Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Wages of Hype, cont. 

Remember when cities were going to install WiFi to give citizens access to the internet on every street corner and park bench? It didn't turn out that way. Once again, hype got in front of the practicality of getting the job done. Now with the the imminent arrival of Wimax, a much faster technology with a larger footprint, there probably isn't much need for WiFi anyway.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the failure of cities to get themselves connected, but in this case, failure has proven to be an advantage. Still, municipal authorities, companies that claimed far too much and complicit media all can take the blame for letting hype get in the way of facts. I'm sure there were a few PR practitioners in this mix as well. The lesson here is that conservatism is key in talking about new technology. Concentrate on what is and not the promise. That is hard to do when dreams of progress are dancing in the heads of authorities, but it is safer in the long run.


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