It really makes me laugh that the mainstream media seems to be so far behind what is really happening in the Web Industry and its related communities. Case in point, how long did it take them to realise that Kevin Rose and company at Digg existed, 12 months, report on Second Life , 2 years. And now they have just discover the success story of 37 Signals. Come on give me a break. How long has 37 Signals been going, and only now does Time suddenly realised that its news worthly. Me thinks that maybe the media are a little behind on what is happening, like by about six months.
Now let’s also consider the general reputation of the IT media, take for example this article by ComputerWorld on The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills. This type of technical journalism is just sensationalism. You know the way these lists are written, a few journalists sit around a table and throw a few items together, then one goes and finds the facts to support it. Okay some of the points they make are valid, others well you have to question the references and facts they use. Mind you ComputerWorld for better or worse doesn’t have the highest reputation, does it.
Now I glance over such IT media RSS feeds from time to time, is it me or do you get the impression you are reading yesterdays news. It’s either, a filler story or something you read elsewhere weeks ago (at best).
Now I consider myself typical of my web industry fellows, in that I’m constantly absorbing new information, products, web services (web 2.0 or otherwise) and the like. I have a read list a mile high that never seems to get any smaller. I listen to several podcasts a week, and trawl the blogosphere constantly. Now has all this information and knowledge put me on the edge. The information edge. Not the bleeding skill set edge, hey I’m nowhere near that, trust me.
Now this lag time in the mainstream of information has got me thinking. Is there an information edge. And are we as web professional standing next to it.
Are we living and working that far ahead of the rest of the general community. Is the Web Industry in the leading bubble community out on the social and technological edge removed from the reality of the real world. I know that the isolation of working in the Web Industry in a freelance capacity can re-enforce this , so I’m a bit insensitive towards it. But still the feeling remains. The mundane media et al is just a pale plain reflection of the true sources of information that I access daily.
If this is true, isn’t this a tad dangerous when it comes to relating to the needs and requirements of the average Joe on the street. Are we as web professionals in our quest for the latest and greatest stepped away from the people we are trying to serve? Do we all need a constant dose of reality in terms of a bout of usability testing?