Cool is dead: Many will

Cool is dead
: Many will have pointed to the NY Times declaration today that the Web, like an old girlfriend, is just no fun anymore.

I welcome this.

The Web became too cool, too cute, too soon.

The Web became useless.

Yes, I do worry that has Internet companies go out of the business and real companies reduce their Internet investments, there will be less on the Internet to engage the audience and the audience could shrink.

But the truth is that people are spending less time on the Web today because they’re wasting less time.

They’re not surfing; we see that in every focus group we do. People know what they want; they get it; they get off.

This is not a problem isolated to the Web. Other media can get useless, too. When I was Sunday editor of the NY Daily News, I started a new section with only one mission: Every story in it had to be useful. No thumbsuckers about city hall. No days with bag ladies. No cries of injustice. Useful. For too many newspapers, I said, had started to become useless.

TV regularly becomes useless and then reforms itself when it discovers that that’s a way to lose money. Ditto movies and books.

The Web was cool when it was new and then cool wasn’t such a bad thing. I started a bunch of sites that were Cool Sites of the Day and I was proud of that… then.

But now the Web is about getting information, about buying things, about communicating (and weblogs do help with two of three of those things).

So I welcome the Web’s new dullness. Let’s hear it for dull!

: A FoxNews anchor asks Binyamin Netanyahu whether he believes Arafat’s offer of a complete ceasefire. Netanyahu seems genuinely surprised at the question and replies: “Are you joking?”

He says Israel must do to Arafat what America did to the Taliban.

This is going to get even uglier.

: To the death…

: You’ve been waiting for the TV trend in reality shows and extreme game shows to go too far, haven’t you? Been wondering when we’d see the first serious injury or death, right? The start:

A contestant on the US version of Dog Eat Dog ended up in hospital after taking part in one of the show’s stunts.

The 26-year-old man had held his breath underwater for two minutes.

He was taken to hospital by paramedics as a precaution after an emergency call was made to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

US TV network NBC identified the man only as a Los Angeles personal trainer.