A guest post from unreasonablemen.net

I think they’ve got a lot to answer for. IT is such a hype driven industry and its all because of the marketers hyperbole.

Massively over used terms like ‘revolutionary’, ‘next generation’ and ‘2.0’ are thrown around incessantly. All they do is confuse our clients and create a need for more marketing spend.

Examples of this nonsense in action

  • ICT – that would be convergence? or IT&T?
  • IBM branded cars with “integrated business productivity solutions “ – otherwise known as a fax and printer in one – wow
  • Anything 2.0 – that would be something older and (becoming) crusty renamed to be cool and new – web (2.0), enterprise (2.0) anyone?
  • Social networks – err Chat groups with more features?
  • iPhone – (I’d better be careful here, this is hallowed ground) – the advent of the mobile phone was the revolution, every innovation since is evolution.

I’m being deliberately cynical in my examples, but my point is that we, the marketers are becoming our own worst enemies. Customers have to deal with the complexity and confusion we create. Its no wonder they continually say trust is a key element in vendor selection.

Lets just keep it real. Lets apply some sanity to the way we bandy around words, even check the dictionary once or twice

4 Comments
  • UM said…
    Massively over used terms like ‘revolutionary’, ‘next generation’ and ‘2.0’ are thrown around incessantly.

    Absolutely true here. Over-used and over-hyped is the norm in the world of IT.

    Perhaps we can blame our host/blogger Ben Kepes for spreading some of these hypes. To be honest, the first time I’ve seen the term Office 2.0 and other 2.0 stuffs were here at diversity.net. Ben, might have originally got those acronyms from the blogosphere/internet, but that’s exactly how hypes spread on the internet, ie, the viral effect.

  • Thanks FF – I’m not one who tends towards hyperbole but I do believe that Office 2.0 – as defined by

    – cloud based
    – collaborative
    – on-demand
    – yada yada

    Is revolutionary – as an example, what is occurring at the Office 2.0 conference and what they have achieved in only a few weeks is made possible by these very tools.

    I think there is a clear and valid definition to 2.0 – which could readily be articulated as pre the organic web and post the organic web. Organic because it reacts to the inputs of its audience

    But 2.0 sound sexier and is easier to say….

  • Every industry has it’s jargon and IT no more or less than others (not saying jargon is good in all circumstances but, as @ben says, it can be a handy shortcut when talking to peers)

    Two types of jargon mis-use:
    1: Jargon cross-over – Recruitment 2.0 anyone?
    A lot of business wanky stuff is this … ridng on jargon coat-tails.

    2: Jargon use without understanding what it’s being used as a shortcut for?
    Social networks = chat rooms. No, that’s not the same.
    (and if I used “chat rooms” with some of my friends they would politely ask me to stop using IT jargon!)

    What I think is fundametnally missing from most that use jargon is answering the “What’s in it for me?” question that everyone has.

    “Web 2.0” – fine, has meaning for @ben and I and can shorten our txts but when talking to cliets they need to know, “What’s in it for them?” before I can continue using that (or any) jargon).

    And, as I say, it’s not just IT as I experience the same from accountants, TV reporters, business managers and … well, fill in a “field” of workers and there ya go.

  • Buzz words might be over used, still the fact that those are repeated days after days at every level in different channels brings to the IT industry the attention of people that are not early adopters.

    But, when you get attention, it is then time for real words to come back in the discussion.

    So I will only be half-cynical.

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