Yesterday Sarah had made some cookies for our neighbors and my parents. Before delivering to the neighbors we took an afternoon drive out to my parents to deliver to them. While at their house, I played a YouTube
clip for my dad. While he thought the clip was moderately funny, I think he has a hard time getting it, Web 2.0 that is. Frequently he'll ask about various sites he's heard of and what it is about them that is so attractive to people. Additionally I'm periodically asked by family members what I do at work. I struggle to explain my job and Geonetric's purpose in a meaningful way to a generation that didn't grow up with the internet.
As I sit and think about it, I think my dad is right sometimes when "not getting it". I think he sees much of the internet as frivolous. And I have to agree. That classification isn't bad, it just is what it is. For example, I was recently reading an article in the now defunct Business 2.0
magazine about a guy who has made millions off of the open Facebook API. His "service" allows users to buy virtual food with money they earn through answering questions about ads. The food purchased then can be "thrown" at another facebook member. The popular item to throw, poop, yes poop. How can I explain that to my father or grandfather?
That's what I like about Geonetric, we are actually doing something of value. We have it listed on our website on our "Top 10 Reasons to Work at Geonetric"
"Reason 4: We're helping save lives!
We are connecting patients, physicians, and communities using Internet technology. We're helping an industry that
has traditionally done a miserable job of using Internet technology successfully. One of our clients launched
a Weblog of a morbidly obese patient undergoing bariatric surgery that helped 40 patients find this life-saving surgery.
There's something very fulfilling and rewarding about doing things that help save lives!"
How do you explain the value of MySpace
to someone? My argument isn't that these sites are bad, it's just that they seem frivolous. Co-workers use MySpace to chat with each other when it's just as easier to pick up a phone or talk in person. YouTube allows people to post poor quality videos of themselves typing on a keyboard
I don't wish ill-will on them or wish they'd disappear, or think they have no place in society. In fact I use some of these sites and carry no shame in doing so. However, it does cause me to pause and wonder what the internet/technology landscape will look like in 5, 10, 25 and 50 years from now. Will throwing poop at each other virtually be the thing to do? What new trends will show up? Right now when I survey some of the very popular sites, I can't help but feel much of it is frivolous.