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The Psychology of the Internet -
One of the things that has frustrated me over the past few weeks is how much negative writing there has been across the Internet about "bubble", "recession", "downtime", "its 1999 all over again", etc. I am frankly sick and tired of it. Very few of the stories ever mention how to make sure we don’t move downward in any significant way. I know that scandals and negative reporting gets more eyeballs than positive reporting, but enough is enough.
Will there be bumps here and there? Certainly — but the way some report on the news makes it seem that we are headed for a catastrophic train wreck. It’s all of our jobs to make sure that each train stays on the track and makes the right switches when needed to reach the end goal. When we see someone walking into oncoming traffic, we call to them to prevent a tragedy. Let’s do the same here so growth continues.
Are there stupid and insanse deals going around? Sure. Is $15 billion for Facebook moronic? Yes. Is $2,500 for a two-day infomercial (TechCrunch40) or $18,000 for five minutes of airtime (DEMO) a bit over-the-top? Sure.
Yet today, I have seen some rays of light with regards to positive energy around where we are and where we are headed. Here are some examples from today’s press:
John Furrier – "Now two years later I’m even more excited by the possibilities available for entrepreneurs and the increased flow of new online advertising dollars in the area. The changes and opportunities are plentiful. I remain passionate and motivated by the growing Internet market. It has been a ton of fun creating media and social technology that is now part of the new media and iPod generation and revolution. It’s been a blast."
Stowe Boyd – "My sense is that it is not time to head for the hills, at least not quite yet. Battelle made the case that this boom is structurally different: new start-ups require less capital now to get their companies off the ground, it’s not being fueled by IPOs, and we are building on a more stable platform of technology. Perhaps most importantly, there are more people on the Web everyday, doing more there than ever before."
Mark Evans – this is a must-read. It’s what I have been thinking about a lot recently – that many bloggers and mainstream journalists want to get in their jabs and body blows now so if a knockout blow comes, they can claim "see people we knew it was coming!". Henry Blodget, the "Kevin Trudeau" of the Internet news sector is a great example of this technique. His site, Alley Insider is producing some excellent content but 50-60% are very negative posts about and upcoming Internet bomb. I am hopeful that SAI will start to provide insight into how to avoid the slipups that they are reporting on.
I know what negative thinking can do for reality and the bottom line is that if we all wish it hard enough, a significant downturn will appear. Let’s make sure that we know what to wish for. I know that I wouldn’t trade the Internet for anything, not even a Wii.