It’s time for the geeks to sit down and shut up

Eight years ago, during the last downturn, I would have supported things like Scrapplet with open arms. If you look at it the geeky way Scrapplet is incredible: it lets you drag and drop pieces of the web over to your canvas and create a new web page. The technology underneath — all developed by one guy, Steve Repetti, is absolutely incredible.

But it is way too unapproachable for normal people.

Why would I have supported it last time and not this time? Last time we didn’t have so many choices about where to put our attention. There was no iPhone. No Facebook. No Twitter. No PlayStation3. No Xbox. Etc. Etc. This time the small companies are still getting funded so there still is enough for TechCrunch to talk about and TechMeme to link to. Last time those two didn’t even exist. There simply isn’t room in the marketplace for a geeky technology like there was last time. Sorry Scrapplet.

Here, quick, read Webware’s post on the Scrapplet.¬†Then read TechCrunch’s post. And finally, check out Louis Gray’s post.

Do you have a clue what this thing does yet?

I do, but only because Steve gave me a demo and, even, made me a page to demonstrate some of the key things behind the technology.

The problem is that Steve can’t give everyone in the world a demo.

And the other problem is that the world has changed. We’ve become a nation of Twitterers and Facebookers. Not of people who want to geek around and build mashups of our own. We want to push a button and have it all done for us. Which is why Twitter is the ultimate tool and why so many think the little-bit-more-complex friendfeed is awful.

If you can’t handle friendfeed you definitely can’t handle Scraplet.

So, here’s the deal: Ripetti is onto something here — being able to embed any code, URL, or drag and drop pieces of pages into the editor here is extremely powerful and the fact that he got all the geeky bloggers to talk about it demonstrates he got us all hot and bothered over the weekend. But he needs to go back and find a much simpler way to bring his technology to the masses.

Until he does it’ll only be us geeks playing with it.

67 thoughts on “It’s time for the geeks to sit down and shut up

  1. Steve, you have been very dignified in way you handled this criticism. It’s great that you have friends looking out for your best interest, but who ever said that you have to become a mainstream success, in order to be successful. This might sound like a strech, but when D&D first came out it was printed in four pamphlets and a set of dice. Nothing was could be more geeky! But, we figured it out and Gary Gygax went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from geeks! I haven’t tried Scrapplet yet, but it sounds really cool. You also must be very talented to pull this off. From your replies, it soundslike you’re going to make it the very best that you can. That’s all that matters. I think the comments here are actually very constructive. Robert obviously set the tone on the heavy side, but that might have been just to draw attention. I hate to quote Donald Trump, but ” any publicity is good publicity”. I honestly can’t wait to try it now!

  2. Steve, you have been very dignified in way you handled this criticism. It’s great that you have friends looking out for your best interest, but who ever said that you have to become a mainstream success, in order to be successful. This might sound like a strech, but when D&D first came out it was printed in four pamphlets and a set of dice. Nothing was could be more geeky! But, we figured it out and Gary Gygax went on to make hundreds of millions of dollars from geeks! I haven’t tried Scrapplet yet, but it sounds really cool. You also must be very talented to pull this off. From your replies, it soundslike you’re going to make it the very best that you can. That’s all that matters. I think the comments here are actually very constructive. Robert obviously set the tone on the heavy side, but that might have been just to draw attention. I hate to quote Donald Trump, but ” any publicity is good publicity”. I honestly can’t wait to try it now!

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