I start this post with (a) an unsure direction where it is going and (b) I am 100% guilty of what I am about to describe.
As we perhaps begin to unravel the implications of living in a networked world of connections through technology, devices, networks, there is no escaping the reality that we still access that through the singular focus of our own eyes, views, experiences.
I observe, and see myself doing this thing of extrapolating my own singular experiences to some projection on others. Often this is expressed online as “_________ SUCKS!”.
I;ve seen this in my work on the 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story — I included tools I was able to use and create with, some better than others. A few that did not work for me ended up in the cutting room floor. Yet, I’ve had colleagues look at and try some of the tools, and have different experience- be it temporary site fluke, or just a miscue, or just luck of the bad draw, but the tool does not work for them the way it did for me- so the summary is “Tool XXXX Sucks”.
Recently I had troubles myself recently using iTunes, Nike+, etc sites where the results are some level of frustration with the experience, and the natural inclination is to say, ‘iTunes sucks” “Nike is the worse designed web site ever” (I think my twitter message mentioned :”designed by drunk squirrels”.
How often do we extend our own experiences as universal statements for all? Can we really extract our own experiences to others?
A one time event driven venting is easily recognized, but in our roles as educational technologists in trying to be able to recommend technologies, I wonder how often we recognize that our singular experiences (good or bad) may not be a virtue (or failure) or a product, but just what was a specific experience?
That’s where the value (or mine field) is of aggregating experiences- like in product reviews, but then again, that grows dizzying as you see how wide the experiences can range. What do you make of reviews in an iPhone app that vary like (click for full view):
Which person concludes and tells other that “this app sucks”?
Here is the end of the post, and still not clear of where it was going. I’d like to suggest, and out into my own practice, some more consideration that my positive/negative experience likely does not map to everyone else’s- it’s a complex world out there.