April 06, 2008

Which Vision Thing?

Once again I'm late to the party with my blogging. A week or two back, Paul Robinson posted an entry to his blog lamenting the state of the computer industry. I agree with a most of what he said: services like Facebook could be a really good way to keep in touch and engage with our friends, but have devolved into an endless parade of me-too, frothy, time-wasting games.

By the time I'm getting round to writing about it, things have already moved on. There have been a few responses to Paul's initial post; he's posted a summary of them; and thrown up an area of his website to discuss "The Vision Thing". On there they've even started to draft a manifesto.

All of which is highly commendable, but having read through it I'm left feeling a bit like a goth who's arrived late to a rave. Paul talks about wanting some meaning, and a vision that goes beyond building something "a bit like eBay but with a social graph". I don't see anything like that in the draft manifesto. "Down with IE6" is just froth in geek flavour. "Look after yourself" is just good advice, not something to fight for.

It's a very British manifesto: full of good intentions, but lacking ambition. Microsoft didn't set out to "make businesses lives a bit easier", they wanted "a computer on every desktop and in every home". We should be aiming for "renewable power generation on every home and every office" or "computer and Internet access for every single person in the UK" or...

I know that I'm doing no better than Paul in just writing this blog post. I don't have a solution. Yet. tedium is hardly going to revolutionize the world, but similarly it isn't just froth. It's also just the first step towards building something bigger. I don't have a full handle on my mission to change the world, but I'm beginning to grasp the strands that will weave together to produce it.


Posted by Adrian at April 6, 2008 02:18 PM | TrackBack

This blog post is on the personal blog of Adrian McEwen. If you want to explore the site a bit further, it might be worth having a look at the most recent entries or look through the archives or categories over on the left.

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