Thursday, 6 August 2009

The drivel that is 2.0

I've been using the internet since the early days of the technology in India. When 28.8kbps was decent. When 56.6kbps was blazing fast. When a 1MB file took an hour (or more) to download. I distinctly remember when HTML4 was the 'in' thing. I've coded some websites myself...

Over the past couple of years, the one thing that disturbs me is the emergence of the so called 'Web 2.0'. It's supposed to be this revolution in the way web sites are designed. And it is. It has made web sites glossy, cool and hard to use. Don't get me wrong- people who know me will appreciate that I'm all for the 'this looks awesome for no reason' funda. But not at the cost of usability. During the last year, two websites I frequent , CricInfo and The Inquirer, have undergone a significant facelift. For starters, the experience was horrendous in the first few days after the switch. And even so, after I got used to the new 2.0 interfaces, I have not noticed any real improvement in the usability of either site.

The only change I have observed is that the sites are now more bandwidth intensive (which does not really bother me since I'm on broadband, but you don't leave the tap open just because you get 24hrs water supply, do you?). They look flashy and cool, but the sole reason I go to these sites is the fact that they had excellent content. I fail to see how web 2.0 is a value addition.

I know it appears like I'm now cribbing about inconsequential things, but since you've held on for so long, I'll leave you with another revelation (it was to me, anyway). I have been used to the internet as it was for many years, almost a decade now. Web 2.0 makes me feel technologically retarded. Maybe this is what growing old feels like. When the young can adapt so easily to the new world, while the old struggle to keep up... I think those of you who have been online since as long as I have will appreciate what I say. Those of you who who are relatively new will simply have to wait for a few years before you too can feel old and feeble!

One thing's for sure, I know what my mum feels like when she comes across a computer.


abhi said...

Last line 'bout sums it up! lol..

Anonymous said...

I remember the days when the merit of your connection was measured in 'hours' and not in speed, when you could make a cup of tea (and a snack) between typing the URL and seeing the page...and no Google. Dark times indeed.
Just wait for the Semantic net, i'd like to hear your crib then!