Web 2.0 : The Clone Wars

As much as the so-called web 2.0 is changing and improving our lives and our communication, it also has a downside. Don’t misread me: I love those tools and what we can do with them. I love to connect with people in new ways and reconnect with friends from “the old world”.

The “me-too” syndrom
The power to take part in this new form of media space inspired a lot of folks to unearth some hidden passions, like podcasting did for those who love radio and never “touched” a mic since their heydays of high school radio. Everyone can do it, everyone can share, but do everyone’s thoughts have enough value to be spread on the web? That’s a serious question we should ask ourselves before we start doing it.

A lot of people see the appeal of social media because they read something by someone who thinks alike and they think: “I’ve got those thoughts too so I can do it”. Finding people who think alike is easy on the web, and it made easy to connect with those who have the same passions. But is it worth it to invest time in a blog if you’re going to say the same things as other people but with different words?

Mashing up
More and more we see blogposts and articles that are mashups of different ideas and blogposts we’ve read somewhere else. More and more we see top tens, excerpts, cross-posting and reposting of existing content. Of course, those strategies can pay off with refferals via Digg or bring more readers to your site. But the value of truely innovative thoughts and the authority that writing original content gives you is greater than all the zillion readers one may get.

The redistribution of content on other platforms via RSS feeds (that are recycled and re-used) just emphasizes that loss of quality versus multiple exposures to a single idea or message.

Adding value
Is it the end of good ideas and original content? I don’t think so. Never before have I been exposed to so many good ideas. But never before have I worked so hard to go through an insane amount of content to find the gems. The amount of messages we see in a day is phenomenal but the amount of good stuff just doesn’t grow exponentially.

Do you think that having more people who can express their thoughts means that there are more Einsteins out there?

Photography by teotwawki

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