Since early October I've fielded at least a couple of calls a week from various PR people asking if I plan to do a year in review feature in my last issue of 2007. Even though a perverse part of me wants to ask why, I answer no and we say quick goodbyes.
I stopped entering into lengthy discussions with PRs years ago because, like salespeople and consultants in the work world and politicians and friends in your personal life, they inevitably believe they know what's better for you than you do yourself. My favourite instance was a few years back when I got a call from a PR woman, whose company I'd never heard of, who needed my delivery details so she could send me an important luxury book. I made the mistake of asking why, and while she never told me exactly what her organization did, she insisted I would understand how important the book was to my audience once I received it.
About two weeks later the luxury book arrived at the office. It was quite lovely, and it was about architecture. Go figure.
The good news was that it was big (I have a rather large coffee table in my front room and it can always use a top-up).
But back to the "year in review", or lack thereof, in this magazine. For the life of me I can't figure out why anyone in 2007 would be the least interested in a walk down memory lane. Is this not, after all, the era of multi-channel, real-time information? The Internet has made us consumers of immediacy; news is old at the 15-minute mark. Moreover, in this increasingly mature industry, what notable events are there to reminisce about? That a handful of mega IT vendors bought two handfuls of mid-size vendors? Oh yeah, and Vista was finally released.
I think the year in review mentality is one indicator of the confusion that exists in reporting on IT today. I see too many stories about music downloads, Facebook, MySpace and Second Life in IT publications. I see too many attempts to put the square peg of Web 2.0 into the round hole of enterprise IT. Almost a decade ago, the IT press put the dotcom phenomenon squarely in the court of IT and look where it got us: tarred with a brush that we never deserved.
We are flying way too close to that flame again. Go figure.
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