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Blogs, hype, LesBlogs

8 maggio 2005

3 commenti



Nick Denton’s New York Times interview mentioned today by Scoble gives me the occasion to write a few thoughts I have been ruminating after LesBlogs, which I have been discussing for the past week or so with David Tebbutt in an ongoing email exchange.

Is there a “blogging revolution”? Yes, despite what Denton says to the NYT reporter. But the revolution is over, what we are seeing now is its secularization. A few things struck me at LesBlogs, all distinctive characteristics of revolutionary movements that, having exhausted their innovative charge, turn themselves into institutions:

  1. the emergence of a new, self-referential establishment with its periphery of sycophants and wannabes (including myself probably)
  2. the superficiality and repetivity of many discussions, which showed a suspect resemblance to a political party’s official doctrine (or a large company’s vision)
  3. the feel that much of what was being said was for the benefit of potential customers, or of the many journalists attending the conference

It’s very clear to me that a new hierarchy/power structure has emerged, with lots of capital at its disposal with which to fuel enough hype to try and push social software in the enterprise. It won’t be long before we see CEOs and top managers falling for the new buzzwords, and forcing blogs/wiki/etc, onto their users and IT departments, without having a clue what they’re about.

As for LesBlogs, I have finally understood why Dave Winer insists that BloggerCon remains a users’ conference…

3 commenti

  • David Tebbutt
    8 maggio 2005 #

    I suppose it was inevitable I’d dive in first after all our mail exchanges.

    What you say has the ring of truth. And force-feeding staff will destroy the value that these technologies release.

    People will say “Oh, blogs and social software? Yeah, they turned out to be as useless as [name a predecessor from: expert systems, artificial intelligence, computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), groupware, content management, information management, knowledge management]

    No doubt I’ve forgotten a few.

  • hugh macleod
    9 maggio 2005 #

    Hmmmmm… not sure I agree, and I’m no A-Lister. Part of the problem is that, these people know each other, and have known each other for a long time. And they’re keen to talk/catch up with them. When you’re only in town for a day or two, and there’s 50 or so people you want to catch up with, you tend to be very brisk with everybody else who’s not on your list.

    That’s not elitism. That is human nature.

    I find the same things happen with weddings. All these uncles and aunts you haven’t seen in years, at the same time all these delicious bridesmaids everywhere… Hard to find a balance.

  • ludo
    9 maggio 2005 #

    Nice list David :) What you say is true, but I’m more worried about the tons of money that will undoubtedly be spent for mostly useless software. Maybe wasting money on IT projects it’s only an Italian tradition, but as for useless corporate blogs we already have a good example: Vodafone Italy’s Tel&Co, which is nothing more than a collection of press releases with a blog format.

    Hugh, my point was not that people were rude or elitist (my experience was quite the opposite in fact, including some good time spent talking with you, or listening to Doc’s theories on the school system). I only think the revolution is over, there will be less time for ideals and campaigns, and more for marketing and money.