The Idea Dude


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cuisine or buffet

Can't help but notice how impatient we all get if a web page takes a couple of seconds longer to load. As an internet society we have come to expect our information instantaneously. Everything is on tap and available. Is that always a good thing?

I remember as a child the anticipation of running to the bookstore to see if my favorite monthly comic had arrived. I wrote letters to friends and looked in our letterboxes every day for a reply. Somehow, the anticipation added to the experience when something eventually arrived.

I wonder if the analogy is the same as my eating habits. I enjoy visiting a good restaurant, being served personally, choosing my meal and then waiting for it to be prepared specially for me. And when it arrives, I take a few seconds to admire the presentation before digging in. Compare that to having buffet meal, where I go and pick what I want and usually I'll try a lot of things because I can. I generally over-eat because of it and walk away too full and feel like I got my money's worth but really not sure there was any resemblance of a dining experience.

The internet has become a wild west with no signs of maturing. If anything it is getting worse. Search for any term on Google today and the majority of the links even on the first page are either spam pages, pages with no relevant content, content that is copied from other sites or sites that require a membership to view the content. Regardless of the number of Ph.Ds Google may have, they will always lose the battle of crowd-sourcing, millions of intelligent minds that find ways to game the system.

The problem is because so much of the internet is free, both in the creation and consumption of content. The internet has made us information gluttons and quantity has overwhelmed quality, a good sign for search engines but a bad sign for us who spend too much time looking for diamonds in the sand.


Blogger Brenda said...

Your post gave me several thinking points. I know what you're saying about our impatience over download times for web sites. I admit that I want instant gratifcation ... but I'm okay with that. After all, this isn't the 1950s when people had time to sit out on their front porches in the evening! ;) We are busier today. Besides with good planning and a little restraint download times can be reined in! You also make a good point of the quality of content suffering on the Internet. I do find this frustrating as I'm always looking for great blogs to read. But I consider that a problem inherent with democracy! With the introduction of blogging, we allowed more people to have a voice. And not every voice will be eloquent ... or factual or particularly relevant to us! Due to the nature of blog search sites and social networking sites (and those of us who arbitrarily swap links with no regard for anything but improved traffic), I'm not even confident that the best blogs are rising like cream to the top. On this one I certainly don't have an answer. All told, however, I still consider the Internet a successful experiment. In it we have, in a sense, created a whole new world where we live to communicate ... while struggling to survive and evolve. And that, I think, says volumes about us!

9:19 AM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Brenda,

You're so right, democracy is two edge sword.

All this technology is supposed to make us more efficient. I suspect it it also fills time gaps with other stuff!

Indeed I wouldn't want it any other way. It is evolving and we're part of a new digital frontier.

Like you, I feel it is an exciting time.

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Got me rethinking again!


11:09 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I do always appreciate the observations you make here!

12:54 PM  

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