I once heard someone say “If you want to sort out your corporate computing make the standard platform Unix and if the buggers can’t work out how to use it they shouldn’t have a computer”.
Sometimes I get all nostalgic for hand crafted blogs where you had to learn enough about PHP to set up a Moveable Type instance or corporate wikis with no WYSIWYG where staff had to learn wiki markup to share anything.
Sure not everyone wants to be a geek. Not everyone wants to code. Not everyone one want to write. And not everyone wants to express their views in public. But we can’t stand back and say “Oh I don’t do technology” or “We have people who do ‘digital’, or moan about Facebook’s invasion of our privacy. We need to get our hands dirty. We need to get involved. We need to take responsibility for what is going on.
When I read that Google and Facebook are killing the internet or yet another social enterprise is dead story, I pause to wonder “Is that it”? Have we missed our chance? Is the genie back in the bottle? Will we inevitably revert to being passive consumers or employees, stuck in online walled gardens, our sense of what is possible or what is right or wrong being steered by algorithms we don’t understand, being milked by corporate interests or too afraid to say what we think?
It is up to us. We need to grasp at this wonderfully evolutionary tool that we have been given and make sure we don’t blow our chance.