This isn’t original–credit goes to James Fallows’ “Homo Conexus” in Technology Review–but when I saw it I had a little “aha!” moment.
To wit, “mashup” has always struck me as an odd term within the x2.0 environment. To me, “mashup” on its own has some negative connotations–you mash things together and wind up with a mush of mess.
That’s not what so-called “mashups” do, at least not when they’re done right. They combine information from two or more web resources to create a new resource. They do so discretely (note spelling: I suppose if they hide where the information comes from, they’re also doing it discreetly) and in an orderly fashion. You wind up with new and presumably useful, interesting, or entertaining stuff based on what you wanted.
Here’s what Fallows says, in the context of trying to do as much using “Web 2.0″ services as possible:
(The single most annoying aspect of the annoyingly named Web 2.0 movement is the use of the term “mashing up” to denote what in English we call “combining.”)
I know this one’s not winnable, but I do wonder at the urge for an apparently needless neologism–more particularly one that has a third-grader feel to it. “Hey, let’s go mash up some stuff!” (Exclamation point, of course, mandatory.)
Back when I used to like Reese’s Cups, a classic combination, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have liked them as well if they were just chocolate and peanut butter mashed together.
All I can say is: This library professional plans to use web 2.0 and “library 2.0″ services whenever they make sense. This library professional won’t actually wince when someone uses childish phrases or sentence structure. This library professional doesn’t have to like it, though.
Update: Maybe “mashup” does make sense. Separately, I’m seeing (a few) more examples of childish syntax/repetitive structure (made mild fun of in the preceding paragraph) becoming a hallmark of (certain high-profile) Library 2.0 advocates. I have no idea what to make of that. Nursery rhymes as the new paradigm?