Friday, October 10, 2008

Don't Stop Believin'...in Web 2.0?

In the wake of the steep decline of the U.S. stock market, there is a lot of breast beating going on online with tech experts saying that the financial excesses of some Internet companies and the end to easy financial credit signals the end to the social networking phase of the Internet commonly referred to as Web 2.0.

Entered as evidence is this video featuring staff members of Facebook, Drop.io, Blup.tv, and a Wall Street Journal reporter along with their friends. These 20 people, who are sharing a gorgeous house in Cyprus, created a video lip syncing a Journey song filmed as they wander around the house and swimming pool, clearly enjoying themselves on a beautiful Mediterranean day.

Seeing these young entrepreneurs having fun on vacation while their own investment portfolios were declining in value was too much for some online journals including Venture Beat who titled their article, "Silicon Valley Lip Synchs While Market Burns" and featured a photo of the Roman emperor Nero.

Even more dire was the tone of TechCrunch which launched a brief jeremiad:

They leave behind an absurd video that would have gone unnoticed a month ago. But this week, with the walls tumbling down, they look like a bunch of jackasses who have no idea what’s going on back at home. And this video will always be associated with the end of Web 2.0.


Judge for yourself:



The irony is that here are 20 people sharing a house on vacation in Cyprus while other tech people were attending a conference in nearby Greece and all of these entrepreneurs have undoubtedly have taken equally, if not more, excessive vacation trips with their friends and family. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

I'm sure you could find 20 well-off 20somethings from a variety of countries sharing beautiful vacation homes at any point during the year. The fact that the majority of the ones in this video work for Internet countries does not signal the demise of Web 2.0 which is a cultural shift in the way we use the internet.

Yes, it is a little painful to watch people enjoying themselves while you are losing your shirt or, in my case, are unemployed. But feelings of envy & jealousy aren't a solid basis to make predictions about the end of the world as we know it.

3 comments:

Liz said...

Well, this video has gone private which makes the blog entry make much less sense.

To sum it up, it was one very long camera shot, filmed in a white-washed Cyprus house, going through room-to-room out to a gorgeous pool. As the camera panned from person to person, they lipsynced a line from Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". Very artfully done although it celebrated a rather hedonistic lifestyle albeit one shared by a large group of friends.

And for some reason, all but one of the women were wearing identical bathing suits. Don't know why.

Liz said...

Some person more technologically savvy than I has managed to download a copy of the video posted at Vimeo and uploaded it to YouTube so it's back up. The quality isn't as good as Vimeo's version but you'll get the general idea.

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