Unraveling Obfuscation

ob fus cate – 1. to confuse, bewilder, or stupefy 2. to make obscure or unclear

Archive for May, 2007

Some corroborating evidence

Posted by Todd McKinney on May 8, 2007

I’ve really been feeling a little bit bad about publicly questioning the Microsoft strategy in that RIA post a week or so ago. Especially since I didn’t link to any evidence that backs up some of my observations. Rick Segal posted about his experience with his daughter’s computing needs, and the “bonus observation” part really struck a chord:

I asked about back ups. Naah. I asked if she had anything on the old one I needed to recover. Naah, all online between Hotmail, writely, facebook, flickr, and myspace.  19 years of age, folks. In University and basically requires no software, no fancy applications.  Worth thinking about.

It’s not exactly the same topic, but it is related because a Microsoft desktop-centric view of the world doesn’t comprehend the idea of not needing a backup because everything important is online. It’s a question of relevance. I guess I feel less bad now. Thanks for backing me up Rick.


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A video, and a bit of a rant

Posted by Todd McKinney on May 4, 2007

I normally don’t post a bunch of pictures and video, but this is going to be a bit of an exception. I came across this little story by way of a podcast with Dave Evans of “Digital Voodoo”. The cliff notes version is that he discussed ways in which “consumer generated content” is being used in interesting ways. The relatively low quality and sub-par production values are not necessarily a huge impediment to popularity or usefulness. In the case of breaking news, or live “as it happened” video, the story completely eclipses the video production quality issues. In other cases, like the video below, creative people can harness the storytelling power of raw video and package it in compelling ways. The result of this effort is interesting because it tells a story and gives a sense of being there that is usually missing from a slick professional production.

Despite the liberal use of the wrong-headed term “user generated content”, and the even worse idea of “consumer generated content”, I thought the podcast was pretty interesting. Perhaps it’s my perspective, but it just seems obvious to me that the web is fundamentally about enabling everyone to be able to publish and produce content. The sooner the old-school media types get the paradigm, the sooner we can get discuss something worthwhile. In the meantime, whenever I hear someone speak in a condescending way about the content producing efforts of the general public I just can’t help but make a bit of a fuss about it. I don’t mean any disrespect to Dave, I think he’s a smart guy. I just think it’s unfortunate that the established media industries, as a whole, seems to be struggling with the control shift to the edge.

The video is worth the time it took me to hunt it down – fascinating.

Couldn’t find it on youtube, and can’t embed the player because WordPress doesn’t think I should, so here’s a Plain ole link to “the shins”

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