back to article Wake up, grandad: All the techies use social media

Ever since I passed the big five-o, I have noticed more and more youngsters who believe their generation invented something we older guys were using decades ago. At a recent event, for example, I overheard a bunch of 20-something industry analysts seriously discussing how the 50-something CIOs running IT departments today need …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Captain DaFt

    Since I started using the internet in 1998,

    I guess that makes me a dinosaur!

    To prove my fossilization, I still chat on IRC!

    (We were using hashmarks before it was cool!)

    Can I yell 'Get off my lawn!' now?

    1. richardcox13

      Re: Since I started using the internet in 1998,

      > I guess that makes me a dinosaur!

      I started about it 1988, so what does that make me… or rather does that make you just a newbie?

      That new fangled web thingy, it might just catch on...

      > Can I yell 'Get off my lawn!' now?

      Wait in line youngster! If you've not had to work out UUCP bang paths for email addresses you've had it too easy. (El Reg's Approach! To Yahoo! Related! Headlines! Brings! Back! Bad! Memories!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Since I started using the internet in 1998,

        Hear. Hear.

        The youngsters think they know it all - they don't.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Since I started using the internet in 1998,

      My first international computer chat was in 1980 on a VAX in Sussex to an op in Houston TX. I was using BBS and Compu$erve for years before the Internet 'took off'.

      I found the BBS and CompuServe forums a lot more useful than the social networks we have today.

      1. BillG

        Re: Since I started using the internet in 1998,

        Since I started using the internet, I am now overwhelmed with information. I have a LinkedIn account, a (fake) Facebook account I barely use, and a Twitter account.

        In order to receive the emails I want with relevant content, I am forced for receive an avalanche of useless emails generated by these websites.

        In the conventional sense, at a social event I can engage in conversations I find interesting and walk away from conversations I find boring. In that sense, these websites are UNsocial.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You shouldn't underrate the new social discoveries of youth.

    Thing1 recently discovered hyperlinks from facebook or something into meatspace, where they have developed direct genital-genital contact I believe they call "sex". (I tried to get details from urban dictionary, but I was left a bit confused)

    It sounds much better than the old steam powered intercourse I used to have with mum, until we couldn't get the special coal and meta tabs it used, and had to reserve it for royal weddings and other special occasions.

    1. John Tserkezis

      "It sounds much better than the old steam powered intercourse I used to have with mum, until we couldn't get the special coal and meta tabs it used, and had to reserve it for royal weddings and other special occasions."

      I think you found a new dark and dank corner of the Internet we didn't know about before... But hey! Without collabarative work, no-one else would have known about it either!

  3. PhilipN Silver badge


    Drafting a document by committee is bad enough. Having drafts flying around with different parties putting in their 2 cents' worth at the same time on different versions is an absolute bleeding rumpelstiltsking nightmare. Even having a team leader does not help unless contributors are told to review and amend one after the other in linear fashion.

    Whoever dreamt up collaborative drafting hadn't a clue about how documents - PROPER documents - are created and finalised for third party consumption - or human nature for that matter.

    Ah - another harangue triggered because I had to change "finalized" back to "finaliSEd" twice, as if this bloody software thinks it knows what I want to write better than I do!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't know what any of this means

    "OK, I might be exaggerating a bit here, but collaboration really is a natural candidate for cloud-based deployment. So, if you haven’t reviewed your own collaboration capability for a couple of years or more, it is worth looking again because an awful lot has changed."

    I don't know what any of this means.... But then again, I had just finished reading how the state of Montana decided to go very social and collaborate with hackers.... Really, there is so much hype to social and the cloud, that someone somewhere is eventually going to lose their shirt over it in a very serious way..

    Montana loses data on MORE PEOPLE THAN LIVE IN MONTANA

  5. Iawegian

    Most of the upstarts are the ones who really haven't figured out all the work flow dynamics yet. The explosion of information vs the need for efficient decision making and execution. Did Dr Deming and the Waste Chasers get lost in the clatter and rattle of new? Or am I missing or dissing the opportunity for the new economy with heretofore un understood rules? Seems that the old thermodynamic laws apply to business as well, the inefficiencies in process are a function of the entropy inherent to the components of the system.

  6. Nick Kew

    Move along, nothing to see ...

    It's OK gramps. Speaking as a fellow-veteran, I remember we were re-inventing the wheel back in the 1980s and 90s, too. Though there was IMO more excuse for it in an era when you couldn't just google it before re-inventing.

    Though I do deplore the Enclosure of the Commons. Particularly when the new is inferior to the old, which I guess is the scenario that really provokes generational grumpiness.

    Some of my relatively-recent thoughts on King Canute at

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Microsoft’s Office 365 is arguably the most complete example of this"

    Saying that demonstrates that the author does not have sufficient knowledge of IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition.

    At the demo, there were three IBM employees showing how they could update the same document at the same time. One had a laptop, one had an iPad and one had a smartphone of some kind. The screen was showing the laptop screen (of course), and the edits from the other two were being shown dynamically as the others were typing.

    Apart from that, there is wiki integration and blogs and file sharing based on Notes servers that put SharePoint to shame.

    But yeah, I know, it has the word "Notes" attached to it, so nobody's going to like it.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: "Microsoft’s Office 365 is arguably the most complete example of this"

      Sharepoint is pretty rubbish. A Wiki (which isn't much use unless the contributors are in different areas of the information or at quite different times) is better.

      Some people I know use "private" Google Docs for Collaborative editing. I suspect it does all of "IBM Notes 9.0 Social Edition" better but I can't be sure. However the fact that it's Google doesn't make us happy, but we have not yet found a suitable (private) self hosted solution.

      I prefer to use the term "Hosted". "Cloud" is a marketing term that means too many things or nothing. Basically you are renting Hosting, the only exception seems to be Google Docs, in that you are not renting hosting and have no control over applications etc.

    2. Dale Vile, Freeform Dynamics

      Re: "Microsoft’s Office 365 is arguably the most complete example of this"

      Fair cop on omitting the IBM option (surprised no one has championed Google too). IBM hung onto the Notes branding for 7 or 8 years longer than it should have done, which basically killed any chance of it seriously competing outside of it's installed base - despite the functionality being decent. A couple of us are getting an update on 'IBM SmartCloud for Social Business' next week, so I will report back after that on how it compares to Office 365 following recent enhancements. If you are a social purist then I agree SharePoint is limited, but then MS plays the Yammer card which we couldn't make work for us, but many seem to rave over. Not sure there is much between a Lync and Sametime, though I would consider Office tools to be part of an integrated collaboration solution, and there is still nothing to touch MS Office (he says ducking and running for cover :-))

  8. Mage Silver badge


    Gave me wrong impression. I was going to wade in a say yes there is a place for using SW & Internet for Collaborative working but Social Networks are not it.

    Often too "Social Networks" is just a euphemism for Twitter & Facebook. Yes I know others exist. Collaboration needs a co-ordinator and privacy. Both these are deliberately lacking from "Social Networks". I was persuaded by Hosting Services boss in next Cubicle (I was in a very different part of the Company) to start a Blog and join Linkedin in 2007. Last year I packed in Linkedin. I still have a few "blogs" but really I admit they are just cheap vanity publishing, just more convenient than the various websites I'd had from maybe 1994.

  9. smartypants

    Don't be hard on twitter. It has a very important purpose

    It gives people who suffer from delusions of importance a means to reinforce their delusion, thereby avoiding indefinitely the crushing weight of reality.

  10. Gazman

    As Dame Shirley Bassey once put it...

    All just a little bit of history repeating.

    Personally, I like to socially network with the aid of "beer" in a "pub" - anyone fancy a pint?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Began using email in 1980...

    ... thanks to working for DEC. IMHO nothing has since been invented that even comes close to being as good as VAXNotes/DECNotes.

    But there you have it. As George Orwell sagely observed, "[e]ach generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it". (Of course, there is no need to take any view about the next generation until it is old enough to start asserting its own views - at which point they must obviously be refuted).

    One of our ancient ape instincts forces young people (especially young men) to assert themselves against their parents (especially the leader/silverback). This is an emotional need, based on the importance of becoming independent adults and, in due course, being ready to assume leadership.

    In human society, you can see it play out in many ways: but the common factor is the unconscious rejection of everything said or done by "those old people", and the underlying belief that they were really pretty dumb (and anyway they didn't have iPhones).

    IMHO one of the funniest manifestations was Tony Blair's attempt to sound modern and dynamic by running down the Victorians and contrasting their civilisation with all the "technology" we have today. Being a fool, and therefore too lazy to learn the facts, he was sublimely unaware that the Victorians made ALL the scientific breakthroughs that led to the computer, the iPhone, and the rest of our technology. Life may be pretty grim on the whole, but Providence has sent us clowns like that to bring a grin to our faces from time to time.

  12. Mage Silver badge


    Even invented Spam, shortly after installing Telegraphs to professionals rather than just in Post offices.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021