Watch this video — Weezer‘s “Pork and Beans.” How many YouTube celebrities can you identify? And what do you think this video is trying to say? I’m thinking in particular of the scene where the band member seems to be just munching on cereal, idly watching the NumaNuma guy — but right inside his apartment.
My question: What do you think is the (tongue in cheek) point of this video?
Here’s why I’m asking: a few months back, I was at a WebGuild event at Google featuring Jia Shen of RockYou, Jonathan Abrams, a co-founder of Friendster, and another Google developer.
Someone asked, mildly, their thoughts on the future for Web 2.0 in the enterprise.
I thought they’d make some comment about the Enterprise catching up with the tools its workers were bringing in, at least. That’s a big “duh” — from Cisco to BEA, the enterprise has been figuring out how to make social networks and the interactive web work for them.
But to my surprise, Jia Shen said, “No. I don’t see it. I mean, web 2.0 is about ‘hot or not,’ right? I don’t see older people getting into it.”
Glancing around the room, fully half the people there were over 40. Just because Jia Shen can’t imagine that anyone over 40 would have a life, let alone a SecondLife, or be using Web 2.0 mashups behind the firewall — doesn’t mean that we don’t get it. Leaving “Hot or Not” aside for the moment, the technology behind that site is simple voting; several present and former clients use similar code to rate the content inside their companies (for usefulness, among other things).
I live in the Web 2.0 world fairly constantly. And what’s more, I have teenagers. My hip factor increases exponentially just because I knew all about the Numa Numa guy two years ago; I rolled my eyes at “These Shoes Rule! These shoes SUCK!,” and watched Chris Crocker’s tearful pleading on behalf of Britney, and the witty Evolution of Dance, all at my kids’ behest.
So when I saw Weezer’s “Pork and Beans,” I cracked up. Thought it was really clever — a nod to this generation’s celebrities, as well as a wink (or maybe a jab in the ribs) to our inertia-bound scrutiny of other people’s Web moments.
Then I shared the video with a few friends and colleagues.
No giggles. No guffaws of recognition. Nada. They gave me those understanding smiles you reserve for people who are just a little bit crazy.
Most of my peers hadn’t seen the videos to which “Pork & Beans” refers. Made me wonder whether a) I have no life — but not in the way JiaShen imagined; b) I had slipped into the ranks of the very, very immature; c) whether there might be any truth to this Web 2.0 generation thing. Like, by having teenagers I’d essentially slipped past the bouncer — but it’s all over as soon as they’re out of the house. Suddenly, I won’t be able to tolerate anything newer than Fleetwood Mac or maybe MC Hammer, pre-Dance Jam.
What do you think? Is Web 2.0 a “generational thing?” Can anyone partake? Or will they have to make a YouTube specifically for people who were born before 1979?