke!

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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