For a while now, I’ve smelled something in the online air. Every now and then, among the heady mix of Twitters, Jaikus and Backfences, I sense something… a presence I haven’t felt since…
For a long time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was a strange scent: a melange of fanboy over-excitement, frantic funding, neverwozzer business models and zealous hype. Now I remember when I sensed it before: Q4 ’99.
After this struck me, I looked around at all the warm and wonderful activity online and felt foolish.But I was not alone in this feeling, however. Michael Hirschorn, Peter Rip and John Dvorak among many others have written about much of Web 2.0 being a bubble.
Despite the exciting innovation surrounding much of what we call Web 2.0, there are some big bumps in the road:
- The crisis in the economics of content creation – blogs and social networking sites usually link to something. Who’s producing that something?
- The clampdown by mainstream media on the use of copyrighted material. (See above.)
- The rise of the mobile phone and what that means for online products designed for broadband.
There is a difference between opinion and fact. And following on from my opinions above here’s a fact from the technology section of the BBC.
Ebay cuts back its value of Skype
EBay has conceded that it paid too much for internet telephony service Skype – dramatically writing down the value of its investment.
The online auction firm said Skype was worth $900m (£450m) less than it paid for it and set aside $530m to meet future pay-outs to some shareholders.
Soon it will be winter.