Why the kids don't like the RSS20 Oct 2007
A couple days ago Coté asked "Is Web 2.0 the middle-agers web?" and today he asks if the kids like the RSS. The answer is obviously no; kids think blogs and RSS aren't a big deal. Not to say that blogs and RSS aren't useful or of value; just that their technical details aren't important to the kids and their damn rock and roll music. I think that blogs, RSS, and to an extent even twitter succeed because they are geek tools.
Facebook and MySpace have found success by making the process of creating and consuming blogs and RSS content approachable by the vast sea of non-geek users on the Interweb. They, and other social networks of their ilk, have taken our awesome geek ideas and packaged them up in a seamless... package. Well, maybe not seamless, but they hide most if not all of the complexity and apparently by doing so have created billions of dollars of value.
Apparently value is added because those punk kids on MySpace don't want the complexity of setting up NetNewsWire or Google Reader with their favorite feeds. Or, they have no idea what I just said and are incapable of doing so. They just want to go to a site, any site, and see what their friends are doing. And make the Internet a little bit uglier. Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either but apparently the unwashed masses love it.
I like the prospects of using Facebook's platform to build apps and make money, but I don't personally like the idea of using Facebook. And I can't stand MySpace. I'm more lenient about LinkedIn, but I think that is because I have delusions of actually getting work from it... some day... eventually. The reason I don't like them is because they feel restrictive, and don't work they way I want them to work. But I'm a geek and like all self-respecting geeks I have a strong opinion of how the world should work. And so far the social network apps just haven't done it for me.
I like twitter and I like del.icio.us and I like Flickr. I like the fact that blowmage.com is the central hub for my online presence. I like keeping track with people through their blogs, and having public discussions on mailing lists. Maybe if I were 20 years younger I'd think differently, but what the hell do those whippersnapper know?