INATT

Jay Cross is working on a research paper, which if it turns into a book, he will name it INATT (it’s not about the technology).

  • Blogging isn’t about the technology, it’s about easily publishing your thoughts and allowing others to join in and add to them.
  • Wikis aren’t about the technology, they’re an easy way for everyone to write, edit and comment on the same space and not worry about operating systems or word processor document formats.
  • RSS isn’t about the technology, it’s about having one place to watch the multi-person, multi-channel, multi-perspective Web universe.
  • Podcasts aren’t about the technology, they’re a way to share your voice and let others listen on their own terms and on their own time.
  • Multi-player roleplay games aren’t about the technology, they’re about immersing yourself in another world and learning things you might not in real life.

Many people cannot use these practical tools in school or at work. If it’s not about the technology, why are we letting IT departments decide what’s best for us?

5 Responses to “INATT”

  1. Jon Matejcek

    There’s a good article on this topic by Andrew McAfee here:

    http://blog.hbs.edu/faculty/amcafee/index.php/faculty_amcafee_v3/its_not_not_about_the_technology/

    Essentially, he seems to be saying: OK, we all agree that INATT. Let’s take this discussion to a more nuanced level. He says:

    [One version of INATT] encourages the view that there’s nothing new under the sun — that one generation of technology aimed at addressing a business problem is the same as all other generations. So (for example) we need to collaborate and share knowledge better, but it’s not about the technology. We’ve been disappointed with our past results in these areas for reasons that have nothing to do with the technologies we were using, and there’s nothing about any new technologies that gives us better chances of success now.

    This sense of INATT is pessimistic and self-defeating, even if it’s not intended to be.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said INATT a million times, and it’s still a new concept to some people – but I think we need to acknowledge that there’s an interplay between what is and isn’t about the technology. (Makes a nice book title, though!)

    Reply
  2. Harold

    You could also say INATT and in the same breath say that it’s all about the technology. My underlying thought is that it’s the effects, influences and unseen elements of the technology that the generalist has to understand, because the technology is so pervasive. The non-IT person can no longer ignore our technological surround. Perhaps I should have written, “it’s not about the technologists”.

    Reply

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