Posted on January 16, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |
As I sat down at the computer this evening after an unusually long day of putting out fires, I realized something: I secretly love Web 2.0.
How did I finally come to realize that the phenomenon I thought I despised was really a phenomenon I loved? It was quite simple. The United States economy is collapsing. Okay, that might be a little strong (for now) - it’s receding faster than . The Dow dropped nearly 280 points. Citigroup wrote down $18.1 billion as part of “Mortgages Gone Wild.” It and Merrill Lynch sold hefty chunks of themselves to foreign investors to raise capital. Consumer spending plunged in December and Intel got hammered by the market after announcing disappointing fourth-quarter results.
Yet when I got around to loading up my favorite Web 2.0 blogs, a scan of the headlines made the economic doom and gloom seem like it was taking place in some sad third-world country whose name nobody can pronounce properly:
- Confirmed: Scoble Going To Fast Company To Build Army Of Scoble Show Style Shows
- Will Apple TV Take 2 Take Online Movie Rentals Mainstream?
- Meebo Widget Strategy Paying Off
- Facebook Adds More Feed Ranking
- Trulia Passes Zillow in Online Real Estate Race
- Jobs’ Macworld Keynote: Movie Rentals, Apple TV ‘Take-Two’ Target Widescreen Viewers
- Google’s Achilles Heel
- MacBook Comes Up for Air
- Breaking: Samwer Brothers Invest In Facebook
- Twitter Might Not Need a Business Model But Apparently They Need More Servers
- NY-based Jango Hits 1 Million Listeners In 60 Days
- Breaking: Mozilla Hires Humanized Founders
And my favorite headline of all: .
It finally hit me that instead of looking at Web 2.0 as some virtual fiefdom where dumb investors throw their money at geeky entrepreneurs, I should be looking at it as the nerd equivalent of celebrity gossip or sports. Yes, Web 2.0, for some, is an opiate. Who cares that the economy is going down the toilet faster than what’s left of Britney Spears’ sanity? Robert Scoble is on the fast track to Fast Company!
It suddenly dawned on me. I don’t need to be asking, “Is Bernanke really capable of saving the economy?” I should be asking, “Is Steve Jobs a great CEO or the greatest CEO?” I don’t need to be asking, “What are the long-term consequences of sovereign investment funds buying up American financial firms?” I should be asking, “Should Facebook buy Plaxo for $100 million?” I don’t need to be asking “How much bad debt will end up going down the tubes?” I should be asking, “How am I going to survive without TubesNow?” And most importantly, I have no reason to ask, “Where are we going and why I am in this handbasket?” I have every reason to ask, “What the hell am I going to wear to the Crunchies?”
I want to apologize to all my readers. I have been really naive. Just because I pay attention to (and sometimes even care about) the big picture doesn’t mean that this has been worthwhile. The truth is that the big picture is irrelevant. Even if the ghost of Tom Joad rises in 2008, Web 2.0 can provide a refuge from the grapes of wrath. Regardless of the economy we find ourselves in, we will vlog like nobody is watching, poke like we’ve never been hurt, podcast like nobody’s listening and live like it’s Googleplex on earth. How can a reasonable person complain about that?Print This Post