In case you missed it Monday, we’re rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and it sharpens our gaze. You won’t find general tech business news in this space anymore.
First, a big thanks for helping us spread the word on the interwebs. And we’re even more grateful for your thoughtful suggestions and ideas for coverage and, more broadly, how we should think about this beat. I’ve grouped some of your sentiments into some themes and respond below:
Commenter “Oscar Myer” wrote about the notion that tech blogs concentrate too heavily on communication technology to the exclusion of other technological areas like transport, energy and experimental technology.
“I personally don’t give a rat’s patootie about cell phones or MP3 players,” he writes. “Especially when the discussions are little more than 3rd party marketing. However, I would be interested in things like soil, water and air testers for home use. Or devices that could cheaply reveal pathogens in my environment.”
LostIsland suggests we don’t just look at social impacts of technology but instead, what’s truly nascent.
“What’s hard to find is reporting on the creation of new techniques at the R&D level that fuel the whole industry. If *that* is reported then it will fuel more innovation due to the concepts being spread. Reading about existing social impacts is something best done by sociologists, not by tech reporters. We’re entering the desktop mfg. era and truly new concepts will do a lot more good in that context,” LostIsland writes.
Your blogger just got back from the MIT Media Lab, birthplace of innovations both big, such as car sharing, and small, like a smoother gliding ketchup bottle. Those big brains are certainly thinking beyond cellphones. And they’re coming up with entirely new approaches to existing conventions, like driving. So we’re thinking along the same lines and considering the new-new things that could upend the way we live or work.
Matthew Fry wrote: “So should it be ‘Some Tech Considered’ then?”
That’s a great question. We actually kicked this around at NPR when we decided to embark on the blog reset. While “Some Tech” is more accurate for what we’re doing editorially, “All Tech Considered” remains a clear parallel to our afternoon news magazine, “All Things Considered.” For now, the blog name will stay the same.
Among the topics you want to see covered are:
- Privacy and surveillance, and related legislation, like explaining SOPA last year when it was a big policy fight
- The truly revolutionary changes in energy storage and generation
- Technologies of the past that had profound effects on societies
- The psychological effects of Instagram
What else? Keep ‘em coming in the comments, or tweet at us @NPRAllTech.