Thanks for the chuckle Rex
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After a forced hiatus – due to my own stupidity in breaking my headset and microphone, I’m back and my cranky old self to boot. In this podcast I have a few words to say about the hard time career bloggers are having at the hands of the popular blogging big boys.
I’m still working out the kinks of using my new equipment which is definitely not as good as the one I wreck so the sound may be a tad loud – if it is let me know in the comments so I can fix it for tomorrow.
Show Title: It’s good to be back
References Sites and Posts:
Rex Hammock – How to change the world’s perception of you
San Jose Mercury News – Venture Funding: the stupidest idea ever
DrumsNWhistles – Techmeme Leaderboard: The Newest Whuffie Face Score
Download today’s podcast
What was even better though was something that I found out in Rex’s post:
One thing he said several years ago, when someone was commenting about all his accomplishments, was this: “Everything you know me for, I’ve done since I was 50.”
As one who is in the early stages of that milestone it is refreshing; not to mention encouraging, that regardless of what the young Web 2.0 whippersnappers may think my best years could very well be ahead of me.
Whether I get crankier still remains to be seen
What started as what I think was an honest post; contrary to Rex Hammock who thinks it was more calculated or Fred Wilson a VC with a vested interest in anything Web 2.0 who calls the post linkbait, Jason Calacanis declared Facebook bankruptcy.
The exchange that followed this original post though is far more indicative of the bubble that Web 2.0 has created. It shows that while Web 2.0 professes openness people will climb into a walled garden as long as it has the presumption of being cool.
And leading the charge into this month’s coolness is our own Robert Scoble who is likening the networking within Facebook to his rolodex of the 70′s and 80′s. For him Facebook is the new business card and the new media distribution network that is being driven by the “best names in tech“. I wonder though if these are the same cool folks that he said in a comment to one of my posts that had moved to Pownce because it was cool.
I still remember when Twitter was the cool place to be for Robert but then that changed to Pownce and now it is Facebook – what will it be next month. After all Web 2.0 is all about coming out with the next best cool thing. First it was MySpace then Twitter lit up SXSW and became the darling to be followed by Rose’s Pownce.
The thing that gets me about this whole thing is that while at Microsoft Robert was all about espousing openness but now he is chiding Jason because he wants to step back an re-evaluate the benefits of being kept behind a proprietary wall. While Jason questions the time investment required to play with the cool people and whether things like Facebook are really the end all be all we have Robert signing the praises of a closed system where he can do everything within its ecosystem.
Where Twitter; and even Pownce, gave us an open social network that was simple to use Facebook wants to re-write the web in its own language. For developers who truly believe in an open web this presents what should be a quandary of ethics. Forsake the values of an open web and climb on the Facebook API or stand apart and not be a part of the cool crowd. Do we really need another Microsoft of the web?
I agree with Rex when he writes:
But, as I?ve said before, unless we?re all willing to give up everything else we love about the nature of the Internet, then Facebook is not the golden fleece (or holy grail ? but since this conversation was started by someone named Jason, I thought I?d head in the direction of that metaphor). Frankly, Facebook is not even close to being what will ultimately be that thing which alters fundamentally the way in which we relate and communicate. It may show us the way, but there are some important factors related to personal identity and social interaction that Facebook - or any platform that requires us to create community that is locked inside a wall - will not be able to overcome if it is to become the next be-all, end-all.
Facebook is a fad – a Web 2.0 walled garden – being glamorized by people like Robert but as with all fads it will be replaced by something newer and cooler; and chances are Robert will be leading the charge with the newest flavor of kool-aid. Then what will your time investment in things like Facebook be worth?
For a little while now Dave Winer has been working hard on a little something called TwitterGrams; which basically allows you to publish small sound bites via your Twitter account. At first I thought this was a really cool way to expand upon an API and provide an added bonus to an already simple service; but the more I thought about it and followed its progression I began to wonder – why?
Twitter in the majority of cases is just a mundane announcement system to let everyone know what you were doing; or not doing, that very moment. Which of course lead to the inevitable bathroom jokes and people wondering if this was truly a high point of Web 2.0 development to be proud of. Then to add the ability to turn that mundane posting of words into a sound bite for the world to download and listen to struck me as – well – stupid.
Then I read a post on Rex Hammock’s blog that made me see something that I hadn’t thought of and realized like Rex that something as trivial and silly as TwitterGrams could actually be the beginnings of a whole new way for first responders and other emergency volunteers to communicate during times of disasters or other similar types of events.
So my thanks to Rex for making me take a minute an look beyond the surface of what appears to be a silly idea and realize that all to often something important can come out of the mundane.