OK, this one will piss a couple of people off.
Why do so many developers keep thinking their social media network is something new. Sure, they may have a new feature or two, but since most people want to keep it simple, maybe development is too easy and now we are all just having our time wasted by everyone trying to promote their version of the same old thing.
I am a huge fan of innovation. I love new technology that is interesting and makes life easier. I hate me too sites.
The same could be said for blogging. So I do not consider myself immune on this. When I started my company 10 years ago I was a true thought leader on education and technology. Now I feel like a social media pimp.
On the one hand, I can really help people be successful online and in new media. However, since most people that we help spend far less time than me doing this, they really only need basic advice. So no pushing the envelope or looking at the broader picture of how these tools will shape the world and someday stop being a mess and start making life easier.
I am calling on the Developers and Writers of the world to Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time.
No more me too technologies. Any website can be cloned – that is not the point. Any slightly curious person can set up a social network – but are you making the world a better place or adding to the noise?
Welcome to the Age of Noise
Forget the Information Age. We are now living in the Age of Noise.
Until some technologies pull together the diverse oppportunities and opinions better, we will all just continue to get more distracted, more frustrated and work more dilligently than ever to game the system in our own little way.
I think the people at Google know this. They have had this discussion and are building many different pieces and they will eventually be able to say, “The web is too noisy, just play in our universe and get more focused and valuable information.”
I do not mean today. They are still learning evaluation techniques, what people find valuable, etc. Eventually they will be able to pull all those pieces together. Even now, think of the number of websites that they never generate traffic to because they do not rank highly.
The Death of Advertising
Lots of people got excited when it seemed formal advertising was on the way out. It is only less effective because it has gotten lost in the noise. Now it just needs to be in even more places to reach the same number of people.
But You Love Social Media?
Sure you do. Doesn’t it feel good to know you have 2 new friends you have never met every day or 5 new followers – you must be very important and interesting. The numbers make your feel good, but wouldn’t you trade 100 virtual friends for one real friend?
There is so much noise and distraction that people are losing the ability to think deeply. I am talking about relaxing someplace with no cell phone or computer and really puzzling out problems or interesting issues. I am talking about the kind of thing that can solve big problems, not just contribute to minor marketing or productivity increases.
Humans are most interesting when they think deeply. When you wonder why people are not responding well to you, maybe it is because you are just creating more of the same old noise, and it is only special to you because you created it.
Am I a Hypocrite?
Yes and no. I have been taking some time off to go for walks or sit in the hammock, and really think like I used to. I am going to keep going through the motions (I have to eat) but expect changes. My passion is to change the world for the better, not to teach people how to use facebook. I am still pondering how it will all fit together.
NOTE: This is an official rant.