Fri 17 Mar 2006
Who can tell me what the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive group is all about? Reading about the conference, it seems like it was primarily populated by over-stimulated people who like to chat, drink, code (apparently), philosphize, blog, and basically burn the candle at both ends. I don't mean any of that in a perjorative sense, I'm just trying to get a handle on the demographic. It's interesting that so many of the free thinkers and bleeding edge pioneers of this generation are so non-conformist (though they're really just conforming to another stereotype, aren't they?) whereas it used to be only 20 years ago that your ability to strictly adhere to the white male capitalist agenda was the thing that let you skip all the rungs going up the ladder.
But it's times like this I have to wonder: is the whole Web 2.0 thing just a bunch of niche people scratching each other's itches? (I realize the Web 2.0 meme is dying/dead, but I don't have a better one right now.) I mean, being in Berkeley I constantly wonder how much of this web-enabled revolution is stuck in the Bay-area community and other metrospheres across the globe, without trickling out much to the rest of the world. Except in the media, which in the mainstream is enfatuated with the new, cool, sexy world of tech., and in the long tail is written by the same people it's written for.
The funny thing is, sometimes I think this whole emerging thing about sociality and sharing and production and interaction is just a big hypocrisy. I mean, it's all supposed to be about freedom, right? They (whoever that is) don't have control of our channels anymore. We can create and share together and we don't need them. But more than most groups of people the folks who create it and write about it and evangelize it will tell you you're just flat out wrong if you don't get it. Or that you don't get it because you don't have a real handle on it, whereas they do. They've got the throbbing pulse of the masses of young people who are disaffected and just making so much media they don't know what to do with it. Well, that's not true… they're tagging it. All of it.
Don't ask me where this came from.