Friday, March 13, 2009

For the Man Who Has Everything

Somebody today told me that he has experienced life and that he is both street smart and book smart while I am nothing.

Well, not nothing. I was bestowed the recognition that I live my life on the Internet while he lives life in the real world. Effectively telling me that he has a girlfriend and I masturbate to hentai.

Well. Okay.

I won't contest that. I got no problems with it. And I do agree. I have hentai. I do not have a girlfriend. By choice. The cost of maintaining a girlfriend is around RM2,500 a month. Quite expensive. Much more expensive than a tryst with hos.

Though, I do not live on the Internet. I am not Makoto Kusanagi. The people who will live on the net are the new generations still in cribs and wombs. Those are the people born AFTER the first Information Age. People who would have little knowledge of Jem and the Holograms, Flock of Seagulls, and yes, even Voltron, McGyver and Combat.

When people point out what they perceive in me as a weakness or disability, I try to do what Microsoft and Apple did in the 90s and still do today.

"It's not a bug - it's a feature!"

Always play to your strengths and weaknesses. I was offered to act several times, but I turned them down - all of them. Because I know I can't act for shit. But I write like a bulimic who just went to a buffet and is now in the toilet - with a finger down the throat. I also (selectively) absorb information - accurate or otherwise - like a sponge.

I first went online in 1996. The Internet scene in Malaysia was just as stupid as it is today. There were no blogs, and regularly-updated websites were little more than placeholders and stubs for people.

I met some people online who actually bought the first 'personal computers' - little more than hobby kits with flashing diodes. The OGs. Original Geeks.

I have been online for 13 years. All this time, I picked a topic and stayed at it. Some people, they chart the growth of the Internet. SOme catalogue cultures and trends. Others look for porn. All of us argue with other idiots on topics ranging from politics, race, pop culture, celebrities, bokeh values, BDP kernels, hentai and sandwiches.

My topic, the thing I have been observing for the past 13 years, was and is, human communication on the Internet.

The personalities. The communities. The culture. The roots and routes of the information ethnics.

It is a study of people without ever having to really interact with people. Which I loathe. Internet anthropology, if you will.

I observe how they talk to each other, what issues command their interest, and how groups of people and individuals react to certain things.

I'm like that bitch, Jane Goodall or Jane Fonda or something. Idiots in the Myst. Remember Myst? Geddit? God, I'm old.

Of particular interest are the tools they use. The types of websites that attract their attention. How information is presented. Modes and moods of online communication.

Marketeers and assholes came up with the term Web 2.0. A few months or a couple of years back, that was the buzzword. Web 2.0. What a load of bullshit.

They define Web 2.0 as some sort of new shit that big corporations have to pay millions extra to get a website that is current and not old-fashioned.

They point to wikis and blogs and forums and Youtube and Facebook and SecondLife and WoW, user-generated content and blah blah blah.

It's a fucking scam. To sell overpriced websites.

Now, or rather, last year, every significant company in Malaysia wanted a web 2.0 portal. They don't do websites anymore. It's beneath them. Websites are what 12 year-olds do, in their free time. Even though that 12-year-old can do better design and better functionality than the shit they come up with.

Buzzwords. Slogans. Ugh.

And the company execs, they lap it up. It's right up their alley. Right up their ass. Marketeers and execs love buzzwords and 'concepts'. Jargons.

It's always, "How do we activate this area using convergence of ideas and a synergy of effort?" Translation: Hey, get some freaks to man the booth, you fucking idiots!

In the past, I have written new jargons and buzzwords for marketing use.

"Hey, there are some customers there! Let's masturbate them! Alice, I need you to menstruate an elegy of personalised portmanteau porn pamphlets on the giant backwards-compatible, papyrus Guttenberging automaton! QUick, defecate this area NOW!"

Translation: Look. Customers. Print some brochures. Get to work. Hooray.

Well, it actually works. It's some sort business language.

Anyway, my point, despite going off tangent for most of this article, is that you don't really need a portal. Not everyone or every organisation needs a complicated website. For some solutions, a stub will do.

I mean, Maybank needs a portal. With all the bells and whistles. So does AirAsia and Fireflyz. NST? Sure. The Star? Of course. If they know how to do it properly.

But even a giant such as Petronas, despite being the eighth-ranked company IN THE WORLD in terms of profit size in 2007, could actually get away with a ten-page website designed by a level-headed 12-year-old. With video.

Yeah, yeah, dynamic pages and region-centric shit. But. Less than 10 pages.

If you're wondering, their current website has SIX links, and THREE banners on the splash page. Of course, each link opens a separate page. But with the revolutionary dynamic coding (revolutionary in the late 90s and early 21st Century), less than 10.

It's practically a stub. A place where, if you have something to propose to Petronas, you can just take their address, phone number and e-mail, and send it to them.

When I started THIS website, I went for the default options. The intention was to show that even with the most basic of the basics, I can make it work. Because people keep coming here for the content. To be shocked. And awed. With my greatness.

Well, they used to be shocked. I had to do a few backflips and change sides to make things interesting and for people to still be righteously indignant. It's like professional wrestling.

"How DARE he said that women are creatures who bleed for five days and doesn't die!"

Hahahaha. South Park, yo!

Pretty soon, though, being shocked and righteously indignant will also go the way of Java-applet-strewn geocities personal websites. And tripod. And Napster. And And MelayuBoleh.

Pendulums swing. Wheels turn. Things change.