Web2point2. Let’s Get to the Gimmick.

I’m chilling out in the Blogger Lounge at the Web2point2 rogue unconference at the Microsoft center in downtown San Francisco… wishing you were here. And here’s your cue to demand an explanation: What’s this about Web 2.2? When did we move up from Web 2.0? Did we ever even figure out what Web 2.0 means? Is anything actually happening on the web or are we just drowning in new-tool pastel ajax overload? The answer is here. Look to the man with the jeans, t-shirt, and fancy suit coat ringing the tibetan meditation bells to signal the end of a five minute conversation you’re having with a complete stranger about what you’re most passionate about in life. It’s a gimmick.Look to the super-cute t-shirt they gave me, that looks like a Windows error message with an old-school time bomb on it. It reads: Web 2.0 has crashed, please upgrade to Web 2.2. Click OK to continue.Dude. Gimmick. Look to the registration price: $32.95, which is in total mockery of the big fancy O’Reilly Web 2.0 Conference going on simultaneously in this very city for the low, low price of $3,200.It’s all a gimmick. Look to all the new tools based on business models that have existed for hundreds of years, but are now dressed up in a drag-and-drop interfaces and use Trebuchet MS font.Let’s face it. The whole internet is just a gimmick. But I love every pixel of it. So why haven’t I been blogging much lately, you might ask? Truth be told, I’ve been existing in the so-called real world these days. I’ve taken a break from obsessive monitor-staring and am paying new attention to things like… eating… and sleeping… and (dun dun DUN!) moving my body. To top it off, I’ve been engaging in social situations where I can actually see and touch the individual I’m communicating with. I tell you, it’s amazing, the opportunities that exist when you turn off your computer. I feel like an toddler discovering she has knees. And that’s exactly why I’m here, at the Web 2.2 Gimmick Extravaganza. Their motto is: The Point is (still) the People. I think we, in the tech industry, are chronically guilty of forgetting that the internet exists for people. Not vice versa. We often think that if we build a cool tool, people will come for it. And then we’re disappointed when they don’t. That’s what this conference is about: remembering why we’re here.And if it takes a handful of elaborate gimmicks to remind us that we exist outside of bandwidth, so be it. Gimmick on. The internet is a gimmick. People are not. Remember: You have knees.TAGGED! (p.s. Cheers to Chris Heuer and Kristie Wells for pulling this incredible mishmash of tech geek collaboration off without a hitch!)

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4 Responses to “Web2point2. Let’s Get to the Gimmick.”

  1. nikkiana Says:

    Okay…. because the question HAS to be asked…. What happened to Web 2.1?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Great question! That was last year’s conference!

    http://www.web2point1.org/

  3. Kathe Says:

    Hey, Sarah!

    Drilled my way into your blog, your websites, etc. You continue to be an AMAZING young woman – I’ll be sure to point Bethany to your blog, too! Will we see you over the holidays??

    Especially loved the photo timeline – you were always such a cute kid! Best, best wishes to you for your continued success.

    Kathe S.

  4. Nick Says:

    Here is to that ever-so-ambiguous-confusion of what exists for what and how creative people like to imagine that they exist for the creation itself. Living really is the big category that everything else fits into. I appreciate having it spelled out once in a while.