Weary from IT marketing
After a long day I'm trawling through my.live.com and reading tweets and a few comments on fixing pet hardware projects and I come across a guy called Daniel Eran Dilger . Seriously, the posts and rants I found really depressing. Yes they were anti Microsoft but on further reading anti anything not Apple. Worse still I'd rather hoped I'd find some balanced commentary on some of his posts (check this long and weary post as evidence). What I found more scary than the quotes below was the fact that the comments must have been doctored to include Dan Fans.
"Despite making the vast majority of its money from hardware sales, Apple is investing heavily in shaping the future of software" (I'm not sure I believe the future of software is solely HTML 5)
"nobody's talking about how terrible Gartner is at predicting things" (I quite like Gartner and they do a pretty good job of giving advice in my experience)
"cloud services take away users' control in managing their own data" (I think this is part of the motivation - users haven't got a good track record of data management)
In relation to information doctoring, I've been talking to some of our Financial Services customers this week about the importance of intrinsic and immediate feedback. By simply not hiding issues or biases, or even comments, you can engender brand resonance and loyalty. Take First Direct for example. Well known for good customer service, on the whole, they have recently opted to use social live commentary (even bad comments) linked on their front page. If you read the comments it gives some great appraisal of where they are good and where they need some improvement.
What it says to a prospective customer is - expect nothing less than transparency. Why is it then that IT marketing is so skewed and not transparent? Would it be refreshing if you read an ad that said 'We are really great at X, not so good at Y but we are trying"?
On the topic of transparency, I've long been concerned about Google and privacy, but recently I think they are starting to do the right thing - evidenced by publishing more of what they hold about you. I would like an opt out button - across the board - regardless of time or tool. On the contrary I've been a big fan of Apple and particularly their hardware - I think competition is good and the industry needs innovation. But recent adverts do nothing but rubbish the otherwise good banter from the Mac vs PC debate. I find it all a bit dumb because a Mac is a PC; I know I use three. However after my last install I will really reconsider. I'm finding its taking too much home engineering time (or options), when often I just want it to work. Sony, HP and others are really beginning to make the Apple hardware a marginal choice. Microsoft is not immune to marketing effects - The Windows 7 Was My Idea campaign, whilst baked in some truths and learning's from Vista, has had some legitimate criticism in my opinion. The listening to our customers video does a better job of explaining I think:
And then there the plug in wars, and commentary, resulting
from Chrome Frame. Don't get me wrong, it seems like a smart move from Google but I'm pretty sure as of October 2009, the HTML 5 specification is in the "Last Call" state at the WHATWG. In other words the claims of some parties of being HTML 5 compliant are a little early (see here for latest HTML 5 changes). That and the fact that plug-ins are notorious for doing things you might not like (i.e. crash your browser) or make your sessions insecure. It is all about the development platform for me - if you can bring your favourite development platform to the web (or anything else) then that's a good thing. Applications are built faster and software doesn't, necessarily have to be duplicated. I'm just not sure the browser has to be considered a development platform (as the Google blog posting claimed).
All this marketing, spin and put me downs - I'm sure its not the only one it makes weary. The IT industry is changing, perhaps flourishing, possibilities and change are greater than ever before. I propose we stick to the possibilities rather than the problems that stem from "not built here".