I really enjoyed this talk by Tim O’Reilly at Web 2.0 Expo in New York, it has that great mix of tech and social responsibility that is so important to achieve. I’m currently a bit sick and tired of the myriad of new social media websites that pop up all the time, all doing basicly the same things, trying to connect people that are already connected up to their eyeballs. But connected to what, and to whom?
Take Dopplr. I registered there as I do on almost all new sites, just to check it out, and hooked up with the two other people I could find in my contacts, and after that I haven’t checked in. Why should I? I have no urgent need to know where ANYONE is. As a matter of fact, I would preffer if people STOPPED travelling, and instead stayed home and planted some apple trees. And I know that they added some CO2 calculator thingy to show how much you have killed the planet, but everyone knows that this is just an attempt to be politically correct, while the underlying business idea is to get people to travel more. And perhaps buying a clean conscience while you’re at it.
UPDATE: Dopplr was closed down in 2009, after a buyup by Nokia.
So it is refreshing when Tim O’Reilly talks about focusing on making websites that does “something that matters”, like Witness or Prosper.com and many others, who are trying to use the web to connect people over something important.
I’ve noticed that I have started to be more conservative about what kind of sites I spend time on or join, not because I no longer like procrastinating, but because there is so little there to feed the soul.
I keep ending up on a few favorite sites, like TED and This American Life (or at least downloading their podcasts). TED because it gives me the whole experience of the TED conference without polluting the crap out of the earth flying there, and This American Life just for making me smile and cry and feeling human. And I’m consuming gigabytes of information on gardening!
And I keep wondering what this means. Is it just me, or is there perhaps a more general feeling of “internet fatigue” going on, or “internet flu”?