Aug 3, 2009

The End of Web 2.0?

Why do you read this blog? Why do you spend so much time on Facebook? Why are you sending tweets every other minute? There is no doubt that the so-called Web 2.0 (a term that I hate and do not agree with) is a virtual playground where we can be ourselves and share our thoughts, interests, opinions, baby pictures (ugh!), and even most personal details with the universe.

The way things are evolving, it seems like the Internet is finally becoming what it was supposed to be – a purely democratic forum for all. Even traditional news outlets have had to bow down to the power of “social media”. Heck, I predict that the next major social-political revolutions will be carried out on the web – yeah, I’m talking about you, Iran and North Korea. Cuba, you’re not too far behind.

So, why isn’t anyone bothered about marketers trying to ruin the fun by wanting to “monetize” Web 2.0? Every day I come across reports and studies showing how social media is the next big thing for marketing professionals, how the brand MUST take advantage of this if it wants to be successful. Everyone is saying Fuck It to traditional media and is looking for a way to get on the Web 2.0 marketing bandwagon.

We saw what happened to the magazine, newspaper, television, movie, and the music industries. They started out innocently enough until advertising dollars and the hungry-for-profit marketing monster took over. Now, big corporate interests dictate what we are supposed to like. They establish the terms of how we get our entertainment and information. They feed us their point of view… just look at the Fox News Channel and countless other news media outlets. Radio stations only play what’s profitable, not what holds artistic merit. TV shows are killed if the number$ don’t add up.

The scariest thing, of course, is the threat to content. Advertising dollars means controlled content because you don’t want to piss off corporate sponsors with “inappropriate material.” The same will happen if marketers invade our Facebook page, our Tweets, and our blogs. Believe me, WAS would be a very different blog if it were sponsored by Toyota or if we were to open the door to marketing messages.

Advertisers are desperate. They are struggling to keep up with TiVO, DVRs, Internet streaming, etc. They’re even uglifying our urban landscape, wrapping every fucking building in downtown with those damn mesh ads. If we let them into our Facebook profiles or whatever, then we can’t complain when things begin to suck, when we have to watch our mouths or check our thoughts. The fun inherent in social media will cease. It will become another marketing vehicle. Don’t we have enough of these already?

Sure, one can make the argument that advertising dollars is what makes TV, radio, and print possible, but at what cost will you give up the freedom you have now?


Me said...

Bravo, Brother. This post alone deserves to be discussed over beer and sushi asap.

Joker said...

I wish we could get a sponsor for this blog, then we could go with an antiblog blog about how we sold the rights to this blog so we could get cash and shit on the news. Advertisers are honestly so disgustingly rapeful, that I can't help but whince every time I see them invade some new unwilling space that just happened to have a hidden price tag.

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