Brittany Hansen - Manifesto

1. Technology should be designed to allow for seamless integration from an older version to the next generation.
This idea would allow for better communication. It would eliminate the problem and expense of buying a new version of software. A person with the newer version can continue to communicate with the person with the older software. As an example, a word document from a Windows Vista program cannot be emailed and downloaded for printing on a Windows 2000 system.

I’ve adopted this idea because I believe companies in the ever changing world of technology should have the philosophy of working with their current users and not in effect forcing people to buy the latest system, not because they want to, but because they have to.

If others adopted this principle, I don’t believe it would slow down the rate of change but would allow less sophisticated users of technology to continue to participate in the world of technology. There would be savings and more choices for the users. They could choose to upgrade their equipment or if they are happy with its performance, just keep it.

The reader should consider this principle for inclusion in the final manifesto because everyone who uses a computer or cell phone has experienced this process. Going forward, this process is only going to get faster and faster. There will be more changes, and as the old technology lags, the newer will be more expensive but it will be required because it is designed obsolescence. It is designed not to be compatible with the earlier version.

Source: Rosalie Wind’s Considered Reply, 1st reply, 27 March 2011

2. Libraries should let you scan the barcodes of a book and allow it to download to your personal Nook or Kindle or even your home computer.
This idea would be advantageous to both the county libraries and its patrons. It would save money for the county and the county would not have to buy as many copies of the hardback version. They could contract with the publisher for a certain number of downloads; while at the same time, they could still offer hardbacks for the people who enjoy the feel of a book. There would be no problem getting a book that might be at a different branch that has to be delivered to another branch. It would be a convenience to the patron since they wouldn’t have to return to the library to turn in the book when it is due. Another benefit to the library is that they wouldn’t have to track overdue books.

For the library patrons, this type of technology would allow a person to have easy access to the book they need for class. There wouldn’t be the worry of not having a copy available at the library. There would be no late fees, since the library would just cut off the access on the time limit. At the end of the checkout period, the book would automatically be deleted from your Kindle or home computer.

I adopted this principle because I view it as a situation where technology adds a positive aspect to borrowing a book from the library. I suppose there are some negative aspects to this, perhaps some glitch where you can’t access the book, but overall, it seems that it could be a painless process.

If others adopted this principle, I believe there would be a widespread acceptance and counties across the country would start offering digital access to their collections. As the practice became more commonplace, the libraries would demand more and the publishers would have to come up with new ways to make money from library sales.

This should be considered for the final manifesto because I believe that this is a technology that is already gaining acceptance from avid readers. It should allow local governments to save money and contain costs (no replacements for worn out copies) and I believe everyone has had the experience of going to the library to get a book that is required reading (especially in high school) and finding that all the copies are checked out. This technology solves that problem.

Source: A Digital Library Better Than Google's by Robert Darnton, March 23, 2011, New York Times

The Shallows by Nicholas Carr, “The Very Image of a Book” p.99.

“No Sharing Allowed: Amazon and book publishers' stupid attempts to curtail e-book lending.”
Farhad Manjoo, March 22, 2011, Slate

3. Direct TV should allow the user to package their own channels.
I’ve adopted this principle because as a subscriber to Direct TV (the same holds true for cable or Dish Network), the customer has to buy a package of channels for which they pay a monthly service fee. The packages are put together by the cable or satellite company. Usually there are different levels of fees based upon the number and types of channels available under each package. The TV packages could be designed to allow the user to put together their own package. The companies could still offer different levels of packages by offering more selections. The value to the client would be that they could pay for channels they want and not have to pay for broadcasts they don’t watch. This would also make the cable channels themselves more accountable for what they put on the air as the individual user would determine how popular a channel is, not the provider.

If others adopt this principle, it would give more control to the consumer. The provider would have to change his business plan, but the early adopter of this strategy would generate more business. The customer, while paying the same amounts for monthly service would feel that they at least have some control of their choices and would find value in that plan.

This should be added to our manifesto because it has universal appeal. This is a technology issue that a vast majority of people are familiar with and would probably get on board.

Source: What Technology Wants by Kevin Kelly. “Technology’s Trajectories” p. 286-287.

4. The long term side effects of Internet surfing through Google should be studied to determine the potential neurological changes to users.
I’ve adopted this principle because after reading Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, I am convinced that the internet and especially companies such as Google are changing the nature of the way people think and physically changing our brain structure. The company itself seems to be aware of the consequences of their strategy and yet they plow on. I find this similar to tobacco companies who market a product that is physically addictive, know of the adverse side effects, but do nothing about these side affects until users of their product start taking them to court for damages, namely cancer, caused by their product. Google is keenly aware of their products’ side effects but does not appear to be doing any studies other than to enhance the side effects. Users, similar to early smokers are unaware of any side effect. They are enjoying the use of the product while undergoing physical and neurological changes.

I think if others adopt this principle it would at least shine a light on a potential problem of which we might not see the end result until years down the road

I think it should be included in the final manifesto because it raises a different type of issue.
It isn’t the social or business aspect but the health aspect of living with technology.

Source: You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto, “The Most Important Thing About a Technology is how it Changes People” by Jaron Lanier
The Shallows by Nicholas Carr

5. Blogs should withstand the emergence of Twitter.
I’ve adopted this principle because in the long run I believe Twitter will lose popularity as its users become older. Communication, via the internet, has evolved from e-mails to our current crop of popular sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. There appears to be a consensus that Twitter will replace blogs as a more popular form of communication due to the inattention of young users. I think that Twitter has a limited communications role (notwithstanding the character limitations). I can see its use for bits of specific information such as sports scores or traffic updates, while blogging, however, has more substance, and depending on the subject will have a following not just of fans but of people who are seeking information and opinion. It offers more depth.

The implications, should others adopt this principle, will be the continued growth of blogs at the expense of Twitter. Perhaps Twitter will evolve into another application, but over time, it seems to serve merely as cheap entertainment for a large number of users. This does not seem to be a recipe for long-term success.

This should be considered for the manifesto because this could be a time where we can be in the middle of a technology and can be aware of it either evolving or fading away. We can test over the near term whether or not this principle is indeed true.
Source: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter, Verne G. Kopytoff, February 20, 2011, The New York Times
6. New technology should be a fixed cost without the hassle of additional charges.
I’ve adopted this principle because this seems to be the business model for all things technological. I give as examples the iPhone, television, radio and computers. To purchase an iPhone, it costs $100, which is acceptable, but the data plan associated with it runs $30/month. It is also true with television where you have to pay a monthly fee for the package of channels. Unlike in the past, you bought a TV and received, via the airwaves, limited channels, but free access to programs (lots 999of commercials but that hasn’t changed). The same is true with radio. Now, however, there is Sirius radio where you pay a monthly fee to enjoy radio in your car. The new car comes with the satellite radio as standard equipment and a free trial. Also, with the computer, you pay a monthly fee to access the internet on top of your phone service.

If more people balked at this business model, there might be a company who would take a different approach to marketing these services. You might have to pay more up front but you wouldn’t be strapped with the monthly fees and charges that go along with the ongoing use of the product.

This should be considered for the manifesto because it addresses the standard business model for all new technology and it at least raises the question, is there another way to do business in the new technology?