Web 2.0 *Doesn’t* Suck
Let me start with a disclaimer right up front: I’m a pragmatist but am mostly a happy-assed, optimistic, glass-is-51%-full guy. Instead of looking at why something can’t work, doesn’t work or what the issues are, I search for how to make the inefficient efficient; the broken, whole; the impossible more possible. That’s why I rail against the negative which — while he’s amusingly right in so many ways — Charlie O’Donnell’s post about Why Web 2.0 Sucks looks like his glass is nearly empty and I must admit that I think his position sucks.
Are there issues with Web 2.0 as the world gets re-engineered around the Internetwork? No question…but Charlie, read this chunk of a speech by Teddy Roosevelt which I have framed on my office wall:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
So in that spirit, I’d prefer to focus on all the reasons why Web 2.0 is working and appreciate and admire the “doers of deeds” as Roosevelt refers to them. The items that don’t work in Web 2.0 don’t “suck” as Charlie refers to them, but rather are blazing an infinite number of trails as the builders of the next generation Web strive valiantly while admittedly quite often committing errors and experiencing shortcomings.
Web 2.0 as a concept is working because the world is transitioning from a closed model to one that is open and transparent. A world where the Internet is the primary connection network for knowledge. There is, and always will be, great resistance from the status quo whose business models, gross margins and livelihood are being disrupted…but the innovation in virtually every category I care about is stunning and I’m personally experiencing the profound transformations being brought about by those daring greatly. Is Web 2.0 ‘complete’? No…but we’re sure learning in a helluva hurry what works and what doesn’t….and what needs to be made efficient, whole and more possible.
Perhaps Charlie will appreciate that I found his post on Techmeme, a conversation tracker of the blogosphere and that the irony won’t be lost on him that his voice in the wilderness wouldn’t even have an audience (other than his pals at the watercooler listening to him rant) had it not been for innovation, participation and the connections facilitated by the Web 2.0 visionaries.
About Steve Borsch
Connecting the Dots Podcast
Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.