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The Trouble With Technology

It’s my job to stay on top of the latest tech trends — because, in addition to producing Growing Bolder, I actually appear in the episodes as the Tech Minute reporter. Recognize me?

It’s one of my favorite things to play with research, because technology is designed to make our lives more efficient and more fun! I get to test out everything from email tools to Twitter apps to mobile phones and more. Then, I try and figure out what topics might be most interesting to you — my beloved viewers — and how I can boil them down into :60 videos.

For example, this season I talk about:

The whole process is complicated by the fact that when I pick the topics, I need to look into my crystal ball and predict which ones will still be hot in the years ahead (PBS stations can repeat our program for years!) and try and avoid those that might crumble or undergo drastic changes.

A good example is Google Wave. Google Wave stormed the technology scene as a tool that allowed people from anywhere in the world to share editing access to one document — it basically became a real-time bucket for people to add to. In breaking news coverage, Waves allowed newsrooms to get eyewitnesses and people close to the story the ability to add pictures, videos and notes. For businesses, Waves allowed employees to go to one Internet page for collaborations.

Right after we completed our Google Wave video and sent the episode to PBS stations, Google announced some major changes for the product. Our video is still accurate, but had I known about the changes to come, I might have approached the topic differently. (Good news for Wave fans: it looks like they WILL be sticking around and even seeing some improvements soon!)

Other things that muddy the Tech Minute waters — what if I show a website and the company later changes the logo? Or improves the look of a tool? What if we stop calling it Augmented Reality and instead call it “Super Cool Stuff You Can Do With Your Phone?”

The bottom line: Technology changes, and that’s the fun. I can’t wait to bring you more Tech Minutes, tips and tricks.

Now it’s your turn — what technology do YOU want to learn more about? Leave me a comment and I’ll try and work it into a new episode of Growing Bolder!