Something strange seems to be going on in the web these days. It seems the more complicated and meaningless you make a diagram, the more buzz it generates. I thought O Reilly was the pioneer of all this with his meme map of the "new Internet", but it seems Billy G isn't oppposed to the occasional drug induced diagram either. This is basically an opinionated rant about crappy pictures that provide no information.
In this picture we see Bill Gates outlining the heavily criticised, and from my own personal experience buggy "Microsoft Live!" Platform. It certainly looks like someone was on serious drugs doing up this one. Fair play to Bill Gates for actually standing in front of it. At the top you'll three three concepts "in the clouds", which is probably where they should stay, the "People Network" , "Ad Network" and "Search Network". Think about any of those phrases, what exactly is a Search Network?
Other questions that arise, what the hell has XBOX Live got to do with Microsoft Office, or indeed this picture? Do they plan to have the Halo soldier enter MS Word and kick clippys ass? Do they really think people using non Microsoft software will be taking part in the Microsoft Live Platform? But the main question I have is, "What in jaysus is this diagram about?"
In fairness to Microsoft, they will probably make money off this through advertising. Businesses will feel obliged to shell out cash to advertise on Microsoft Live, despite Jakob Nielsons claims that Advertising simply doesn't work on the web. However, If Mr. O Reilly makes money on this next one, I'll lose faith in humanity.
Just read a couple of the bubbles and you'll get the picture...
"An attitude, not a technology": Its a programming when you're in the zone, ya know
"Play": Vague is an understatement
"Trust Your Users": I presume this is a nod in the direction of wikipedia
"The perpetual beta": Works for Google, must be a good idea, right?
Good stuff indeed. So from now on, instead of I actually explaining what I am gonna do for my PhD, I have decided I'll hand out pictures of birds in the sky with words and phrases such as "Assess", "Controlling knowledge", "Understanding Misconceptions", and "The right to question". That way, no one will understand what I am doing, but it'll generate a shitload more hype. In fact, if anyone would like to give me a nice background, I'll do up the picture and post it on Flickr. We'll see what happens.
I am 100% with you on this one! The O'Reilly diagram in particular is utter pants! As for the diagram with Billy G in front of it - you wouldn't catch Steve Jobs dead infront of a pile of clutter like that!
What I also really hate is that when you go to conferences you are almost expected to come out with slides like that unless you want to look un-sexy.
It's funny, isn't it. How people throw some nice sounding words together as advertising and stick it out there without checking
(a)if the sentance (or word) has any meaning
(b) whether the meaning is clear-cut
(c) whether it is gramatically correct.
Phrases like "We grow your business" and "Creating added value from our consumers" means fuck all. And they know it. It's just impressive gobbledegook that they trot out for us 'Joe Schmucks' who listen to it. Why over-complicate when you can simply say "Better value for you" or "Customer service is important to us".
When I see ads like that, be they on TV, print or online, I want to hunt down and kill those responsible!
This is the first time that someone had actually made serious fun of Bill Gates. I think these smart people need to be shown as humans too - gullible and stupid at times. I have to commend Gates for standing in front of that too. But I have to ask: Does he really understand why no-ones laughing WITH him?