One of the interesting side effects of blogs is that it tells you more about people than you can ever learn from reading a resume or giving an interview. This is both good and bad. It's good because in a professional context it informs you about the kind of people you may or should want to end up working with. It's bad, for the same reasons.

Blogs Make Me Sad
I find all the "Web 2.0" hype pretty disgusting. Everytime I read a discussion about what makes a company "Web 2.0" or not, I feel like I've lost half a dozen IQ points. Everytime I see someone lay on the "Web 2.0" hype I mentally adjust my estimation of their intelligence downward. The only folks this doesn't apply to are probably Tim O'Reilly and John Battelle because I can see the business reasons why they started this hype storm in the first place. Everyone else comes of as a bunch of sheep or just plain idiots.

Some folks are worse than others. These are the self proclaimed "Web 2.0" pundits like Dion Hinchcliffe who's blessed us with massively vacuous missives like Thinking in Web 2.0: Sixteen Ways and Web 2.0 and the Five Walls of Confusion. Everytime I accidentally stumble on one of his posts by following links from other's posts I feel like I've become dumber by having to read the empty hype-mongering. Russell Beattie's WTF 2.0 shows that I'm not the only person who is disgusted by this crap.

I was recently invited to Microsoft's SPARK workshop and was looking forward to the experience until I found out Dion Hinchcliffe would be attending. Since the event aims to be audience driven, I cringe when I think about being stuck in some conference hall with no way to escape listening to vacuous  "Web 2.0" hype till my ears bleed. If I had any sense I'd just not attend the conference, but who turns down a weekend trip to Vegas?

If not for blogs, I wouldn't know about Dion Hinchcliffe and could attend this workshop with great expectations instead of feelings of mild dread.

Blogs make me sad.

Blogs Make Me Happy
One of the things I loved about working on the XML team at Microsoft was all the smart people I got to shoot the breeze with about geeky topics every day. There were people like Michael Brundage, Derek Denny-Brown, Joshua Allen, and Erik Meijer who I felt made me smarter everytime I left their presence.

With blogs I get this feeling from reading the writings of others without having to even be in their presence. For example, there are so many lessons in Shelley Powers's recent post Babble that a summary doesn't do it justice. Just go and read it. It made me smile.

Blogs make me happy.


Monday, February 27, 2006 5:03:35 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Hi Dare,

Here's something I posted on the Signal vs. Noise blog:

"Yes, we’re back to the old value proposition discussion again. We’ve all been around this mulberry bush many, many times.

The good news: As most of you know, the market will sort itself out and the companies that can’t figure out how to survive will die.

The bad news: Markets are self-fulfilling prophecies to some extent. If we choose to believe that there’s no good in something, that’s often all it takes to kill it, regardless of whether there is something important there.

While we can’t all be starry-eyed optimists, sometimes I do wonder if our culture is losing our entrepreneurial edge, both in terms of smart-business sense as well as a sense of wonder and daring."

This last part is crucial and to this point: I find it unfortunate that even someone like you can't see the promise or potential of the next generation of the Web, whatever the label.

Just realize that many, many people do not share your dislike of the things happening in the industry right now.

Lastly, why give O'Reilly and Battelle a pass on Web 2.0 and no one else? Seems arbitrary and petty to me. They can enjoy it but no one else, including yourself, can? Please.

Anyway, I wouldn't dream of ruining your time at SPARK. I'll only mention Web 2.0 if I absolutely must. :-)


Dion Hinchcliffe
Editor-in-Chief Web 2.0 Journal
ZDNet's Enterprise Web 2.0
Monday, February 27, 2006 5:18:36 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Heh, heh. "I feel like I've become dumber by having to read the empty hype-mongering." Great post, Dare.

But, hey, don't you think the hype over "Windows Live" seems to fall into the same camp? If not, why not?
Monday, February 27, 2006 7:27:20 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Battelle and O'Reilly get a pass because they created a 'next generation of the Web' hype storm to get folks paying big bucks to speak at and attend their conferences. There are also the added benefits of getting lots of books sold. This all seems like smart business instincts to me, which I respect.

On the other hand, when I see people like you peddling hype about 'the next generation of the Web' which is basically talking up stuff that eBay & Amazon were doing when I was in college. I can't help but roll my eyes in disgust.

Instead of having discussions about social software, folksonomies, the Web as a platform or other more concrete topics...lots of folks are spending cycles regurgitating hype that O'Reilly & Battelle originally came up with as advertising copy for their conference.

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