// Internet Duct Tape

Web Too.Many: The Internet has no clothes (Bubble 2.0, not porn)

Posted in Startups and Business, Technology, Web 2.0 and Social Media by engtech on September 20, 2006

Read/Write Web has an article called the Social Bookmarking Faceoff where they compare several start-ups that do social bookmarking (but they aren’t the first). I didn’t read it. You don’t need to read it either. Why? Because the stats speak for themselves:

On Friday I hit the front page of del.icio.us.

  • Took about 100 people bookmarking article for it to make the front page.
  • Generated 762 views on the first day, 1566 views from Friday to Tuesday.

On Tuesday I hit the front page of furl.net (#2 behind del.icio.us based on Technorati, #3 behind del.ico.us and StumbleUpon based on Alexa — stats from RWW)

  • Took about 10 people bookmarking the article for it to make the front page.
  • Generated 21 views.

Conclusion: there’s barely room for a number one social bookmarking app, not to mention a number two.

I’m the first to admit that’s a very weak analysis, but with some poking around there’s other evidence.

Matt Cutts asked his users what their favorite web 2.0 apps are. I hadn’t heard of 95% of them, and I pay attention to this stuff. I even have a Cambrian House t-shirt.

Ryan Carson comes to the shocking conclusion that he only uses around four web apps and decides to question other people in the industry — and they don’t have the time to use more than three or four either. They’re the people making this stuff.

I work in an industry where we use hardware description languages (HDLs) to create integrated circuits (ASICs). We aren’t as geeky as a software shop, but we are still more technological apt than your average person. Yet I’m the only person in the company who has a general concept of what web2.0 is.

Wired Magazine asks “Who are the web2.0 winners and losers?” The winners are the ones who get acquired, the losers are the users who invest their time into a service that goes down the tubes.

The Internet is in a web2.0 bubble. If it isn’t a financial bubble (dotBomb) it is at least a “wow” bubble and an “atmosphere of innovation dilution”. Selling your company on e-bay seems to be a viable business plan. Don’t bother getting excited about every single new web2.0 application. They’ll be gone in three years. The ones that are already massively popular are here to stay if they don’t screw it up, but everyone else jumping on the bandwagon is screwed unless

  • there isn’t a major player in that space
  • the product fills an actual need, not a geeks’ wet dream of a need
    • I’m a geek and I have a lot of needs that no one else does (just ask my girlfriend)
  • they have a real business plan

As a user, the best way to handle this bubble is to:

image by Matt Krueger

I’ll leave you with the best source of information I can find on this subject:

Skeptic’s Mom on the Internet

Stolen without permission from dead2.0 mere days before the site disappeared off of the face of the net.


“So I guess this is where something like this could be useful. Certainly this feels a little more thoughtful. The only difficulty I have with it is that there continues to be too much information available. I’m not interested in the Average Joe’s contribution to this site. I would like some semblance of QUALITY. Anyone can post just about anything they wish; do I want to waste my precious time?”


“I’ve just gone onto the site rather than quick-reading on the google site. I thought, to give it the benefit of doubt, that perhaps this is more technology oriented and hence the choices by the community. But it actually has news on the site. Then why would I want my news chosen by the guy down the street? I actually like making choices by myself.”


“You asked me what RSS is.

Well, my first response is that I just don’t have a clue. In today’s world
it could be a disease…as in “I have RSS and nobody believes that it’s a
real illness; but I just don’t have any energy”. It could be someone’s
initials. I don’t know!!

So I googled it and I still just don’t have a clue. I didn’t understand the
first paragraph, got totally bored because there are words in there that
mean nothing to anyone who hasn’t heard of RSS.

The answer to your question: I just don’t have a clue!”

Social Networking

“I assume tht Social Networking is exactly what it says….networking in order to be able to socialize, meet someone? Not a dating service though. Perhaps a way for people to be able to socialize on-line since they don’t seem to be able to do this in person. Skills have increased on-line rather than in person. Does that seem a tad judgemental? considering that I haven’t even researched the topic…”


“Now I’m reading about the ease of getting information about restaurants, hotels, etc. I guess if all of this is easy to access I would use it. If it requires more effort than looking in a travel book I wouldn’t have the slightest interest. I might be missing something about the joys of Wiki but I don’t want to spend time looking for stuff that I could more easily find elsewhere, like in my Lonely Planet book………..and the pictures are nicer.”


“Are you worried people will find out you write your dead-twenty blog?”

Well Skeptic’s mom, it looks like they have. Except for the niggling detail that the info hasn’t been posted, which may be a sign of Nic Cubrilovic being a class act (with a hard name to spell properly).

I have to agree with Skeptic’s mom… those Lonely Planet books *are* great.

We're so fucked

Next week on “As the Internet Turns”: I out Joel Spolsky and Robert Scoble.

[1] I say his because all homegrown software applications are written by teenage boys, not teenage girls. Teenage girls get a webcam (NSFW) and make real money.

23 Responses

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  1. Michael Sync said, on September 21, 2006 at 10:42 am

    thanks for info.

  2. engtech said, on September 21, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    Cross-posted to Blogcritics: http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/09/21/091233.php

  3. skinner696 said, on September 21, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    i would tend to agree with the premise of the article. however, before he goes and critiques the hundreds/thousands of people who are hard at work on these concepts and have taken the leap to try out a start-up, perhaps he wouldn’t mind sharing what start-ups he DOES think are going to be successful, specifically, and also what his thoughts are on what the web SHOULD be being used for instead of the current rash of social sites.

    it’s comfortable to sit on the sidelines from a large business corporate job (what i derived from his “aboutme” on his blog) and be critical and offer up no new ideas. These people are trying to innovate and push the envelope. Many will fail, but some will succeed – at a minimum, people should give some respect to those start-ups for at least trying to make a go of it and be successful on their own vs. simply drawing a paycheck month to month.

    copied from reddit comments

  4. engtech said, on September 21, 2006 at 9:29 pm

    One correction to your comment: I am working at a start-up, just not in the web industry. Aboutme updated to reflect that.

    I agree that it’s a lot easier to be critical than positive.

    My thoughts on what should be done were covered in the article, but to recap:
    – don’t aim for a space like social bookmarking that is already full of competitors, especially if the #1 player doesn’t yet have a business model that works
    – don’t build a real company around products that could be developed by someone working in their parents’ basement
    – do have a revenue model other than “advertisers”

  5. « //engtech said, on September 22, 2006 at 9:49 am

    […] The Best Remote in the World (Logitech Harmony)Web Too.Many: The Real Social Software FaceoffGuide on How to Setup Two or More Gmail Accounts to Use One Account (Create, Forward, Link)Nokia 6682 Review Part 4 of 5: Freeware Applications, Battery Life and Upgrading FirmwareUsing Perl on Windows Part 1: Installing ActiveState Perl […]

  6. […] Web Too.Many – The Internet Has No Clothes (too many apps for too little users) […]

  7. […] Web Too.Many: The Internet has no clothes […]

  8. engtech said, on September 27, 2006 at 7:35 pm

    WisDump has a list of Web 2.0 winners that I more or less agree with.

  9. […] In “Web Too.Many” I lambasted and flamed the Web 2.0 bubble of start-ups that are receiving far too much attention. One of the criticisms readers had was that it’s easy to flame, but harder to suggest improvements (very true). AU Interactive has a much better post on the subject than I could ever write where he covers 10 rules of what’s needed to be successful as Web 2.0. […]

  10. […] Web Too.Many – The Internet has no clothes Reddit | Digg | Del.icio.us | BlinkList Spurl | Furl | Simpy | RawSugar […]

  11. […] Is the ridiculously high evaluation of YouTube further proof of Bubble 2.0? Yup. ValleyWag calls YouTube the Hotmail of Bubble 2.0.  […]

  12. […] College graduates wanting to become VCs furthers the Bubble 2.0 meme that Silicon Valley has entered another tech bubble (read my first post on it: “The Internet has no clothes“). Because most tech startups aren’t aiming for IPO, some people are saying that Google is the canary in the mineshaft this time around. […]

  13. […] 2.0 meme that Silicon Valley has entered another tech bubble (read my first post on it: “The Internet has no clothes“). Because most tech startups aren’t aiming for IPO, some people are saying that Google […]

  14. […] the ridiculously high evaluation of YouTube further proof of Bubble 2.0? Yes and no. ValleyWag calls YouTube the Hotmail of Bubble 2.0. But since the announcement Google […]

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