Undoubtedly, fact based diversity of opinion is a good thing – particularly in the field of technological progress. But, intellectual negativism based on habitual skepticism, which is then propagated (often by a Blogger), as expert opinion, serves no one. Except perhaps, the practiced skeptic who’s driven by a need to criticize technological advancements he doesn’t quite understand.
Clearly, I’m no fan of those technologists, or Bloggers, who are addicted to negative thinking; those who take issue with technological achievements which have been overwhelmingly affirmed by the marketplace.
Recently, WordPress added a “Share” feature to its blogging platform, and in discussing this with fellow technologists (some are Bloggers), I was taken aback by the shortsightedness brought out in discussing the benefits of this new feature – for both Blog readers, and Bloggers.
Common negative points of view expressed, included:
I would never get involved with Facebook (one of the “Share” buttons). Only losers use Facebook.
As it turns out, I’m not a Facebook user – but it’s hardly because I think only losers use Facebook. I very much doubt that the Half Billion users on this social network, consider themselves “losers”. Instead, it’s evident that Facebook users see the individual personal benefits a Facebook account provides.
From a personal perspective, Facebook presents too much of a risk to my online security; but I certainly recognize that there has been overwhelming acceptance of Facebook. Consequently, I find it difficult to listen to arguments that Facebook has no social relevancy. Or, that it’s populated by “losers.”
Only Twits use Twitter (another of the “Share” buttons).
I subscribe to Twitter, and I don’t recall ever being called a “Twit”. Some other unflattering names, I confess, – but not a “Twit”. Mind you, I don’t tweet about what I had for breakfast, what time I went to bed, what I’m wearing today, or the inane “look at me” tweets, posted by celebrities like Demi Moore, or Ashton Kutcher.
But, I have no problem accepting that the social relevancy of Twitter is substantial. How the hell could a service with 165 Million registered users since it’s inception just two years ago, be anything but socially relevant, is beyond me.
I’ll cut to the chase here: Significantly, the addition of the “Share” feature by WordPress has been very favorably received by most Bloggers, and most importantly – by readers. From a reader’s perspective the advantages are obvious – a “Share” feature allows users to easily share content which is important to them, through social networking sites, social content sites, email, and so on.
From a Blogger’s perspective – and I’m only relating my own personal experience – I’m delighted. In the time since WordPress added the “Share” feature, average daily reads here have increased by more than 20%. It’s rather obvious, that by making it easier for visitors to share my content, they do just that. It seems clear to me that WordPress has added value for both readers, and for me as a Blogger.
To those Blogging associates who see little, or no value, in marketplace affirmation of change, most particularly the WordPress “Share” button, I’ll remind you of this quotation from futurist Alvin Toffler (Future Shock) – “The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Writing this post, brought to mind an article in Newsweek Magazine I read many years ago, in which the author Clifford Stoll, took great exception to the idea that the Internet, and related technologies, had a viable future.
Since his predictive opinion was so dramatically off-target, I’ve partially reproduced that article here:
The Internet? Bah! (Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana.) February 27, 1995.
Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher ……..
How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Internet. Uh, sure.
Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping—just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obsolete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month?
The full article can be read here.
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