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The Internet

Social Computing and Badger's Paws 123

An anonymous reader writes "When Yahoo!'s Jeremy Zawodny recently asked What the heck is Web 2.0 anyway? he received a set of responses reminiscent of those garnered by The Register back in 2005, which famously concluded, based on its readers' responses, that Web 2.0 was made up of 12% badger's paws, 6% JavaScript worms, and 26% nothing. Nonetheless, as Social Computing (SoC) widens and deepens its footprint, another Jeremy — Jeremy Geelan — has asked if we are witnessing the death of 'Personal' Computing. SoC, Geelan notes, has already become an academic field of study. But perhaps Social Computing too is just badger's paws?"
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Social Computing and Badger's Paws

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  • Everyone knows that badgers [badgerbadgerbadger.com] are strictly a web 1.0 phenomena. (it's been around since the web went from 0.9b4 to 1.0 RC1)

    Oh - anyone who hasn't already seen the animation linked above, make sure you watch right to the end - the punch line is hilarious! ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by icebike ( 68054 )
      Tempest - Teapot.

      A bunch of sell indulgent self-observers attributing great significance to their own blather. Not entirely unlike SlashDot and this very post.

      The story is so self absorbed is leaves you wanting to quote the Geico Cave man: uh, WHAT!??!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rs79 ( 71822 )
        No kidding. It sould like an old press release for C News. "this is what people are doing and how". Big woop; like we didn't notice.

        As far as I can see the only great strive forward in 20 years is kids can now dub sound into other videos and have them and their pictures hosted free someplace while they tyle "lol" or "oh, that sucks" all day.

        Could we call it the vacuous eye-candy revolution instead?
    • Eh, I thought it fell a bit flat, myself. I mean, the whole 'toad hall' thing's been done before.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Don't fall for it. IT NEVER ENDS!!! ARGH!

      (Stupid lameness filter. I'm *trying* to yell. Piss off!)
      • by gbobeck ( 926553 )

        Don't fall for it. IT NEVER ENDS!!! ARGH!

        True... but if you watch it long enough (or use it to annoy your fellow cow-orkers long enough) the audio will eventually go out of sync with the video. Truely hillarious.
      • Don't fall for it. IT NEVER ENDS!!! ARGH!
        Yes it does. If it doesn't end for you, it just means you haven't watched it long enough.
    • by msimm ( 580077 )
      MythTv is good. I flip over, flip back during the commercial and *know* you're just trying to torture us. Cheers!
    • I recommend these [weebls-stuff.com] two [weebls-stuff.com], also by weebl. Magic.
    • Absolutely not!

      It was in fact the invention of running Linux on a dead badger [strangehorizons.com], in 2004, that introduced the Web 2.0 age!

    • Does anyone else hear "Chubba chubba chubba chubba" after a few hours of listening?
    • There is NO END to it!


      I'm going to sue you because of the terrible trauma [slashdot.org] you have given me!

    • This badger says everybody will have a a BadgerMe/Don't BadgerMe button on their phone: http://wombatdiet.net/2007/05/07/google-university -on-the-phone/ [wombatdiet.net] A badger paw would be a good icon for this button!
    • Where's the punchline? I've been watching this damn badgers video for like 2 hours. Man...what compression did they use? Who knew something so long could be compressed so SMALL!

    • Leave me out of this.

      Kids and their newfangled web 1.0. I remember when the internet was green on a black background...

    • Tagged: badgerbadgerbadgerbadgermushroommushroom
  • by Anonymous Coward
    56% Slashdot.....
  • "But perhaps Social Computing too is just badger's paws?""

    Nah... It's just nothing (as in move along, nothing to see here).
  • Don't leave out our furry friends!
  • by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @01:26AM (#19032735)
    Dark matter?
  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @01:28AM (#19032749)
    there is no technology called web 2.0, just mindless drones repeating it.
    • Besides there really isn't anybody repeating it.
      At least, I don't know if I've ever heard anyone seriously using it. Most of the times I've heard it mentioned was people making fun of others for using the term.
      Maybe I just don't move in corporate enough of circles.
      • by h2g2bob ( 948006 )
        Perhaps... or perhaps you just haven't synergized your open source solutions into your web 2.0 desktop experience, to monetize your user generated content.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        At least, I don't know if I've ever heard anyone seriously using it. Most of the times I've heard it mentioned was people making fun of others for using the term.

        Microsoft tried to get on this bus with their Windows Live Mail [zdnet.com] but they had to roll back to Web 1.0 because of the design flaws inherent in the way this whole "Web 2.0" paradigm is supposed to work. The idea is basically this- you get rid of the desktop application, and use a browser to implement functionality. That involves downloading lots of Ja
        • by hab136 ( 30884 )

          Microsoft tried to get on this bus with their Windows Live Mail but they had to roll back to Web 1.0 because of the design flaws inherent in the way this whole "Web 2.0" paradigm is supposed to work.

          It couldn't be that Microsoft built crappy stuff. Nope, must be the technology. After all, Gmail and Google Maps totally reverted to Web 1.0 after finding all these "inherent flaws". Oh wait, they didn't.

          People on dialup accounts simply did not have enough bandwidth to download a JavaScript version of Outlook

          • After the first visit, all the Javascript, images, and static text should be cached and shouldn't have to be redownloaded.

            Well, that's what I thought too. We're using DWR and we're not having any of these problems (although Ajax is still one big hack). Maybe they're doing too much setup or something. But I can't take my own experience as a guide, because I don't work at a Microsoft shop. Who knows what they're doing.
      • Tim O'Reilly? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:45AM (#19033143) Journal
        What about Tim O'Reilly? He seems to take the whole "Web 2.0" buzzword he invented pretty seriously. Plus, as repeating it goes, I assume that having a Web 2.0 Summit (the next one is in October) would kinda qualify as repeating it.

        Then again, he generally seems to take himself too seriously. What with the attempt to regulate blogosphere and all.

        He's not the only one, though, since it wouldn't be much of a summit if only he was going there. There are a lot of people pining for the good ol' days of the 1.0 Bubble, and wanting to once again get big VC money for just having a web page and a sock puppet. Bubble 2.0 if you will. Cue trying to tell investors and each other that this time they're Web 2.0, see. Not the old failed Bubble 1.0, see. This time they have javascript and wikis and blogs and BitTorrent and whatnot, and a shiny happy everyone-participates model. _This_ time you'll get your money worth if you invest in them. Would they lie to you... again?

        (And if that sounds stupid and made up, sadly it isn't made up. That's what makes Web 2.0 in Tim O'Reilly's own view and definition of it. See, it's 2.0, because now it has wikis, and blogs, and participation, and Google search, etc. And this time there's search engine optimization too, btw! And that all's _the_ recipe for not going bankrupt as a VC capital sink!)

        Oh, wait... you meant perchance that nobody _sane_ is repeating it? Ok, in that case no objection.
        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          And Holocaust Deniers have their own expo, too - getting a bunch of people together doesn't automatically make their proclaimed reason for meeting up correct. Web 2.0 is clearly a massive buzzword, one that has taken marketing departments by storm. It doesn't describe anything. AJAX? Well, we call that AJAX. Social networking? We call that social networking. It's impossible to get the same definition of Web 2.0 from two different people. That should be a warning sign.

          That Tim O'Reilly guy is clearly
        • Have you heard of the technology hype curve? The basic idea is that when new tech is invented, the expectation of its usefulness goes way beyond its current practical usefulness. This could manifest itself in an investment bubble. Later, the expectation crashes down below the practical usefulness.

          All the while, the practical usefulness is growing steadily.

          Eventually people catch on again, and the expectation rises to match reality.

          I don't think there is another bubble. I think all the hype about Web 2.0 is
        • by geekoid ( 135745 )
          yes...Tim O'rielly isn't the gnius he thinks he is.

          Web 2.0 irks me a lot. Basically he saw. like everyone ele, where the internet was going, came up with an uninspired name for it, and marketed as his. Not just the name, but the whole concept. The worse part is people buy into it.

          The man publishes books. Usually really good books and I ahve MANY.
      • At least, I don't know if I've ever heard anyone seriously using it.

        Yeah. "Web 2.0", I mean come on, we're supposed to be technology geeks here. I've been using Web 2.5TDi for the past year or so.
    • by jotok ( 728554 )
      It's a concept that refers to social networking sites, blogs, stuff like Slashdot and Fark. I don't know anybody who thinks it's a "technology" but I do wonder how you can get modded insightful for saying "web 2.0 is for mindless drones" while using an example of web 2.0.

      Internet Superiority Complex once again rears its ugly head...
      • It's a concept that refers to social networking sites, blogs, stuff like Slashdot and Fark.

        If you define "Web 2,0" as a place where lots of people can sign up, some/all of them can post topics, and all of them can post comments, which is all blogs (I feel a little sick just using that word) and Slashdot are, then I've been using Web 2.0 ever since I got on the real Internet in 1998 when they were called message boards. I hear other people were using it even before that.

        • by maxume ( 22995 )
          The first version had distributed infrastructure and you didn't even have to sign up to post. It was(and still is) called Usenet.
    • by shokk ( 187512 )
      Conspiracy theorist!!!
    • I agree completely -- there is no technology called web 2.0, just mindless drones repeating it.
  • I'd say 100% nothing, much like the Emperor's New Clothes [wikipedia.org].
    • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )
      It's sad that you have to link that for people to get the reference, isn't that common knowledge?
      • He's an American, so no, it isn't common knowledge over there.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by grolschie ( 610666 )
          I am actually a New Zealander, but am writing for an American audience. ;-)
        • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
          Wait wait wait... Are you saying that's not common knowledge here in the US? News to me... I'm going to have to ask around and find out how many people have never heard of it... But I thought everyone had. I've read the story and even seen versions of it in cartoons as a kid. Quite a few of those kind of fables/fairytales are well-known over here.
  • Why yes I'll have an extra large helping of Fury Sex with my casino chips please! God that place sucks.
  • SoC (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tttonyyy ( 726776 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:06AM (#19032959) Homepage Journal

    SoC, Geelan notes, has already become an academic field of study. But perhaps Social Computing too is just badger's paws?"
    It certainly is, since SoC traditionally stands for System on Chip.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System-on-a-chip [wikipedia.org]

    Clearly "Social Computing" doesn't have much to do with, well... computing.
    • I thought it was Summer of Code [newsforge.com].
    • Clearly "Social Computing" doesn't have much to do with, well... computing.
      And since the majority of people using "Web 2.0" sites are either kids sitting in their rooms or middle-aged poseurs sipping lattes in coffee shops, it's really not terribly "social" either...
  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @02:26AM (#19033061) Journal
    The shock! The horror! Say it ain't so.

    Web 2.0 = Web 1.0 + marketing - page refreshes + dynamic content

    So yeah, just do a little animation on your screen without the page refreshes, then hand it over to the marketing department and you'll be riding that next wave in no time all the way to the bank.
    • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:56AM (#19033385) Journal
      Generally you got the right idea, but it's not just about marketting and not just dynamic content as such. If you read Tim O'Reilly's own explanations of it, since he invented and pushes the buzzword, it's more about techno-fetishism and the deep seated belief that a million monkeys on keyboards _can_ write Hamlet... if only they're on the Internet and have all the latest buzzwords.

      E.g., he sees personal web pages as soo Web 1.0, and replaced by wikis in Web 2.0. No, really.

      I mean, seriously, it's sooo pase to just have your own resume on your own homepage. Make it a wiki so everyone can edit it! Surely reality works by consensus, and a million bored strangers who never heard of you before are more qualified than you to fill that content! Or, bah, corporate web sites are so dull. Make it a wiki, so random strangers can spice it up. (That was sarcasm, btw.)

      E.g., ditto for sources of information. Having an authoritative source is soo Web 1.0, when you could just have a wiki instead. Wikis are the Web 2.0 way! And I don't even mean the sane way of using, say, Wikipedia as a starting point and following the links to the authoritative sources. No, no, no. He sees wikis as the _replacement_.

      E.g., publishing content is soo Web 1.0. You should have everyone participate! Participation is the Web 2.0 way, don't you know?

      So, yeah, forget about writing your own press releases and product manuals and FAQs. Let the community participate! Let perfect strangers and competitors spice it up. Imagine the possibilities! Imagine the excitement of checking each day to find out what perversions someone added to your company or product info! (Yep, you guessed, sarcasm.)

      E.g., buying servers (e.g., from Akamai) to distribute your patches and executables is soo web 1.0. The Web 2.0 way is BitTorrent. Get on with the times.

      I mean, hey, look at how excited WoW players were to get their ADSL's _outbound_ pipe stuffed up by a modified BitTorrent to download the patches. Not to mention at times being stuck with sucking a huge patch through a straw, from 1-2 other people's outbound pipe. Surely they'd barf if they could download the same patch in 5 minutes from a dedicated server without the hassle. (Sarcasm too, btw. It was actually a major gripe about WoW. See, for example, the Penny Arcade strip.)

      Etc.

      Now don't get me wrong, I can see some point in some of that stuff if it's an extra. Providing a forum for the users is pretty much expected anyway, and offering a torrent in _addition_ to the plain old download can't hurt at least. But presenting it as the _replacement_ to the boring old Web 1.0 stuff is... brain dead. It takes an unhealthy dose of techno-fetishism and techno-utopianism to see everything solvable by just more network buzzwords and a million networked monkeys writing reality by consensus.

      It does fit with his other brain-damaged ideas, though, such as the call for censoring and regulating the blogosphere. The guy genuinely seems _that_ convinced that he can forge a whole utopian society on the Internet.
      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        I agree on Wikis. Overused.

        Participation... Call it Web2.0, but that IS the future. That's what people want. Competition, cooperation... It doesn't really matter, so long as it's multi-person. You see it everyone from contests online to pointless forum/irc chatter to video games.

        Buying servers/bandwidth... If I'm distributing my content for free, why SHOULD I have to pay for the bandwidth? Why shouldn't the people that want my hard work for free be willing to chip in a little, especially when it doe
        • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:13AM (#19034011) Journal
          _If_ you're giving away your work for free, ok, none of us has any expectations as to how. Whatever works for you, really.

          The problem is that Tim O'Reily sees BitTorrent as a successor not to Sourceforge, but to Akamai. Which is distributed servers for large companies. We're talking the likes of MS, Yahoo, Symantec, AOL, etc. I don't think many people bought Akamai hosting for some small freeware utility they wrote.

          And it's positioning it _there_ that makes me have a trouble with it. If I paid a ton of money for, say, Vista, the keywords are: paid money. We're not talking some free content. I think the least they can do is give me the patches in a fast and convenient way. I _don't_ want to use my outbound pipe, and having it stuffed, to participate in sharing MS's patches. MS can just keep paying for some civilized hosting, thank you very much.

          That's really why I used the WoW patches as an example, because it's just what irks me. I'm paying a ton of money, and they can't even host their own freaking patches. It's not freeware and, frankly, I _don't_ think I have any obligation to chip in a little to help Blizzard's bottom line some more.

          And if that kind of crap is (part of) what Web 2.0 is all about, then: no, thanks.

          That, in a nutshell is all that bothers me about that part of the Web 2.0 concept.
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            Devil's Advocate for a moment here... Inflation exists, and MMOs will eventually raise prices per month. If when that happens, WoW is the only one that can afford to keep their prices the same (thanks to stealing customers' bandwidth) would you still hate it? The solution for that is not something that would happen overnight, and would have to be prepared in advance... Just as Blizzard has done. Once it starts saving you money, does that make them a hero after all?

            Personally, I would prefer to pay the
            • by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

              If it was true that Blizzard using my outbound bandwidth is saving me money, then sure, it's an effective compromise (except that many ISPs are now blocking upload BT traffic in an attempt to kill Torrent, but that's another point entirely). I for one am not convinced that this is the case.

              We've all heard the BS before. Episodic gaming! You get games at regular intervals, keeping you hooked and interested, and you the customers supply us with a steadier revenue stream so we don't have to suck $50 out of

          • by maxume ( 22995 )
            I wouldn't fret over the fate of Akamai.

            http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=AKAM&t=2y [yahoo.com]

            They appear to be rather popular with the money crowd.
        • by syousef ( 465911 )
          Participation... Call it Web2.0, but that IS the future.

          First of all, no it's not the future. Participation the present, and has been since any monkey who could install the Hotdog HTML editor de jour could write their own web page.

          Secondly, not everyone wants to contribute to everything. I may wish to add a comment to an article, but I don't need to modify the article. I certainly don't need to modify someone's resume.
  • Footprints deepening, badger's paws...I'm sensing a definite theme! And if my SoCs keep widening, how long before they won't fit in my SHoEs?
  • (In case you haven't noticed.)

    And if you have noticed, notice also that that's what all the HS and college folks entering right now will expect in terms of networkable social interaction. All content, across all devices, intelligently displayed, adapted to me.

    I'm just waiting for Amazon.com to buy Facebook out.
  • No wonder web2 isn't going to last: http://www.verbumvanum.org/shirky/index.html [verbumvanum.org]

  • .. It's a fancy name for sites that use AJAX and have glass icons.
  • Why is Social Computing abbreviated as SoC? What's wrong with SC?
    • Because otherwise it fails to meet the minimum character count requirement of the TLA standard?

      Or maybe because "SC" has already been claimed by "Secure Computing" (not to mention "South Carolina").

  • by Archtech ( 159117 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:34AM (#19034113)
    The Internet used to be a geek's refuge - a place where adults exchanged views about important matters, and whiny people with emotional itches were noticeable by their absence. Another activity that was pretty rigorously excluded was "business" - defined (by me) as the attempt to earn the largest pile of money in the shortest time with the minimum effort, without being heavily punished by the criminal justice system. This blissful state of affairs still held good (more or less) when the sainted TBL invented the Web and gave it to us all without let, hindrance, or vig.

    Pretty soon the Web grew and grew, and attracted the attention of those who perch, vulture-like, incessantly scanning the horizon for signs of free meals. How could they extract industrial quantities of money from this popular, but apparently useless phenomenon? The hunt was on, and an early burst of enthusiasm (the Dot Com era) led to general disappointment (the Dot Bomb crash).

    But now there are more and more practical ways to make money from the Web, and those who find money more fascinating than technology, universal communication, planetary groupthink, etc., need a label to denote the Web in its capacity as a revenue stream. That is the essential meaning of "Web 2.0".
    • almost... you forgot to mention that Web 2.0 means that the users contribute the content, thereby relieving the website owner from having to pay to have content created for them. Now all they have to do is provide the venue and let the users make the money for them.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )
      the internet was never that way. Perhaps some predessor prior to the Internet, but never the internet.
      • "the internet was never that way. Perhaps some predessor prior to the Internet, but never the internet."

        OK then, ARPAnet. I didn't want to clutter my earlier post with excessive pedantry, but that's what I meant.
  • So, "Web 2.0" is finally explained in an article that concludes by quoting a bumper sticker. Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of these?
  • I think the main reason "Web 2.0" has taken hold as a buzzword is the crash of 2000. There was a huge ramp-up in internet hype all the way from 1994 to around 2000 or so, driven largely (in the popular consciousness) by Netscape. Then came the stock market crash, and along with it came down all the dot-coms. Then we had a nuclear winter, where online advertising was officially dead, and nobody could get a job, and there was no startup funding for anything "fun" any more.

    Then the new phase gradually started,
  • Jeremy Geelan writes [blogspot.com]:

    Social Computing leverages, through technology, the genius of groups. It is as simple, and as wonderful, as that.
    Whereas before we needed, say, Hitler.

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