Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I discovered a super interesting magazine today: Technology Review, from MIT, which discusses emerging technologies and their impact.

Totally my cup of tea and, oh-so-coincidentally, that of MaRS as well.

If you follow my blog at all, you might have read the post about Web 2.0.

Today I read an article by a technology journalist who explored what it meant to live on Web 2.0 in his article "Homo Conexus".

He came to some similar conclusions that I am coming to about all this stuff: that it's interesting, but only some of it is actually useful.

It's the same argument I had with myself and others about getting a mobile so many years ago: why?

I was happy with my cordless phone in my apartment. I had voice mail that I could access anywhere. I made plans before I went anywhere. I had my work phone with voice mail. There are phone booths. What could I possibly need a mobile phone for?

Well, it finally had its use in Australia. And so I bought it. And it followed me around everywhere and became the place where anyone could reach me, anytime. OK, except when I was out of range or had burnt through the battery. But still.

I fell in love.
The technology met my needs at a time when I didn't have a HOME or any one place where one could reach me. There was email, but we all know that's not the same as a real live voice. It helped me feel like I was connected to the people I loved.

And when I got back to Canada, I started thinking about it from the other way: what the hell did I need with a land line? And so the mobile phone stayed and the land line went.

I pay less for my phone, but I also admittedly have more limitations on use and have to pay for long distance separately in order to make it affordable. In the end, I still find it a useful replacement of the old technology.

So I find myself waiting for Web 2.0 to become more useful to me, or cheaper than another alternative.

I've found a couple things that I like...

  • I'm using because I'm sick of not having my bookmarks from home available to me at the office and vice versa.
  • I'm using my blog, and have been for years, instead of mass emails and to be my writerly self and get my creative stuff out. Although I wonder sometimes how creative I'm being. Lately, due to house stuff, I've been writing more as a duty than anything else. Goodness, what has become of me?!
  • I use my web mail to store files and a calendar, but I would like to have a shared calendar with Alex so that I could see him every once in a while
  • I used a wiki for my trip to Halifax
    . It didn't work out so well.
  • I network through LinkedIn. Although I have yet to actually use it for professional reasons.
  • I post my photos on Flickr and blog them. Problem with Flickr is that there's a limit on the number of photos and the ways that I can organize them and link to them. Sad story.

    A big issue is finding other people who will buy into your latest and greatest tool (know how to use it, care to even try, want to participate with you, etc).

    In theory, though, if I were more interesting in my USE of these tools, it wouldn't be a problem. Except that I would spend my entire LIFE creating this online persona.

    And what fun is that when the sun is shining and your house needs renovations?
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the article,
    Homo Conexus. I does clear up some of my doubts when 2.0 applications are poping up everywhere. One of em is ZYB one of the simplest yet quite useful utility for non-techies as well. Wonder aint mobile 2.0 a more appropriate transaction from web? getting things on the go while no frets about device/standard specifics.