The generation that has been growing up was raised in a world that was radically different from the world we live in now. There is a generational shift, and we know that what we were taught is no longer true:
- We were taught to trust information from authorative sources, but we’ve learned to prefer the voices of named individuals. Be personal.
- We were taught to categorize, but we know that searching beats sorting. Don’t do the computer’s work.
- We were taught that information is scarce, but we know that the real problem is too much information, not too little. Avoid producing unneccessary information.
- We were taught that power comes from controlling information, but we know that the greatest threat to information is irrelevancy. Ease up on information security.
- We were taught to create products that everyone would want, but we know that needs are individual. Target the few.
- We were taught to guide our customers, but we know they would rather serve themselves than wait for a sales clerk. Open your tools to your users.
- We were taught to use tools that reside on our computer, but we don’t use the same computer for long and we don’t work alone. We use tools that reside on the web. Be available everywhere.
- We were taught that your value is determined by what you have, but we’ve learned that your value is determined by what you give away. Share your knowledge.
- We were taught to read the instruction manual, but we know we learn by playing with new tools and toys. Support exploration.
- We were taught that good information has a price, but we know that only information that is totally free participate in the network of knowledge. Free your information.
- We were taught to spend our time on useful things, but we don’t bother unless it is also fun. Earn our attention.
If you didn’t already know these things, and you feel you’re living in a world you no longer understand, this is why: You are not a digital native.
A big “thank you” to my colleagues Harald, Trond, Mona, Eli, and Jan Helge for feedback on the draft of this article.
Copyright © 2009 Johannes Brodwall. All Rights Reserved.