Humans too Lazy for Web 2.0?

September 27, 2007

There’s an interesting article from The Futurist at CrunchGear which posits that the web 2.0 bubble will burst because humans are too lazy to continue contributing to collaborative websites.

I don’t buy it.

The bubble may burst for a number of reasons, but I don’t think inherent laziness will be one of them.

People love to feel connected. They love to have the chance to have thousands of ‘friends’ (however unreal those relationships may actually be). They love to show-off: blogs, videos, job skills, podcasts. They love the fleeting chance to become the next Chris Crocker or Tay Zonday.

And I love the fact that random strangers read my ramblings (hello to both of you!).

Sure, we’re always going to be searching for the next new new thing. In shorter and shorter timeframes. It’s natural therefore that Friendster gives way to MySpace which moves over for Facebook and so on. Or that people move on as they grow-up. First to Ecademy or OpenBC then LinkedIn or something else.

I’m pretty sure we’ll see more consolidation and aggregation. Maybe one virtual profile, manageable from your GPS enabled mobile device? Location info, personal details, video, pictures, blogs – all available via one uber-OpenID. Other services or people subscribe to you as appropriate.

The article asks whether people will also get fed up contributing to sites like Wikipedia for pretty much no reward? I don’t think so, but I do think that what will need to happen is the site will need to automatically utilise other sources of reputable data and will also have to tap into people’s drivers for recognition (it will be interesting to see how the new editor rules work out).

Keep us engaged, make it pretty easy to do and give us the smallest hint of global glory and we’re sold!

[update] good timing: front page of tonight’s MX paper in Sydney mentions Facebook alone growing nine-fold in Australia in the past three months. Even MySpace, so disparaged by the technorati, has trebled its numbers. What comes next? Stay tuned!

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