Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Birth of the Web Ego-Maniacs

I am noticing a troubling trend among the user-created content set. Don’t get me wrong, I am a strong supporter of user-created content, particularly when it is well-produced, entertaining, educational, and engaging and exhibits the fundamentals of Web 2.0 (social).

There are numerous websites (and more on the horizon, I bet) that enable users, like you and me, to publish our thoughts and ideas. There are blogs, naturally, wikis, photo-sharing sites, and, as broadband surges forward, the proliferation of podcasts and videoblogs.

Equipped with a laptop, web camera (or a camera-enabled cell phone), and a high-speed Internet connection, one can record shows or even broadcast live across the Web. There’s Youtube, of course, and there is Y!Live, Ustream.tv, Viddler, Vimeo, Qik, Kyte.tv, Flixwagon.com, and many more. All worth checking out, if you like.

But I am seeing a trend that I do not like among these websites:

First, I am seeing the same user faces across all these websites. It’s as though a dozen or so of these pro-bloggers or pro-vloggers are taking up much of the space and sadly with some less than stellar material. I don’t want to name names, although I assume some would not mind the additional attention.

Secondly, the material that is being produced, while "live" and "dynamic" (yeah, crossing the street, yeah), is for the most part pointless and trivial. Enough with the crap! You’re clogging up the arteries of the Internet with these narcissistic, self-indulgent videos.

Mind you, I am not condemning these top bloggers and vloggers, these shameless pluggers, because they are largely friendly folks with good intentions and some have found a recipe for success, being able to make a living off this new media lifestyle. These top vloggers have their good moments, true, but they should save their ramblings, pontifications, and walks through their basements and their freak-outs for their personal hard drives, not the Web.


Anonymous said...

You should like Michael Gorman: http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2007/06/web-20-the-sleep-of-reason-part-i/

Web 2.0 is like democracy: you get all kinds, at all levels, and all are welcome--even the ones that are not so good!

dkemper said...

Anonymous, thanks for reading and commenting. And thanks for pointing me to Michael Gorman; however, I don't quite see the connection, at least the part I quickly read on his blog post.

In any case, I still believe that people should use their discretion when publishing something to the Web, be it text, audio, or video.

Yes, Web 2.0 encourages everyone (with the means and the time) to contribute. But I would rather have people contribute meaningful material that can help others, rather than material showing them posture on screen in their boxer shorts, talking about how their basement is such a mess or about their latest high score in Wii. No value.

In my opinion, Web 2.0 is about us, the community, not about one person.

about the author

I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.

I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.

I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.