Not so bleeding edge

Posted on 23/01/2010

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I’ve probably started blogging 10 years too late. The web-log originated in the early 90’s, and it wasn’t until about 1999 that Blogger.com and other sites were launched. I only worked out what they were 5 years ago.

What might explain this is that My family didn’t get online until 1999. It’s in our genes to be late adopters; we’re cautious, not exactly flush with money and very VERY rational in everything we buy. We’re so far from the bleeding edge, the scab has formed and almost healed by the time we get involved. That’s how we like it- we don’t like incompatibility and system failures. We need to feel secure with technology, both before we buy it so we’re making the “right” choice, and afterwards when it comes to fitting into our lives.

Even though I’m trying to fight this, you can only follow so many techie websites before you have to get involved. At some point it becomes pathetic to talk about technology when you don’t own or use it. Once-upon-a-time, I too tried staking out my territory at Geocities (RIP!). It has taken me another 10 years to get involved in creating web content, but I do believe in better late than never. There a three main reasons I’m making an effort online:

The power of many, many hands make light work, together we’re stronger. The logic behind these sayings applies equally to the digital world. I might be behind, but crowdsourcing like Aswarmofangels are doing fascinating things. GiffGaff, a new UK mobile network relies upon its users to produce most of the marketing material (ads, campaigns, emails to new users). With free calls to all other GiffGaff users there’s a reason to invite your friends. In fact, the whole network’s success or failure depends on whether it goes viral or not.

Even looking at something simple like Tripadvisor or Amazon, there’s a lot you can share. Us late adopters NEED everyone who’s come before us to share their experiences, rate products, review restaurants in order to feel secure.  Sharing in this way builds up the trust that insecure shoppers and travellers (such as myself) need to make decisions. Someone has to do it and if not you, then who?

Digital presence. I’d forgive you for thinking this blog is an attempt to flesh out my digital presence in advance
of approaching grad deadlines (you’re half right).  A several years back there was a rush for companies and small businesses to go online. 5 or 10 year on, I doubt any business can survive without a website. I search and communicate almost exclusively online. If a tree falls in a forest and no one tweets, facebooks, or tags it online it does it actually happen? No. If you’re not around you’ll never find out. In 2010 it’s pretty rare to meet someone under 30 who doesn’t have a Facebook/ Myspace/ Twitter profile. Perhaps that’s why you don’t meet them(?).

Be more than just present. I like TV but IMHO it doesn’t get me going. It loses out to browsing the net because
it’s just too passive. So here’s my point: refusing to be active in the virtual world is like refusing to join in a conversation. You might as not be there if you’re not involved.

The fact I’m writing this post is proof that WordPress and the like are no longer cutting edge. It’s a bit like the day your parents add you on Facebook- you know it’s stupid but it taints it forever in your mind. For now, I’m content that I’ve caught up a little bit.

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Posted in: Digital