Saturday, February 14, 2009

Remember when they told you to...

...not trust everything you read? Well, here's reason #312 to listen to that advice.

(Don't worry, the irony of me writing down the words telling you not to trust everything you read is not lost on me.)

I had the pleasure of being in the audience for a keynote address by David Pogue at the ASTD conference I went to about two weeks ago. David is a dynamic speaker and I'd recommend taking some time to hear him if you ever get the chance. This is one session you don't want to skip in favor of the buffet line. (Don't worry, we all know that we all do it.) After the conference I made it a point to add David's blog to my reader. I'm glad I did. One of the things he brought up in his keynote was the double edged sword that Web 2.0 can be. Although we all love the fact that any of us can become creators of web content now (um, I am writing on my blog at the moment aren't I?) we should all become far more cognizant of the same fact - ANYONE can create web content!!!!

Have you ever gone shopping online and found that new gadget you thought was cool but wanted to see what other folks thought about it first? You inevitably scroll down the page and begin to read the customer reviews that most shopping sites have now but some sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble have had for a long time. Have you ever wondered how there might be such divergent views on the same product? Some guy from Sheboygan claims the gadget is the best thing since bread (forget about the sliced part) but some soccer mom in Cleveland wrote about the thing blowing up in her kitchen. Then, there are the comments that sound too much like an advertisement of some kind. Have you ever seen those? I wish I had time or a production staff to go find some examples, but I'm lazy and tired. Sorry.

Best I could come up with is this one. Is it real? How can we tell?

I wanted to point to two recent posts by Mr. Pogue that deal with this issue - the same one he brought up in his address. It is very vindicating that I haven't been going crazy these last few years as I've been reading those comments with a healthy dose of suspicion .

The moral of the story is - beware what you read. Just 'cause it's printed don't mean it's worthy of your trust.


Anonymous said...

Hello. I hope you read this comment. This is one of your former students, Malcolm Taylor. I know you no longer work for the school system so the email address I have is invalid. If you could email me that would be great. I have some great news to tell you. Hope to hear from you soon.

Kiwanji said...


Very cool that you found me this way.

I hope you send me your email address, I'd love to hear from you! Drop me a line at kiwanji at hotmail dot com