Saturday, June 28, 2008

Guy Kawasaki against "Web 2.0 wannabes..."

As I participate in various social media activities (and literaly build my business on and around them) Twitter being one of these, I've come to recognize things about people within "the social media community." This is the brilliant part and the allure of the social web for me. The richness of human personalities shining through the technology. You're able for instance to determine whether someone is simply out there to push a product or service or if they have something more significant and valuable to offer the world.

Like many, I've been watching, following and observing Guy Kawasaki since his early pre-dot-com crash days. Actually, Guy is much more well known today then he ever was prior to the crash. I admired his witty, calm and confident approach to educating all of us on how to properly "pitch" VC's using PowerPoint. As well as, watching online videos of his canned presentation and the part about why he's a "bozo." I think we're all "bozos," from time to time, certainly, I have my "bozo moments."

Well, over the last several weeks, years if you include blogging, I've been watching Guy's "tweets" on - a micro-blogging site. Guy's comments or "tweets" can be summed up simply as go to my new site, ALLTOP.COM! GO TO ALLTOP.COM, have you heard of ALLTOP.COM? Hey new stuff happening on ALLTOP.COM! ( There you go Guy, the sentence you'll most appreciate in this entire post.)

To be fair, he's been this transparent from the very beginning regarding this site. Pretty obvious and straight forward. Sure, at times it's been under the guise of offering some obscure news flash about something completely useless, (my opinion) and it works from him I suppose. Ignoring what merits there might be to his site itself and if he wants to push it in the manner he does that's certainly his prerogative, but Guy has lost my respect today for comments made that go way beyond the "push" marketing, salesy act. Specifically, it's the one below that I think shows a side of him that I don't hold in high regard or appreciate.

We've discussed that Guy is doing little more than flogging another web property as if it was 1999, with the exception that the technology used to do the flogging wasn't around then. However, more importantly beyond that used car sales approach is an "elitist" attitude. This definitely exists among certain elements of today's Internet crowd.

Often people talk about "brand erosion," well when one takes the length of observation of Guy's routine and couples it with a comment like below, it's safe to say with me at least "erosion" has happened in this case.

Whether you're a small outfit like ours who really has little, if any real influence in the world or you're a world renowned somebody of something, the bottom-line doesn't have to act and treat others with such disdain and lack of respect like that of an arrogant elitist. Treating people with respect and being humble is something I expect of myself and of those who I respect in the world. may think you're on the "inside" and part of the elite crowd, but with comments like the one below, it's obvious to me you're really more on the "outside." I'm referring here of course to what's truly important beyond money, business and yes Web 2.0 and I find that really unfortunate.

Here it is. There have been other posts like "if you have to ask, then you shouldn't be on it," referring to some other Web 2.0 elitist alltop list...

Read the Twitter Status blog for updates about the service.
Guy Kawasaki guykawasaki Using Filtrbox, an intelligent news monitoring service, to deliver news re: VIPs--real VIPs, not Web 2.0 wannabes

Now you can interpret the above statement as benign except, once you get beyond understanding the technology itself, what you're left with are more ways to observe and learn about human nature. You get to witness people showing their true colors, attitudes, philosophies; the things that really matter. In fact, this effect has never been stronger than in today's Internet. Understanding that we are typically associated with a brand is also key. Learning to harness that power of understanding can help you make decisions, such as, who you may want to do business with in the future, who really resonates with your value set AND who doesn't.

So Guy, this is one lowly "Web 2.0 wannabe" you won't have to worry about following you from here on in. By the way Guy, without "Web 2.0 wannabes," you, me, any number of people who sit all day on Twitter wouldn't have an audience, without "Web 2.0 wannabes," there wouldn't be an industry for any of your sites to exist and live off wouldn't survive solely on the elitist minority you deem so superior to the rest of us average Internet using ilk...

There's a saying I know you're aware of, "treat others as you yourself would want to be treated."

For example, being a hockey enthusiast Guy, you'll no doubt recognize that what makes Wayne Gretzky the greatest player to ever play hockey is not only the fact that he rewrote the entire record book through his "elite" play, he was always amazingly gracious (and remains so to this day) regarding his talents, accomplishments, fame and recognition. He understands that the weekend warrior hockey player although vastly inferior to his own skill is still worthy of respect as a human being and fan.

Such a shame Guy, you truly disappoint me, you've seemingly forgotten what's actually important in life and it seems the above "tweet" is representative of how you'd like to be thought of by at least one small segment of the can now count me out of that segment.

The next time I speak at some lowly conference filled with "Web 2.0 wannabes." I'll be sure to use you as a case study on what NOT to do and how NOT to treat human beings...

It's one thing to design an aggregation site because it's servicing a need we all have to save time, it's another to design an aggregation site because you believe the lists on it are about people who are better than the rest of the pee-ons in the world...


Unknown said...


Five questions:

- Did you look at before you wrote this?

- Did you see the kind of people who are on this list?

- Did you notice that I certainly didn't put myself on this list?

- Did you also notice the other people who are not on this list? Eg, Arrington, Winer, Rose, Zuckerberg, Scoble, Calacanis, Batelle, and Brogan.

- Are you saying that Web 2.0 wannabes are in the same league as Paul Farmer, Vldimir Putin, Barak Obama, and Wendy Kopp?


Be sure to check out and :-)

Guy said...

Guy, thanks for stopping by. My point is that regardless of the actual list, alltop is subjective in many ways and the impression is one of "elitism," it's not something I personally can relate to.

Thanks again for stopping by and good on you for having a sense of humor and putting yourself on the "ego" list. That list should definitely be longer but it's certainly a start and I do agree with those who have been "naturally" selected by your team.

Are we back to the "broadcast" model again?