I find that there is a lack of original content that is published out via different social and traditional information outlets. Not that there is a large amount of plagiarism… I am not saying that at all, there are just many similar articles on the same subject. If you look at your different information sources you will see different trends that permeate your feed of news that are the same content. Often these things are later considered trends when we look back at them and it is always interesting to see which things catch on to become popular.
Outside of the world of technology, one example is the importance of Vitamin D and the fact that we are all likely deficient… many news reports come in, then the articles flood in, then the books, then your doctor is screening you for Vitamin D deficiency and on and on. It is interesting to see what new thing catches on. Have you eaten avocado toast lately? That is another item that caught on and you hear about it everywhere. I am not saying these things are bad ideas at all, it is just interesting how much you hear about certain things from multiple sources that they become trends or are viral. But when everyone is writing about and reporting about the same things it will often drown out other important things that we should be hearing about or considering.
In technology there is also the same phenomenon where we lack original content for things and have a slew of copycat articles. The same ideas will be restated and propagated until you keep seeing the “same” information over and over. It is most often not an outright carbon copy of the same information, it is eloquently restated, decorated with a peppering of additional facts and a fresh new cover picture is hung with care on the top of the digital article. Then we keep reading the same content in articles and then we will often taylor our searches to support and find out more about this thing we keep hearing about… because it must be the “new hotness” that we should be doing in our technical jobs.
Time passes and you are now converted over to the new technology and you are now it’s biggest advocate because the buzz and trend have won you over. If the majority of the articles from the authors you trust are all advocating it… it must be the answer to ALL of your technical problems. That is when the lack of original content might become a problem and begins to become noise. If all the articles point to this new solution… then all of your problems WILL be solved by this new technology that absolutely “everyone you know” is talking about. Then a technical following become an almost religious following. What about the new ideas?
It will take some time but you will begin to see some people speak out about the once very popular technology and the fact it does not solve EVERY problem. Then the public emotional and religious debates begin in an open war that is not usually based on any fact just human bias. The people that use last year’s technology are viewed as falling behind and “just don’t get it”. The tribe of technology current marches on and continue to advocate its use for everything, including things it was not intended for. Then more cracks start to show in this new technology over time and as more people gain a deeper understanding… they become a bit disappointed with their shiny new toy that is beginning to dull. Then the battles still rage with the “old” technology guys and the new as these flaws become points of attack. The zealous recent converts continue to defend and battle with whomever challenges them… but they do begin to see the problems with their technology. What next?
Suddenly the tech world begins to buzz again… a new competitor in the space to solve ALL the problems that the previous one did not solve. Then starts the growing wave of the media machine to wash over us and begin to convert the “old” guys or to drown them. Hurray to the new technology that we can run from the old problems to be saved! Now, the even “newer hotness” followers can poke fun at the previous users of last months technology because you know…. they just don’t get it.
The point is, search out original content and find your own solutions to things. There is always some good in social trends and technical trends but they are never the solution to EVERYTHING. Do not alienate people that solve problems in other ways because they do not utilize the same methods or tools as you. Every technology is terrible is some way. Just because trusted peers solve their problems in a certain way, does not mean you have the same problems and need to do it the same way. Cling to original thought. Most importantly look at your own issues and cling to your own original thought to solve your own problems. Block out the noise in the world and find the signal of original content to make your own decisions for what solutions are the best to solve your problems.