It’s been over a year now since the word Ajax brightened our lives and made us sound cool dropping it into conversations. What heady days they were! Fine Wine and plenty of Grapes.
Then, along came another phrase (cause it’s two words, kind of). Web two-point-oh, the magical heading that was the gold-plating on the next internet bloom. Or is that boom? Not just us nerds (of the super- and just general type) took a hold of this coin. Big companies, with their big wigs and big chairs and big salaries jumped in and began throwing web 2.0 everywhere. Got a web app? Make it WEB 2.0. Desktop? That too. It’s where the money is. Everyone knows that, you just have to make it Web 2.0 and bam. Rich beyond your wildest dreams.
Along-side these two, parallel another couple. This beautiful pair are actual entities, not just concepts.
Flickr was (and still is) big on the web when the WebJax hit. It showcased some of the excellent qualities of this new charge. Lighthorsemen ride on! Here we have a site that broke free and brought the idea of community and api-isms to the web. Your blog could now be easily showcasing the photos uploaded to Flickr. The main site itself was (is) a hub for people writing history. Putting their lives and big events onto film and then onto the web. It’s a pretty cool imagining of wall-paintings. I like that. Because really, that’s what Flickr is doing. Allowing people to write their own history. Perhaps in years to come, students will study the annals of Flickr as to how things went down. I’m sure some other sites would go in their too. Myspace in particular comes to mind.
Anyway. The other part of the pair (is that alliteration? The following of one word with another of the same starting letter?, must google it to see).
YouTube is, for the previous couple of months, the word to drop. Two guys got together and magically pulled out this site and sold it for at least seventeen ba (BA) zillion dollars. YouTube is, without a doubt, a phenomenon of Ajax and Web 2.0 phrasing (Okay, i went and looked up Dictionary.com just to make sure i was using phenomenon right. Seems like i was. And for that matter, i think i struck out with the alliteration call. Maybe. It’s something about same consonant sound or sound group).
Ahem. YouTube. They are the second.
So my query is this: What will be next? The criteria must be globalised hype, people throwing lots of money around, and a phenomenon that cannot really be partitioned into one neat box.
I’m going to say, that it will be something to do with people. Community. Even more than the current crop is. Even more than YouTube, which already shakes government and brings transparency to a great deal more of our society’s dealings than before.
It’ll be empowering. People will have their own circle of power. Friends. Enemies. It’s possible something like Second Life will be this.
But ultimately, it will be flawed. Until we work out how to solve the problem of inherent chaos that lives within us, any system we build is going to be less than perfect. YouTube has shown the great heights to which we can benefit from it. But also the depths of idiocy (and sadness) people will go to for recognition from just about anyone. MySpace reeks of this too. Great strength, and great weakness. And i’m not bagging the guys who put these things together. That’s an awesome thing. I’d like to be there myself one day soon.
In the end, we are brought low by our own frailty. The inability to perceive truth. To forgive. To be more than petty. We cannot seem to rise above the idea that we are gods, and then, because of reality (what? see how things fall apart when one person considers themselves a god, everyone else can’t be a god, or else we’d have to think everyone else equal and as worth our time as ourselves), other people aren’t. No matter how you take it, you cannot get away from how we are.
Well. That was certainly off-kilter. I never started out with any thought of going on the spiritual offensive. Bam. Interesting journey.
Looking at the last couple of paragraphs, you’d think i was a pessimist. Far from it. I’m not an optimist, because the world is broken. But hope exists. Joy. Love. These things are real, just in a fallen place like our earth they are warped. You find a proper glass to look through, and you’ll see it too.
‘Nuff said and pointed and scraped and offended and judged and all that,