one thing I hate about the Internet

Actually, there are many things I hate about Internet culture. Nearly all of them involve the way the web highlights and hastens the ignorance and decline of modern culture.

However, one in particular gets me everytime and a great case study to showcase my consternation just occurred. The very funny @badbanana just tweeted “Seventy percent chance Zooey Deschanel has a pet owl.”

In the @replies and in the comments where he feeds into Facebook, there were several retweets and likes. But there were also a few people who tweeted/commented “Who is Zooey Deschanel?”

I’m not mocking people for their lack of knowledge of Zooey Deschanel. If they’re that sheltered from modern culture, good for them.

BUT… In the time it took to type “Who is Zooey Deschanel?” into the Facebook or Twitter box, you could have typed the same phrase into something called Google (or even Bing!) and it would have told you who Zooey Deschanel was. There would have been pictures and links and videos and you would have become a minor expert about Zooey Deschanel.

But no. You took that time to shout your ignorance from the highest rooftops.

And I can’t figure out why.

And yes, I’m a grouchy old man. Get off my lawn.

(And before someone gets smart in the comments: Zooey Deschanel)

the popcorn button

Nearly every microwave you see has a “popcorn button”.

Nearly every package of microwave popcorn has a warning, “DO NOT USE THE POPCORN BUTTON”.

It’s an impasse.

popcorn buttonThe microwave has a sensor that monitors the moisture and other factors inside the microwave to tell it to shutdown when it senses that the popcorn is done. Meanwhile, the popcorn manufacturers don’t want you to rely on that automation and want you to use your own ears to monitor when the popping slows.

It seems both parties are trying to give you a decent serving of popcorn. (Actually if you want good popcorn, you use something like this.)

I’m sure both parties think they’re serving their customer. In reality, they are each looking out for their own interests and seeing the process from their own worldview. In the process, they’re confusing the real end user of both products.

Seth Godin had a great insight in Purple Cow about an innovation in paint cans from Dutch Boy … “People don’t buy paint, they buy painted walls.

And in this case, people don’t buy popcorn bags and microwaves. They buy corn that has been popped.

Are you looking at your business from your own perspective? Are you battling with an external force that has influence on the final marketing outcome? Instead of an impasse that the end user finds confusing or ridiculous, why not change something? Stalemates get stale.