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Ignite DC #8

Tom Bridge

Social Construction of Technology: Why the Better Tech Doesn't Always Win

Beta beat out VHS. Blu-Ray beat out HD-DVD. The iPod beat the Zune. The Penny Farthing lost out to the Safety Bicycle.

Wait, what?

The Penny Farthing bicycle, famous for its aesthetic, was a superior technical machine to the even-wheeled cycles of the day. It lost out because of the different priorities that existed. Interpretative Flexibility, or the way we determine as a culture what technologies succeed, and what technologies are passed by. Using the lenses of the Social Construction of Technology, you can have a window into what may make your technology win out over another. Hint: It's not just technical ability anymore.

About Tom Bridge:

Tom Bridge is about to complete a Masters Degree in the History of Technology at Virginia Tech. Tom is also the Editor in Chief for local news and interest website WeLoveDC.com, and a partner at Technolutionary LLC, helping small businesses adapt and extend their grasp using technology. He lives in Brookland with his wife Tiffany and their cats Macro and Bokeh

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