April 30, 2007
Brand Naming: Redefining Web 2.0
If you’re among those who think Web 2.0 is overhyped, you’ll appreciate Jim Louderback’s snide take on the terms he heard tossed around and the things he saw people doing at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. Here are a few of my favorites.
Twitter - Transmit your every thought to, well, everyone at the touch of a button! This new micro-blogging platform allows you to annoy your friends with all the mundane things you do every day. So, instead of writing a blog post every few hours that details all of the deep thoughts you’ve had, you can spew them out to e-mail, IM, and cell phones as soon as you think them! And, with only 140 characters, the more shallow or vacuous, the better! […] It’s a great tool for finding your friends on a Saturday night. It’s a lousy way to build a business.
Well, ah…yes. Even though its fans are finding ways to use it that go beyond the vapid and obvious, Twitter deserves its name because it’s a constantly chirping source of distraction.
Headcasting - But Twitter is so, like, two weeks ago. Now there’s headcasting. Instead of twittering on and on every few minutes, you simply staple a camera to your head and stream your life to the world. Now that audience you’ve built can watch all the mundane, boring, and occasionally exciting things you do all day, every day. Want to headcast yourself? The new site ustream.tv makes it all possible.
Eeek! I can just imagine what our clients would say if we trained video cameras on the confidential work we do for them. But maybe you’d like to watch Chomsky and Pushkin at work, instead.
“Headcasting” as a term, has yet to make it into Wikipedia, but it’s already in use to describe 3D modeling techniques for creating moving facial meshes. Nevertheless, as the Mashable blog says, Ustream.tv feeds the world’s narcissism, starting by putting “you” in its name. Peter Cashmore encapsulates it nicely:
I am currently filming myself leaving this comment and streaming it to Ustream, while preparing to upload the clip to YouTube, posting a “writing comment on Mashable” message to Twitter and taking a photograph of myself leaving the comment to post to Flickr.
Whoever dies with the most metadata wins.
So what’s a Mashable when it’s at home? It’s a blog all about social networks and a collection of tools for mixing up your media, so you can connect LinkedIn to Plaxo and PhotoBucket to MySpace. A mash up (or mashup, or mash-up) is something put together out of bits of other things, whether it’s a combination of Google Maps with Twitter or a Virtual PR Murder Mystery made up of snippets of other people’s podcasts.
Jim Louderback thinks it sounds like 1999 all over again. Nonsense. We’ve got much better names this time around.
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