Anyone else notice something unusual around the last handful of big, splashy press releases in the techno-blogo-digerati-sphere?
About a week ago, Open Social debuted. It’s a way to embed mini widget-style applications in other web destinations. It’s not anything tangible. It’s just a way to do it that they’re getting out there. So, for anyone else in the world outside of technology, they pretty much released nothing.
Today, Facebook announced their new “advertising solution.” It’s a way to become friends with that jacket you can’t afford. But more relevant to this blog post, it’s yet another way to do something. It’s actually not really anything either. It’s this new advertising…framework. But again, to the rest of the world, it’s actually nothing, except now a Prada sweater can ask you to become its friend.
And finally, we have the new Google Phone…or Android…or Open Handset Software Alliance. Here, it’s most painful. It’s a new phone. A Google phone! Except its not really anything real or tangible at all. It’s a software suite for mobile phones and devices. But there’s nothing to pick up and hold and play with.
At the risk of sounding like an Apple fanboy, we never hear Apple trumpet the announcement of some ephemeral idea or collection of ideas. They just put stuff out. In fact, when they announce stuff, you can often buy it the same day they announce it.
Another lesson learned is HTML. It was a game-changing invention on a technical level. Yet what HTML really needed was something real to light it up for the world. Mosaic and Netscape completed the invention. Until someone completes these inventions, they aren’t real for 99% of the world.
…except for Facebook. People are befriending their favorite sodas and boxer shorts as we speak.