The truth aboutthe InternetMarcus Brown.Head of Social Media at Booming
PROLOGUEWeb War I and theNuclear Winter I’m old. Properly old. I survived the dot.com crash of the 1990’s. I’m a veteran of Web War One. I’m your granddad telling you what is was like back then. It was grim. When the bubble burst and companies burnt their way through millions of dollars, everything and everyone around the internet fell into some sort strange slumber. It was like a nuclear winter. The new economy was dead. Everyone was waiting for a messiah.
PART ONEThe children ofthe future. The messiah came. Actually, lots of them came and they were all bright and shiny. Everybody woke up again. The skies cleared, all was forgotten and we could all start to worship again.
What do we see?So if we look at the sparkling “new” web, what do we see?Have we learned from the mistakes of Web War One? Does it reallylook and feel different now?
What yousee What you see.AWESOMEWell, it still looks awesome. In fact, it looks a little bit moreawesome than it did back in the day. Look at all of these groovylogos. We can even put these logos into infographics andeverything.
What you see$ 50 BillionWhat you see.Well, nothing’s really changed here either. Still a lot of moneyaround. In fact, there’s even more money around these days.The offices are bigger, so big that millionaire hipsters can ridearound them on scooters.
What you see What you see.Unicorns This is new, though. We never had singing unicorns back in the 1990’s but I suppose that’s progress. Yes, it must be progress.
This hasn’t changed a bit. Every bright, new thing is immediately seen as a mature business. A couple of weeks after something has been launched we behaveWhat you see What you see. as if it has been around for years.Mature Business
MySpace 8 years old myspace Myspace is an eight year old child who was once massively popular. Now nobody really wants to play with her anymore. Numerous fairy godparents have tried to cheer her up, sadly to no avail.http://www.flickr.com/photos/9493850@N08/4237028244/
Twitter is a cheeky five Twitter 5 years oldyear old child that, quitefrankly, won’t shut up.He is slightly annoyingand hyperactive. Sadly,no one really knowswhat to do with him,least of all his parents. twitter http://www.flickr.com/photos/jilbean3/5522741049/
8 years old xing XING is an eight year old foreign exchange student from Germany. People consider him a dull child because he finds socializing difficult. Those who make an effort with him discover that he is, indeed, a really dull child.http://www.flickr.com/photos/jilbean3/5522741049/
Facebook 7 years old facebook The seven year old Facebook is a child who, for some bizarre reason, is ridiculously popular. Even though he is obnoxious, steals photos out of your wallet and tells the teacher where you’re currently hiding, people seem to love him. How odd.http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitees_photography/3103326811/
At only one year old the1 year old little baby groupon has managed to amass an awful lot of sweeties. It would appear that, sadly, those sweeties don’t belong to him. That groupon doesn’t stop the grown- ups passing him around and commenting on how cute he is. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dabergs/4908779530/
2 years old foursquare The two year old foursquare knows exactly what she wants to be when she grows up. At least she did two minutes ago. No, she’s changed her mind again. No and again. Oh, now she’s sulking because nobody wants to play with her anymore.http://www.flickr.com/photos/dabergs/4908779530/
YouTube 6 years old Everybody loves the six youtube year old YouTube. Everybody, including the six year old herself. The thing is, everybody has seemed to have forgotten that she’s only six, including the six year old herself.http://www.flickr.com/photos/emerycophoto/3423601630/
6 months old This cheeky little chap instagram is a mere 6 months old but boy, has he got what it takes to go really far. At least that’s what his uncle and aunts think.http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgilsdorf/2422177814/
2 weeks oldThe two week old google+google+ doesn’t reallyhave a future – he is thefuture, at least that’swhat his godparentsthink. He’s got 10million godparents. Howabout that?
[…]recognizing that the child,for the full and harmoniousdevelopment of his or herpersonality, should grow upin a family environment, inan atmosphere of happiness, If we start to think oflove and understanding […] these bright new shiny things not in terms of mature businesses butUN Convention of the rights of the child for what (in age at least), they really are – children – then maybe they should have the same rights.
“Accept the children withreverence, educate them with love, send them forth in freedom.” Rudolf Steiner That U.N. thing reminded me of good old Mr. Steiner.
So what we (that’s youand me) should reallybe like, are hippies. Weshould be like hippieMums and Dads. mum Google +
Evil Step Mother.But hippie Mums and Dads we are not. We’re over zealous step-parents.We’ve read books on parenting and we have high hopes for our children.They’re going to go far. Really far and woe betide them if they don’t.
Projection Instead of letting these “children of the Internet” get on with growing up in the time it takes to grow and mature, we force them into doing things they’re not ready to do.
And when itall goeswrong. And when it all goes wrong we turn our backs, disown them and giggle at their misfortune.
My vision of thefuture in 1979 When I was eight my vision of the future was living on a moon base. We were going to get spaceships and everything.
My vision of the future in 1979 I thought, back then, that in the future we would have cool suits and great typography. But we didn’t get any of this.
What I got wasnothing but abloody searchengine.And that pisses meoff.
Middle Aged FutureThe future that we are seeing described to us now is nothing more than the lostfuture of a bunch of middle aged men who didn’t get their jet packs, spaceships ormoon bases (not to mention the cool suits and great typography).
So the things we’reseeing now aremerely extensionsof a future lost.