Monday, September 18, 2006

enough 2.0

Being in marketing, I consume about 32,009% of the USRDA of buzz and hype. It's part of the gig, and I accept the health affects. The headaches, the nausea, the decreaed intelligence and strange looks that children give me.

What you reg'lar folk (who only consume marketing and advertising during your day) may feel after, say, a few hours of watching TV without the aid of TiVo to assit in powering through the ads... that slightly tarnished, funky feeling of having had a strange man put his hand on your thigh and try to guide you into a new Avalon or Body By Jake... well, we who dwell in the Land of Spin, we live with this 8-12 hours a day. And we don't put blinders on -- we pay for electron microscopes and consultants and subscriptions to magazines and reports and blogs that give us MORE. On purpose. We watch ads and read books about direct marketing and go to seminars about branding and all kinds of jazz like that. Why? Because we make this stuff up. You eat it. We plant it, grow it, harvest it, grind it, mix it, bake it and deliver it to your door.

I say this as a preamble. I say it to let you know that it takes a lot, a whole lot... a really, really big friggin' lot to make me tired of a catch-phrase. Normally, most marketers think of them as pets. As cute little buggers that the populace at large has adopted for awhile, and will eventually let die once they grow too old to cuddle and start to smell funky. Sometimes a catch phrase will linger on in comedy bits as something that folks in-the-know understand isn't cool, but that geeks think is still "hip." And we in marketing can certainly exploit that tension. Fine, fine, fine. But I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about a catch-phrase that is actually lingering in the by-god mediasphere. Something that people who should know better keep using. And when it gets to the point where I can't go a week without reading some new "Two-Dot-Oh" crappy story... well, I've gotta just ask people to cut it out.

First of all, if you don't know what "Web 2.0" actually is, don't use the term. It doesn't mean a Web site that you designed in the last year or so. It doesn't mean an interactive site. We've had those for years. It doesn't mean a site that looks clean and cool. It doesn't mean a site that uses Flash or AJAX or Ruby-on-Friggin-Rails. If you don't know what it means, look it up. I'm not even going to give you a link. HINT: If the article doesn't mention Tim O'Reilly, it's a crock.

But even if the hype around Web 2.0 was inflated and had overstated its welcome... and even if folks had just stuck to using the term inappropriately... well, I'd have shut up and put Web 2.0 in the land of cute, too-cooked catch-phrases that us marketing wallahs learn to live with as the enter and exit our various visual fields.

Now, though? Now everything has to be friggin' 2.0, dunn' it? We've got Enterprise 2.0 and Banking 2.0. There's Education 2.0 and Cinema 2.0 and Religion 2.0 and Career 2.0 and Design 2.0 and...

Here's a Clue 2.0... put just about any business phrase or idea into Google... add 2.0... and do a quick search. Great yazzin' zotz.

Two-Dot-Oh is a great way of saying... you don't really know what the hell Web 2.0 is. There is quite a lot of controversy in the Web world as to what Web 2.0 actually means. And even if you believe in what Tim says it means, if what that is, is what it should mean. Because Web 1.0 was supposed to mean that in the first place to many people. Get it? It's not like saying something is "salt free." Saying your idea is "2.0" doesn't make it anything.

Except Annoying 2.0 to me.

Update 10/29/06: In case you didn't click on the logo above, you should know that it was created using Alex P's "Web2.0 Logo Creator."

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