Too Well Connected

08 Apr 2008

What up son? I'm good. How you?

Is there a chance that our rapid rate of discovery on the web is simply too fast to be useful? The so-called web 2.0 has created many bursts of useful or at least nominally cool applications that we in turn ogle and rush to begin using. Muxtape being the flickr of the month this time around. And a damn good one at that. But is the rapid adaption of new processes something that inherently improves our quality of life or ability to navigate our virtual lives? Or is it chatter — a sustaining churn of new that fails to deliver on the Jetsons premise we all eagerly await?

In the world of agencies and brands, Second Life stands as a recent cautionary tale in the cultish urge to embrace what is new online. The blogosphere, on the other hand, serves as a compelling, and profitable for some, reminder that people are in search of the adequate medium to interact and express themselves. As ever there seems to be a vital disconnect between the apps that can actually make life easier or more fun, and the ones being made that (whether through clunky design, poor concept, or muddled purpose) needlessly clutter our online lives with more links to click. Are we hamstrung?

Tied up by links.

Often when returning from vacation or otherwise less-wired times I find that the number of blogs I actually want to read, or the applications that I actually wish to use is diminished by a fraction of half or more. The process is both liberating and confusing — all of it being stuff that I’ve chosen to make life richer. But when Gizmodo trots out new phones with the same wary voice it uses to play up the latest batch of iPhone parodies, shouldn’t it as easily remind us that a snazzy phone is among the last things that will transform our ability to process the information machine that swirls around us? What is missing is the step that perfects the process of using each added contraption or assesses its value beyond cool.

Without this vital step, we have techniques to navigate data, but no way forward, toys and exercise without endgame.