Digitizing Everything`

Right from the start, this reading made some great points. For example, the idea that word of mouth is one of the best advertising strategies. You can advertise as much as you want and spend as much money as you want, but people trust their friends and family. If someone they trust recommends a service or experience, they’re more likely to buy into it. That’s something to keep in mind for IM, but also in whatever I do in the future, with my career, with SIG events, with everything, really.

It was funny reading about Waze, because I use Waze when I’m home and my mom absolutely hates it. I find it really useful. It keeps me really focused on the road, especially when I hear “object in the road ahead” or “heavy traffic in 2 miles”. But my mom finds it so distracting. She doesn’t trust what it’s saying so she tends to overthink what she should do. Instead of slowing down and paying more attention to what could be on the road, she panics and stops thinking. It’s interesting how the same app can cause such different reactions in people.

But in its function, one of the coolest things for me is that, yes, it does follow set traffic patterns, speed limits, and general data inputs, but then it also grows in efficiency as more people use it and add information in the moment. This is one of the most fascinting subjects to me, this user-generated content, because it really stimulates this need for interaction between humans that the reading points out. While the reading focuses on Wikipedia, I find its application in Waze to be even cooler. Frustrated drivers and passengers sitting in traffic, logging in that they’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And then that sets off a little signal to all of the Waze users that there’s heavy traffic up a few miles, or the route redirects. It’s an incredible feeling of “well I’m suffering in this traffic, but I’m helping the people behind me”.

On another note, I found a connection with the idea that information used to be very costly to produce, but easy and cheap to reproduce. I feel like we’re starting to experience this with our processing sketches. We have to take the time to create the classes and functions, but once we do, we can easily reproduce them with almost no time.

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