January 6, 2001
7:25 PM   Subscribe

I am making a list of failed and over-hyped Internet business jargon. Here is part of it: Java applets, Push, Web TV, ad-supported sites, B2C, B2B, proprietary music formats, WAP, 100% Flash sites, broadband. Do you agree? What is missing?
posted by tranquileye (32 comments total)
I don't have more jargon for you, but I have my Flash rant for today:

I went to usafilms.net to try to find out if Wonderland will ever make it to DVD (or even VHS). I didn't really expect to find an answer, but I didn't expect to be tossed into a Flash world. There's some thingy there that will let you morph various illustrations and then freely flip them. And you can select from four types of background music. And there's some lite brite thing that I wasn't able to figure out.

One thing you can't do there is find out info about films they distributed earlier this year. So I decided to email them. This only resulted in getting a MS Exchange undeliverable message: "The message could not be delivered because you do not have create permissions on this folder or it is only available to folder owners at this time." Argh.
posted by gluechunk at 8:01 PM on January 6, 2001

You could spend all day just on X2Y-type TLAs (Three*-Letter-Acronyms); B2B, B2C, B2B2C, etc. If you're restricting yourself to jargon, you'll have to remove WebTV (a product), 100% Flash sites (simply a dumb idea), Java applets, and the like, since these are not jargon (insofar as "jargon" denotes useless, nonsensical, or specialized language and connotes needlessly- or over-specialized language). Of course, if you want to expand to failed and overhyped jargon and technologies, then you're all over it.
posted by jplummer at 8:07 PM on January 6, 2001

posted by cheaily at 8:14 PM on January 6, 2001

In a similar vein I'd recommend dack.com's web economy bullshit generator. At the press of a button you can create such gems as "whiteboard scalable paradigms" and "deliver bleeding-edge niches."
posted by zempf at 8:24 PM on January 6, 2001

Well, I like java applets [pauses while all readers cringe away] but I don't think I'd use one for a business. There are a load of cool alife things out there though.
posted by davidgentle at 8:48 PM on January 6, 2001

Don't forget P2P, or is that still considered cool?
posted by megnut at 8:52 PM on January 6, 2001

There's also many good uses of 100% flash sites, and sites that have survived through subtle and non-intrusive banner advertising, and broadband continues to make alot of people happy. I don't think they failed, definitely overhyped and often misused, but thats more the fault of the nonsense that clueless people stir up over new 'technology'. Just because some things are overhyped and doesn't live up to ridiculous claims shouldn't put them in the same boat as 'failures'. I mean if that was the case, the whole Internet and the web would be in there too.
posted by aki at 9:14 PM on January 6, 2001

(1) "Best in breed"

(2) "Path to profitability"

(3) "Partners" as the ultimate weasel-word, reflecting either a perverse reluctance -- or an incompetent inability -- to impose a concrete and differentiating taxonomy upon suppliers, investors, employees, joint-venturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, customers, promoters, etc.

(4) "First-mover advantage" and its corrolarly, the "Land rush."

And, last, but not least, (5) "Prospective investors in the Offering should be aware that the Company has a limited operating history, has never earned a profit, has had continually increasing operating losses, and cannot predict when, if ever, after the Date of the Initial Public Offering it will earn a profit. The Company expects that it will be required to sell debt and/or equities securities in the public markets or through private placements in at least one more offering following the Initial Public Offering, which would have the effect of diluting the value of the Offered Stock.

Prospective investors should be aware that the Company's business model is not proven, and is subject to significant volatility and unpredictability, including, but not limited to (a) volume and purchase price of Internet advertising, (b) the terms and availability of additional financing, and (c) general economic conditions."

posted by MattD at 9:25 PM on January 6, 2001

Channels is push - I think.
posted by holloway at 9:29 PM on January 6, 2001

just check filibuster.org out. Get your share of jargon there.
posted by mkn at 9:32 PM on January 6, 2001

It's all been overhyped since the day Tim Berners-Lee added a second node to his development system.
posted by ffmike at 9:45 PM on January 6, 2001

>I am making a list of failed and
>over-hyped Internet business jargon...

posted by webchick at 10:08 PM on January 6, 2001

How about "My" .... MyYahoo, MyEmail, MyQuotes, MyThis, MyThat, MyBalls..

Enough with the My's.
posted by afx114 at 10:16 PM on January 6, 2001

Anything with an "e-" in front of it, with the notable exception of e-mail. =P

e-business, e-conferencing, e-commerce....
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:25 PM on January 6, 2001

"New Economy."
posted by aaron at 10:36 PM on January 6, 2001

posted by Optamystic at 10:42 PM on January 6, 2001

posted by pnevares at 11:39 PM on January 6, 2001

Online communities
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 12:57 AM on January 7, 2001

what about 'dot-com'? the biggest violation of this i can think of is Sun, who i like otherwise, 'the dot in dot-com'. auugghhh!
posted by Sean Meade at 5:20 AM on January 7, 2001

e-tailer, and referring to your company as a "play" or "pure-play".
posted by jbelshaw at 6:49 AM on January 7, 2001

Personally I've always been a big fan of companies who say they offer "solutions."
posted by zempf at 8:29 AM on January 7, 2001

~ster (e.g. Napster, Metallicster, Aimster, ad naseum)
posted by SilentSalamander at 9:52 AM on January 7, 2001

Repurposing, the worst word in the English language. Customer-centric or -focused. "Excellent interpersonal and communication skills." (What is an interpersonal skill?) Eyeballs, which can be aggregated and monetized. Bleeding-edge (Cf. X-Files episode "First-Person Shooter"). Enterprise. File-sharing (read "file-stealing"). Content. Weblog. Horseless carriage.
posted by joeclark at 10:25 AM on January 7, 2001

Companies with names ending in -iant or -ient.
posted by PWA_BadBoy at 10:55 AM on January 7, 2001

"Broadband" has always seemed to me like a dumb content-free marketer word. The only thing resembling a useful definition for it is "not a modem". Pretending there's any other similarity between single-channel ISDN and some corporate T3 is just silly.

The useful thing about words like "broadband", "ecommerce", and "convergence" is that they make the clueless people easy to spot.


posted by Mars Saxman at 2:25 PM on January 7, 2001

Broadband? You mean like the Bangles? ::duckflee!::
posted by aaron at 3:27 PM on January 7, 2001

What about "Clicks and Mortar," you know, instead of "Bricks and Mortar"
posted by Bag Man at 4:23 PM on January 7, 2001

I second Aaron's "New Economy". The idea that the "Internet Revolution" would make the economy somehow new is by far the stupidest thing I've heard. I think the term "Internet Space" is pretty dumb too...

Does everyone think E-commerce is a failed idea? Even people who buy things from the Internet (read Amazon.com)? I think it's here to stay...
posted by Neb at 11:59 PM on January 7, 2001

I think e-commerce as a revolution is a failed idea, but I think e-commerce as buying things online is around to stay. The drastic revolution aspects were all just part of the hype train.
posted by cCranium at 6:15 AM on January 8, 2001

Someone mentioned "my" -- "Community" was a buzzword about a year ago that drove me insane. "Hey let's have the users build the content for us, and we can make money off it!"

Oh wait, that kinda applied to blogging, doesn't it? DOH!

Which leads me to my second buzzword:

posted by fnirt at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2001

I don't know if blog's a buzzword outside the community just yet, but I imagine with all the publicity blogging, and especially Pyra, has gotten in the past couple of months (let alone the past week! :-) marketer types will figure out a way to squeeze it in somewhere.

Which, really, means only good things for companies like Pyra or Userland as corporations hop onto the blog format for content management.
posted by cCranium at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2001

Neither its source nor its meaning directly concerns the internet, but "proactive" rides on the coat tails of the above terms; because it more resembles a real word, it has been able burrow out of Stephen Covey's ass and into our most intimate conversations.
posted by thomasmilsom at 4:13 PM on March 6, 2001

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