note: I am going to be talking about an article from El Pais. It is written in spanish, so bear with me. And I don’t commune with the term Web 3.0 myself, but since that is the terminology used in the article you are stuck with it.
Everynow and then some established media outfit needs to fill up some whitespace in their society pages with a couple thousands words on how a revolution wasn’t really a revolution or a fundamental change on our social structure, well, it wasn’t such a fundamental change but more like a readjusment.
This very morning we were graced with an article that is the perfect example: “Internet pone los pies en el suelo“. Oh, so much joy, knowledge, data, comments, ideas crammed in well casted fonts, black on white, electronic or paper, you choose your poison.
The article is a rundown on what is hot with kids these days: flickr, linkedin, myspace, facebook, twitter, youtube, etc etc. But let’s focus on Second Life, since the article does focus on it too, and is a good example on “how the media go all nuts about a bloody detail while they keep missing the big picture”.
Obviously Second Life is a flawed idea, more like a pyramidal scheme than an alternate reality. But, for a while, it was cheaper to get noticed through actions in Second Life than to actually spend money on self-promotion in the meat world. Mostly because the media schmucks thought it was extremely interesting. And that is what drove companies to Second Life, not actual business oportunity. Just like in the late 90s they were driven to Internet.
And, exactly like in the late 90s, who is making money in Second Life is small business, usually one-person sized, who are in it mostly for fun. But I digress since Second Life, right now, is mostly irrelevant (and I am not a big fan, heh).
Oh, and how could they not talk about Web 2.0? They do, they even talk about Web 3.0 and how it is all about “the intelligence of the machines”. Aha! they must be talking about Skynet, right? Well. I think they might be talking about the semantic web. Yes. The intelligence of machines.
An article full of descriptions of websites, people, businesses, and they sum up what Web 3.0 is in just FIVE words. Great. That is modern journalism to you.
It wasn’t us who said Internet was going to create an alternative reality. It was you, the propaganda masters who decided it would be a good idea to promote it in a such a way. Even William Gibson, of Neuromancer fame, balked at such idea. We always said “hey, hold it: internet is just a bunch of computers that talk to each other, you have never seen anything like this so stop trying to put a label on top of it”.
See, humanity inherently hates concepts that are difficult to understand. Or new. Or a Big Change. That is where this “let’s define internet” crusade comes from. But internet is just internet. And for a lot of us, that is what makes it so darn pretty.