The Neaderthal Era of Social and Mobile; We're Living in It

By Bryant Duhon posted 01-30-2012 16:04


If you've ever wondered what it's like to live at the beginning of a huge shift in technology; we're in it. David Pogue talks buzzwords, Siri, and the beginnings of SoLoMo. Word is he'll be singing us a song at AIIM 2012 as well. Don't miss it; register today.

Web 2.0, Social Media, and Other Buzzword
David Pogue
Columnist, New York Times
Thursday, March 22. 8:30 AM

Duhon: Which current buzzword or phrase bugs you the most?

Pogue:Much of my email consists of pitches from PR people, so it's their jargon that tends to drive me the battiest. These people cannot seem to speak English, and they don't seem to realize how much it's hurting them professionally.

"Price point" when they mean "price." "Form factor" when they mean "size." "Best-of-breed solution" when they mean... actually, I have no idea.

And anything that has a "-cy" at the end that doesn't need one: "Resiliency" when they mean "resilience." "Competency" when they mean "competence."  And so on.

But I could fill a book with the silliness of today's PR jargon!

Duhon: What’s one of the funniest/most annoying/most pathetic attempts at exploiting all of this social “stuff” that you’ve come across?

Pogue: Maybe I'm just jaded. But not a week goes by that I don't receive another pitch for another me-too social-media site. "This revolutionary, best-of-breed solution allows users to connect their friends and loved ones. They can share photos, type messages, and post updates. Imagine--grandma can see a photo of her new grandchild only minutes after the birth!"

Um... I think that's been done.

Most of the FRESH ideas for sites and services, though, really are great. Kickstarter is great. is great. Path is great.

Duhon: Four years ago, I asked you your favorite tech gizmo from the previous year (2007) and you said iPhone. What’s your favorite from 2011?

Pogue: Well, hate to sound like a broken CD, but it's the iPhone 4S. Specifically, Siri. Voice command changes the entire character of the device. It's no longer a phone. As it sits next to you on the car seat, you set up alarms, listen to your text messages read aloud, search the Web for answers, place calls, check your calendar -- all without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road. 

It's one of the biggest jolts forward into the future of computing to come along in years.

Duhon:  You see A LOT of technology, but you seem to maintain a sense of awe at how fantastic technology capabilities really are (you are the reverse of Louis CK’s plane mate; from his Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy bit). How do you keep that sense of wonder?

Pogue: I don't think a person can voluntarily keep a sense of wonder, just as a person can't choose to be jaded. I think it's who you are -- how you were born, how you were raised. 

That doesn't mean that the cynics and fuddy-duddies don't wear me down. If I hear ONE MORE PERSON say, "Facebook!? Why would I want to post my life's details for all the world to see? What's wrong with you people?"....I swear. It's like, "THEN DON'T SIGN UP! in the meantime, what do you have against millions of other people deriving pleasure from it?"

Duhon: What do you find most fascinating about the intersection of “social, local, and mobile”?

Pogue: I love that everybody's so thrilled by the newness and novelty and magic and modernism of it. Look at all the things we can do now, right from our cellphones! 

What nobody realizes, of course, is that we're in the Neanderthal era of social, local, and mobile. In five years, we'll look back on this era and laugh our heads off at how primitive it all is. "Why, when I was your age, phones were still AN EIGHTH OF AN INCH THICK!! There were some areas where you COULDN'T GET ONLINE AT ALL!"

Yeah, we're just starting out--and that's the most exciting thing of all!

#SoLoMo #socialmedia #mobile #DavidPogue #AIIM12 #SocialBusiness