Why the Fearmongering?

August 14, 2006

In today’s Toronto Star piece, Tyler Hamilton is introducing an element of fearmongering and doubt for many new web service users and blog readers:

Could Wikipedia have defended a mass attack that was secretly organized, that struck at hundreds of pages at the same time that relentlessly sought to alter thousands of online factoids? I don’t think so. Will it happen? Is it happening already? Has it happened?

I am sure that he is not intentionally trying to scare people out of reading blogs and using new Web 2.0 services such as Wikipedia and Flickr (and FreshBooks for that matter), at least I hope not, but I am afraid that is exactly what this article could be doing. He is seeding that tiny speck of doubt in the reader’s mind. If the reader is new to all of this Web 2.0 stuff, it is possibly enough for him/her to stop reading and using blogs and wiki’s period. Thankfully I think most people know better, but I wonder how many people he has actually turned away.

The question I have is why? What is the point of instilling doubt and fear into these readers? Since Tyler has a blog of his own, I am a little confused with this article. Is it because first and foremost he is a writer in a traditional newspaper and feels threatened by the blogging community? I kind of doubt it, but then again I haven’t met Tyler, so perhaps he is scared of the bloggers.

Either way, I really hope he hasn’t frightened anyone from engaging the blogosphere and sampling all the fantastic new Web 2.0 services now available, because as it stands now, there is really nothing to fear. Or should I say: the only thing to fear, is fear itself!

about the author

Co-Founder & VP of Operations, FreshBooks Levi is a professional engineer with a BEng from the University of Victoria. Before co-founding FreshBooks as the VP of Operations, Levi managed projects at Apex Systems Integrators Inc., where his clients included Canadian Tire, Nestlé and Parmalat. Levi’s long term goals include: never losing the contest to wear shorts to the office for as long as humanly possible, some day growing back his mullet he had in the eighties and getting on the jumbotron at the Raptors game at least once a year.