Russell Beattie over at, erm, russellbeattie.com* posted an interesting entry yesterday on the lack of business perspective in Web 2.0 businesses. It’s basically an eloquent version of GFY: more articulate, rational and with appropriately directed criticism.
The social innovations like tagging, and blogging integration were essentialy marketing efforts built on top of their [Flickr] platform meant to drive more people to sign up for the pro photo storage service or click on ads, not core parts of the product itself. It wasn’t social software for the sake of social software, it was “how can we make this product attractive to users and developers in order to drive revenue?” In other words, it was a real business.
But let’s think of some of the popular new site launches lately… web chat and IM comes to mind. WTF is the business? All those Map mashups out there? WTF is the business? Calendaring and Ajax desktops? WTF is the business? They’re just FEATURES built on top of other company’s APIs, adding very little real value, and not making a dime of profit.
Sounds scarily coherent and logical to me. It’s quite evident when you think of it, but thinking of stuff doesn’t come easy. Perhaps it’s because all thought must be assigned to the creation and development of features. And since I didn’t think of this myself, perhaps I’m one of those people who aren’t business-oriented.
Come to think of it, I think I am a Web 2.0 company.
Scarily coherent and logical when you think of it.
I’m a fat, pot-bellied twat (round corners); I’m incoherent both in mind and expression, and seem to focus on all the wrongs things in life (tag cloud); My interests limit themselves to computers, internet and the occasional session of WoW – otherwise there’s not a whole lot going on (whitespace); If I was ever referred to as a colorful person, it was either because of my menorrhea-like mood or bizarre sense of fashion – nevermind personality (pastels); I possess an inherent loathe towards all human beings that I haven’t acquainted myself with via a computer (folksonomy); The few times I’m required to communicate without the means of technology, I like to present myself honestly, naturally and stripped to the bone – literally (RSS); and finally, I never amount to anything, and I can never hold a job for more than the amount of time it takes for my bosses to discover that I do in fact amount to nothing (features versus platforms: wtf 2.0).
Don’t hesitate to submit your own comparisons, folks.
(*what’s the deal with tech/webdesigner types always putting their name as the domain and title of their blog/site? Are they spending all their creativity on their tech/webdesigner type work and are thus left with nothing left in their inspiration quota?)