Web 2.0 Fatigue (Twitter Vs. The Next Frontier)

I started out this year determined to redesign my wife’s website. It had always bothered me that it was built purely from HTML and not made of fancy CSS. So I read a couple of books about CSS and then built it from scratch. Yes, I think it looks better now than before. But the whole CSS business I found to be a bit of a joke. It’s very straight forward and got tons of potential. I like the idea of separating structure of a document from the design to facilitate future changes or update. But it ain’t that simple, and hardly ever seems to cut down on code. Consider that half the books and website about CSS are full of hacks and tricks to deal with the bugs that all the mainstream browsers (mainly IE) have when dealing with CSS. It’s plain silly. By the time you actually get down to the nitty-gritty, you’ve coded so many exceptions and so much junk, you’re like 3 degrees removed from what mattered in the first place – the message. And all that just to make sure that eery browser correctly displays you rounded corners or expanding <h1> headers or hover features… I got fed up with making things look pretty.

I have had much more fun learning about real programming. My ventures into Python and PHP have been all about functionality, empowerment so to speak. I hate feeling like the total black box user. Starting a bit of programming has got me thinking more about how applications work. I can much more easily imagine myself writing software than building websites… hwoever far fetched either scenario may be.

Kevin had a recent post about ‘Web 2.0 fatigue’ that got me thinking and following up on some links and other blogs. The dilemma is about creating, improving, and refining technology that is getting ever more gimmicky (such as worrying or wondering about the next version of CSS – who cares !!! ) when really there are some hardcore problems in the world to which we ought to find solutions. I absolutely agree, and I am not even talking about world hunger or genocide. What is the good of something like Twitter, a site/service, I have never used when there is such dire technological need to come up with solutions to our environmental and energy problems ?! Aren’t their commercially viable ways ti channel all this work into something “that will make the world a better place”? I think this here is the link Kevin gave, and the page was worth a visit.

I think about the same conundrum with regard to my own working life all the time. I want to break from the rut and do something different in my career, but I want it to make sense, I want it to be a worthwhile effort, not just a way to please a personal whim. If I were to start a web service, I couldn’t live with myself if it were a kind of Twitter (unless of course it made me the same kind of money – hahaha). I would want to be more, call it productive… anyway, I am interested in this type discussion, and wonder where Web 2.0 will go, whether it will be a bubble that pops or lead to more.

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2 Responses to “Web 2.0 Fatigue (Twitter Vs. The Next Frontier)”

  1. […] or not so great ideas were presented there. But it reminded me of a post he had a while back and my follow-up on what the web could do to make the world a better place. It often puzzles me that the world […]

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