Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/10/08/otto_web_twoo/
My prostate's as hard as an opal and ready to conquer Web 2.0
Why isn't yours?
And ninethly And seat-belts on because the most common observation in the hallways--made with tremble of panic--is that it's deja vu all over again. The workshops are jammed, the coffee-pots drained, and the massive central auditorium turning mobs away at the doors. Here's to praying that the exuberance is not a herald of rough times ahead. And here's a toast to all the inspiring, fascinating, and massive opportunities to come - Henry Blodget on his new blog, er, blog. Soft as ever.
First off, let me thank all of your for the influx of kind, inspiring letters. I never would have made it through these last two months without your undying support. It's the remarkable nature of Register readers that makes working for this publication tolerable.
Many of you were right when you suggested that prostate-strengthening surgery would be tougher than expected. Dr. Reedmuller, however, insisted that all would go fine, and that I would have an opal-encrusted prostate gland in no time. (Yes, real opal. I have a marvelous supplier in Australia.) I went with the doctor's advice, and that was a mistake from a pure pain perspective but from a genital gravitas point of view, I'm all the better for the procedure.
Today my prostate shines with the same glory as a divine woman's bejeweled neck or pinky finger. I can't see it. You can't see it. But X-Rays do reveal a spectacular prostate. I'm stronger now than I've ever been and finally ready to resume my writing.
(My dual-balloon silicon ass implants are helping these long days back in front of the PC, as well. Although, those are best left for a future column.)
The two months away from the IT scene taught me a lot. I spent hours vomiting as a result of the agony that would arise every time my loins burned. During particularly bad loin anxiety, I polished my favorite shotgun, rubbing grease up and down and up and down its smooth, black barrel. Days passed, and my loins felt human again.
More on this later. Just let the red text start to work its panic magic.
I learned a great deal about the arc that stretches between human suffering and redemptive bliss during all of the vomiting and polishing. I learned almost nothing about the IT agenda. That is until I returned to the computer and found IT journalism in an obviously decrepit state.
During my first days back, I knew something had changed since I abandoned the web and my pursuit of moral technology for the prostate infusion. Things had take a turn for the putrid. This week, in fact, proved the worst of all since I've been able to hound dog web pages once again.
A bunch of neoGlob liberals gathered at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, and the webzines couldn't gush enough. "The internet is coming, the internet is coming, the internet is coming," the goons wrote, picking select quotes from boom/bust-enabled pundits to back up their points. The only proof that a drop of cynicism still exists in this world came from The Register's own renegade, Andrew Orlowski. If it takes a rainbow boy like this to point out the evils of web fairy dust, then we're all doomed.
My spirits weren't improved when turning elsewhere.
CNET, for example, performed a web site redesign, changing its slogan from "Tech News First" to "News of Change." One thing, however, that hasn't changed is the embarrassing vendor-loving coverage. The site did seven pieces on the announcement that Sun would offer the Google toolbar as an option with Java downloads. The only story questioning the impact of this news came in a fluff piece about blogger's lack of impress with the partnership. Surely one story from CNET stating the deal was a total laugher would have sufficed. Why turn to the globules to do your work? That's just being lazy.
And then on Friday, the site managed its own blog piece with Google co-founder Sergey Brin admitting that no StarOffice, OpenOffice or OtherwiseOffice talks are in place to thwart Microsoft's empire, as had been demanded in the seven other pieces and many other stories haunting the web.
No hype here. Seven stories should cover the toolbar news.
In case the stories weren't clear, let our new diagrams put things in perspective.
And the traditional print publications are letting us down too!! (God, my prostate just flared on that one. Did you see the beautiful lights, Billy? Did you see them?)
BusinessWeek's Sarah Lacy did a story mocking Verisign's third quarter revenue warning. The company was forced to admit that a neutered Crazy Frog had cost it - big time. Lacy's story was spot on and full of skeptical goodness.
Only I hope BusinessWeek's readership isn't made up of too many investors because they'd be screaming louder than me after the good doctor Reedmuller cauterized the first opal nugget to my love box. In July, Lacy wrote a piece celebrating Verisign's amazing fortunes. "Ringtones and other creative apps are fast transforming the staid old software company into a mobile-entertainment heavyweight," she wrote. Not once in the story did Lacy question whether Crazy Frog might just be a passing fad - one that management should maybe warn investors could fade in an instant. Lacy might have saved the day and warned the investors instead, but such service is rare among the weak-prostrated hacks these days. Yes, you know what I mean.
Accountability, it would seem, exists only in the domicile of the strong. And the strong vanish more quickly than a cigar at Bill Clinton's vagina party. That's the damn problem.
I toughened up my prostate because I know what's coming. I've read the reports. Men my age get the cancer, and it's not a pretty thing. Well, no cancer is getting through my dazzling fortress of glandular beauty.
America can't survive with an emaciated prostate feeding on nothing but slop-stuffed praise. No sir, this need to be optimistic about every load of waste the vendors manage to shovel out won't do. And this is coming from the world's most famous IT optimist. Thing is, I don't feed on puke.
Look, friends, it's time to stop giving the Chinese handouts and to stop milking our own for cash. Let's get Jungian for a moment and grab ourselves where it counts. Let's check our Collective Prostate. Go on! Look at it. That sucker's more bruised than Robert Scoble's robot ego at a human being convention.
We need to find out where this need to be cheery and glowing about the next-big-thing came from, and we need to crush it. I have no idea if this is some Manifest Destiny holdover, but we're writing seven stories about toolbars and how ringtones will revitalize the business world. We can't grow any softer.
I've hardened my private bits. Harden yours. ®
Otto Z. Stern is a director at The Institute of Technological Values - a think tank dedicated to a more moral digital age. He has closely monitored the IT industry's intersection with America's role as a world leader for thirty years. You can find Stern locked and loaded, corralling wounded iLemmings, nursing an opal-plated prostate, spitting on Frenchmen, vomiting in fear with a life-sized cutout of Hilary Rosen at his solar-powered compound somewhere in the Great American Southwest.