You must, must, must, must read this article by Michael Hirschorn from The Atlantic Monthly online. I don’t agree with everything he says, or what appears to be his overall thesis, which is that all the interest in Web 2.0 is a bubble because someday something better and/or more interesting will come along and everyone will forget about it (I just think that’s the way things work, and it’s not like every single person will leave the party – the “book bubble” didn’t burst when radio was invented).

Nevertheless, here’s a wonderful on-the-mark quote:

Few of the social networks have yet proved adept at truly linking people of like-minded interests, and many of the networks being started now, especially by entrepreneurs and corporations looking to grab their slice of 2.0 glory, tend to miss the reason the best sites work: They facilitate behavior that people already engage in.

I’m with you on that, Michael. Again – the article is here. Read it.


  1. Thanks for the kind words, Maggie. Not so sure I agree with myself either (g), but i think the point is that the “book bubble” very much did burst. What for years–centuries–was a premium platform is now facing narrower and narrower margins. So, as social media loses its special aura, it’ll become just part of a commoditized tool kit, like IM and your browser.

  2. You’re welcome Michael, it was a great article! No argument from me that the printed word is less dominant than it once was, but as a medium it has certainly not vanished – thousands of books are produced every year in North America and millions are employed in their creation. If that’s what happens to Web 2.0, it will actually be a step up and out of the margins.

    And while painful, I personally welcome the stability that inevitably follows the big shakedown, because it (generally) leaves the companies with the best and most realistic business plans standing – those are the leaders we want to follow if social media is/are to have a permanent place in our little digital hearts.

    But maybe that’s just me – and sorry your comment took so long to appear; Askimet marked is as spam for some unknown reason!

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