- The tech sector has come along way since this column began two-and-a-half years ago. In 2002, pink slips were more common than initial public offerings, venture capital funding slowed to an anemic trickle and the dot-com implosion was still fresh, dashing hopes and morale for workers and companies alike.
Tech companies were focused on recovery (or cleaning up their reputations), with innovation often taking a back seat to cost cutting. It didn’t make for the most exciting or inspiring times for covering technology; many of my columns from 2002 read like bad news rap sheets for tech companies, with America Online and the ailing telecom sector among the favorite targets for my musings.
Flash forward to 2005: The tech sector seems to have undergone a face lift rivaling “The Swan” reality show. A number of tech stocks are rallying (thanks to the success of Google and other tech-sector stars). There’s money to be made again selling tech widgets and services (and not just to Uncle Sam), and tech innovation is at the forefront again.
….As the Internet has grown up, the amount of content that PC users have to command has become a virtual jungle of information. Going forward, some of the most important innovations and business strategies will involve data mining, managing digital content and the ever-tricky balance of copyright protection, while striving to provide a wealth of information to the masses. Lawmakers, for their part, are introducing legislation at the state and federal levels to try and establish digital content rules and these efforts face a lot of hurdles. Tech companies such as IBM and Microsoft and smaller start-ups are involved in this quest to help organize and link information. The evolution of the Information Age has taught us, however, that consumer privacy concerns are one of the biggest challenges facing this development.
But here’s the good news:
- This is my final column and day working for washingtonpost.com. My writings on technology and what I think are the most interesting tech trends, news and views will continue on my new Web site, cynthiawebb.net. I plan to launch a similar technology news column called “The Scan,” starting Feb. 1.
I hope you will continue to follow my future writings there. I look forward to this new adventure and invite you to come along for the ride.
I am very happy to hear that Cynthia is continuing her clear, concise, and perceptive work – she was really a blogger for the Post anyway, and now she is one in name also. Best wishes!