John C. Dvorak from PC Magazine analyzes all the past technology’s “bubbles“, figuring out what initiative could lead to an explosion of the nowadays’ bubble, what he calls Bubble 2.0.
Neo-social networking. Today everything from YouTube to the local church has a social-networking angle. And this doesn’t even consider the actual social-networking sites, from MySpace to LinkedIn to Facebook to even Second Life. This scene is totally out of control and will contribute to the collapse for sure.
Video mania. With dozens and dozens of YouTube clones cropping up to get on the “throw money away” bandwagon, you must sense that the eventual shakeout in this space will have a negative impact.
User-generated content. This idea has been around since Usenet and just keeps improving. It will make no contribution to the overall collapse except for users reporting the collapse.
Mobile everything. Here is another concept that has been in play since the mid-1990s. It cannot trigger a collapse since it will never fully get off the ground, although the iPhone mania may be a bad sign of something.
Ad-leveraged search. Most search engines will fail as a matter of course. This segment of the industry is mundane. It would be affected by a crash but not trigger one.
Widgets and toolbars. I cannot see the widget scene going crazy, and the jury is still out on toolbars. But there is the potential for nuttiness, I think. The problem here is that these things tend to be dependent on the stability of operating systems and browsers. One bad operating-system patch and suddenly nothing works.
According to the above analysis, he believes that the social-networking aspects of almost everything can trigger a collapse because it’s totally out of control.
I can agree. But my concern is another one. I strongly believe that there is a big risk of collapse for another sector: the offline publishing. Recently I realized that most offline magazines are “old” as soon as they come out from the typography.
An example: I’m subscribed to MacLife, the popular and maybe the best magazine for the Apple world. That said, while reading the last issue, I realized that I knew everything reported there. No real news for me. What about magazines that become newspapers ? That’s the only way for them to offer up-to-date news.
I think that unfortunately the big risk here is that the 2.0 phenomena could actually lead to a collapse of some traditional aspects of our first “not-digital” life.
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