December 17, 2006

Obligatory Bubble 2.0 post on "TIME - Person of the Year: You"

In my recent post on the structure of Bubble 2.0, I ended by saying:

"That feast is starting now, and the main dish is YOU."

And now TIME - Person of the Year: You is going to spark a punditry-fest (as well as perhaps mark a "top" for the cycle).

While perhaps I should play, what more is there for me to say? I've said it all before, and what good did it do?

Bubble 2.0 is the province of a very small, extremely incestuous elite (A-list), of clever men (mostly) who run around marketing dreams. I can decry the academic cheerleading for unpaid freelancing, trying to get across my contention:

"Popularity Data-Mining Businesses Are Not A Model For Civil Society"

But there's no upside for me, and plenty of downside. The people who do well at this pander to reactionaries, and there's little market for "technology-positive" social criticism (especially compared to e.g. a goal of $100 million dollar venture capital fund).

So the hype may be "You", but the question is "Why?"

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in cyberblather | on December 17, 2006 01:13 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Your bitterness is impacting your effectiveness. You need to get over it. You can't put Humpty-Dumpty back together again...


Posted by: Kevin at December 17, 2006 10:03 AM

You're probably right :-(
[n.b., I think the expression you wanted was "You can't save the world"].

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at December 17, 2006 10:11 AM

Here's the sum total of punditing I plan to do on either side of this article and its meaning, here, on my blog, or anywhere:

That's it. Thank you, I'll be here all week.

Posted by: walt at December 17, 2006 02:36 PM

I took the time to read through TIME online-- maybe as an indicator that I'd be getting back to writing soon. I hope I can still publish what I have in all my research notes from the year, before it becomes irrelevant.

I was pleased with the 15 profiles (compiled in part by Jeremy Caplan, whom I went to school with, incidentally). My overwhelming thesis has been that there is in fact a lot interesting going on in the online world, but the particular interest in blogging-- the daily drudgery of writing off-the-cuff zonk and not ever following up on it-- was likely overhyped. And most of the 15 were not classical "bloggers"-- there's a wikipedia editor, Facebook groupies, video/music talents... and a coder (Blake Ross of Firefox) as opposed to a marketing hack.

and, btw, it's an international group. As I've said, I usually cringe when people have introduced me as a blogger, but it is kind of thrilling that there is an international community of independent media producers.

I think what we (myself and Seth and some fellow travelers here) generally object to is sensationalism and cronyism in new media. The top single moment of new media for the year was the "macaca" video-- it changed the election and the balance of power in the Senate. Behind it was Webb tracker S. R. Sidarth, who, to his quiet grace, really wanted to stay out of the spotlight. He did NOT buy into the everyone's-a-pundit hubbub.

Granted, there was one clunker in the series, the "mil-blogger" Lee Kelley making the statement that the media has been misreporting the Iraq war, and that the truest account is coming from the milblogs. Someday I'll publish my research on how empty this argument is, but for the moment the reality of the abject disaster in Iraq should be proof enough.

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at December 17, 2006 11:31 PM

I said elsewhere ( that you are the Internet's Cassandra. It is Orwellian to see your "main dish is you" comment transmogrify into Time's Person of the Year. What better proof can there be that you got this one right?

Posted by: David Randall at December 19, 2006 10:08 AM