Call them behavioural memes, social trends, shared quirks. But you will also have to call them – for the most part – annoying. These are not unique to 2010, or even 2009. And won’t be any less visible in 2011 but they sure as heck should be. I picked only eight. Have your own examples? Drop them in the comments.
1 – Phrases or sentences or incomplete clauses that conclude in “right?” Don’t be fooled – it’s not a question but rather a statement that implies if you dare disagree then you’re an idiot or tech ignoramus.
Abusers: Youth; preciously over-confident
2 – Pseudo intellectuals and tech snobs who use the invented conjunction/portmanteau “sertof” (a quickly blurted blend of “sort of”) as a time-buying crutch — a screen used to rapidly explain something while running out of interesting points or cogent arguments.
Abusers: Up-talkers; overgrown precocious kids; ivy leaguers; NPR hosts
3 – People who reference themselves (or by proxy, their hires) as “rocks stars” when in fact they share nothing with actual rock stars except ego and a skill for pleasing a large number of people with something intangible.
Abusers: Tech CEOs
4 – Brainy Chris Anderson’s soft hyperboles in search of respectable virality. See: The Web is Dead
Abusers: Chris; bloggers; me.
5 – Freemium – It’s not new (remember shareware in the ’80s and ’90s?) and has become a crutch when company leaders are at a loss for a business model for their startup.
Abusers: Tech CEOs; entrepreneurs; VCs; me
6 – Punchy tech journalists and/or tech snobs who go right for the snark when hosting panels or doing on-stage interviews at events. This is a substitution for actual wit and serves as a first-strike offensive move against potentially upstaging retorts from interviewees.
Abusers: John Batelle; almost everyone else attempts it
7 – Egoists who retweet flattering or indirectly positive tweets about themselves but in an offhanded, “hey, this event/news item/launch is cool — not me, no, the thing being tweeted … the news is cool. Ignore that it references me and focus on the story (but acknowledge it’s about me).”
Abusers: Insecure CEOs; former CEOs; you
8 – VCs and others of influence who blog out loud about the widget or app or plugin they wish someone would develop. No money is offered, and no formal request is made. It’s a subtle, “If only X existed I would post about it” making you famous but me a hero for thinking of it and getting it done.
Abusers: You know who you are
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