June 19, 2021

Golden Years?

Are the golden years all over?

Golden Years?
Editing with a View
Photo by Avi Richards / Unsplash

Is being 'simply charming' all over?

I have often written about how things are changing and probably not for the better? I was a very early adopter of the internet, and I loved it. Things were simpler, more egalitarian than the 'shouty' internet that we have now. Occasionally today, you see a site, that is written in pure HTML and you are struck by the simplicity and charm that these sites have. Remember blue hyperlinks anyone? The 'geeks' had given us the power to learn, to discover, and to be connected with life the universe and everything. Sir Tim Berners-Lee gave us the tools to access the internet, and for charity Sir Tim is auctioning off the original source code as an Non-Fungible Token.[1] Very much a gesture of the here and now. An example of how the World Wide Web has evolved.

Another visionary Steve Jobs gave us the iPhone and now a 'smartphone' is a digital extension of our brain. It is our window to the world, and during lockdown smartphones made being cooped up at home slightly more bearable?

But I look back on the early days of the internet wistfully. Everything seemed to revolve around how many 'clicks' your site had. I always used to look at how many visitors your site had. Not 'clicks'. Strangely entire businesses were started to get your 'ratings' on Google better. It was in some cases, akin to selling Snake Oil? To some the internet was seen as crucial to promoting their business, and people got wound up in an unfathomable strategy to get their site right. Oh happy days?

I often think that it is still important to keep things simple and to try not to be too ambitious with any technology strategy. Often the best laid plans of mice and men are ruined by not sticking to a plan and not adding on functionality as you go along. So many plans go wrong because someone says 'hang on why dont we add this'. Such planning is a recipe for disaster. Also plan for the achievable, not some plan made of smoke and mirrors. Also realise your own personal limitations. You are not an expert at everything (unless you are me of course). Listen to wise counsel. All too often plans are destroyed by the ego of someone who should really be less bombastic?

I do see much good in the connected world of today, and it is invaluable as a repository of information. Life would be more difficult without it. I cannot think of a life without the World Wide Web. Much of my life revolves around my connection with the world, and that connection is often digital. I am not alone, we all live in an increasingly digital world.

So are the days of a simple and more 'charming' internet over? In my view yes, and we should mourn its passing. Well it was good while it lasted?

  1. 1 see link to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-fungible_token ↩︎