Overhyped and undervalued

Last week Philippe made a great post on the (not so) global conversation, talking about the still rather limited reach numbers of most of the web2.0 services out there. Before looking at the number he quotes from a blog called Gaping Silence which I found rather interesting:

“You get a myth which diverges radically from the reality. The myth is that this is where the Web-for-everyone comes into its own, where millions of users of what was built as a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactive features start talking back to the broadcasters and breaking out of their walled gardens. The reality is that the voices of the geeks are heard even more loudly – and even more disproportionately – than before”

Now we do forget sometimes but this is very true, especially the comment about the disproportionate loud voices of the geeks. I do sometimes as well get sucked into the web, reading blogs, twittering, etc… but this is definitely not what the vast majority of the global audience is into.

Looking at some of the numbers, this strikes me even more. Youtube, Wikipedia, MySpace all have very decent reach and that is not suprise, but they’re only the top of the iceberg. It’s when you look at Delicious (0.5% global reach), Twitter (less than 0.1%). And we could go on for a while…

That said, this doesn’t mean at all the whole movement is insignificant of course. Only 2 days before Philippe’s post about this, I saw a presentation of Marc Bresseel that seemed like a perfect extension to this story. That presentation was given at the IAB Interact European congress in Brussels and started with a quote:

”We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

That is also were Marc used the words ‘overhyped and undervalued’ and that resonated very well with me I must say. I think we many of the web2.0 services that are out there are indeed overhyped for now, which doesn’t mean they are not valuable, they’re just made bigger than they really are. But nevertheless, all of this will have a big impact on how this industry is going to evolve, on how we will all interact with each other in the future. I like that. That last quote is from Bill Gates by the way. Here’s the video from Marc’s presentation:

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