May 08, 2007

the net begins to realize the net is just the net after all

Renee has an interesting post where she chronicles a mini-test, or not so mini really, to see just how many people in her life who are not in her online life are actually online at all. She found not many. She also lists a lot of activities that she will not move from the desktop to the ether -- email being an important one.

Now Renee makes a living, last I knew, working with Internet companies. So I found her post particularly interesting and can relate to feeling in 2007 what I did not feel in 2001, and that is: 1) too old for this medium, 2) too deep for this medium, 3) tired of this medium, 4) uninspired by this medium, albeit I am still somewhat hopeful that art and humor and joy and sorrow can rise above the unbearable noise of of tech-biz-as-usual-white-men-conferring-once-again-and all-is-right-with-the-world-god-bless-America-that-matters-amen.

I like the reality check of this post, because Renee rubs elbows with a lot of influencers who could use a dose of WTF, which she gives:

Last year, I went to a flickr party and was the oldest person in the room. I attended the event with a 27 year old girlfriend who is a lawyer in the Valley. She dragged along three lawyer friends from LA, all roughly her age and none of them had even heard of flickr.

"Everyone is using Twitter," I'm told. I don't get it and won't. It's not that I'm not open to trying something new - it doesn't solve a problem for me that is need of fixing, nor does it improve my life. Nor do I even think its cool. As for useful? Perhaps at a three or four day conference in a foreign city for all of those three or four days.

It took my immediate family six years to find my blog. And I'm not exactly low profile. So I can completely relate to Renee's take on who is NOT online the way we are online. And she mentions the specific fetish of all things web in the Valley. Ah yes, the Valley--who's writing the book on the Cult of the Valley and the Religion of Social Media? I want to help. Or at least pre-order it.

In that the reality of many, not to mention the economy of many, can be shaped by the hyperbole of a few, the Valley is a shining example of how New Religion works. It is an example of how powerful cult mind control can be. Extending its tentacles across the global Internet -- with quite literally around-the-planet reach--it's a whole new ball of wax, one the leading cult debunkers have yet to touch from what I can tell. The Valley's webcult has the potential to be a global Waco in the making. It's just waiting for its Koresh. Or maybe he's distributed this time around.

Or maybe I'm getting all worked up over nothing. Leave off the Silicon Valley element if you wish (though I don't think you should), and read Renee's take from a strictly business perspective to get a glimpse of where the rest of the world is in adopting This New Social World Order, and Renee's warning that not everybody knows what you know.

The marketer in me sees opportunity. The parent in me sees trepidation. The artist in me sees an aardvark on a cell phone. Whatever that means.

Keep in mind, Renee is also at OnHollywood, while I am only OnTheCouch, so that could account for her deep dive on the topic and my sort of abstract take.

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