Two weekends ago, I went on a little trip with some of my old buddies who I rarely see any more. We caught up on a lot of things, including what I had been up to with TECHNOSIGHT. Yes, the geek jokes flowed but they also were really interested to learn more about blogs, podcasts, and RSS.
This will be a learning experience for anyone reading this. I think it will also be a revealing lesson in capturing my own thoughts and concerns. I study foreign affairs and work with many men and women who have made it a career. The broader question is “do I actually care about all this?” Is it a thought experiment or something that captures my own heart when I write about war crimes or global inequity? I honestly don’t know the answer but I’m hoping to move just a bit closer by sharing my thoughts with you.
The reason I mention Steve is because he is not a super techy guy. In fact, many of my readers won’t necessarily be interested in what he wants to write about – foreign affairs. But I’m psyched that he’s up and running. We don’t need more tech blogs out there, we need more voices like Steve’s. We need people who will social bookmarking links that aren’t related to AJAX or Ruby on Rails. It’s only then that Web 2.0 technologies will truly move into the mainstream. It’s only then that Web 2.0 will become legitimized. It’s only then that there will be a much richer web, one that is much more useful to those outside tech circles.
After Steve’s first post, he asked me how to use RSS, so I directed him to my RSS lens on Squidoo. Hours later and independent of me, Steve had created his own lens on Foreign Affairs (he created a subsequent lens the next day).
I find two things encouraging: 1) Squidoo was easy enough for him to create lens without my assistance. 2) I think it is a good sign that his lens are already doing better than mine. After all, using technology to talk about blogs and RSS is sort of paradoxical.
What’s the moral of the story (as if there are morals in the world of Web 2.0)? It’s time we stop fawning over ‘the next big thing’ and really start focusing on educating people about the great stuff already available on the web. Don’t presume that your friends and family know what podcasting is – my experience has taught me they don’t. Don’t presume that they know about a better browser – as I walked a friend through Firefox yesterday, he was absolutely enthralled.
People are hungry for new things on the web. Let’s share the wealth. Go empower a Steve 2.0 of your own.