A hype about not following the hype

When I read Roger’s post Let’s skip Web 2.0 and go straight to Web 3.0 this morning, I experienced some strong feelings that I felt I wanted to elaborate on. Basically, the post is a write-up of people jumping the bandwagon, just following every new tech-hype and feel that they have to implement it.

I’m happy to call Roger a friend of mine, and generally we do agree about this topic; also my and his opinion got a little clearer after an IM conversation regarding it. But, as I wrote in my comment on his web site, I think a lot of people will always do the latest thing just because they can, and a majority will do it in an unprofessional way. Cynical, maybe, but true. I don’t think we can ever stop people from doing such a behavior. It might be driven by web developers, people in sales or whoever

So, the first point I want to stress here is that people should try out the new things, to see what it’s about and to form an opinion. Also, their responsibility and job is to do it without sacrificing things like accessibility and usability. A new technology or approach shouldn’t ruin all the work and conclusions people have come to before about what’s best practice in web development.

The second one is that if a lot of big names/pro-bloggers/(or whatever you want to call them) diss new technologies or mention them in a bad context I’m afraid that people will shy away from something that might actually be a good thing (I know Roger isn’t doing that in his post, but at first it seemed like that to me). It becomes a hype to not follow the hype, if you get me.

I think we should instead indeed embrace the hypes that come along and then carefully mould them into a good thing. Not just refrain from using it, because it has gotten popular amongst less considerate web developers.

8 Comments

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    I, too, went straightaway to ALA to read Mr. Zeldman's musings. And I, too, was left wondering what all the hype (pardon the pun) was all about.

    Since I have the greatest respect for Roger, I assume that I did overlook something, so I may have to go back and re-read it. 🙂

  • I think one should make a destinction between the hype around a technology and the technology itself. When I read Zeldmans post I got the impression that he was talking about the hype only, and when I read Roger's I think he's talking about the technique itself.

  • Now, that's not very 2.0 of you. Where do I sign the form to dump you? I don't love you anymore! 🙁

    Just continue doing your thing. I've seen enough buzzwords for the next three years already. I am much more interested in solving current problems, instead of creating new ones and then needing to solve those.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Tommy,

    Well, I think both Roger mean about the same thing as I do.

    Emil,

    Absolutely, good point! The techniques aren't to blame, but people hyping it up without knowing what they're talking about.

    Jeroen,

    I agree with you. My point is just that we can't waive a hype away, we need to see what people are talking about and then form a professional opinion.

  • Robert de Mildt says:

    "in what way does this benefit the content of the site" is the question I try to focus on when deciding what technique to use. If it's beneficial to delivering the content to the users I'll use it, hype or not. If not, it can be a hype from here to Tokyo and back for all I care but I'll skip it.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Robert de Mildt,

    Absolutely, couldn't agree more. I just wish more people thought that way.

  • Johan says:

    It is easy to talk hype about new technologies and how great it all is for economy and the future of web applications. I strongly believe that ranting about hype and big dollar motives is a waste of time, instead we should better constantly evaluate new techniques and improve the existant ones. And that is teamwork we need for.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Johan,

    Absolutely, evaluating things in a calm manner and then discussing it is what I suggest.

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