By the same guy who did the great thing about Web2.0 in a similar style. Very nice.
It’s a really good quick summary of a lot of the things talked about in David Weinberger’s Everything is Miscellaneous.
I’m not going to try and sum up the discussion, I can’t, it’s too complicated. But there’s a few things that leapt out at me:
Regardless of what I think about the arguments I can’t help but like David Weinberger. There’s something about his manner and his enthusiasm that just make me warm to him. Keen just comes across as being smug and patronising.
You almost get the impression that he’s playing the cartoon baddy. Look at him. I can’t help but think he’s based his character on Simon Cowell. Black t-shirt, Hollywood-anglo-baddy accent, same haircut…
Playing the web-sceptic, as he does, is not an easy thing to do at a conference like this and there’s a couple of points towards the end where it almost feels like he wants to say “OK OK I’m wrong about some of this stuff, I’m just trying to construct a counter argument to make people think a bit (and selling lost of copies of my book while I’m at it)”.
But people are right to challenge him. A lot of what he says just sounds a bit silly at times. For example, his view that the control and ownership of mass media has historically been for the good of everyone and that it’s ultimately a meritocracy.
Even though it’s long at 50 minutes it’s really well worth a watch. You’ll get to hear plenty of interesting things about authority, media, knowledge, information, power, talent and other such big important things.
This is an interesting debate. I think I might not share it with some of my colleagues for fear of inciting a mini-riot Ugly Design Worksâ€¦ Most Web Designers Miss the Point. I do think there’s some truth in it though (eBay anyone?).
It reminds me of a quote from Tim Berners Lee about how “the Internet will always be a little bit broken” as reported by David Weinberger (I think I first heard it in his book Small Pieces Loosely Joined). In essence, because much of the web is made by real people it’s always going to have flaws. The argument then continues if you try to make a website too polished it feels like it’s trying to overpersuade people and they react against it.
The tricky bit for me is how you deal with corporate websites, yes they’re made by real people. But then so are TV commercials, and you don’t expect errors in those. Or, perhaps, if the rest of the TV environment was made up of public access channels you would?!?
And what about websites that need me to feel safe and secure? I’m not sure I want my bank website to feel as if it’s “a little bit broken”. Hmmm. I’ll have to ponder on that one. Feels like another chapter of my Emotional Architecture piece that I’m still promising to write.