An enlightening conversation with a friend, J yesterday gave me great insights into social web. She has recently removed her wall. When I asked her about Twitter she seemed sceptical about using it . I said that ‘it made some sense to me’ (although I don’t use it yet), “tying in all your short chats together into one zone in a multipurpose mesh of communication.” The Twitter type web 2.0 model does provide a concept I am curious to explore. However, I am too honest and cannot contain my opinion, even though I don’t hold it strongly, I make it known. It’s all too public for me, and the ominous occurrences are in – Twitter can ruin your career.
It was J’s following statement that clenched it for me and I will paraphrase here, “I didn’t start using Twitter because I am afraid that it will become just another thing that I have to maintain an appearance on.” This is a revelation for me on a number of levels as it normalises what Web 2.0 social network are. She provided me a down to earth view of what much of the overall social realm entails; our public lives are a constant stuggle to recognise relations to other people. When all the hoopla-dust settles Twitter’s purpose is just another realm of social struggle and doesn’t suggest that it will facilitate the evolution of anything spectacular. Avenues of marketing like Socialnomics will ensure that the sharks in suits are ready to feast on anything you throw out the side of the boat. At every stage of capitalism (that’s right it isn’t a universal constant!) there has needed to be a novel way to market products and get them to the people who want them.
This last point makes me want to read a careful examination of the difference between advertising executives using Web 2.0 to make money and the sort of marketing suggested by what the so called Semantic Web 3.0 means for the Net. From my perspective the former always strangles the goodness out of everywhere it goes, so if it’s leading to the latter, will it systematically choke the social web into a quiet lonely death?