Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More 2.0

As if Monday's encounter with Bruce Sterling wasn't enough, today I found myself in fairly close proximity* to Ben 'Quite Famous Now' Hammersley, at the Blogs and Social Media Forum. And it's only Wednesday! I'm not sure how much more of this brave-new-world excitement I can take, to be perfectly honest.

As befits his role as standard-bearer for the New Social Revolution, Ben was decked out in full Web 2.0 regalia, which looks something like this:


Gentlemen, take a moment to check your attire. Are you wearing a skirt? Has it been fashioned in a kind of combat style? Failing that, is it made of pleated leather? If not, I'm afraid you are not eligible to establish any form of weblog or wiki wiki, nor to use the words 'interestingness', 'findability', 'frictionless' or 'astroturfing'. Your pathetic attempts at RSS syndication will fail. Do not try to pretend you invented the word 'podcast', because no one will believe you. You work in what? Television? Pull yourself together, man! The age of broadcast ended ten years ago! Where's my coffee? Where's my agent?

Apart from that, what can I tell you? Those of you with proper jobs will probably shortly find your boss frothing at the mouth about markets being conversations and blogs and wikis being the only way to do business in the modern era, and you'll all be made to write a blog post every day about how great your job is and how great your company's products are, while you're simultaneously threatened with the sack over that picture you posted on your personal blog of you lining the cat's litter tray with a copy of the annual report. So that's something to look forward to. Web 2.0 is fun, remember?


* In that he was sitting on a stage, and I was in the audience.


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36 comments:

Dave again said...

I'm afraid I am not eligible to establish any form of weblog, my dress code being more akin to Alan Partridge sport-casual.

[That may not be entirely true, but there certainly are no skirts in my wardrobes.]

GreatSheElephant said...

what did you think of Adriana?

Wanders off to a seminar about something *real* (strong authentication)

patroclus said...

Dave: well, that's no good, next you'll be telling us that you never pioneered warchalking in the wild.

GSE: Adriana made some decent points which will no doubt be summarised on her own blog later, illustrated with a picture of herself looking clever and beautiful.

Smat said...

Mr Smat has a skirt, but he's not a standard bearer for anything as "exciting" as Web 2.0.

Dave again said...

I don't have any portable computing equipment, so the wonders of Wi-Fi have passed me by.

I wouldn't mind warpainting in the wild.

Pashmina said...

Yeah, but people are still going to watch telly, right? Oh dear, have a feeling I am basically screwed on this one.

I am wearing a skirt today, as it happens, but since I am female this probably makes me very Old Media (if indeed it's still called that. I find it hard to keep up).

Ben said...

Yes, quite, where is my coffee, dammit?

patroclus said...

Pash: Several times in the last few days I've heard people muttering 'no medium ever killed the one before it'. When people say this, it's not considered sporting to mention the telegraph, or the carrier pigeon, or the chained library. Which can probably safely be referred to as 'old media'.

Ben: Has your agent got it?

Thanks for the 'astroturfing' thing - that was a new phrase to me, and one I intend to use ad nauseam.

Ben said...

Nah, but he might have 15% of it, before tax.

You think having an agent is bad; I'm about to employ an assistant. I'm this close from having an entourage. Next I'll be employing someone else to wear the kilts for me. and appearing only via video link from my secret Tuscan lair.

ponders...

Still, a slightly odd conference that. It confirmed something I've been thinking for a while: no more blogging conferences for me. I get too upset afterwards.

patroclus said...

Interesting - in what way odd? Apart from the logical inconsistency of gathering a limited number of people into a room to talk about online networking/information sharing...

Interpreter Pavlov said...

1. Better and better! You've picked up a Muscadin and an Incroyable rolled into one. But then I suppose any media developments expect to concentrate and intensify communication. So maybe it's logical.

2. Tell us about 'astroturf'. (Can Pashmina advise on the plural? -turfs or -turves?) We used to have it round our swimming pool until it became too troublesome to hoover.

patroclus said...

IP: 'astroturfing' is the black art of creating a fake grass-roots campaign. I think it's like when marketing people set up fake blogs that appear to be written by 'real' people, but which are really designed to plug certain products.

Actually I just looked it up in the fount of all may-not-be-true knowledge, Wikipedia, and it apparently comes from American political PR tactics - you can read about it here.

Spinsterella said...

I have learnt so much here that my head is spinning.

It's all moving too fast for me. I'm off to put the gramaphone on.

GreatSheElephant said...

Hang on, I go out for a couple of hours and when I get back you actually have Ben Hammersley commenting on your blog?

patroclus said...

Spin: You and me both. I had a Web 2.0-induced panic attack on the way to M&S at lunchtime.

GSE: Indeed. Now I'm thinking that if I write a cheeky post about Johnny Depp, he might suddenly appear and ask me to marry him.

Come to think of it, that's *definitely* worth a try.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Do let me know if that works out for you. I want to see if George will allow me to compare real life and dream versions. (Then again I might have to make my blog a little more interesting first.)

GreatSheElephant said...

jeez

swears *never ever* to blog about Andrew Lloyd Webber again

Ben said...

To drop back a few comments, I found it odd in that I've been going to conferences saying the same things for four years now - blogs this, wikis that - and it's not really moving on from being a lovely little thing between friends. No matter how many suits you put in a room, they just never quite get that it's not really something to monetise. It's just a nice thing.

I'm not being very coherent today, but I find those things oddly dispiriting. I'd rather just go down the pub with clever people.

patroclus said...

I completely agree - the 'how do we make money from this?' aspect is very depressing.

I am at this very minute writing my MA dissertation (regular readers please feel free to yawn) on how blogs have created an environment in which people are making their own cultural products and giving them away free - and the impact this might have on the commercial culture industry. It's fascinating.

GreatSheElephant said...

I can't help feeling that it's all well and good being dispirited by the desire to monetise social media you are being well paid for consulting on the subject.

Frankly I'm extremely keen to find ways of monetising blogging, either directly or by referral. I like doing it and I'd like to be paid for doing something I like, for a change. If you'd like to divest yourself of your clients, I'll have 'em.

GreatSheElephant said...

when you are being well paid, that is

bah

Konrad said...

Hi Patroclus! Hope you are doing well. It's been a time since I've been around. Take care, Konrad.

patroclus said...

GSE: I didn't say that commercial companies shouldn't *have* blogs - I just don't think they should see them as a revenue stream in themselves. To me it's more about a) getting useful information to customers and b) getting closer to customers by giving them a way to converse directly with the company.

I do agree that markets are conversations, and that honest conversations between companies and their customers should be encouraged. Blogging might be a good way to do it, and it might not. I think it's still too early to tell. But there are certainly right and wrong ways to go about trying it (hence a need for consultants) - and in my opinion, thinking of it as a revenue stream is probably the wrong way. But that's just my opinion.

GreatSheElephant said...

wasn't really aimed at you P. In fact I completely agree with what you say - I'm thinking more about individuals ie me monetising blogs/blogging and in particular that I wouldn't mind getting paid by the Guardian, irrespective of whether the Guardian itself makes any money out of their blogs.

Ignore me anyhow, I'm in a bad temper. Obviously Ben isn't the only one to get upset by blogging conferences. In fact I've been in a foul mood since yesterday.

patroclus said...

Konrad: Hello stranger! Long time no see - hope all's well with you.

GSE: All conferences sap my will to live, so I'm feeling pretty similar. Plus I gave up smoking AGAIN this morning, so am in my customary nicotine withdrawal-related bad mood.

So, just the right frame of mind for going out for dinner with a new client. Hurrah!

Tabby Rabbit said...

All fascinating. Especially the leather skirt - (I suppose 'kilt' is the word I am looking for).

>>So, just the right frame of mind for going out for dinner with a new client. Hurrah>> That's it, dig out your cut-out-and-keep smile.

Billy said...

I don't have a pleated leather skirt so I have to represent myself with a cartoon dog.

Is there any other attire suitable for this weblogging?

Ben said...

Oh don't get me wrong, I'm not against monetising blogging at all. But what's dispiriting is the bizarre bandwagon-jumping that seems to imply that installing a blog/wiki == profit, when in reality it's the cultural change that comes from blogging that makes the difference, and not the tech. If I see one more powerpoint from a bizdev guy that uses the word "ajax" as a feature, I'll scream.

But actually, I am looking to divest my blogging clients. So, y'know, if you're good...

Spinsterella said...

My two favourite things about blogging are that it's free and incredibly easy to use.

Blogging is as accessible to perpetually skint technophobes (that'll be me then) as it is to superannuated IT geeks.

Making it truly democratic?

LC said...

The main problem with the blog=profit idea is that the word 'blog' encompasses so many different things. If you set up a blog about say, motorbikes, and you post lots of interesting and relevent stuff about motorbikes, then (eventually) you'll get lots of targetted traffic from people who are into motorbikes, so you can realistically make some money from advertising motorbike related products. But people seem to think the same applies if you set up a blog which consists of random pointless gubbins.

Content is/was/always will be king - any fule can set up a blog or a wiki or whatever, but without good quality content, it'll never make you any money.

shoppersaurus rex said...

GSE here

>So, y'know, if you're good...

Nah, not really, but I don't let that stop me.

I think everyone's main argument here is with capitalism, rather than anything peculiar to blogging. My prediction is that in three years' time, we will all be carrying advertising on our blogs, whether we like it or not, and it won't be us getting the per click revenue.

patroclus said...

Well, that's something to look forward to.

We probably won't be allowed to swear either, in case a small child sees.

Arabella said...

Visit
here
for skirts California-style.

Adriana said...

"Adriana made some decent points which will no doubt be summarised on her own blog later, illustrated with a picture of herself looking clever and beautiful."

I wish! I'll have to 'disappoint' you GSE, no time for self-glorifying blogging. Time for elephant tears. :-)

Had no idea people wondered about when and how I summarise what I say with pictures. How nice! [/sarcasm]. Btw, how does one look clever in photos? Need. More. Clever. Looking. Photos. Obviously. Heh.

patroclus said...

>>Had no idea people wondered about when and how I summarise what I say with pictures. <<

Hmm, you sound surprised that people read your blog. On Weds you said that one of the things you like about blogging is that 'I, as an individual, have a reputation, a brand, an audience'.

To my mind, your photos are part of your brand, and I'm part of your audience. And I guess this comments thread is part of your market!

GreatSheElephant said...

Elephant tears? Good grief.