Thursday, February 02, 2012

Who gives a flying zuck?

On the front page of Hacker News today there's a story with > 50 points entitled Did Mark Zuckerberg just accidentally leak the new newsfeed design?. To which my immediate reaction was to turn into DHH and exclaim "who gives a flying zuck"?

Seriously people, this is what's worth thinking about? A grainy photograph of a Facebook page that might be a bit different (not radically), but a bit different from the current design. To worry about that brings you down to obsessive day time soap opera fan level. Ooh, has Jill Foster Abbott had a nose job for the new season?!?

You're obsessing about a web site! Just a web site that provides a somewhat mundane service of allowing people to communicate with each other.

The only 'detail' in the whole thing is speculation that because a text box appears to be longer in the new version than the old that it might mean that Facebook is going to introduce some sort of search functionality. Wow. Amazing.

There's a reason I closed my Facebook, LinkedIn and G+ accounts. It's far too easy to end up in a Silicon Valley navel gazing exercise where all that seems to matter is tiny deltas to existing sites. You can spend your entire life updating your status and reading through other people's statuses (an exercise which I believe is almost without any personal benefit), building a 'network' of 'friends' and participating in Internet-powered groupthink.

If you want to have innovative, original thoughts you need to step away from the status quo and think broadly. Examining tiny changes like this one only serves to train the mind to do almost nothing.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, you might enjoy my travel book for people interested in science and technology: The Geek Atlas. Signed copies of The Geek Atlas are available.

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