So I’m looking through my feeds of all the ‘new’ community driven service and sites launching, and i’m thinking ‘not another one’ etc. Is anyone else feeling like this? or is it just me?
Web2.0 has given us all the ability to have a voice online. It has filled a void, lacking in our previous 1.0 experience. Now we have it, do we need more of it? How can we benefit from more of the same?
Community (in the web sense) = conversation. Conversation (in the real world) is the most basic form of communication. You can’t get any simpler than a couple of Neanderthals grunting at each other. Anything after this stage is merely ‘another topic of conversation’. Which is the point we’re at now with many web2.0 services. Someone (genius) gave birth to conversation online, and now we can do that, we’re trying to create as many conversational communities as we can to embrace as many different types of conversation that exist in the real world.
Why are we doing this? Why are people trying to force us in to ‘new spaces’ to have another conversation. Think about the real world again. If Twitter is a pub, then flickr is a photo pub, and Digg is a pub full of showoffs, and stumbleupon is a pub full of hippies and mashable is pub full of geeks and so on. This is all just conversation reinvented for another loaction. Do we need that online?
What’s the alternative?
Maybe, just like in the real world, our conversations should be non-committal? We should be able to wander to any location we like and converse with whoever we want, for as long or short as we want. In real life, pubs are ‘free houses’, I don’t need to fill out a form, and signup to get in. The door is 0pen, I wander in, meet people, and wander out again, if I wish. I support the location I visit by valuing the services they offer and purchasing them, because the place is cosy and great and gets the (real) thumbs up from my friends that visit there. I have no fear of the proprietor spamming me with offers because he hasn’t a clue where I live. I simply buy a pint (or whatever) and leave when I’m done.
Now the reason why I’m using Pubs as an example here, is because they are the true, original conversational houses for total strangers. These are the places that all these online services are trying to mimmick, and they are managing to do it, because we’re willing to hand over our ‘Ooo recieving emails is exciting’ contact details all too willingly.
(But we’re dripping in emails now. We’re trying to get away from them, email is rubbish atm – tho I believe there will be a resurgence in interest btw)
If online is trying to reflect offline, then why are we still signing up? Why aren’t we being sold fantastic services freely? Have people ran out of ideas for fantastic services, that they can’t offer them?
I’m beginning to think that entrepreurs are focusing on ‘traction’, and ‘metrics’ and various other $tat$, when instead they should be designing and building great stuff that we want to buy.
Nobby Nuts are great for example – when I go to the Pub, I love to nibble Nobbys Nuts – but the Pub doesn’t make them. I don’t want the pub to make them, I want the pub to be a place that concentrates on making it a great place to hangout, chill, meet and converse, leave providing the services to someone else – someone more experienced.
Kinda like Facebook I guess. Has anyone realised that Facebook is the ‘Pub’ of the internet? Twitter isn’t, twitter is the bloody Matrix if anything – we’re all ‘pods’ plugged into a massive machine thinking ‘this is how life is’ when actually it isn’t. Facebook is actually ‘Ye Old FacePub’ – sure they offer a few services, but basically people go there to talk bollocks and use a few apps. Just like buying a pint and nibbling Nobbys Nuts.
Soooo…. what I getting at, is what I said at the start. Why are we intent on reinventing the wheel? Shouldn’t we all be thinking about shaping what to do with all this conversation? Maybe the web should evolve to ‘not’ be all inclusive, maybe it should become ‘exclusive’, maybe we should create private members clubs, based on quality of conversation and weight of contribution, rather than ‘invite the world and pray we become the next Google’?
I think the day of ‘free friends’ has passed. I think we’re all burnt out on freedom. Freedom is great when its worth something – but its trivial and usless if it means nothing.
Anyone fancy creating a Revolution?