Sympathy is what we need?

As I come back from a most wonderful week in Crete I find the world is much as I left it – Rush fans are still avidly awaiting the next output while complaining that its a rip-off, Software as a Service is still going to raze all previous models to?the ground and someone’s taken the pile of gravel on Freecycle. There’s no doubt still dubious goings on, on Second Life and the earth is still warming up. There was a very interesting Panorama programme on the latter last night, on the Beeb, and one remark caught my ears – that US government officials had been “actively seeking influential people with a sympathetic view” (or words to that effect) to the government’s perspective.

This idea – or at least, its statement – left me a bit cold to say the least. Influencers have opinions of course, and are individuals that will have sympathy to one perspective or another. A cursory glance over the output of some of my IT analyst colleagues,?competitors and other influencers shows that some write about one company more than the rest, some favour small innovators over?the big guys, some think one model of software delivery (SaaS, open source, etc) will “win” or at least is more interesting than the traditional models. The oft-asked question, “Do you follow market X” could be interpreted as meaning “Are you sympathetic to market X,” as if not, why bother – so we end up with the potential for bias, just by standing still.

Overall, perhaps, any bias irons itself out if one is broad enough in seeking opinions, but lets face it, its not in the vendors interests to “go broad”. With the influx of blogging as well, opinions are often seen through the filter of bloggers, who will tend to favour – err – blogging and?the Web 2.0 gamut over past and parallel technologies. Not necessarily wrong – just – incomplete. No doubt I’m as guilty as the rest about this, but its definitely one to watch for, and to keep in check. Meanwhile, the great thing about MWD and its IT-business alignmant mantra, is that it sets a framework for allocating and measuring sympathy – according to business value. As I come back from hols I set the following goal for myself: I can keep my favourites, but when I talk about them I shall endeavour to do so from the perspective of business value.

Even if voice recognition is the killer app for handheld devices, whatever the naysayers may think?( 🙂 you heard it here first), it’ll have to be useful and usable to end-users first.

Sympathy is what we need?

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