5 web technologies to make you say 'WTF?'

Google Wave
Google Wave: what do you use it for?

With most things online, the benefits are immediately obvious: Google Street View, say, or online banking, or social networking.

With others, though, we're baffled. Imagine if Audi unveiled its latest project, and instead of a car it was a tuba made of cheese glued to the back of a Mexican donkey.

That's pretty much what we think about these…

1. 3D shopping

Imagine online shopping without the speed, without the simplicity, without the easy comparison of related products and with a really crappy song by Sting blasting out of the speakers the moment you arrive. Shame on you, Amazon Windowshop Beta. Shame on you!

Amazon windowshop


"Music without the mushrooms", says a man from Gizmodo. "A mind twisting hearing sensation", says the RJDJ site. "A way to share unlistenable nonsense created by people waggling their iPhones and banging on about how 'trippy' it is", say we. It's worse than Sting.


3. Wordle

Imagine a tag cloud with its usefulness removed and you've got a wordle: a block of text, a web page or an RSS feed turned into a pretty picture showing the most commonly used words in big letters. What, exactly, are you supposed to do with them?


4. The Semantic Web

First, there was the read-only Web; then, the interactive Web. Coming up: the Semantic Web. That means everything online will be semantic. Semantic means "related to meaning", so the Semantic Web will be the Related To Meaning Web. What does that mean? Only Tim Berners-Lee knows.

5. Google Wave

It's from Google! It's the future! It's… well, what is Google Wave? Is it for blogging? Document collaboration? Playing chess with a dog while checking your email? Nobody knows, as The Next Web discovered when it polled its users. Some 56% of users polled "log in and stare at it blankly".

Google wave

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.