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Friday, September 14, 2007

How Web 2.0 Died

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (AP/ Satire) - A bug in a computer network today unleashed a domino effect onto the whole internet, destroying large parts of what is known as “web 2.0” to the community around it. It all started when an anonymous user added the millionth tag to, a new site dedicated to add tags to tags. Still in Beta, the site wasn’t able to cope with displaying such a huge tag cloud, triggering its self-destruction. This single incident took down several other Beta, Alpha and Gamma social networks accessing the Tggr API.

News of this devastation in turn created a storm of submissions to social news aggregators like Digg and Reddit, causing their databases to overflow and shut down while losing most of the previously stored data. “There are [a lot of] valuable digg comments which disappeared forever,” one Digg user by the name of LOLsamurai stated on his surviving Geocities homepage. “Future generations will never know how much fun we had getting into [arguments] over misspellings, blogspam, or submissions in the wrong categories and the like.”

A coincidentally timed mass-deletion of all Firefox code branches since version 0.3 in the meantime caused the latest release of this popular web browser to ship without JavaScript, a language many 2.0 websites employ for basic functionality. “I wanted to send in a bug report to the Firefox team but I wasn’t able to get into my new Microsoft Windows Live Hotmail 2.0 Beta account,” a source close to the issue stated. “I went back to Outlook, which is actually working remarkably fine, and starts up a lot faster too.” According to industry experts the so-called “desktop program” Outlook is not utilizing any AJAX at this time, and went out of Beta before release.

“We might have predicted that the whole thing wasn’t very sustainable,” says Kevin Rose, founder of one of the social news networks suffering from the crisis, “It wasn’t programmed very well, mostly PHP, and in the end it just wasn’t really thought through.” Kevin argues however that the 2.0 bubble burst might be healthy for the industry, and is keen to move on to MetaDigg, a site aimed to aggregate and vote on news submitted to various social news aggregators. “There are still too many people who actually read the news stories, and then get active outside their homes to implement real change, instead of helping us push relevant headlines to the top. We need more human filters and smart mobs, we’re all missing out on a whole lot of interesting news bits these days.”

Susan Tolwinsk, a Ruby programmer from Portland, Oregon, who doesn’t own an iPhone, says today she decided to shut down the computer to go outside to get “a coffee, and a break.” Her PC, Susan stated, was running for the 3rd consecutive year as she was in the final stages of releasing an ad-powered and invite-only maps mashup integrating AJAX todo lists, but Susan realized that “most people actually only have 8, 9 items max on their todo lists, and evolution allowed us to store that amount of items in our brains, natively.” Asked about what might replace web 2.0, Susan argues it’s time to “go back to web 1.0” as that “pretty much worked,” though she suggests for marketing and adoption purposes the moniker “web 3.0” may be more appropriate.

Incidentally, video sharing site YouTube was not affected by today’s outage. The site made news last month when all but 29 of its users moved on to the next online fad, leaving internet giant Google in the dust with its $1.6 billion investment. “We have a lot of free servers, a lot of CPU cycles now,” a Google spokesperson stated on the phone explaining the company was now “ready, and piling the necessary cash” to follow the online in-crowd jump on the next bandwagon, whereever that may be.


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