Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Beatles, iTunes and toronto.ca

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

By now you may have heard that Apple Corps and Apple Inc have come to terms and The Beatles songs are now available on iTunes. Isn't that iWonderful?

Darryl Sterdan writing in The Toronto Sun doesn't think so. He believes the situation is "so Yesterday".  I think I would agree the group members missed an early opportunity in getting a foothold in the download community years ago, but  it's still is a big deal for them to be there.

Apple ... Apple ... toronto.ca
There are a few points from his article that triggered this post as I think about the re:Brand of toronto.ca:

(1) I make an analogy between the legal wrangles of  The Beatles Apple and Apple computers and the caution toronto.ca shows in rapid adoption of the "next big thing".  Though I'm surprised we haven't heard much mention of our being slow to adopt on our Comments Wall, we certainly get mail about it!
  • Our trouble has always been that so many users do not (or will not) update to current browsers or download plugins that allow more pizzazz in their Internet experience.  Every time we launch something that utilizes newer web features, numerous user complaints ensue. Why?  Simply because there is a strong user feeling that we should be able to offer them content that they can see - even if they happen to be living in the web equivalent of 1994 - many more people than you think refuse to upgrade with even "free" upgrades!
I think they are right to some extent.  We have an obligation to be accessible to all users and that often means staying with fading technique a while longer to ensure this access. It's real easy to say: "download another browser" but less easy for those who complain to take that as the right answer.   I could go into way more detail here but you probably get the idea.  And, if you are one of these "less inclined to update" people, no offence.

(2) By the time we do catch up, newer things are already replacing where we are. In a sense, we can never truly catch up for the reasons stated in point 1.

(3) Our use of social media is kind of like parents getting onto Facebook.
  • Sterdan mentions that having The Beatles on iTunes is like "when your mom finally discovered Facebook and started poking you. It's just sad and embarrassing for everybody concerned." But I would argue that it's only embarrassing to the immediate person and his or her friends.  Some dude across the world might find it endearing the Mom and Dad are friends with little Billy.  Who knows for sure.  The thing is, if everyone is there, you can have the engagements right? Information is power and blah blah blah. If the point is to avoid the engagements, well, there are ways to do that too. But we (toronto.ca) want to engage so you may have to put up with us in your social media world. BTW, I'm still wondering if you really would rather we stay away altogether.   

(4) Final point is that The Beatles finally got to iTunes and we'll finally get to a finished re:Brand. By that time, it will be time to start all over again.  If you've been reading the blog though, you'll know we don't really intend to stop. In fact, it's time for rebranding the re:Brand.

rebranding the re:Brand
My final post will talk about the future. Meantime, it's off to listen to The Beatles (insert appropriate song title here that further connects what I've been trying to say in this post - maybe you have a suggestion?)

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