Today was the big day we finally put out a 12 page special report built around the idea that its 10 years since internet companies like Amazon, eBay and MSN started, and 10 years since Netscape's IPO brought internet stocks into the public domain.
Excuse the shameless plug, but in addition to the joy of publishing a package of stories that's been hanging over my/our head since early July, it was fun to get some air time on radio to talk about it.
Chris Smith, afternoon announcer at 2GB invited me on to his show today to talk about the Internet (thanks Chris!). There was a great buzz in their studios at Pyrmont, just west of Sydney's central business district. They were really excited about the package, and of course wanted to dive into the consumer end of the discussion.
But one of the things that continually amazes me, after spending so much time writing for IT trade press, is the layers of complexity and jargon we live with every day. Get on radio, and you've got to boil it down into very clear, uncomplicated terms. "Linda from Camden" called in at the end of the show with a very basic complaint - she finds the web too hard to navigate, and can't find what she's looking for on the search engines. It was amusing at first, but she's got a good point that mapped very well against one of the themes in the package today.
Search engine companies are really only just getting moving with the search business. We've been fooled into thinking that just because Google has a nice clean homepage that the web is simple. In fact, it is hard to find content. The only way I get around many search problems is using a few tricks, like appending ".au" to my searches, or using keywords I know will feature highly in search results. Try explaining all that to Linda from Camden in 5 seconds. We've come a long way on the Internet, but from your average consumer's perspective, it's still the stuff of magic and wonder.
Here's the (2.4MB) file Download 2gb_mark_jones_231.08.05.wma , supplied to the AFR by Media Monitors.
Oh yeah, and the irony of writing about Web 2.0 for print and talking about it today on "old media" like radio didn't escape me. ; )