Tom to Technology: Slow Down!
By: Andrea Trapani
I admit it. I can’t keep up.
We’ve been lamenting (or celebrating, if you like) for years that technology moves so fast, and if you blink, you’ll miss something. For an old-timer like me, it doesn’t seem like that long ago that companies were rushing to establish “a presence” on the Web—most often in the form of a website that was basically a company brochure online. Then came e-commerce, and if you weren’t selling on the Web, you were being left behind. Even e-mail became outdated, in favor of instant messaging. Now, IM applications everywhere lay dormant, as people flock to social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace in order to stay instantly connected. Seemingly five minutes ago, if you didn’t have a blog, you were missing out. Now some contend that blogging is a dinosaur, while microblogging sites like Twitter take center stage. The paint on Twitter’s world headquarters is barely dry and technophiles are already migrating to other, newer microblogging sites, such as Jaiku and the like.
When does it stop? Far be it for an old curmudgeon like me (in his 30s) to stand in the way of progress, but I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t all moving too fast. When we rush to jump aboard speeding bandwagons, always looking to the next best thing while eschewing our pet toys from only a few months ago, we run the risk of abandoning the fundamentals of communication and marketing. We eschew discipline and long-term strategy in favor of the latest fads.
If blogging made strategic sense two years ago, my guess is it still makes strategic sense for your organization today. If, on the other hand, you were simply blogging two years ago so as to not feel left out of the latest craze, chances are you were in it for the wrong reasons then and don’t see value in it now.
I would simply encourage that the next time someone asks you, “Are you on ‘phlenkerkemp’?” that you take a deep breath and think about WHY you should be on phlenkerkemp in the first place, and will you care in 24 months?