In 2005 when I started my job, it was the nascent cusp of the Web++/2.0/whatever movement. The intention seemed to be taking the power of the Internet back as a connective medium and apply that as a means of shortening the distance between want and action. Basically that means using technology to connect people rather than exploit them.
The movements in technology were centered around ways to share ourselves through media and discourse. They removed the isolation of Web 1.0 and applied the lessons first applied on the Internet in the beginning (WELL, etc) and took them out of textual and into multimedia context.
Now, along with the innovation, a new form of journalism emerged that centered around a mix of business journalism, tabloid and reportage. It was refreshingly non-breathless, to the point, full of personality and the events and people around this centered around a kind of geek-summer-camp notion of “wow, we’re all alike!”
Somewhere along we lost it.
Where there used to be innovation, discourse, commentary and debate, I feel like the Web world and blog world has devolved into the equivalent of shrill party planners repeating each others noise.
- Press release rehashing
- Bitchmemes (yes, irony intended) and LinkBait/DiggBait
- Made for TechMeme/Made for Digg content
And then the parties.
You’d think that with the brilliant minds that are applying themselves to the great issue of how to make money in a decentralized medium, we’d have a way to come up with something more exciting than parties.
Mashable at this point is weak content mixed with party planning. What does Mashable actually do besides plan parties which celebrate absolutely nothing? Rehash other people’s news rather than breaking their own? Not adding any editorial to any content, and strictly reprinting press releases basically? At least TechCrunch has attitude. They have 8 parties going on this summer. EIGHT! TechCrunch has a party too that Arrington twittered about. Great.
So can I propose we curb the parties and maybe use that sponsorship for something other than trying to be heard and drinking crappy booze? I can get drunk with geeks and it’d be a lot more fun than at a bar sponsored by Sun.
Rather: use the money and create salon’s that serve to further discourse about the world we live in. I always say it: we’ve been given amazing tools, and just like I said after Gnomedex, maybe its time we use it for something other than gazing at our own belly buttons.