Monday, June 1, 2009

Age of Mediocres

Why is twitter such a huge success? And why Wolfram Alpha will never make it big?

The answer is simple. We are now living in the age of mediocres. Even when it comes to the tech-savvy elite.

Now I am not dissing the genious that has gone into the creation of this so-called social network. But seriously whats the science behind building a tool that simply shows what a person is doing? You can't derive any intelligence from it. You can't do any social network analysis using its relationships since these  unapproved relationships mean nothing.  Sure you are able to search real-time data which is cool but tell me is there any such thing as real-time wisdom. Isn't it like searching for Shakespeare's sonnet in the text typed by infinite monkeys?

I know I am missing the social aspect of it but tell me where is the technological innovation.

And so it seems is the technological trend these days. Making ordinary things that reach out to a million consumers. All the technology then goes into the various aspects of handling those million consumers. Gone are the days when science used to stun the humankind with its novelty. Now nobody wants to go where no one has gone before.

So whats the downside? Nothing really. Except that in all that myriad of applications, little innovative pieces can get lost very easily. I personally like the idea behind Wolfram Alpha. But will they reach out to a million people the way google did? I guess not. Its hard to find a million people in the universe who are intereseted in .. lets say mathematical equations. So despite the great innovation the site will not get the attention that Twitter seems to be getting. And thats unfortunate.

It may be that the last century of brilliant scientific discoveries has set the bar so high that its impossible to cross it by the relatively young computer sciences. Or it may be that we have again reached a point where there is nothing left to surprise the world. Or most likely we are truely living in an age of mediocres.

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