Pinterest, Gimme Bar, Google Reader, Twitter, oh and remember delicious? Facebook vs Google+, Dropbox, Yousendit, iCloud, Amazon Cloud, Radio, Spotify, Google Music – oh my.
Every time I start to adopt a specific tool for my digital life, saving of cool shit stuff whatever – another tool comes out that is better (possibly) or at least confuses the matteer. The internet and how to share stuff on it has gotten confusing. I still have a delicious account but now also have a pinterest and was just considering asking for an invite to gimme bar -not mentioning I am also an avid google reader lover.
But here’s the thing – I’m internet old. Most of my career has been centered around designing digital experiences, which means creating tools, adopting tools quickly to be ahead of what is working, not working, be adopted, being abandoned…etc. And I think I just hit my limit of personal consumption of certain types of tools on the interwebs. Don’t get me wrong – I love the idea of options and I’m not advocating for the return of America Online or something – but man am I personally burnt out on options. Options Options Options.
Options can be good. They drive competition which drives innovation, which drives companies fighting for your attention (and your dollars) to give you – the consumer – a reason to shop/consume with them. But when we’re talking about digital tools and you start thinking about all the the options out there – it feels like the wild west. OR better yet like the fight between Blu-ray and HD DVD – a counterproductive face off between two different ways of doing the same thing just backed by different money, fighting to get to market first then waiting for adoption to declare a winner. In the case of some of the social media, sharing and sales tools are options becoming a bad thing? And if I am this burnt out, how must less-obsessive typical users feel?
Adoption woes and the boy that cried follow me. A lot of these fantastical tools are built on the same business model – it only works if people use it socially and get more people to use it. It’s a little like a pyramid scheme if you think about it. You get an invite to “THE NEWEST MUSICAL HOTNESS SHARING TOOL XL EXTREME”, then invite 10 more people that invite 10 more and so on. The more friends that follow you, the better you feel about yourself and the more you want to use the tool and get more people to follow you. Well really this is another part of burn out. I’m tired of all the invites to invite only things. The bleeding edge people do it, then eventually get someone like me to follow and by the time some more people join, the cutting edge people have abandoned ship and are on to something else – similar but somehow even better. And here comes your next invite …ah!
I’m glad people are innovating and making lives easier through technology. “The cloud” will hopefully change peoples lives for good and the deals are hopefully saving people money or making them at least feel better about the money they spend. However for me I think I’m going back to the hard drive/email combo special of sharing stuff on the net that I think is cool – and sometimes this blog.
Special deal sites? thats a giant unsubscribe to all for me.
Social media? I’m going to try and have a little more old school, in-person or phone talking
Social music? I don’t know if I want my former coworker to know I am listening to MC Hammer
Cloud storage? Maybe later
It feels like the technology that was meant to simplify my life is making it a whole lot more complex right now and I should maybe get out of the way and wait to see who and what wins and if it’s really worth my digital investment later. I mean, I dont even sport the blu-ray yet so, clearly there’s no rush for me. And if things go the way music has – where old formats become cool again (records, cassettes) maybe by the time I am ready to adopt a cloud server for my music or something, maybe mp3s will be retro cool.