While The Mercury News is talking about TechCrunch Disrupt here I think there’s a broader point:
With the exception of such upstarts as Path, the mobile social network, the lineup was dominated by companies defined by mobile, big data or cloud technologies.
Matt Haughey yesterday posted a screenshot of Feedburner’s options for “Web 2.0″ services that you could integrate into your feed. The options included Delicious, Magnol.ia, digg and a handful of other companies, many of which are no longer operating. The image highlighted a number of things, ranging from how the tools that we once took for granted have changed to how long it’s been since Feedburner saw any active innovation.
The bigger point the story is illuminating, though, is how the social web has evolved since 2002 or so. Instead of being focused on technologies that bring us together – primarily through links – it’s become about status, points and exclusives. Everyone wants to get an audience into their own closed network (though more than half of them use Facebook’s authentication system) and then get them to build a network there.
I don’t want to come off as some old curmudgeon who thinks that things aren’t as good now as they were in the old days, but I’ll admit that I kind of miss the days where much of the new thinking was around how can we get people to share on and across the web, not just within a walled garden (if you don’t see shades of AOL in every move Facebook makes I’m not sure you’re paying close enough attention) where your eyeballs can be monetized to within an inch of their lives.