We are constantly bombarded with software and hardware products designed to enhance our experience with social media and other web access materials. Certain existing products, initially released as beta, haven been improved and released to the public at large. Many times this beta approach results in a stronger product, but it involves a slower process. Other products are simply released en masse, and can be undermined by quick fixes. Regardless of the timeframe within which a product is released, most products have updates, and are followed by additional releases. A product is only discontinued if it isn’t viable.
How many social network sites have you joined only to have them go out of business, merge with others, or change their composition and direction? How many cell phones that had limited functionality but were still useful to make a call, did you replace? How many computers have you replaced with newer models?
Social media software, networks, and technology are designed to be modified or replaced. “Planned obsolescence” is a commonly accepted phenomenon. The one social network that now has the most users was, three years ago, second in popularity to another major network. It continues to have issues with user privacy; and is now somewhat driven by financial interests and its rush to innovation, rather than by the interests of its users. We have a business social network that is now at the forefront, but it has many limitations, and continues to ‘put the squeeze’ on its users in terms of accommodation. Sometimes, its enhancements are designed to support its financial interests rather than those of its membership.
The changes in hardware are also fascinating. Individuals have predicted the demise of desktops and laptops – both of which are thriving in their form and as netbooks, PDAs, etc. Of course, mainframes, and servers live on. Others have predicted the demise of basic tablets—now morphed into products for reading and flat screen tablet computers. Wearable computers abound, from cell phones, to music-specific electronics, to eyeglasses, watches, etc. It is truly amazing to see new hardware and software released on a daily basis.
It is not possible to experience each and every product. You have to rely on reviews and your own experience to make the decision to take advantage of new products and enhancements. Just like everything else in life, not all products are for you. What works best for you is what you should use. You do not need to move from your choices based on what someone else says works best for him and her. However, change is a good thing and you should step out and try new products as well if they make sense to you. Just like anything else, no product is perfect. Lower your expectations from perfection to enhancement and you will be thrilled to try the latest products. Enjoy the rush of social media technology.
What is your buzz about?