Friday, June 30, 2006

old vs. new

I'm not in the same boat as this guy, but I see both sides. Long ago I realized that I had an advantage over the present MySpace crowd. I was older, and I understood the cultural, technical, and consumeristic phenomenons that produced such massive networks of users (my space, WoW, flickr, technorati) but I wasn't a thriving, blogging idiot. Then I became one. I bought $my, I joined slashdot, and post frequently. I moved up to moderator on a board where my professional exams are discussed, and finally, I started this stupid journal.

Well, it's good to share, but there is something about it where we aren't keeping anything to ourselves any more. This is fantastic when we want to gripe about our cell phone contracts, share a tidbit about how to fix my DVD player, get the episode of the Sopranos that I missed, or find a job. But, don't we need a middleman sometimes? We are specialized people, and I want my wedding to be individual. If I could afford it, I would hand it over to a professional. I don't want to download the weddingMaker flash applet and let them fill in the blanks. It's not how I want social networking to affect me. My job is to assist owners of homes with renovations, but in more and more cases, the client comes in with a computer model of their own. This used to be the clear qualification, if one were to draw a constructable building, they needed to be able to operate the software.

Well, it is really only a matter of time before there is a virtual architect that does it for you. We send more and more faxes (yes, the paper kind) directly to the client for approval. It is likely that they are able to understand what they are looking at, and capable of responding. It's not that my job doesn't pay, it's that it is no longer respected/appreciated/revered/delegated to, or whatever word you want to hear.

Oh, and there are more architects every day. Older professionals aren't used to giving way to others knowledgeable about the craft, but we aren't really different than doctors who won't transfer a chart or lawyer who shreds important documents before a trial.

I am concerned that the social network that takes advantage of sharing information (effectively turning every transaction into a us and them) has the ability to reinvent the profession into a consultant role, tapping into knowledge rather than our current state of document-tender. Perhaps this is a better system, maybe not. Can you live with it?