in Web Issues

The endless talk about which web 2.0 app is best, is pointless

Web 2.0 technology/APIs, and the constant endless discussion about which framework, API, method or whatever is the “best thing” just doesn’t float my boat.

Its not that I’m against web 2.0 technology, its just that I’m not interested in the technology, per say, but rather its application – it usage, and how businesses (both small and large) can use it to help promote themselves to a larger audience.

I guess you can say, I’m more interested in web 2.0 “branding”, then the web 2.0 “technology” behind it.

Web applications (and the technology behind them) is constantly subject to evolution, and market forces.

One day, MySpace and Linked are the main sites to use, the next day it’s, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, or Youtube. All of them are subject to “market forces”, ie: what the people want.

To that end, I get very bored when people, especially technology people, constantly talk about the technology – be it “X AJAX framework is the best there is” or, “CSS must be like this”, or “you shouldn’t use ASP.NET or PHP, use Ruby.” and “Ruby is cool.”. Its sort of like being constantly told that you are wrong, uncool and out-of-step with your peers and you must constantly “catch-up”.

Catching up is also market forces at work, but sometimes I get the feeling that people want people to use a system because its cool.

To me, unless the technology is a tool – and unless its proven and its fast, easy to use and not frustrating to use, it doesn’t really matter just how “cool” or “not cool” it is, — so long as you can deliver the same “experience”, or can solve the problem.

Yes, you might be right X might be the best thing since sliced bread, and naturally, if the technology has a security flaw – or, like PHP4, is going out of date – then I agree, upgrade – and whilst your there, learn new things — but don’t get suckered into the notion that everyone is better than you because they use X.

Its just not worth it.

So what is my view of web 2.0 apps, etc?

As I explained earlier, I’m more interested in the creative side, than the technology side. I’m more interested in what has been dubbed “social media marketing” (SMM) by many.

Sky News, the Guardian, etc may love Facebook – but they don’t like its technology, they like using it, they like what they can achieve with it – its not about “XML” this, or “SGML” that… its about the use, not the technology!

I’m interested in the use of “SMM” as a way of promoting, marketing, branding, communicating, etc. Yes, I agree that SMM must remain “persuasive” and not “interrupting”, I agree that SMM must be invisible; not in your face — and, yes I agree that SMM must remain a strategy, and not a goal.

I guess, in reflection — my view is that SMM apps, like all web technologies, are an excellent tool.

And that’s what we must all remember.