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Social vaporware

Bill Thompson wants a little less conversation about social software (and presumably, a little more action):

This lack of awareness about what has been done before means that, by and large, the ongoing debate about social software is generally uninteresting, intellectually shallow and largely irrelevant.

It is a shame, because the people having the discussions are intelligent and write well, and they are struggling with real issues.

However the easy availability of online publishing tools, the drive to cross-link every discussion and comment to everyone else’s, and the almost complete lack of any historical or research-based perspective means that the result is no more interesting than an overheard coffee-shop conversation.

I can’t say that I disagree with Thompson’s viewpoint here except to say that coffee-shop conversations have value as well.