Following up from the d.Construct post yesterday, I wanted to talk about the apparent obsession with social software at the moment, and to ask for comments on why you think it’s so.
Seriously, there are so many other things that can be done!
What’s prompted this is Yet Another Client Call Asking for Web 2.0 and Tagging (that’s YACCAWT people!). Sure, the playing field is still new and there are opportunities to be had in social networking sites, but they’re limited now.
I wish people were calling me up to discuss how to add a mapping mashup to their product data so that they can do x,y,z… or whatever, but you get my meaning.
At the conference, there were a plethora of neat examples that illustrated stuff that is really interesting (and I start to see how they can be applied to my technology problems), but by and large they all had some sort of social app connotation.
Interesting, but also boring from a business perspective.
So in general, there seems to be a lack of the application of the newer technologies to real world business problems, where that implementation would represent a quantum leap in user interface, usability and ultimately user experience and functionality.
Every time Web 2.0 is brought up, in the same breath we hear Bebo, MySpace, Flickr, Del.icio.us, etc etc etc – I’m not knocking these apps because they’re great and I use them all (apart from MySpace and Bebo). But it forces me to ask why we’re so obsessed with creating the next social app, instead of applying these really cool and useful new technologies to other problems and business opportunities.
Basecamp, and the other apps created by the team at 37Signals are probably the only exception to this rule that I can think of, along with a few other applications released by the really big gorillas of the web world.
I wonder if this is because the people who drive solutions to business problems are the managers and CEOs, whilst the people that create and implement new technologies are techies who are scratching an itch they have for something that they can’t already do. The techie is motivated by challenge, whilst the manager is motivated by ROI – simple paradox, but this I think is what is underscoring the situation at the moment.
There is loads more that can be discussed around this, but I’d be really interested to hear if you’ve experienced the same thing, or are you thinking along the same lines…?