GYM stands for Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, FYI. The phrase was coined by Om Malik and became a loathed word. “GYM Free” means avoiding blogging about either one of the big three. It’s an interesting challenge but may not be effective.
Because what would the world be without mainstream things (in this case, “GYM” is hands down mainstream in the computer world)? Mainstream may suffer from mediocrity, although I believe everyone acting like they need to be drastically different from the rest is still mediocre and mainstream.
Mainstream is like not thinking like a geek (which means it’d be a sad ending to call Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft “mainstream” then). Take the Fastest Geek contest, which Technopinoy believes is hardly an example of geekiness. PC Magazine throws in elements of physical prowess, suspense, and a virtual timebomb breathing down the contestant’s nape much like a mindless action movie instead of a slightly more complex flick as the audience, most likely a mainstream crowd (despite being held in Melchor Hall, home of the largest concentration of geeks in Diliman!), watches in awe. Unenlightened awe, as the people start to form an equation in their heads that geeky talent equals assembling PC parts at breakneck speed, as well as a corollary that states speed equals physical speed 99% of the time. (Maybe it does. But still.)
It is also like staying fixated on buzzwords instead of the user experience. It’s like playing the role of marketers instead of coders, the former assuming most human beings can better grasp flashy terms instead of meatier explanations.
And, mainstream is like raving over a product or technology a few months or weeks too late, with nothing bad to say about it, even if it’s really, really bad.
But mainstream, GYM or no GYM, does bring people together, keeps us still a slightly coherent lot.
(Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, bringing the people together? That sounds like living under a scary “emperor”, even if it’s just one of them.)