Marc Cuban @ BlogMaverick takes on Web 2.0 Hype
As if stealing the words out of Andrew Keen’s mouth (author of Cult of the Amateur) Marc Cuban announces that the Internet is Still Dead and Boring according to Cuban:
Ive been inundated with spam on Myspace. Used flicker. Used Digg for sourcing news and laughed at the unending ridiculousness of its posters. Used and posted to Youtube, Google Video, DailyMotion, Veoh, Flickr, Slideshare, used every bittorrent client, got bored with twitter after 7 minutes, signed up for other findme, find you, this is where I am, this is where you are, type app I could find, and the lists go on and on. I read techmeme, techcrunch, extremetech, and tons of other tech sites and I make a point to try every and any new site that seems the least bit plausible or interesting. I spend far far too much time on the net just to make sure I keep up and know whats going on.
Honestly, its just a bigger, more time consuming version on CompuServe Forums from back in the day (Find someone who participated in the OS/2 forums if you want to know about social networks). Only back then you didn’t call People friends, they were just forum members.
I surprisingly find myself agreeing with Cuban claims: based on the lack of community interaction and the asssault of data overload without a filter that gets my needs and interests (much less one that has them at its heart). I think web 2.0 would be alot more interesting if the community function was increased. Jeff Pulver elluded to this when he thought the future of the web was Facebook + chatroom, which I assume will mean Facebook + Meebo. I think Pulver is onto something. The lack of re-time interaction is dragging down the new media world. Somewhat in line with this line of thinking, its interesting that as I speak, Scobel is doing a live chat room on Kyte. Only about 2% of the Groups on Facebook are useful, while if the platform or app existed and there was motivation, facebook time could be turned into real legitimate chatting time instead of mindless surfing.
Second, the lack of a filter or the existence of filters that lead you in dubious directions is a major pain. The fact that I have to sit through a 15 minute podcast to get the :45 seconds I find interesting is flat-out annoying. Mahalo, Google, are trying to address this issue…I wonder how successful they will be.
I guess I hope that Cuban’s post is a kick in the butt (or a creative Whack on the Side of the Head) to folks who are thinking about the direction of new media. Cuban correctly points to an underbelly to new media that the pro-hypists just sweep under the rug. If more human and community elements aren’t added, I think Cuban’s post could become the future of new media.
On the flipside, I do see some of Cubans claims as a tad hyperbolic (surprise, surprise from the Blog Maverick) I saw Mitch Joel of Six Pixels of Separation present at Bar Camp Nashville last weekend. He showed three videos which really tapped into the beautiful and emotionally resonant promise that is Web 2.0: first, a new media documentary that pointed to the diversity and emotional passion behind web 2.0, next the hilarity of the Ask a Ninja podcast, and finally the Free Hug movement video. All of those were touching and emotionally gripping. Perhaps Cuban is looking for something more like bungee jumping or basketball….I don’t know.
And while some of Marc’s claims ring true, I think he underestimates a) the current level of viewer created content b) the possibility for even more revolutionary and exciting viewer created content in the future. I think Marc’s claims to boringness are in the eye of the beholder. Second, his notion of boringness is certainly non-mainstream given that he enjoys reading the how-to manual for Ruby on Rails in his spare time (no offense to any Ruby on Rails super-fans out there). Third, how can all of the hype about web 2.0 new products not be exciting. Fourth, how can he say that Google and YouTube are boring given that 1/3 of the content is still mainstream media (assuming thats what he’s defending as interesting). I think Cuban should clearly define and set out examples what he defends as “not boring” so some viable two-way discussion can take place…. In otherwords more conversation and less rant.
If you would like more rant, because I know you do, you can check out Cuban’s original post out here.
Ps. the pic is not a dig at Cuban, its just I couldnt find any pics of Cuban on flickr, so this guy had to do. Props to pchin on flickr!