Web 2.0's Power of Less

By John Dodge, ITnews |  Business, web 2.0

As a dyed-in-the wool journalist, I am rarely seduced by slogans or pitches, but "The Power of Less" for the upcoming Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco resonated.

The notion, according to show GM Jennifer Pahlka interviewed in a CNN interview, suggests we do our best work under the leanest circumstances. More makes us fat, happy and complacent.

"These are the times when bureaucracy and waste die by necessity. What's left are ideas, and the muscle to make them real," according to the Web 2.0 home page.

During the economic downturn, I have wondered if we could get along with less on a more or less permanent basis. Our 401ks say no, but maybe it's better for the planet. Many think less runs counter to human nature.

Pahlka elaborates.

"It's finding the business opportunities when you are constrained. What business opportunities are there when you have less to work with," she asks. Hordes of people in the workplace and many who wish they still were have been living with the do-more-with less mantra for years. Engineers have embraced this modus operandi forever.

Pahlka cites the simplicity of Google home page giving consumers more. Lightweight communications like twitter is another example. The slogan of the new news web site Newser is "read less, know more."

"People in Web. 2.0 have been designing around the idea of less and using less as a metaphor for internal communications for quite some time," she said.

The slogan is slick and there is a big MORE component to it as in we wallow in more unfiltered information with much more work to do. But imbuing people with the notion of less, they in theory will be able to accomplish more. Obviously, it does not imply to everything - you can do more bulldozing with ten bulldozers than five, but the idea is to inspire and I think it works. And the goal of less to get more? Ok, I'll stop.

For MORE (and I don't mean less), go to the Web 2.0 site and see if "The Power of Less" inspires you.

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