Sometimes a phrase just leaps out at you. I was reading a thought-provoking piece on ReadWriteWeb, about whether technology complicates or simplifies our lives, and was struck by the phrase, “the encumbrance of over-choice.” It comes from Richard Szafranski, Partner at Toffler Associates, and I hope he’ll forgive me for stealing it for this post’s title. Szafranski stated it as he participated in an Economist/Oxford 2.0 debate over the following premise: if the promise of technology is to simplify our lives, it is failing. The public isn’t with him on this at the moment, with 64% of voters siding with simplification. The phrase struck a chord with me, though, as it nails precisely what I’ve been trying to put a finger on for several weeks. Where does my social graph end?
Until a couple of months ago, I had admittedly only dipped a toe into the morass of social innovations now available. Screening companies for DEMO and providing analysis to The Guidewire Report monopolizes my time and I tended to try out a service for a week or two, only to leave my profile languishing afterward. But as I wade deeper into emerging tech and blogging – and present myself as an expert on startups – I’d be remiss not to immerse myself fully into key services. So I’ve dove headfirst into FriendFeed and Twitter, Twine and PlaxoPulse, Persai and YouNoodle, Facebook and LinkedIn, and some 10-15 others I won’t assault you with. The problem isn’t that these services are faulty. It’s the exact opposite – I’m loving them. Read the rest of this entry »