Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Getting It

I like to think of myself as an early adopter, but in reality, I'm probably far from an early adopter in Silicon Valley.

Perfect example? Twitter. It's actually a very simple idea - you can post IM like things via their website, IM, phone, etc. In Web 2.0 speak, it's Social Messaging. And it's mashable so people have made crazy AJAX apps where the Twitter posts pop up on a map and lots of other random things. People basically use it to raise their global hand and say "Hello!". It's so popular that even the New York Times has written about it: From Many Tweets, One Loud Voice on the Internet

Problem is...I just don't get it.

I suppose it's just me since I just don't get it. Maybe it comes down to the current world of everyone wanting to say something. Anything. And in a way, that's what Web 2.0 is about, isn't it?

But I just don't get it. I can't imagine sitting on a web page watching people post their random thoughts. I can't imagine getting a Growl pop-up everytime someone says "Hello World!". Heck, I can stand sitting in a chat room watching people talk amongst themselves.

I could say that I don't have time, but that's not the point. I could make time if I really wanted to. But I don't. I just don't get it.

And that applies/applied to a lot of other things in one way or the other. RSS Feeds and Google Reader? I totally understand the potential with that, but until a month or two ago, I could care less. I was fine with loading up individual web pages. But now I use GReader everytime I have spare time. Podcasts? It was less than a year ago that I fell in love with podcasts. Now I subscribe to a couple of dozen and listen to things when I want. Flickr? I got the idea behind Flickr, and I definitely use it now to post photos of mine, but I don't think I get as much out of it as so many other people do, namely the community aspects of it.

So maybe that's it? I don't get the community part of Web 2.0? Actually, I get it, but that's the part that I don't make time for. So if there's something that JUST about community, then I just won't get it. Twitter is one of those things. If you go to the site and read the tweets, they're all pretty dumb. But if are engrossed by reading other people's random one line thoughts, then sure, you'll be on that site all of the time. Me? Heck no. I've got better things to do.

The parts of Web2.0 I've really gotten are the ones that let me do what I want, when I want, in small or large chunks. Google Reader? Perfect way to keep track of news, blog posts, etc, etc on my own schedule and easily keep track of what I've read, what I've liked, and tell other people about interesting stuff. Podcasts? Perfect way to let me listen to my stuff when I want. Whether it's in the car, at the bedside or while walking the dogs. Flickr? I began using it because I love exploring other people's photos when I want.

So I'm fine with getting my info, my photos, my audio when I want. The rest, I just don't get it.

1 comment:

CoffeeFreak said...

I think you were on the right track when you referred to it as social networking. If you just look at it as random people you have no connection with, raising their hands and saying "Hello world" (or, in IM speak, 18/m/f) then yes, it's pretty stupid. But, to have the ability to reach out to your specific network of friends (that you have invited to Twitter, or Friendster, or MySpace, or what have you) and be able to alert them, and update a blog-like page to easily send out updates on where you are or important events in your life, is an interesting idea, IMHO.
Does it replace email? Well, the question is easy when you consider that if you wanted to send all of us updates, you'd have to make sure you set up a list, kept it up to date, (or memorized our addresses), and then be sure that we were regularly checking our inboxes or that it didn't get lost in spam. Instead, messages follow us from our phones, to mashups on sites, and so on.
The problem I see is adoption. There are SO many of these types of services and networks out there, and I personally tend to gravitate to a few, and not bother to investigate and sign up for every cool new thing out there. If there are a lot out there like me, the usefulness of this service is lost.