This is sort of a customer appreciation piece. But not that type business to consumer. More like consumer to consumer. Everyone is a consumer at some point.
There is an incredible resource out there. It is not armed with gadgetry or 800 numbers, or high tech customer service centers — though many companies may have them.
No, I’m talking about the power in consumers, a knowledge base as a source for information. Face it, these days it is all about information. And with do it yourselfers it is no different. They need information too.
So the thing works like this: something breaks or you run into a problem and where is the first place everyone goes? That’s right, it all starts with a search on-line. Some people have gotten really good at it by putting the problem they are having into the search, or some people just put the product or thing in the search, and away they go on a mini-adventure. Sometimes it takes minutes, sometimes hours of research on a problem device or product.
But the great thing is there is a small army out there of people who help other people. It sort of restores your belief that there are good people out there who care and who aren’t taking advantage of people And it proves there are still plenty of honest people. The thing is these people often don’t have any ulterior interest other than helping other people solve or avoid a problem. All one has to do is access it, stumble on it or find it.
It is a resource within the resource of the internet. No the internet itself cannot answer all your questions, but people can and do all the time. For instance, product reviews are a helpful place for particular products. There is also an increasingly mountain of information besides that out there. All you have to do is find it, tap into it and read.
Okay, am I over glorifying the whole thing? I don’t think so. I only know what I have come across. So the real information is often not on store or manufacturer’s pages but from people out there like users and consumers. They more often than not have also been through a similar experience as yours and feel compelled to help you shorten an unpleasant experience, turning their bad into your good.
Funny how all the credit seems to be given to the wild, endless internet when in reality it is often the people behind or on the internet that make the difference. No, the internet cannot solve problems all by itself. That ability relies on people putting information on it. The internet is only as good as what is put on it.
For instance, you want to do an ancestor search. There are no guarantees the information you want is on the internet or available. It all depends (or mostly) on what other people such as professionals and users have decided to put on the internet. So the function and utility of the internet depends on people to make it useful.
I used to mock people when Twitter first started. They would put the most mundane stuff out there about what they were doing or where they were going. I said who are these people and who are they talking to? Almost like they were creating a diary on line.
I thought what a strange concept in culture. People wanted to publicize everything for whatever reasons those were, and some of those could require psychological analysis. Things settled down the more it was used. Emphasis shifted to the tool it can be, rather than simply a digital public diary.
Like every new technology, Twitter evolved into an entity of its own. Businesses use it, people use it and political activists and politicians use it. But when Donald Trump used it, “Holy cow, Houston we have a problem!!!”
They said, “whoa, maybe this is too much, how about we back off on Twitter? He needs to put the Twitter down.” It was only too much when Trump used it to his advantage. But Obama used My Space and Facebook. It turns out to be a highly personal thing; it’s how you use it that matters. You want some sense of consensus on something, look on Twitter.
Elementary my dear Watson.
It is not so different in all other areas of the internet. It is not about the apps though they are helpful. It is also about the people out there using the internet, and they will find lots of creative ways to use it because, after all, that is what we do. So the people are the engine of innovation. It is not just happening in tech laboratories.
Remember how Microsoft used to just dump its operating systems out there, every so often? Then let all the bugs and issues be found and put out patches and updates. Maybe that was not their intention but what happened. Imagine if you put a car out like that or a washing machine? “We will fix the issues and problems later as we find them.” They took advantage of the massive public rollout and their vast number of users out there.
Then when Microsoft decides to render something obsolete, they stop updating anything and say they no longer are supporting this system. Well, but you made it. They tell you we cannot possibly keep updating every old system. Enter the masses of consumers that through networking and other routes find fixes or work arounds for issues. Oh, those under appreciated consumers.
Those are some examples of the internet. There are plenty in other areas, almost in every category there are users and consumers who go the extra step. Someone does something because it needs to be done. Necessity is the mother of invention.
The same holds among DIYers. People do and then share that information. If one person was helped by it then technically it is a success and worth the effort someone made. And it is not really all about likes or views. From appliance repairs to Youtube help videos.
You are not alone either at home or online. There is information to be had sometimes a click away. All done because people care. Hats off to the underappreciated consumers.
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