Commentary: What Are You Full of This Holiday Season?
For those of us without willpower, the last few months
of the year are a constant source of dread. It’s not the
stress of Christmas shopping or preparing for visits
from extended family; it’s that once a month, you’ll probably
stuff yourself to the point of discomfort, whether it’s
a Thanksgiving dinner, a buffet of Christmas desserts
or an unhealthy amount of Halloween candy.
But as 2012 inches to a close, there are a few things I’m already full of as a writer in the tech industry. Many stories, companies or topics exhausted their welcome on my news feed, and I wouldn’t mind if they decided to take an extended vacation during the holiday season (and maybe even longer). Here are a few things I’m full of:
The Facebook IPO
Facebook’s huge initial public offering was a watershed moment for the Web that solidified social media as a major economic player. And when the stock eventually tanked, it became irrefutable proof that it still wasn’t mature enough to be taken seriously and that Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie was somehow to blame. More likely, it’s just adjusting to a more reasonable price after an outrageously overhyped IPO and things will probably be OK.
Nothing has made me want to take to the streets in protest more than the never-ending patent conflicts between mobile hardware manufacturers, most of which were lobbied by the industry’s leading brand, Apple. These tiring displays of legal bombast, and the media coverage they receive, often seem to last longer than the shelf lives of the products they’re arguing about in the first place and undermine the actually important intellectual property issues taking place.
It’s impossible to escape Google on the Web today, and it’s just a fact we’ve all come to (begrudgingly) accept. But can’t the company be satisfied with being the biggest name in search, advertising, email and operating systems? And does Google really need to keep hyping and integrating its lackluster social network into everything? It’s insistence on making Google+ a thing that people have to do for a complete “Google experience” is a nice metaphor for the company trying to shoehorn Internet users into all of its services as it forces its way into our lives with every new product it decides to offer.
I love infographics as much as the next guy and a good one can make researching and writing about complex information much easier. Still, we don’t need an infographic for each study or survey conducted by every marketing firm out there. Maybe we should limit infographic usage to data that will be enhanced by the format, rather than just because, “Hey, why not?”
Lately, there has been some drama around the issue of
hiring “millennials” (those born between 1976-2001) —
specifically fresh college graduates. Some said they were
too immature to be trusted with crucial low-level roles
in corporate business structures, while other said that
was probably true, but that hiring millennials was essential
for managers looking to prepare their companies
for the new business practices that will inevitably be
ushered in by these young, enthusiastic go-getters. And
I have to agree. Lay off us, why don’t ya?
To say that these topics are often overexposed doesn’t mean that they’re not important; in fact, they’re all very significant for Web professionals. But maybe, rather than constantly revisiting the same topics, we take a more balanced approach to selecting what’s “important” to write about so that we can help all kinds of Web workers without over-saturating, and thus undervaluing, things that have already been covered sufficiently.