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In 2008, I described the social web as the hippie web.

Some people thought that was funny, especially those who also thought that some of us evangelists was a little bit too enthusiastic. To give you an idea, here’s a list of some not too uncommon mindsets that’s been going around:

  • “Wow, we can connect with each other on a digital level, that’s rad, man!”
  • “Everything is open to everyone at anytime — welcome to Nirvana, dude!”
  • “You must open up your chakras… sorry, I meant activate your social graphs!”
  • “I accept all friend requests and you should, too. All you need is love!”
  • “You just got retweeted. It’s the universe paying it forward. Savour it.”
  • “Don’t say ‘IRL’ because what is reality, really? It’s that question that drives us.”
  • “I have thousands of followers. I wouldn’t call myself Jesus or anything, but I guess he had like twelve, right?”
  • “Yes, we have unconferences and everyone is welcome. Word to wise — don’t use your AFK name.”
  • “Where’s your scarf? No disrespect, but you look corporate.”
  • “I met a ‘traditional company’ yesterday. They have no idea what’s going on. They asked for help and I said ‘Join the revolution, baby’ and walked away.”

You see my point?

Declaring the Hippie Web Dead

Everyone who started a blog on a whim has given up. C-level executives aren’t posting any pointless shots of their lunch to be hip anymore. No-one cares about how many followers you have on Twitter or what your Klout score was supposed to be. The Cluetrain Manifesto is about to be forgotten, sadly.

No-one will miss this psychedelic wonderland — except for us hippies, of course. And frankly, I strongly suggest we let those who refuse to move on get cyberstoned on their own dime from now on.

The OG influencers, the glossy fashionistas with their daily outfits and their parties and VIP invitations, they are already negotiating with their agents regarding their next corporate collaboration. And the successful ones are probably making more money than ever. What they can’t get from ad revenues, giveaways and freebies, they get from starting their own online businesses.

As we, “the experts”, the social media naturals, move on from singing Kumbaya on our unconferences to more serious activities like new ventures, professionalism, sophisticated strategies and even more advanced technologies, just let me say this in honor of this bygone era:

Let’s never forget that the bottom line is all about one thing and one thing only — human beings connecting with each other. And Jaiku, of course.

Peace out!

Credit to Paul Downey for this wonderful illustration.
Let’s never forget about Jaiku, okay?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash.