Friday, February 15, 2008

The Death of 2.0 (s544 #5)

Sean Robinson and I made a podcast about Sean's opinion that "2.0 stuff well that’s dead also. The .com bubble burst so will the 2.0 bubble. Sorry I really liked this trend but it’s gone. This is fashion not technology." The rest of the list is here.

I tend to side with Steve Rubel on this issue, he says "Web 2.0 is definitely here to stay. The tools overall empower people to do what they have been for thousands of years and that's express themselves."

I see Web 2.0 as a revolution. Not in the vein of the Gutenberg Press, more along the lines of what happened when artists in Medieval Europe stopped using tempera paint and started using oils. If you were a painter in the Middle Ages, you used a very difficult to work with medium called egg tempera. The egg acted as a binding agent to the pigments. This sucked. The stuff went bad over night, it had to mixed up in little batches and pigment was so expensive and hard to get during this time that if an artist mixed up too much, it was a waste.

Then, in the Netherlands at the beginning of the Renaissance, the practice of mixing pigments with slow drying oils such as linseed became popular. This changed everything. Artists could mix up large amounts of the stuff. Trade routes opened and pigments became cheaper and more easily attained. The physical process of painting became easier. People didn't have to know arcane paint recipes, they could just buy it and do it. Artists didn't have to understand every single stinking step in the manufacture and application of snooty egg tempera. This change in medium and its ease of distribution leveled the playing field, allowing people with a vision to create without having the limitations of the medium tripping them up.

I see a correlation between egg tempera and the difficult process of building and maintaining a web presence the old way, i.e. owning or buying server space, hosting your own video and pictures, writing your own html code, actively collecting and organizing all your contacts. I see oils as being the easy to use 2.0 applications that move the power of communication out of the hands of the few and into the realm of the many.

1 comment:

Mary Alice Ball said...

What a wonderful analogy, Kay. Not having any artistic tendencies and with limited knowledge I had not made the connection between egg tempura and oils and the impact on artists. I think it works with the adoption of Web 2.0 tools.