Andy Ihnatko said something in this week’s episode of MacVoices that really got me thinking about my life as a technologist. The episode, linked to above, focused on the Apple Watch and similar smartwatches on the market.
Starting at 43:42 of the episode, Mr. Ihnatko starts talking about explaining technology to those that don’t understand it or have never used it. Here’s the best part, in my opinion:
The other analogy is the comparison to Graphical User Interfaces… You don’t realize how bad you had it until you get to try something different from [what you are used to].
-Andy Ihnatko, 45:11, MacVoices #14204: Adam Engst, Andy Ihnatko and Jason Snell on The Pebble and the Smartwatch Future
I find that this resonated with me because I was the person in my family and group of friends who was considered an early adopter and the question is always, “You have X, why do you need Y?” This question will undoubtedly come up again with the discussion of smartwatches. Why do you need a smartwatch when you have a phone, fitness tracker, normal watch, etc.? My answer is always contingent on the person asking the question understanding the capabilities of the device in question and/or the intricacies of the greater technological landscape in which this device finds itself.
Moving forward, my answer for technologies in their mass market infancy should probably be, “I’ll let you know when I have one.”
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.