Exclusion 2.0 – is daft jargon necessary?

turtleI just came across this on my Twitter feed – a reference to a ” ‘Future of the web’ Turtle” at Open 09.  Yup – a turtle.  After some Googling about and learning more than I ever wanted to know about our green, aquatic co-travellers on Planet earth, I eventually went to the Open 09 web site where I found the following:

“And in the true spirit of social media, the content of the sessions will be decided by the delegates contributing to what will happen on the day via the OPEN 09 blogs. The blogs are the virtual spaces where the themes for sessions – we’re calling them ‘Turtles’ – will be debated and decided. We’ll be adding more Turtles that focus on particular areas of the creative industries.”

Ahhh…that explained it.  A blog for a session / seminar.  Cool.  So why call them turtles?  This seems to be an increasing habit amongst the more bleeding edge practitioners of web development to create a new (and often meaningless) lexicon to describe what they do.

Sorry, guys, but this is the sort of meaningless jargonny media-waffle that just produces an exclusive air around a lot of these sorts of events.   My own impression is that the same people attend the round of conferences and seminars, chucking ideas around, hatching turtles, but rarely communicating what the Hell is actually happening to the rest of the world.

I earn my crust through web and software development.  As I said to a potential client / colleague yesterday – I’m a ‘meat and potatoes’ sort of developer.  My clients expect me to deliver reliable, working systems within budget that add value to their business.  For many businesses, Social Media is still something that swallows up their bandwidth rather than adds to the bottom line, and I’m not sure that this sort of jargon helps us get any sort of message across.

My view of jargon is that it’s used by people of a shared culture to reduce the amount of communication necessary to get a particular concept over to their co-practitioners in an agreed form.  This fad simply makes it looks like we’re trying to keep these sorts of events as ‘parties for the cool kids only’ and that cannot be good. 

Or that we’re trying to hide the fact we have nothing relevant to give businesses – which is even worse.

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