Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tech Writers and Editors: Quit Declaring Technologies "Dead"

Wired magazine is the worst offender. They are the ones who declared web banner adds "dead" way back when the .com bubble was still inflating. It makes a good headline, but I'm calling on everyone who writes about technology to back off on announcing the death of products, technologies, etc.

Just today I read The Mac is dead (again), pass the Cider from Ed Burnette on ZDNet. He isn't really hailing the 22nd and final death of the Macintosh but it was still annoying.

I'll write about this in more detail someday, but the fact is that technologies truly die only rarely and then quite slowly. In fact, when it really happens, we probably don't notice it. Movies, broadcast TV, vinyl records, newspapers, removable data storage media, the internal combustion engine, "fat" client PCs, the family farm (OK, that's not really a technology) and even e-mail have had their demise touted by various and sundry journalists, marketers and pundits in recent decades. None of them are gone, now will they be in your lifetime. The fact that these things are still on our radar may be all the evidence we need to know they aren't going anywhere.

More on this later. In the mean time, please don't write telling me cellular phones are dead. It will only be true of the one I bounce off of your head.

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