Geert Lovink, one of the premier theorists of new media and network culture, has posted a set of “Web 2.0 Theses,” puncturing the ethos and mythology the surrounds Web 2.0 and contemporary internet fetishism.
Here’s my quick summary, but I encourage you to read the full text:
0. The internet turns out to be neither the problem nor the solution for the global recession.
1. Web 2.0 applications and platforms remain ‘new’ but show a tendency to get lost inside the boring, stressful and uncertain working life of the connected billions.
2. Social networks are technologies of entertainment and diffusion. …They are designed to be exploited. Refusal of work becomes just another form of making a buck that you never see.
3. Social networking sites are as much fashion victims as everything else. They come and go. Their migration across space signals the enculturisation of software.
4. Better social networks are organized networks involving better individuals – it’s your responsibility, it’s your time. What is needed is an invention of social network software where everybody is a concept designer. Let’s kill the click and unleash a thousand million tiny tinkerers!
5. What Web 2.0 lacks is the technique of antagonistic linkage. Instead, we are confronted with the Tyranny of Positive Energy
6. …you will be required to do never-ending maintenance work to manage all your data feeds and updates. That’ll subtract a bit of time from your daily routine.
7. The Network will not be Revolutionized.
8. Web 2.0 is not for free. ‘Free as in free beer’ is not like ‘free as in freedom’. Open does not equal free. These days ‘free’ is just another word for service economies. …As users and prosumers we are limited by our capacity as data producers. Our tastes and preferences, our opinions and movements are the market price to pay.
9. Soon the Web 2.0 business model will be obsolete. It is based on the endless growth principle, pushed by the endless growth of consumerism.
10 We need to promote peer-education that shifts the default culture of auto-formation to the nihilist pleasure of hacking the system. …One strategy could be to make the one (’real’) identity more complex and, where possible, contradictory. But whatever your identify might be, it will always be harvested. If you must participate in the accumulation economy for those in control of the data mines, then the least you can do is Fake Your Persona.
I find #8 and #10 most prescient, especially in light of my emerging Laws of Social Networking…