The Internet Is still Dead and Boring

I obviously hit a nerve with my last post. My index for quality of post has evolved to the number of “you suck”, “ sucks”, “You got lucky”, etc posts that are submitted but never confirmed. For this post it was off the charts. Good.

When people resort to personal comments. Its usually a good sign.

Among those I respect, there were a lot of great responses. Let me first say, my position on this has nothing to do with HDNet. I’ve not abandoned the net. In fact i have more than 100 RSS feeds and untold other sites Im involved with.

Ive been inundated with spam on Myspace. Used flicker. Used Digg for sourcing news and laughed at the unending ridiculousness of its posters. Used and posted to Youtube, Google Video, DailyMotion, Veoh, Flickr, Slideshare, used every bittorrent client, got bored with twitter after 7 minutes, signed up for other findme, find you, this is where I am, this is where you are, type app I could find, and the lists go on and on. I read techmeme, techcrunch, extremetech, and tons of other tech sites and I make a point to try every and any new site that seems the least bit plausible or interesting. I spend far far too much time on the net just to make sure I keep up and know whats going on.

Honestly, its just a bigger, more time consuming version on CompuServe Forums from back in the day (Find someone who participated in the OS/2 forums if you want to know about social networks). Only back then you didn’t call People friends, they were just forum members.

I have a ton of Internet investments that you dont and wont know about.

i have loaded and used facebook apps and I have downloaded the API documentation and actually read it. I’m such an exciting guy, I downloaded Ruby on Rails and read the documentation as well. That’s what Saturday Nights are for.

I have bought installed and integrated every imaginable wireless device in my house. I think its fun.

I have invested in and gotten involved with application development on Facebook. Had a serious discussion with Facebook about the revenue opportunities they could achieve if they would license their API for full scale commercial applications on other websites. For example, to me, it would be an interesting and potentially explosive business move for Yahoo to license the Facebook API for their Panama platform. I think the beauty of Facebook is that people for the first time have defined and opened up the “database of their lives”. Which if integrated into an advertising platform like Panama would allow advertisers to truly personalize ads, rather than algorithmically present ads. To me it was an interesting conversation.

I think it could change the way advertising is handled on the net. Each user could have the option to publish certain fields/objects which could be replicated/peered to the licensees of the API and then integrated Into the ad serving application. When the user showed up on the licensee site, say Yahoo Finance, the ad server could present a contextual ad chosen based on the published objects within the context of the Yahoo content.

Its one of many good or bad ideas that are feasible because the net is the plain vanilla boring, never really changing platform that it is.

Guess what. When things go from exciting to stable and boring in the technology world, that’s a good thing.

Call me a cynic. I feel the same way about Personal Computers. Faster processors dint do it for me. Installing Vista was a disaster till I read a copy of CPU magazine and used the OS mods they had in there to clean the junk up. Its sad but true that a 25 year old platform is more volatile than the Internet. It still takes so long to boot that for the first time since I had a Mac in 1990 I bought a Macbook and junked my Vista Laptop. My time is at a premium. The days of being concerned that if I bought a Mac there might be some apps that I could use but the wouldn’t run on the Mac are long gone. Not because the Mac has an Intel processor, but because I cant really think of any new off the shelf software that I would get excited to buy.

Beyond Office and email, I spend a ton of time on the net. That boring platform that ain’t gonna change and is dead in the excitement category.

What do I get excited about ?
I’m excited about Virtual Machines, as I have written before, and the changes and impact they could have on all of us. I get fired up about the continuing decline in flash and hard drive prices. Its amazing to me after all these years of watching drive prices fall that I can buy more than 500gigs of drive for under 100 bucks. That i can buy a 16gig flash drive for not much more. and it still pisses me off that i have to deal with file size limits that require me to manage my email files when I back them up.

And of course I’m excited about the HDTV space and whats happening there. Maybe some people dont think peoples media consumption patterns change when 70″ HDTVs are installed in their homes, I do.

Which brings me to why I said that “The Net is Dead and Boring”

The best way to sum up how I feel about the excitement and opportunities on the net compared to the many other personal and corporate technology options out there is to use a Yogi Berra quote.

Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded

When everyone is looking for gold in the same river, the best opportunities are somewhere else.

But hey, that’s just me.

96 thoughts on “The Internet Is still Dead and Boring

  1. 5845oaisoisdf bv9euq0w409w874827yfqw45qusuaosia oidu[o44577+7+ w8erqwe98rqwer8uaeuw71825uweuoiufieurbeiureruwqerubogyu7e6e5943-953-96456345673562361-15!@$#@$#%^sgded
    have fun

    Comment by mike -

  2. Pingback: The More Coverage Facebook Gets, The Less Interested I Get

  3. The internet is quite boring, the newness has worn off and now it\’s just a simple tool that makes it easeier for people to communicate. The internet is growing into a swirling cesspool of chaos, but of course, this is just my own observation.


    Comment by Dan Shea -

  4. I really think the web will start to progress to have more applications running off the user\’s desktop. Offline browsing, as well as applications which continue to operate when not connected (updating themselves after they reconnect) will be the next stage of development. I\’m really looking forward to the things which Adobe is doing, as well as hoping that M$oft\’s Silverlight will live up to its promises.

    Comment by Derek -

  5. Hey Mark,

    I think you hit this right on the head. I agree with you the internet is boring. I too have switched to using a Mac at home. I bought a used 12\” Power Book on Craigslist a couple of months ago. I\’m a System\’s Admin at a insurance company and I spend most of my day fixing Windows problems. It\’s nice to have a computer that just works and that is not locking up. I agree that Vista is a disaster.

    I remember the CompuServe forums and you\’re right things haven\’t changed that much. It\’s nice to see a famous person who \”gets\” technology.

    Thanks for HDNet. It\’s my favorite channel to watch with my new HD Big Screen. May favorite show is Star Trek Enterprise it looks amazing in High Def. You should have them do a TV movie for your channel. That would be amazing!

    Keep up the great work Mark!

    Comment by Doc Pearson -

  6. The internet as form of entertainment is dead. The internet as the source of information it thriving. Where else within the five minutes can you dig info on Mark Cuban or learn how to calculate stdv on excel?

    Comment by alex -

  7. I have alot of ideas of what I think will take over the next generation of social networking and you seem cool enough to actually listen to a nobody first year teacher like me. 😉

    Comment by Nick Myhre -

  8. \”When everyone is looking for gold in the same river, the best opportunities are somewhere else.\”

    Agreed. Now is a wonderful time to seek out new opportunities.

    Comment by Daryle Lockhart -

  9. I have to tell you, you\’re right on about the changing of TV viewing habits with HDTV. I don\’t even watch non-HD programming anymore. At all.

    In fact, HDNet was a pleasant surprise, one of the first things I discovered on HD.

    The Internet has been dead for awhile, and it\’s nice to see someone in media admit it and look to the future instead of trying to catch the tail of a plane that has passed.

    Comment by Leif -

  10. Please try Second Life and World of Warcraft on a 27 or 32\” 1900×1200 LCD. Skip the flatland of the boring internet.


    Comment by Nitro Bandit -

  11. Mark, I totally disagree. The net is a place where people communicate, share ideas and create a collective whole (though an often unorganized one). The tools and apps you talk about have no impact unless you adopt them, not just try them out. Younger generations are growing up using the internet as PART of their lives and education. We just need to be smarter about how we use it as marketers, advertisers and educators. Otherwise, we are just reinventing reality TV for the internet. Now excuse me while I post this to my blog, and then add it to, which feeds into my facebbok so all my friends will know what an idiot I think you are.

    Comment by Ann Marie -

  12. No, internet is not dead and boring. As a matter of fact, it is young and has a long life ahead.

    Comment by, (On Internet is still dead and boring) -

  13. I agree with you. The web is a farce and should be treated like a giant sears catalog on steroids – sorry barry bonds – if you like the sears catalog you\’ll love the web. but it is the same stuff over and over and over. I hate it. I make fun of it and lately I decided to start a site called

    Comment by Al Melquist -

  14. Cuban,
    VM\’s are old news too… but definitely in the process of exploding. VM\’s not only on compute clouds, but on pc\’s as well. Yes, memory is cheap, but in an architecture like a compute cloud, how important is that related to the internet? It\’s good you sniffed Ruby on Rails, but probably has nothing to do with you as an entrepreneur other than understanding that is a solid choice for a dev platform (i.e. if you want to get detailed about Rails it\’s more for people in the trenches defining architectures and writing code that is more efficient and extensible). You seem to always have an idea as to the pulse of things going on, always impressive. I\’m sure you have already, but you should check out EC2 along with AS3. That model is the future of all hosting and it relates to virtualization as well as automating scalability with measured demand. Google will likely come out with their own form of EC2, and MSFT already has said they are in the process of trying to [copy] it. For hosting, a compute cloud can be the perfect just-in-time software system. You should also check out Google Gears, and Adobe AIR if you\’re interested in more sw architectural items. later-

    Comment by Mark Holton -

  15. Internet has just became one part of every human\’s life.Not worse

    Comment by Bourne -

  16. Mark, I\’m a huge fan. When came out, I was hooked and couldn\’t believe how great it was at the time. Now, technology has evolved and we are in a different ballgame. I do feel that Broadcast was headed towards a YouTube-type format, as part of its natural progression, but hey, who knows right?

    Comment by Eric -

  17. the internet is NOT dead or boring, it is mature. it is like the computer industry, tv and everything else that gets established in our lives.

    let me ask you, did have to fork over wads of cash for all those feeds that it sold or were people happy to give it to you for free? free is my bet. try to get that deal today! i worked at a financial information company and they got the same deal, for the first ~15 years, they got the other news wires (dow jones…) for free also. when people realized that they were making money off it, it stopped being free.

    it is hard to find good stuff to watch on tv and the internet is now established so it falls victim to the same \”boring-ness\”. why don\’t you give out content from hdnet on the web? because you wouldn\’t make money on it?

    the reason this conversation is taking place is because the internet is now a place to make money, not what it started as when it was introduced to everyone 15~20 years ago. the pc industry was fun back in the 1980\’s also, now it is a \”boring\” industry.

    mark, please, give some of you hdnet content away for free and make the net fun again… 8)

    Comment by gary -

  18. Yes, I think it is time for new technology to come forth! No more RSfeeds, 16gigbytes, 10mbs….Would it not be beautifully, gorgeous if we could just communicate with our computers through our minds. Tell it what to do and it would be done, scan a thousand web pages….Crazy, kind schiziophrentic? But, maybe if you just believe then one day the golden key will be found-walking alongside a river-underneathe the sand-in an orange box-at the bottom of the ocean-with the moon present.

    Comment by Heather Johnson -

  19. Mark,

    It\’s funny, because I just had this conversation during happy hour last night. It\’s true – it has all become rather crazy – there\’s just so much stuff going on out there that it has become chaotic and quite nutty! I can\’t surf anymore – it\’s too overwhelming!

    Good luck dancing!


    Comment by JJ -

  20. Mark, I couldn\’t agree with you more. I\’m an old timer when it comes to the internet and the changes I have seen over the past
    several years has left me empty inside. The internet has always
    been a vauable tool to many differnt people for many different
    reasons. It was said years ago when the internet just started to become big business that you could catagorize us in two differnt ways. 1. People who could nothing else and 2. people who had nothing else to do. I often wondered which one
    I fit into. Becuase of the internet and what it has to offer one can only expect to see more great ideas and huge leaps in it\’s capabilities.

    Comment by James -

  21. hmmmmm OK. That is just you. However I happen to agree with you that aggregation software has not added any significant value to this network. ( Were they trying to speed up my Google search and take me to the updated crap I could find on my own … ) I am sure bandwidth to my \”eyeballs\” will open doors for suppliers & users both. I\’ll probably bleat myself along and pay for it.
    Maybe by then we\’ll have content worth spending time on ……

    Comment by Vinny G -

  22. Mark,
    I agree with you. The internet is dead. When scientists observed the behavior of ants, they noticed that when an ant finds food, it grabs it, and carries it back home. On the way back, it leaves a mark that other ants smell and therefore go to the food. With each ant walking back home, the smell intensifies and invites more ants. Eventually, so many ants end up trying to find the food source, many of them deviate and the food is gone anyway. This causes some form of chaos. Same thing is happening with the Internet. Everyone is looking for the food that is already gone. In terms of making money, I think the opportunities are outside the US. I don\’t know what the new thing is but I am hoping that it would be a breakthrough in medicine or environment. The biggest value in any business is the thing that improves someone\’s quality of life the most, and right now, we seriously need breakthroughs in medicine and environment.


    Comment by Mehmet -

  23. Personally I think the internet is more awesome than ever and getting awesomer by the minute. Yes, awesomer.

    Comment by Big Show Baseball -

  24. IMO, half the Internet is email, half of it is people playing video games (whether in browser or an mmorpg). The rest are either tinkering or simply issueing some kind of spam.

    Comment by Alex Leverington -

  25. Speaking of fun/creative internet sites, you should have a post where people comment giving their most creative/fun/interesting/ etc… They can add a little blurb about what the website is in a nutshell and there will be a nice list of websites for people to check out new things they didn\’t know were out there. You can start by listing your favorite.

    Comment by noah -

  26. Amen to choosing the Mac over the PC…….I switched this year and can\’t believe how great those things are. Why don\’t they advertise how cool these things are by showing what they can do instead of showing a pic of the machine or having the nerd/apple guy tell jokes.
    My mom still asks me, \”Now what is so great about that computer\” whenever that commercial comes on. I know they\’re going for the kids, but it\’s the parents with the money. You and Steve Jobs should get together and come up with the internet solution you\’re looking for.
    Go MAVS!

    Comment by sean McDermott -

  27. \”The Internet Is still Dead and Boring\”


    …It will be more lively once someone YouTubes and Blogs your \’Dancing With\’ clips.

    Break a leg. 🙂

    Comment by jm -

  28. Mark,

    Great post and I very much agree with you. Hopefully the \”next big thing\” is right around the corner to spice things up. Who knows? Maybe you\’re working on it right now.

    Comment by Tim -

  29. The NBA is also dead and boring. The next time I take a trip to the Palace, I\’ll be sure to stand in the center of the court to let everyone know.

    Comment by Eric Grenier -

  30. Two points in this post I found golden:

    1)\”I think the beauty of Facebook is that people for the first time have defined and opened up the \”database of their lives\”. Which if integrated into an advertising platform like Panama would allow advertisers to truly personalize ads, rather than algorithmically present ads. To me it was an interesting conversation.\”


    2)\”When everyone is looking for gold in the same river, the best opportunities are somewhere else.\”

    Facebook could become the utmost segmentation machine, and that is absolutely scary. PPC bids for such targetted traffic could make Facebook more profitable than Google.

    But I would wait a bit to say the net is dead until I see some applications developed using HTML embedded microformats. This could potentially integrate data and create value to a much deeper degree than we potentially ever had in an open platform. This together with \”wirelessness\” and personal workflow software (something that must become usable on the PERSONAL level, and I am not talking about OUtlooks \”Organize\” feature) and then we can see a new round of innovation kicking in.

    Look at TV and reality shows. Probably in the 70s someone wrote the exact same thing about TV, and suddenly a whole revolution in TV happened because of reality shows. Same media, same everything, but since the economies of the game changed, new exciting applications poped up.

    And I dont think it\’s all about bandwidth. Standards play a crucial role in what you can do with data. If you dont have the glue (and you DONT have the glue with HTML nor XML is the super glue it is supposed to be), then you will struggle to add value after you reach a certain point.

    Too early to declare the net is dead. Maybe it\’s in a deep coma, and you never know what might happen.

    Comment by Henrique Valle -

  31. \”\”The internet\” itself doesn\’t need new innovations, just as air does not need new innovations in order for new ideas to thrive in the physical world.\”

    Comment by Andy Whitlock -

  32. Check out
    A virtual city that encourages communities to connect and exchange ideas and thoughts.

    Comment by Idan Ravin -

  33. Mark,

    I have to agree with you that the internet is boring. I think the biggest thing that has made it boring is not the content on the internet but the methods of accessing the internet. People go through the same ritual of sitting down to the desktop at home to access their broadband connection or having to find a hotspot somewhere and hope that their wifi device/laptop gets enough bandwidth for a quality user experience. Americans are mobile people and believe that time is money. Most of us do not have time to sit on the desktop at home or search for a wifi connection that does not require a contract in order to get needed information from the NET.
    Imagine if we could have a quality experience accessing the NET from a mobile device using cellular networks. I want to be able to use my mobile device as a computer/game console/ and television. Yes, I know that many phones offer these features but are nothing to write home about. I want to watch streamed highlights of a MAVS first half while I am at the game without having to deal with the buffering, pixelation, and audio problems we currently experience. My phone has a camera, music player, video camera, and broadcast tv antenna but it can not surf the NET or stream a quality video. Mobile networks were not built to handle the bandwidth required for applications I can easily run on my PC/laptop. My mobile phone just does not allow me the same user experience as sitting on my PC at home or laptop on wifi. Until mobile carriers can provide real time bandwidth adaptation of their networks based on the device, the content, and the network, the mobile device will continue to be just a phone. Until then, I will continue my same boring routine of sitting in a coffee shop paying $10 to surf a dead internet.

    Comment by garrison -

  34. i have to agree with you mark. i just have to add that what are we to do. i say life goes on

    Comment by leon a -

  35. I know this is off topic but lets hear about your DANCING WITH THE STARS in your next post.

    Comment by browie -

  36. Well Mark, at least you can take your mind off of the boring net while practicing the 2-step, the mamba & the fox trot. Will you rock the sleeveless sequined shirt & some snug pants look sported by previous contestants??? Yikes!

    Comment by jeff -

  37. The first chatrooms were definitely the best. Hard to find intelligent conversation on the net anymore…

    It seems what you are really saying is not \”the internet is dead and boring\”; rather, you are saying, \”the internet is no longer a place where one can launch innovative apps and easily make huge amounts of money.\”

    Don\’t you have enough already? If you ever need more you have the intelligence and drive to make it in a heartbeat. But when that heart slows down and is about to stop ticking, all the money in the world can\’t buy you more time with your family. I\’ve never heard of anyone whose dying lament was \”I wish I had spent less time with my family and more at work.\” There have been multitudes who felt the other way.

    Do you think we really want people to pursue new ways to cram advertising down our throats? I do not want businesses to know me so well they can tailor the ads they present to me – and I sure as hell don\’t want them innundating me with advertising no matter where I go or what I do.

    The hills and mountains of nothern california was full of people who have abandoned society and live in shacks – free from the crap business foists upon us everyday. Many of them were highly successful people. The longer I live, the more I understand why they turned their back on this huge greedy machine we call \”business\”.

    Money isn\’t what life is about.

    Comment by Michael Brenner -

  38. Here, i wrote this article about 2 weeks ago
    good timing, eh

    Comment by shlomo -

  39. I agree with you completely about the Internet vs. Vista, etc. Then again, I have been using computers since I was 6. You mention the OS/2 Compuserve forums & that brings back memories. I come from the days when BBSing was all of the rage — decades before the Internet. I only wish there would be more \”wow\” Internet apps on the horizon. It has been a long time since something has \”wowed\” me.

    Good luck on Dancing with the Stars.

    Comment by Benicia Livorsi -

  40. Okay, so you have proven yourself new-media, computer and internet savvy, geeky to the point where no one should take your views about the web as ill informed. Kudos. Because all the tech-heads feel that unless you are a member of their club, you cannot speak about their world with authority. They like their club closed, so as to keep its mystique. And membership in this club usually mean that you cannot be a member of another club,i.e. you cannot be an authority on anything else other than computers and the internet and still be considered on authority on computers and the internet. Exclusivity and dedication are the hallmarks of geek. \”What do you know, you don\’t live, breath, and eat this stuff 24-7 like I do\”, they\’ll say.

    \”Maybe some people dont think peoples media consumption patterns change when 70\” HDTVs are installed in their homes, I do.\”

    There, you said it brother! A wall-sized video/computer monitor represents a sea change in media distribution. Few people have yet to understand or even speak of this dynamic. (Yet someone is always hyping the hell out of some minor advance or change on the internet.) I wonder what the world will be like when huge, high-resolution monitors will be found in the majority of households.

    When it comes to the YouTube revolution, as some call it, I feel what it has revolutionized is people\’s ability to accept poor image quality and dull content as entertainment worth spending a lot of time consuming. Who knows how this audience will react when you give them world-class content that is free or nearly free. Clearly there is always an audience for junk, but no one can survive on junk alone.

    It\’s interesting to see how the computer and the internet have become a communication tool more like the telephone than the movie theater or TV. I remember in the late 1990\’s everyone was predicting how video was going to be the next big thing on the web. But what actually became the next big thing on the web were blogs. Text. No one was predicting that simple writing like I am doing now would become a big thing and affect mainstream media, especially mainstream news media. Did anyone predict blogs? I may be wrong, but don\’t think so. Yet look at the impact they have had. And no one saw it coming! Blogs are arguably the single most influential thing on the web. A blogger started the chain of events that led to the U.S. House of Representatives vote to impeach a standing U.S. president. So beware of predictions and those who make them. Surprises will never be obsolete.

    I do believe the internet will continue its growth as a way for people to communicate with one another. But until there is a huge increase in internet bandwidth, to say 1 Gbps, I do not see the internet changing fundamentally. And even at those speeds and greater, unless some brand-new form of media is invented, computers and the internet will only then be able to match the media viewing experience of technologies that already exist like HDTV and film.

    Lest we forget, the only true new form of media that the internet has been able to offer has been websites. Everything else on the web is merely existing media distributed in a new way.

    Comment by Louis James -

  41. Your website design is still Dead and Boring… 🙂

    Id love to redesign it for you!!! seriously

    // Jesse

    Comment by Jesse Thomas -

  42. Go Mavs!!

    When basketball season starts up, you\’re Saturday nights will be more fun IMO.

    Look it, there have been mavericks and leaders of industry since we hit plymouth rock. People sold shovels for the gold seekers and made more than 95% of their customer base. I don\’t know much about a lot of things, the platform or aplication that I\’m sending this on is one example, but I know a lot about what I do and I know at the end of the day, the user or customer is the one who makes the decisions about your product, service or offer being a success or failure. The counterargument to that is, of course, that we make the decision daily based on how well we execute that delivery and I would agree. So, assuming we\’re not idiots and have already made this realization prior to going forward with a business plan, the customer matters more than we do. The customer, in this case, loves their interent, as you\’ve seen and are the ones driving the need for more bandwidth.

    SO, I agree that we have a boring internet and when some new leader of industry changes it, great, I\’ll be there. This subject matter is more interesting to you than me, but I like your blog because it challenges the thought process..sometimes.


    Make a blog entry relating to the Mavs offseason. That\’s always fun as a fan. The AT&T lockerroom shots are really just a teaser.

    Comment by Michael Schaeffer -

  43. Should we start calling you twinkle toes.

    I guess if Emmitt can win Dancing With the Stars you can too.

    Comment by David Stern -

  44. Technically Internet may be boring (not sure), but generally it\’s not!


    Comment by Blogger -

  45. Hi Mark,

    I wonder if you might do a quick email interview with me (just two questions) regarding, amongst other things, electronic voting? If you\’d consider it, reply to the email address I posted and I\’ll send more details and the questions. Thanks!

    Comment by Kirsten -

  46. I think we all agree that the internet is a \”plain\” and \”simple\” platform. It is what it is! Much like the wheel is round and it rolls. There isn\’t much more inovation for the wheel. It does what it does.

    It seems to me that the inovation for the internet and computers as a whole is at the code level. I\’m no programmer but if we focussed our time and attention on making software lighter and more efficient, then we wouldn\’t need a bigger, better internet. We wouldn\’t need faster machines and bigger hard drives. We wouldn\’t have 5 min. bootup times and huge video files to manage.

    In my opinion, Apple\’s success is in keeping it simple! They\’ve been doing it for years. Yet everyone else is STILL making more complex and non-intuative products, services and software to do simple tasks. I read some where that the Windows OS is soooo complicated and huge, it\’s enough to give programmers a heart attack. Whether it\’s true or not, if it was lighter and less complex, maybe the boot time would be a fraction of what it is today.

    We may have already seen the pinnacle of some of the code we have today, I don\’t know. But I think if the programming industry as a whole took a page from Apple\’s \”keep it simple\” book, that would be the solution that is due next.

    Basically I think Mark\’s point is the interent as a platform is done. It\’s been developed and now we can focus our attention on making the products and services that use the internet, use it in a much more efficient way.


    Comment by DJ Lesniak -

  47. Not that you care what I think, but I\’m adding my one-word response to your last two posts: AMEN.

    Comment by Christy -

  48. You ripped on Digg. Thats fabulous.

    But you are right, most of these new web services are boring and done before. I can\’t name any sites that blow me away off the top of my head, ( well maybe ) but they have gotten prettier and more user friendly. Unlike this blog that is hanging out in circa 1999, but thats cool.

    The web is evolving slowly. Things like streaming of \”HD\” television shows at strike a nerve with me. Why? Because there has been video streaming for awhile and for a network to finally adopt it must mean we are on the right track.

    Personally, I am waiting for the day when television and the internet merge to be seamless. I don\’t mean those annoying slow directv interactive popup things, but an actual OS on the TV that will let you check out arod\’s numbers in scoring position whenever you feel like it. Now that would be exciting.

    Comment by Brant Tedeschi -

  49. Perhaps from a technology standpoint the web seems tapped out, but the explosion of ideas and communication seems to be more exciting than ever. There must be a reason that you are writing this blog, right? As with most things, it is what you make of it. Basketball hasn\’t fundementally changed in the last 75 years or so, but that doesn\’t stop you from trying to improve the game or experience right?

    BTW, glad to hear you have gone over to the Mac.

    Comment by Michael Dillon -

  50. Boring? Will it be boring when we go to YouTube and see you tripping and falling during your first Dance?
    Best of luck on the show.

    Comment by John Taras -

  51. wow! i can\’t agree more. this is exactly what i\’ve been thinking for a log time!

    Comment by tania bilow -

  52. Mark, good luck on trying to Dance… : P

    Comment by Ed -

  53. Brilliant article.

    Comment by Ashutosh Kadakia -

  54. Mark,
    I think you need to not focus on the internet, your plate is quite full. Here\’s the thing, no disrespect but you\’re all over the place. I have HD and There is Nothing for me to watch. When I started looking at HD I was very excited because I thought I was at the brink of new tech. No honestly I feel like I got suckered into Laser Disc, remember that format. More the hormone drenched 20 year olds watch HD. But that is the only thing I get. I want fashion and beautiful travel. I want history show that puts me right there I was so bummed when I got all 100 channels of testosterone HDNET save my telly.

    Comment by Teresa Allen -

  55. Mark
    Honestly I think that we are kindred spirits. I can\’t stick on task to save my life. I swear if you put half the energy into Hdtv your network would be up for emmy\’s. Bravo has found it\’s way. You need to focus on programming!!!! you need SHOWS!!! noone in HD has shows that I want to watch.I\’m comfortable (cashwise) and want to travel like fashion love to be in the know The internet is there but in like ten years HDNet, I don\’t know. I spent alot of cash trying to \”expand\” my viewing expierence and all I get is trash. It feels like the early eighties only with like 150 channels. Look @ HBO and copy, then I will bring everyone I know to your network. I promise

    Comment by Teresa Allen -

  56. Hi Mark-

    I found your blog very interesting insightful. I wish I understood the dynamics of the internet better. But, I\’m one of those girls that just want to turn on my computer and type in what I want and get there.

    You shouldn\’t spend your Saturday nights downloading programs. You work to hard – take some time to enjoy the simple things in life.

    I have to say – I am looking forward to seeing you on Dancing with the stars. I\’ll be rooting for you.

    Comment by Dianne -

  57. Mark, shut up for a while. The world will keep spinning just
    fine, and in the same direction, etc., w/o your crazy gums
    flapping. Just because ya dun good with yer sports team don\’t
    mean ya know a GD thing about anything else. Like the
    interwebs or 9/11 or foreign policy or the war or the economy.
    Other than that, you\’re the greatest!!!1

    Comment by Tom Jones -

  58. Mark,

    What about the innovative things some are doing with capturing the wisdom of crowds etc. through the Internet? Some of the results that come from such work could truly be transformative to a lot of fields.


    Comment by Neil Sandhu -

  59. Mark

    Timely post – i tend very much to agree with you, but it was pointed out to me the other day that we may be totally wrong. Your post about inter vs intranets is the key to why.

    Telcos/carriers built out the consumer internet, the last mile, and basically everything in between. They opened it up to everyone and then they saw content providers make all the real money.

    Now they\’re building the consumer internet 3.0 (1.0 dialup, 2.0 broadband, 3.0 next gen) and i honestly think they\’re keeping it to themselves intentionally. They are rolling it out methodically, some might even say lethargically. But I think there\’s a chance they\’re doing this because they want to actually put their own applications and services, as well as the obvious media content, on their bright shiny networks.

    Until a critical mass of users have 40mb connections, no one is going to make money on (or build for that matter) applications that use 40mb. And unless you know when that critical mass point is, you\’d be taking a huge speculative bet to start developing the 40mb apps right now. So who does know the real timeline for deployment? Who has the captive ability to direct traffic? They days of a google/yahoo/netvibes home page may not be long if Verizon can provide a compelling \”launch page\” structure for a 40mb FiOS connection. Which could move the internet from a commodity to an app once again.

    As always, just a thought on the other side.

    Comment by Bipit -

  60. its boring if its what your looking for is the next big thing. the new technical twist. im a musician and use it to spread my content, my life online. as documentation of process and conversation about creative process its still the only mass market game in town that we artists, as individuals have real control of. outside the corporate buys and radio plugging, to have a direct voice that can speak the individuals that are listening to my songs is still invaluable. maybe the tools and the tech talk are boring but the content and connections are still interesting.

    Comment by david usher -

  61. Actually Mark probably has a point, except of course for the LexBlogosphere.

    In all seriousness, Cuban\’s point is that the Net has become a utility. That is not a bad thing. He believes that applications such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace (and probably lawyer blogs) have exploded in popularity because the Internet works. You no longer need to worry about building an application that does not work on the Internet. The titles of Cuban\’s blog posts are provocative but really his premise is not. I think Cuban would agree with you that lawyers using blogs and RSS feeds is a great thing. But he would say it all works because the Internet is boring. Dead might be a bit of an overstatement. You got to love the guy though. He certainly says what he thinks.

    Comment by FSBO -

  62. quote:
    When everyone is looking for gold in the same river, the best opportunities are somewhere else.

    I\’m glad you think the internet is dead and boring if you think like that. Go dig for gold somewhere else. Take all the crappy cable TV channels with you and leave us the leftover bandwidth.

    Take a look at it from the perspective of one interested in information not money. Take GIS as an example. This field is rapidly developing on the web and I\’m not talking about google earth. One interested in sciences that relate to geographic information such meteorology will find this far from dead or boring. Also free and open-source which is bad news for the gold diggers.

    Comment by Jeff -

  63. The increase of non-sense websites all over the Net is going to make it even worse.

    Comment by RC Tank -

  64. Congrats on the purchase of the Macbook. I\’m a macbook owner myself and its the best computer I\’ve owned. If you\’re that bored with the internet, maybe you should use that built-in iSight and start a show. I\’m sure a lot of people would be interested in tuning into a weekly show you put on weekly with any random rants, info on the Mavs, etc.. I\’m a Spurs fan and I read your blog so I\’d tune in as well.

    Comment by Michael -

  65. Hey, Mark!

    If you\’re ever short of reading material for your Saturday nights, may I recommend the blog I\’m paid to write — the Tucows Developer Blog ( Among other things, it\’s got an ongoing series of articles on Facebook development.

    Comment by Joey deVilla -

  66. The end is just golden!

    People should really soak in the meaning of the conclusion and quote in this case, where actually the best business opportunity now lies.

    Comment by Erkko -

  67. Hey Mark…. great post! I\’m not sure if this a logician\’s parlour trick or what, but really great. First you subtly change the meaning of the word boring and then use the word in an emotionally charged way so that everybody goes back to their older definition/connotation of the word. Bottom line: most people end up disagreeing with you but they can\’t win the argument because you\’ve changed the definition of the word! I had an old sociology prof that loved to do the same. Do realize that by your definition basketball is boring and that Windows Vista (due to its definite lack of stability) is exciting? Random numbers coming out of a computer? Exciting! Sex, like we\’ve done it for eons,… Boring!

    I am safe in assuming that you knew you were doing this, right?

    Btw… my sociology prof changed the definition of freedom and then went on to say that we are not really free — she really got everyone going! (The key is, of course, that you have to change that definition subtly!)

    Comment by scott -

  68. Mark,
    The net is addictive..
    and will sprial into other things.. I wouldnt get too concerned with facebook, myspace etc. those are fads and will be gone from mainstream hype in a couple of years. There are good developments out there than can mean and do alot.. your flash site.. (although i have to say they havent developed it to its full potential still). but things like Igoogle? excellent potential.. its where the net is going. where it will be mainstream in a couple of years.. think of buying content with that.. what about xm.. and igoogle/xm radio/hdnet partnership?
    with personalization through something like igoogle .. awesome possibilities.

    Now that I\’ve given you the playground to play in. You go out and make a couple of billion on it.. I\’ll stay at home and say \”jst another mike verinder protege\”…



    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  69. Mark,

    A question for you, however, \”How much bandwidth do we need to reignite a renaissance of innovation?\”

    I am likely spending a good chunk of the next several months in Asia, most notably: Hong Kong, India and South Korea.

    I am most interested in my upcoming visits to South Korea considering the significant bandwidth most local consumers enjoy. In many cities, including Seoul, broadband penetration is well over 80% of all households. Not this 5-10mbps, no sir! We are talking, on average, big honking 45mbps broadband right to the doorstep.

    According to local press and various user comments, however, South Korea isn\’t the broadband paradise we all would imagine. There are rampant outages, viruses galore, and a host of other infrastructure challenges. Though student access is probably close to 100%, looks like government subsidies may not be the best investment approach for everyone.

    So what do we do?

    No question we will likely have bottlenecks worldwide for a VERY VERY LONG TIME. Some countries may stick to their decaying telecom infrastructure, forgoing fiber, Wi-Max and other high speed innovations. Others may jump in 100%. Unfortunately, depending on the location of the requested file, the network is still only as strong as its weakest link.

    We either enhance the speed of the network as a whole, or we\’ll have to move or alter all forms of IP-based content and information closer to the user – P2P, Akamai, premium networks, etc.

    Comment by T.S. Kelly -

  70. mark, always enjoy your posts. I work at Intel, and I wonder if you forgot one mantra – content is king. Creating digital content, especially HD video, criples today\’s processors. And we\’re not even in 3D land yet, unless you think Second Life is it. All of us want to be creators. I can see potential for the Internet delivered like a commodity (water, electricity) and/or space for the thin client/fat server, but processing power, size and energy consumption will bring massive performance to laptops and our palms (aka the iphone et al) — i.e. the new personal computers. And you\’ll need em for the virtual servers, too. Anyway, mom\’s, artists and corporations alike will always want to personally create and share…

    Comment by Bill Kircos -

  71. Here is another river,belong to you or other poeple else?
    Did you hear about an invention named anti gravity machine?If you have interest please mail to me. Thanks.

    Comment by Yan Xin Hua -

  72. \”The Internet is Still Dead and Boring\”. I have to agree with you Mark, the Internet has stopped evolving.

    However, our use of the Internet is changing and growing. Perhaps that is the difference that people fail to understand. The Internet has provided us with the tools and raw material and it is up to us to build things with it. You can either build a square house with the raw material or you can build a work of art. It\’s up to all of us.

    Comment by Donald Jessop -

  73. Great follow up. Maybe the interent is starting to be boring, as as you are saying, it\’s not neccesarily a bad thing.

    Comment by Alex Nick -

  74. I agree mostly but you have to acknowledge that a lack of interesting software releases does not necessarily dictate lack of progress.

    Ultimately, investors are short sighted to think that any of these \’single serving\’ (to quote fight club) apps/widgets/gadgets/etc is sustainable.

    Truly, for this current state of the industry to maintain, developers will need to look at the facebook model from a macro level to see that teamwork is really the only way to come out of this alive.

    Within 2 years, most of these \”techcrunch blogged co\’s\” will either be dead or part of a bigger giant, if the biz dev is spot on people might actually use these tools. However, I will agree that most of the apps I try are boring and do not necessarily make my life any better as email/IM/PC\’s/Internet did ten years ago.

    No new revolution is happening, but we can all learn from the successes and failures of this wave of innovation to understand better what the people, not a small group of tech savvy bloggers in Menlo Park, actually use in their daily lives.

    Comment by Ross -

  75. This says it all:

    Comment by Irv -

  76. I think the title of your post should be \”The Web is still dead and boring\”. Doesn\’t matter if it\’s Web 2.0 or Web 3.0 or the 4.0 alpha, the question is why are we using web browsers when the scale of the internet has exploded in the past 10+ years? Sure, we\’ve got \”cooler\” web browsers now, but to make a halfhearted vehicle analogy, why buy a new car when you could have a completely new form of transportation? (the answer probably has to do with the ratio of parking spaces to helipads…)

    The browser, plus a relative lack of bandwidth in the US makes for a stagnant developer\’s environment. We all want content, but someone is going to come up with a better medium than the web to deliver it. Time is too precious to burn hours mindlessly browsing…

    Comment by antonymous -

  77. If you haven\’t already seen this article, its makes an interesting parallel between your take on the internet as a structure and the current Mac OS.

    In a nutshell, it compares the mature OS X to the new and somewhat unchartered world of the OS used on the iPhone.

    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for helping to fire the synapses.


    Comment by Ed Dempsey -

  78. Mark

    I would love to talk to you about how do we get internet to kids who have never had a drive or access to the information highway. Can you vision kids who could get exposure to the world. Maybe some of there rap music would be about things other then drugs, gangs and killing. Can you imagine the how much it could change communities and future SPORTS STARS.

    Comment by Tony Lowden -

  79. Mark,

    I have to say that you appear to be as current about what is happening on the Internet as ever. And I am glad to see it.

    It seems an odd paradox that you are digesting the facebook API, getting your head around Ruby, investing in Facebook app companies, and think the Internet is \”dead and boring\”. Maybe its just those words and how I read them compared to how you mean them.

    But anyway, that\’s yesterday\’s conversation. I too have had some conversations with the Faceboook team about the possibilities of extending the social networks that exist inside of Facebook out to the web. If they do that, they will become a platform in a much bigger and better way, for them and for us. I\’d love to see it happen and I think it will, maybe soon.


    Comment by fred wilson -

  80. \”I think the beauty of Facebook is that people for the first time have defined and opened up the \”database of their lives\”. Which if integrated into an advertising platform like Panama would allow advertisers to truly personalize ads, rather than algorithmically present ads\”

    Totally agree:

    Comment by Simone -

  81. I like your thoughts about the Facebook API and Panama, which is what my company (KickApps) is all about. Personalized ads and content delivery for all kinds of publishers (the \”database of their lives\” idea) could get interesting.

    Comment by Eric Alterman -

  82. I believe for the corporate end the infrastructure of the internet is definitely growing big time. Through trends and growth patterns, internet real estate, such as building super colocation centers is turning into some real money, it definitely does not get to the end user, but the opportunity is huge right now in Texas with very little datacenter space available.

    Comment by rodney Giles -

  83. Mark,

    What are your thoughts on mobile platforms?


    Comment by Dewey -

  84. most people miss marks point.. mainly cause it\’s the reason why the truly cool things are the things nobody knows about.. it is also the reason why most of you are NOT cool.. even though you think you are(not your fault.. television tells you that you are cool, and that the products they are selling you will just make you that much cooler).

    look atart scenes.. the things are best right before they get into the mass media.. This happens because it\’s a small social group of shared experience; it\’s exciting it\’s fun, and a shared message. But as with all new forms of art such as jazz/punk/hip hop/modernism/dadaism come out of the underground into the mainstream then it\’s dead for that small social group that started it because it hits the mass\’s and rolls around with the mcdonalds, and starbucks of the world.. the social group that started it does think it\’s dead because the meaning of the original message has died.. even though the popularity is at it\’s highest..

    also a dallas club example.. sky bar may be filled every night.. with people there to \’be seen\’.. but as far as those in \’the know\’ it is dead. it is boring. it is a bad time.

    Comment by cliff notes -

  85. Hooray Internet!!!!

    Comment by Dan -

  86. I laughed out loud when I read the first post because I thought it was one of the greatest pieces of linkbait I\’ve ever read and boy was I right! You started quite a conversation in the blogosphere (which is pretty boring too!).
    And BTW, I agree entirely…

    Comment by Martin Edic -

  87. Mark: my private and by invitation social network is if you can find it and navigate the worm hole for an invitation you will not be bored, I promise. Good luck! If you get in, you earned your membership.

    Comment by Mary Clemente -

  88. To paraphrase Frank Zappa, \”The internet isn\’t dead, it just smells funny.\”

    I\’ve worked with all types of computers for 25+ years, and I\’d still rather spend my Saturday nights playing basketball in my driveway with my kids, or softball with my buddies. No comparison.

    Cuban – You must do the Dancing With The Stars gig, if for no other reason than to be in the same room with Jane Seymour!

    Comment by Mike -

  89. You are right, you don\’t make it in this world by following the crowd. Thus the fascination with \”Mavericks\” I suppose. I have the next concept which has the potential to change the world, and help alot of people if implemented properly, (and of course make alot of money.) Before I decide who to partner with on this, I wanted to give you the opportunity to meet me. I knew I liked you when you hired Dan Rather.

    Comment by Mark Hitchcock -

  90. While everyone seems to be carrying on about your comments and all of the things that they like about the \’Net, I tend to agree with most of your assertions this time. I remember when I got my first Compaq laptop and started to access what was known as the \”World Wide Web\” on the first incarnation of AOL (I had tried others, but AOL was simple for the \”quick\” experience), and the excitement that I felt at charting some new territories through technology. There were new programs every week, new ground gained on websites development and numbers on a daily basis, and new hardware and gadgets were being introduced literally every 12 hours.

    And then saturation happened. Mobility became synonymous with computing; a \”network\” could mean virtually anything – social, hardware, or wireless to name a few; and the number of applications on the web are so numerous that the time it takes to wade through them all to find something useful is often to precious to adequately vet even 1/100th of them. I can honestly say that I am so overwhelmed by the numbers of these apps and so underwhelmed by the actual quality, that I am on the edge of just walking away and focusing on becoming proficient with regard to what I already know \”pretty well\”.

    We expect things like eBay and Paypal to \”just work\” – they aren\’t unique, they are commodities today and we take them for granted. That is where we are today with the \’Net.

    Like you, I also bought a Macbook because it was simple – no 2 hour boot times and useless \”trial\” software – just easy to power up and use computing and that is what I need. Do I like Facebook? Yeah, it\’s more mature looking than the MySpace nonsense and it could be a great business app, but I am not holding my breath. My mobile handset? I have two – a Blackberry and a simple unlocked Cingular-branded Samsung A707, both of which I am using on T-Mobile\’s network because it works for me where I need it to work.

    Mark, I think that folks who have been around for a spell are bored with the Internet and all of the \”it could change the world\” crap. It did, but going forward it is a maintenance project and like one of the earlier posts said, changing the world going forward will come from the creativity that can take place on the \’Net\’s extensive infrastructure, but it won\’t come from yet another communications platform or text messaging site.

    The most exciting thing on the \’Net for me this week? The kid out of New Jersey who cracked the iPhone and showed everyone else how to do it. To a T-Mobile user who thinks that the iPhone is pretty cool and worth owning some day, that was pretty cool because I would never use that piece of shit network that AT&T runs.

    Comment by James -

  91. @kid mercury

    \”but we\’re not going to get there until someone figures out a profitable open licensing system for content.\”

    The solution you are refering to is here:-

    Where are the Joneses? is a completely open licence media project sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

    – Audience write the script under Creative Commons BY-SA
    – We make the media, and release it under Creative Commons BY-SA
    – The project is played out over all the usual web2.0 services (wordpress, youtube, wikidot, flickr etc)

    I\’ll be writing about the commercial mechanics after the project completes it\’s first run in early September.

    Drop me a line if you want to know more

    Comment by David Bausola -

  92. the problem with the web is that most everyone is pursuing it from a tech angle. the next real opportunity on the web, IMO, is in creative talent leveraging commoditized technology to create better new media experiences. but we\’re not going to get there until someone figures out a profitable open licensing system for content.

    Comment by kid mercury -

  93. I think the internet is a means to an end and not the end itself – so I have no issue with your statement. Business carries on regardless.

    If soemthing bores you though it is a sign you\’ve lost interest and probably says more about you than about the medium/platform/workspace etc.

    So the best thing is spend more time with your family / friends. Turn off all those devices. BTW I lasted almost 1 hour on twitter – now that one is is pointless.

    The internet is only really interesting if it puts you in touch with interesting people and opportunities. HAve you seen project on media etc.

    Have you read \”This is your brain on Music?\”
    Have you watched all 105 videos over at
    Have you listened to the new Ryan Adams album / the new Over the Rhine album smelled the flowers, made your wife breakfast in bed; you get the idea….

    Take a break from the internet there is plenty else on.

    Maybe you just need a good bungy jump?

    Comment by Jason Kemp -

  94. Just as you draw parallels between the old school CompuServe Forums and Facebook, I can draw parallels between old school television broadcasts and HDTV. That is, HDTV comes from the same river basin the original television broadcasts came from. Just as new technology made room for HDTV, the Internet will *eventually* evolve to make room for new applications.

    This supports your original claim that bandwidth throughput to users homes needs to increase to help make the Internet interesting again. I agree, we do need to evolve our bandwidth throughput in order for the technology to become interesting again. Unfortunately, ISP\’s arent likely to do that anytime soon because they can make money off their existing infrastructure.

    While we may be maxing bandwidth throughput in the \”last mile\” with todays appetite for high quality media, there certainly is no lack of interesting content being provided atop these applications and services. HDNET, for example. I gotta give props to Friday night MMA in high definition. Not to mention some of the other programs available on HDNET. Too much Star Trek though. 🙂

    Sure, we might not see fresh technology until we increase bandwidth to peoples homes but the digital technologies available today are creating platforms for people to come up with fresh and interesting content.

    For example, I\’ve seen parts of the world I would have never seen had it not been for YouTube, Google Maps (streetview is cool) and other technologies.

    Todays tech, though boring in from a technologists POV, is exposing everybody to new and interesting content that may give them the next big idea that will revolutionalize the Internet.

    Mashups are nothing new, but this one cracks me up all the time. You may not view this as \”fresh\” content but I was rolling the first time I saw it.

    Comment by Jordan -

  95. Mark,the NET is addictive, it doesnt matter if its boring or dead, we are going to stay with it. We became web junkies.
    The truth is we live in a wired world.
    The increase of non-sense websites all over the Net is going to make it even worse, but lets wait to see the next website venture,maybe with the name: Facebo/youtub/flic/myspac/delici/dig/mashu/

    Comment by Chris -

  96. I am excited about virtual machines, too. In fact, you\’ll see our next generation hypervisor in action on my blog very soon. I\’ll be recording some screencasts on System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and Windows Server Virtualization and publishing them over the next couple of weeks. We also kick off a month long series of webcasts in October.

    If you want to try some of the code, let me know. I live up in Southlake so I\’m local.


    Keith Combs

    Comment by Keith Combs -

Comments are closed.