Web 2.0 Buzzword Bingo

from the say-what?!? dept

I’m going to remove the names of the two web 2.0 startups that apparently have just merged, according to a recent blog post from Jeff Nolan. I don’t really care about the merger at all or either of the two companies. I’m merely posting a short excerpt from the press release announcing the merger with the names redacted (they don’t deserve more publicity with a press release like this), because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a paragraph filled with so many web 2.0 buzzwords that says absolutely nothing.

Company A, a universal profile service for the social web that engages communities and enables content discovery, today announced its acquisition of Company B, a provider of semantic intelligence solutions. The integration of Company B’s proprietary semantic intelligence-based discovery engine will bring richer, context-based profile and reputation management capabilities to the Company A service. To be useful across different types of social media, profiles and reputation have to be localized and linked to the context of the conversation. In this way, thought leaders emerge within and across communities based on their specific expertise and contributions.

Seriously? From that paragraph, does anyone have the slightest idea what either of these companies do — or what the merger is for? I’ve been known to point out stupid PR tricks, which focus mostly on the way they continue to bombard me with pointless and irrelevant press releases. But when the buzzword bingo gets this thick, it’s hard to do anything but sit back and laugh. That, and get to work on my latest proprietary universal social widget-enabler intelligence-context-based profiler management integrator. Because, clearly, that’s what the market demands.

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Comments on “Web 2.0 Buzzword Bingo”

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Joshua says:

I'll take a shot at it

Company A is a personal profile service that includes a search engine for social networks. Company B has an algorithm for mining relationships, specifically associating names/profiles with topics and attributing relative authority on those topics. They want to combine the two to make it easy to got to a single place to find people knowledgeable in a searched for field regardless of where that person hangs out, be it myspace, techdirt, or facebook.

John (profile) says:

Your forgot some buzzwords

You forgot the part where these two companies will form a synergy that will be beneficial to both parties and enhance the user experience by generating context and keyword-targeted traffic to advertisers by analyzing unique eyeballs.

Seriously, though, what exactly is “richer, context-based profile and reputation management capabilities”?
Could someone run this press release through a netspeak-to-English translator? 🙂

John Wilson (profile) says:

Re: Your forgot some buzzwords

In plain English you’d probably come out with something like this:

“We’re rolling the dice here cause neither of us are making any money so we’re moving into baffle with bullshit mode so that we can actually pay ourselves and pay off our maxed out credit cards!”

Either that or:

“will someone please buy our stuff?!!!!”



notthe600 (profile) says:

might work

It does mean something but it took far too many words to say so. What the devil is re – Reputation management is the process of tracking an entity’s actions and other entities’ opinions about those actions; reporting on those actions and opinions; and reacting to that report creating a feedback loop – cadged from Wikipedia, I mean retrieved.

What the new company is attempting is artificial judgment of comments. Judge this!

Jeff Nolan (profile) says:


Good one Mike. I have been in this mini-bubble around comment systems for a while now and it just didn’t even phase me when I read the blog post about the acquisition. I sometimes sit back and think about whether anyone beyond the 5,000 or so people who are in the serious blogging space (just guessing on that number but it feels right) really gives a shit about things like this. If they don’t it is a reflection on our inability to tell most people why they should care using a vocabulary they can identify with.

JasonD says:

how rich can social network content get

Sounds like they’re just trying to shine a turd. It’s humorous to note where CompanyB originated…

“Khaitan began [CompanyB] in 2007 as a personal project when he became frustrated reading duplicate content from the 1000+ blogs he had bookmarked”

Seriously who bookmarks thousands of blogs? I simply can’t imagine he came across “duplicate content” after reading thousands of blogs…who knew. Maybe he should have written software to manage his bookmarks via an intelligence based bookmark discovery engine.

Nasch says:

Re: Re: Re: Vista

I’ve never heard anyone say Vista is dead… hard to imagine when it’s the primary OS offering from the dominant OS vendor. As for Windows 7: early July of what year? I’ve heard it may be out in 2010 or 2011. Where do you get your news on this topic anyway? Whether Windows 7 will end Vista remains to be seen. Vista certainly hasn’t ended XP.

Chronno S. Trigger says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Vista

The primary OS of Microsoft is XP.
Early July this year. I heard within 40 days last week.
I’d rather not reveal my sources. Hence the “I hear” part, I can’t confirm crap. They’ve been eerily correct so far.
I don’t believe that Windows 7 will end XP. It’s just a rehashed version of Vista from what I see.

Nasch says:

Re: We got work to do

It depends on your audience. If your audience for the press release is anyone, then show it to your aunt (landlord, golf buddy, whoever has no idea what you’re about). If they have no f-ing clue what you’re trying to say, keep working. OTOH, if you have a more specific audience, bounce it off some of them and see if it makes sense. If your audience is not people like us, then you may even have succeeded already.

mobiGeek says:

Re: We got work to do

Ask your (potential) investor base for input. As a potential investor, I wouldn’t give your organization a second look. If I need someone to decipher the mish-mash of verbiage describing what your company/ies are out to do, I simply could not have confidence that my investment is in good hands.

George Dovel says:

Re: We got work to do

Hi Jitedra,

Coming a bit late to this discussion, but my advice would be to start with a short and simple sentence that describes — in nontechnical terms — the real-life challenge that this acquisition promises to solve. I gather it’s something along the lines of “We figured out a way to identify thought leaders who participate across multiple online communities” (or whatever the precise benefit is).

Express it as simply as possible, without overloading the sentence with secondary or tertiary attributes of the companies and their technologies. This way you give people some solid ground to stand on first, and then you can start (carefully) layering on the technical proof for your claim.

The second half of your opening paragraph starts to explain what is going on, but the first two sentences are so difficult to parse that few readers will survive to the end of the paragraph.

Also, I would take a brutal editing knife to the press release and remove all the vague terms and phrases. For example, “engages communities” and “enables content discovery” could mean so many different things that they don’t mean anything here. Some of your terms are certainly valid and meaningful, at least to the right audience (e.g., reputation management), but the good points are getting lost.

My three cents’ worth. Good luck!

Mike Egbert (user link) says:

Web 2.0 and SOA

I agree with your “Web 2.0 Buzz” analysis. What I read in their announcement was a sales pitch to hit all the salient points of Web 2.0 (i.e., show us all that they understand the philosophy) and reasons (questionable) why I would care about their merger; and most importantly, why we (editorially) would feel compelled to actually participate in their revenue-generation process. I liken it to the marketing of SOA, which parallels this buzz-like, double-tongued language to convince us all that we need to jump in and drive this car, and spend the money to do so. Is this the return to snake-oil marketing?

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