Small Business Susan

How do you get your information?

My Dad called yesterday after reading a blog about the fact that they are selling MINI’s so fast that they only have about a day’s worth of inventory otherwise you need to order a car http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/22/no-new-minis-for-08-manufacturers-tapped-dealers-sold-out/  Which, IMHO as this blog post attests to (http://www.jwardell.com/mini/2006/10/05/tracking-an-ordered-mini/) , I think it’s way more fun to track the progress of the automobile in route.


As newspapers are indicating that they are having to change to compete, when even my Dad now has an Auto blog that he’s following, you can tell this is a changing world in how we get our information. 


Not to mention… a newspaper article comparing the driving of a go-kart against a MINI just doesn’t have the same impact as when you see the visual: http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/22/video-mini-clubman-vs-go-kart 



But for all that visual, is the Internet damaging our reading comprehension?  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/books/27reading.html?_r=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin  I think it is.  I think some of our technology frustrations these days is increased by the fact that we don’t read like we used to.  As someone said, the last time they had really good sales from a Technology book was back in the Windows 98 era.  Now we google and expect quick fixes. 


If you have kids do you monitor and limit their time on the web?  Do you take the time (especially this year with all the new products) to devote time to read?  What’s the last good book you read? 


 



2 comments ↓

  • #   Evan on 07.27.08 at 10:47 pm     

    As an opening note, I would observe that reading text on the Internet isn’t a lot different from reading a book. Books and periodicals aren’t somehow more “legitimate” to me than something I read on the Internet, insofar as being reading material. Obviously, an informed reader takes writing on the Internet, from a factual standpoint, with a grain of salt, but I’m not talking about the quality of the information– just the nature of the medium. Reading words on a screen is reading, just like reading works from paper is.

    Having said that, I read for work and pleasure daily, both from the Internet, and from books and periodicals. (Last good book… hmm. I just re-read ‘The Cuckoo’s Egg’, and I finished a devilishly funny Roald Dahl collection.) I don’t have kids, so I can’t comment on monitoring / limiting them. My naive opinion, at this point, is that I’d much rather have a young kid spending time playing outside, reading books, and using a non-networked computer for pleasure than “surfing the web”. Perhaps that’s because that’s how I started using computers (and in 1985 there wasn’t a “the web” to “surf”). We’ll see how / if that changes, should my child-having situation change.

    I don’t think “our” collective reading comprehension was is that great to start with. I’m sure that the number of “average Joe” users on the Internet has long overtaken the original Internet user base of academic, military, and corporate users. As such, I’m sure that the Internet’s aggregate reading comprehension level is approaching that of mainstream society, which sucks. (The “Ouch, My Balls” future of the movie “Idiocracy” seems closer and closer every day, if not here already…)

    re: getting my information

    I don’t buy “applied technology” books. I’m talking about things like “Using Microsoft Windows Small Business Server”, or “Mastering Microsoft Exchange Server 2007″. There’s nothing that this kind of book can tell me that I can’t learn either from the help included with a product, the manufacturer’s web site, third-party web sites, and the hard-knocks of actually using with the product.

    I don’t lump books about concepts (algorithms, innards of protocols, case studies) into the “technology”. Books like “Code Complete”, “TCP/IP Illustrated”, or “Database Design for Mere Mortals” are the kinds of things I’m talking about– long on conceptual knowledge, but short on “rubber meets the road” details that will quickly become dated and useless as new versions of products are released.


  • #   HandyAndy on 07.28.08 at 11:50 am     

    I suppose you mean cover to cover.
    Well then it was Introducing Windows Server 2008 by Mitch Tulloch, Microsoft Press, which was based on Beta 3 and so is already out of date, but I am a slow reader.