The need of talking about technology in a different way

One of the reasons I haven’t written much here lately is that I’m partially dissatisfied with my ‘voice’.

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20 Jun, 2012

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In truth, not only am I dissatisfied with the way I talk about technology, but also with the way others talk about it. How is this post going to continue now? Will it be a bit of a rant, uttered by the frustrated tech writer from the relative obscurity of this eternal ‘junior league’, despite his experience and the fact that he’s been doing this for many years now, certainly more than other ‘celebrity’ bloggers? Not really. In passing, though, I will say: don’t be fooled by the purported ‘democracy of the Web’. Sure, you can write and publish at your heart’s content. But when you want your voice to be heard, you’ll face the same mechanisms of the offline dimension: circles, and ‘knowing the right people’. If what you write is liked by ‘the right people’, then quality isn’t the main concern anymore. You’re in the loop, you can afford a link blog, you can afford the quip, the one-liner, even the one-worder. Does this make me angry because I’m not part of the ‘circle’? No. It does make me angry because I sense something wrong in the whole system. In the world of tech debate there shouldn’t be aristocracy, but meritocracy. It shouldn’t be a community resembling court life at Versailles during the reign of Louis XIV. Or, if you want another image, a caste system where the highest caste basically links and talks to itself.

But this brief piece is not about that. That is what I feel to be the background, the general atmosphere. This is about my dissatisfaction with the way I’ve been talking about technology so far. I still hold some values dear: that a long, quality article is better than a series of quick links posted just to keep the RSS feed alive and increase pageviews; that it’s not mandatory to talk about what everyone else is talking about at the moment; that it’s important to know what you’re talking about and to check your facts (stating the obvious here, you say? — Don’t get me started); that one should write only when he/she has really something to say, that it’s not mandatory to have an opinion on all things tech.

Still, despite having these values always clear before me, despite always striving for quality and originality, I feel I haven’t been writing at my best. I’ve been feeling that my ‘voice’ could be stronger and even more unique. I’ve been feeling I could do more here. This realisation has recently come to me by taking a look at my more creative writing (the Minigrooves project, and other things I haven’t published online). I think my tech writing has been dull in comparison. Stylistically, it’s understandable: writing a short fictional story is quite different from writing about a tech product or analysing a trend or particular phenomenon. But if one’s not careful enough, the risk is talking about technology like everyone else. Following other people’s patterns and examples can help at first, but if you keep doing it indefinitely, you’ll literally disappear in other people’s shadow. And I don’t want this. I’m inaugurating a new experimental phase of my writing here which I hope it’ll lead to a better place. Thank you in advance to everyone who keeps following. I really appreciate the audience I’ve gained so far.

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