NICK DOUGLAS — This was not a healthy year for the language, but it was damn good for technolinguists. Words like *Camp and Web 3.0 built on the popular buzzwords of earlier years, while Wikiality and Series of Tubes mocked the silliness of the Internet. For the top ten words in tech this year:
- Bubble 2.0: The obvious backlash to "Web 2.0," which worked its way into the language of cynics last year and flourished this year, even landing in boom-crazy BusinessWeek.
- Wikiality: Stephen Colbert makes Wikipedia vandalism funny by actually editing an entry on-air to demonstrate this word's meaning: reality by popular consensus.
- Death to user-generated content: Designer Derek Powazek's shot heard round the world: "Calling the beautiful, amazing, brilliant things people create online 'user-generated content' is like sliding up to your lady, putting your arm around her and whispering, 'Hey baby, let's have intercourse.'" His suggestion: "Authentic media," which seems more "We make sexy time" than "Let's make love."
- Consumer-generated media: You know what? Let's not go there.
- Web 3.0: Ugh. First used ironically, now entering the vernacular of dweebs even more clueless than those who spread "Web 2.0," this phrase now applies to visions of 3D and mobile branches of the Internet.
- *Camp: BarCamp, WineCamp, and all the other Webberati gatherings eclipsed FOO Camp, the original "unconference" held by tech publisher Tim O'Reilly.
- Net Neutrality: The right to equal bandwidth came under fire this year by service providers who want to charge content providers for guaranteed high-speed access. While groups like Save the Internet claimed victory when a neutrality-smashing telco bill died this year, efforts to enforce neutrality have also failed so far.
- Peanut Butter: This phrase from Brad Garlinghouse's company-wide manifesto sums up what the Yahoo senior VP hated about Yahoo's old structure: The company is spread too thin, with internally competing business units. Yahoo is now restructuring into three business groups, but it's not firing 15-20% of its staff as Garlinghouse recommended — not yet, anyway.
- Valleywag: Like "Santorum," it wasn't long before this name came to mean something vile and embarrassing. Unlike Santorum, when Valleywag's term ends, no little girls will cry for it.
- Series of tubes: It's not a big truck. Senator Ted Stevens's metaphor is actually apt, but it's clear from the rest of his speech that the coot had no idea what he was talking about. Sure has a nice beat, and you can dance to it.
This is the fourth installment of Diggbait, a daily column about life in the tech world. Earlier, Diggbait covered the eight people you meet on Digg.com. Nick Douglas also writes daily for Eat the Press.