In 2008, I described the social web as the Hippie Web.
Calling the period the Hippie web—most people thought that was funny. Especially those who believed some of us evangelists were a little bit too … enthusiastic.
But what can I say?
We were hippies. Social media hippies.
In Sweden, we even had our version of Woodstock in 2009—Sweden Social Media Web Camp.
But what began for us in Jaiku must come to an end:
A Groovy Gang
The last couple of years have been interesting, to say the least.
“Wow, we can connect on a digital level; that’s rad, man!”
“Everything is open to everyone at any time—welcome to Nirvana, dude!”
“You must open up your chakras… sorry, I meant to 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 which reality is more real? 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 unconference, 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. My gosh. They have no idea what’s going on.”
Maybe there’s a time for everything.
And maybe the time for the Hippie Web is over.
Declaring the Hippie Web Dead
(Almost) everyone who started a blog on a whim has given up on their attempt at blogging long ago. Only a few still blogs—for whatever reason.
In the wake of the hippie web, no one cares about how many followers you have on Twitter or what your Klout score is supposed to be.
The Cluetrain Manifesto is about to be forgotten, also.
No one will miss this psychedelic wonderland brimming with naivete and social media optimism—except for us hippies, of course.
The social media influencers, the glossy fashionistas with their daily outfits and their parties and VIP invitations, are already negotiating with their agents regarding their next brand collaboration.
The new generation of social media influencers will probably be searching for fame and fortune over altruistic ventures. Ad revenues, giveaways, corporate freebies, brand deals, and collaborations. Fair game.
Love and Humans Connecting
The irony of it all is that I feel no bitterness, no resentment. It had to end eventually. I will miss some aspects of the hippie web deeply. Other aspects? Not so much. And frankly, I strongly suggest we all move on.
As we, “the hippie web experts”, the social media naturals, move on from singing Kumbaya on our unconferences to more serious activities like new ventures, new digital professions, and new technologies, just let me say this in honour of this bygone era:
Let’s never forget that the bottom line of social media is all about one thing—human beings connecting.
And Jaiku, of course.
Let’s not forget about Jaiku.