"Wendell 2.0"

2006
Jun
29

Everybody who is anybody who is willing to communicate with me has been asking me “Are you going Web 2.0? And if not, can I have your website?” And I generally reply, “no, I’m waiting for them to get the bugs out in Web 2.1”. And then everybody replies with “….NO SIGNAL”, even when we’re in the same room.

It makes me feel like I’m one step behind and out of step, shunned by the cool kids and the nerds, which is basically how I got through High School. Of course, since then, I’ve learned to march to the beat of my own different drummer, who was apparently Keith Moon after he died, so I bought a used drum machine from the Captain and Tennille and love kept me together after that. But in the mid-80s, the drum machine broke down after a weekend with Brian Wilson, so I needed to replace it. I got another used drum machine, this time from the Joy Division/New Order name-change clearance sale, and love has been tearing me apart ever since. But enough about me.

The question that came to my mind was: “Is Web 2.0 really worth it and what do I have to do for it?” The Grammar Police cited me for asking two questions in one sentence, and I was left with twice as much uncertainty (and a mark on my poetic license that is really going to cost me the next time I renew my talent insurance).

So, reversing the order of my queries, I set out to see what was required to achieve a state of 2.0ness.

  • First, I needed to take down my cute little “Under Construction” signs and replace them with “beta”. Fortunately, when the Alpha Beta grocery stores were bought out by Lucky who were then bought out by Albertsons, I made an investment in their second-hand signs. I had made a slick deal selling the “Alpha” part to the producers of the remake of “Alfie” who didn’t even notice until Marisa Tomei pointed it out to them on the set, but by then it was too late and all deals are final. So, I still have “Betas” I can use (In fact, I have plenty extra, so if you need one to go 2.0 yourself, just email me: wendell@betamax.com… I also have a whole bunch of “Luckys” from that second buyout; wendell@yuckylucky.org).
  • Next, I needed to change my domain name to something with at least one missing vowel. I have always been proud of my vowels, and my vowels have been good to me. (Do I dare throw in a “vowel movement” joke here? I think I just did.) I thought the most expendible vowel was the second “E”, but it didn’t look quite right until I also dropped the second “L”: WENDLWIT.COM. Then a grand idea struck me: I could drop the “O” in COM! Some quick negotiations with the Internet Registrar of Camaroon (It turned out they had recently opened a casino in Douara, so I unloaded some “Lucky” signs) and WENDLWIT.CM was ready.
  • Next, I had to update my design. This was going to be tough. The last time I went in for a serious makeover, I switched from doubleknit slacks to khakis, and – well let’s just say the change resulted in some chafing. According to an absolute authority on the subject (the first Google result for “Web 2.0 Design” that wasn’t O’Reilly or kottke), the essential elements were (1) Rounded Shapes (I aready have those, on my site and my self! I felt more 2.0 already), (2) Shades (That was okay, my blinds were getting pretty old), (3) Sans Serif – Arial or Helvetica (So glad I’d gotten that DVD of “The Little Mermaid”), (4) Pastell – that was how the absolute authority spelled it, I remembered it differently from my Paint With Bob Ross lessons, (5) Footers, which I deduced was a European spin-off of Hooters specially for soccer fans, (6) Buttons (Now I understood the popularity of Poke the Bunny), (7) Oversized Fonts OKAY.
  • Now it was time to work on my backend. That scared me. The most successful internet backend I’d ever heard of was Goatse. I wasn’t reassured when I was told I’d have to use AJAX. I’d been a devoted Bon Ami customer for years… and it hasn’t scratched yet. Imagine my relief when I learned it was an acronym for other acronyms. Apparently the “J” stood for Javascript. Now, I’ve never liked the taste of coffee, but a quick trip to Starbucks and I had some pretty cool Frappacinoscript. The “X” stood for XML. Anybody who’s ever met me in person knows I’m XXL, and that was certainly close enough. But what about the two “A”s? Fortunately, I have plenty of old ABBA albums on vinyl… no you may not ask me why, but I’m glad I did.
  • I had to deal with more acronyms: RSS, CSS (both of which I covered by being a total ASS), SOAP (Softsoap Brand Shower Gel, my fave), API (fortunately I have one of their old news ticker machines from a radio station I once worked for… yeah, same place I got the ABBA records) and REST – finally, an acronym I can totally get behind.

So, here it is. WendellWit 2.0 (or WendlWit 2.0). How does it look? The same? Well, that’s the most important thing I learned about Web 2.0. Nobody has set any standards for it, so you can call throw just about anything into a website and call it “Web 2.0”. It’s just like Blogging! So I added this little icon here:Fat.gif  Isn’t he cute? Oh, and I threw out the drum machine and got myself a real different drummer. His name’s Russel and he usually drums for Gorillaz. Yes I know he’s a cartoon character. He’ll get along well with my conscience, Dudley DoRight and my inner child, Baby Huey.

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