I’m constantly intrigued by the numbers of people that seem to think the web/t’internet is something different than everything else that exists in the real world. Way back in the late 1990’s there was this impression that the web was going to re-write the way business operated and that it would have impacts way beyond those that were actually practically possible – we now know from bitter experience (especially of those who invested) that this wasn’t the case and that businesses still worked on a turnover, profit, cashflow and customer service.
My own view is that the web simply reflects what goes on in real life and that it is really all about communication and connection, whether that is between friends on facebook or customers with businesses. Ultimately, the only real difference that the Internet and the web makes is in the speed of those connections as we no longer have to travel, nor do we need to take account of time zones. We can each connect in our own way, in our own time and in the way that is easiest for us to use.
So, how in practical terms is this any different to the way life has been lived for centuries? Technology seems to be viewed as some sort of holy grail that will deliver something beyond that which is humanly possible (and in the issue of speed, that is true) but it’s USE is constrained by those of us who use it and our own needs, expectations and desires.
So why the need for this rant today of all days? Well, I’ve just got the details through of a conference I’m hoping to attend in December this year and was looking through the three day programme and found myself thinking that somehow we are all missing the point!