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The death of Web 2.0 January 28, 2010

Posted by friedgreenbananafish in Facebook, Twitter.
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Web 2.0, known to its friends as social media, passed away on January 27, 2010.  It was born to Darcy DiNucci and Tim O’Reilly in the early 2000s.  It is survived by an older sibling, Web 1.0, along with several nieces and nephews.

Services will be held on PCs, laptops, and iPhones throughout the world.

An online battle is brewing.  

In one corner, we have the incumbent advocates of social media, touting its convenience, amiability, and usefulness in providing a free public forum.  

In the other corner, we have a populist uprising urging people to “go outside” and “meet your real neighbors again.”  They cite issues like Facebook owning their users’ “private” information, and that people aren’t really connected to all their online “friends”.

Some may think now that the internet has evolved from “web-as-information-source” to “web-as-participation” platform there’s no turning back.  But a new weapon has emerged in this war that may change everything.

Introducing the “Web 2.0 Suicide Machine.” 

Based in The Netherlands, the Suicide Machine is a free service that “kills” you off MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  It originally applied its craft to Facebook as well, but a recent cease and desist letter (along with a block on the machine’s IP address) has temporarily thwarted any further attempts. 

Their coup de grâce consists of:

*Deleting your friends

*Leaving all groups you were member of

*Excluding your account from public search

*Removing all email notifications

*Deleting all wall posts

*Uploading a new profile picture

*Changing your username and password (and not telling you what they are)

They claim this is more effective at removing your information that simply “deactivating” your account.  Furthermore, the online Kevorkians can do it in far less time than it would take to do it yourself.

(But you have to be sure.  Once the process begins, it cannot be stopped.)

So far, the machine boasts over 1,800 “Social Network Suiciders” with almost 300,000 tweets removed.

A similar service is Italy’s Seppukoo, a play on the ancient samurai practice of disembowelment.  A bit less dramatic than the Suicide Machine, users can reactivate their account anytime they want, and even earn high scores based on how many of their friends commit seppukoo with them.  Although not yet blocked by Facebook, the website has received their own cease and desist letter.

But if you think these measures a bit too extreme, there are alternatives.  John Haydon of Socialbrite.org suggests timing how long you spend on social media sites.  In a clever checklist, he provides information on how to program your computer to clock the amount of time you spend on these sites.

While the idea of getting off the computer, going outside and interacting with the real world is an excellent idea, we should have the fortitude to do it for ourselves, rather than depending on the internet (the same medium that got us into this mess) to do it for us.