The New Media Way – Benefits and Pitfalls

I decided a while back that do things the new media way and by that I mean that I wanted to take advantage of technologies available over the web and use applications hosted by companies such as Google and Salesforce instead of buying and installing software. I chose this route for a number of reasons:

  1. It has less impact on the environment;
  2. Saves me the hassle of going to a store and/or downloading and installing and maintaining software;
  3. Its easier to use technologies available online that to try to share Apple docs and spreadsheet applications which are (despite what the ads might) say still unreadable if the receiver has anything other than a MAC;
  4. I love the collaborative capabilities Web 2.0 brings and I am want to put them to good use;
  5. Its a less expensive option.

These are sound reasons indeed but I forgot one vital thing: when you’re reliant on the Internet to access applications, its imperative that you have a consistent and reliable connection. I use ADSL from Telus and I have to say that my Internet access regularly goes down and I have no access at all. Talk about frustrating. Because these applications run over the Internet there is no way I can work off line until the connection comes back up. Its such a drag. I’ve also experienced some difficulties using Google apps and have found that they regularly “hang” whilst trying to update, could be because they are still in beta so I am hoping that these get resolved. And finally, I worry about what happens if the companies hosting these technologies fold. No – not Google but some of the newer wiki suppliers are a concern. What happens to my documents then? Do I lose all?

Its always great to have good intentions but there will always be hurdles to get around and problems to solve on the path to fulfilling them. For now I am practicing patience and hoping that things get better – I am sure they will.

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