Web 2.0h You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

Web 2.0If you haven’t noticed the web world around you, some new and exciting things are taking place. I’m referring to Web 2.0 – or what we are coining the second phase of architecture and application development for the web (RSS, APIs, Ajax, tagging, etc.). Gone are the days of Ofoto, Napster, Britannica Online and Netscape... now are the days of Flickr, iTunes, Wikipedia and Google. Web 2.0 is essentially the foundation we’re creating the social web upon. You know what it is without knowing it, but now you know the name.

Like I mentioned, it’s an exciting time. We’re not being guided by the major players (Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, etc.) any more... if you have an idea, you can capitalize on it and potentially make money on it. This isn’t just small potatoes stuff, either. I wrote an entry on American Copywriter about Newsvine and CNN’s article about the Next Net 25 – 25 startups that are helping reshape/reinvent the web. Clearly there is some very progressive thinking going on.

And it’s not just being noticed by “lame” bloggers like myself. Case in point, Yahoo! buying Flickr. Case in point, Google buying Keyhole and Measure Map. Case in point, Fox buying MySpace. Seeing a trend here?

Yes, the web is being reinvented and we’re all benefiting from it. We’re all getting closer, meeting new people, learning new things... all at the expense of actually stepping outside of our homes and living a little bit.

Seriously, the more we get immersed into Web 2.0, the more I feel we lose touch with our actual surroundings. There are so many new and cool things on the web that I want to take part of, but I simply don’t have the time to dedicate to it. I already have accounts with LiveJournal, MySpace, Friendster, TagWorld and Flickr – but I have no time to do anything with all of them. Today, I created a profile with 30 Boxes and almost created profiles at Flagr, 43 Things and 43 Places.


Why does there need to be so many different things to do and understand? Where’s my time to do any of it? I’m already overwhelmed with trying to learn how to effectively work Delicious, Digg, Magnolia and Technorati, why does there need to be more than that? “Just because,” is the answer.

I think with this new onslaught of technology, we’re becoming a bit redundant. Aren’t CalendarHub, HipCal and Planzo the same as 30 Boxes? Aren’t Riya and BubbleShare the same as Flickr? Isn’t Frappr the same as Flagr? What is better,, Eventful or evite? Which would you prefer, Delicious Library or Listal? There’s just too many good ideas and WAY too many betas out there (and I don’t even want to go into the beta syndrome discussion).

I’m all for this progression and connecting people in ways they’ve never encountered. But really, Web 2.0 has quickly jumped from cool to overwhelming in just the last year. There will probably be another large shake-down eventually with the smaller, or less dedicated, players falling off... that’s just the nature of the biz.

Ultimately, what I’d like to see happen is this, the bigger players (like Google and Yahoo!) jumping in and snatching some of these guys up and creating a universal login where you can access all of this stuff (photos, maps, calendars, movie and restaurant reviews, etc.). I’m not saying that I will (or that you should) boycott the Web 2.0 stuff. I’m just saying that until things become more centralized, I just don’t have the time to dedicate helping all of them round out and become truly great – I have a non-digital life to attend to.

+ original post date: March 22, 2006 04:27 PM
+ categories: Computers, Pop Culture, WTF, Web Stuff


(comments rss feed)

Great post Seth.

+ author: Bryan
+ posted: March 22, 2006 04:54 PM

i agree completely on the universal login. if google could incorporate a calendar into gmail my life would be complete.

+ author: worstweatherever
+ posted: March 22, 2006 05:54 PM

"Aren't Riya and Bubbleshare the same as Flickr?"

Well, I can't speak for Bubbleshare, but we are a photosearch site, not a photosharing/photo community. I certainly hope we aren't trying to be Flickr! It's one of my favourite sites! I certainly wouldn't be working here (at Riya) if I thought that we were trying to compete (we only store screen resolution for the search index, so you have to keep them somewhere else in full res). I like to think of us as competition to Google and Yahoo image search, which sorely need updating IMO.

Choice isn't necessarily a bad thing, either, when it comes to many of these other sites. I mean, has hardly penetrated the online market. Part of the issue is how daunting the interface is. Progress will happen with the competition. But that's just me. I like choice. ;)

+ author: Tara 'Miss Rogue' Hunt
+ posted: March 22, 2006 07:32 PM

I never heard of Flickr until I read your post. Looks like a typical photo hosting site. What makes it so special compared to the others?

+ author: scooterj
+ posted: March 22, 2006 10:07 PM

This is supposed to be what XML and all its derivative technologies were for: a standard way to exchange data. It sort of works on web 2.0, when the service providers make their API open, like Blogger's ATOM API or several other blog software. There are clients out there that let you write one blog entry and replicate it across many blogs. Flickr also has an API. I don't think the solution is to rely on some big lumbering mega-corporation to impose standards -- the services just have to provide hooks for the developers to glue all that stuff together. Greasemonkey much?

If you remember Web 1.0, there was all sorts of competition at the start, and only a few good business models survived. The same will happen to Web 2.0. Those slick AJAX interfaces might look and feel great, but I can tell you that probably more than half of them are towering architectural nightmares that are built in JavaScript, a programming language that isn't even object-oriented and badly in need of revision. These people probably don't implement some universal standard, not because they don't want to, but because the cost of of paying developers to maintain is ridiculous. You know how much those prima donna developers cost, right Seth?

Just like Web 1.0, all the Web 2.0 starlets will be subject to the digital equivalent of natural selection. The best social networking services will be developed in such a way that they can scale to large networks and easily accomodate enhancement without requiring an army of programmers.

+ author: Rich
+ posted: March 22, 2006 10:46 PM

Tara - Sorry about the confusion. I was definitely coming from the standpoint of a casual observer - one who would just look at the very basic premise of a site without much investigation. It sounds like you have a cool product there and one that could help enhance Google's or Yahoo!'s image searching. Good luck!

Scoot - Why am I not surprised? ;)

Rich - Stop being such a nerd.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: March 23, 2006 07:24 AM

"What is better,, Eventful or evite?"

Eventful, of course. ;)

Seriously, I think there's plenty of room for all these services (niche or otherwise) in a Web 2.0 ecosystem. The key to it all will be new tools to help sort all this crap out and keep us from having to specify our contact lists and preferences to 500 different places. Maybe Web 2.5 will be all about Yadis, OpenID, and SXIP.

+ author: Chris Radcliff
+ posted: March 23, 2006 01:39 PM

I just read this article:

What Is Web 2.0

...and I still don't get it. It sounds like just some sort of snazzy marketing lingo to describe a bunch of current trendy web sites that I've never heard of. :)

I visited a few of the sites mentioned and I still can't figure out what sets them apart.

Oh well.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: April 18, 2006 10:15 AM

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